Unlimited broadband

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Unlimited broadband deals 

Unlimited broadband can offer you the freedom to stream movies, download music and apps, and play games online with friends without having to worry about data limits. And with providers now bundling their services into packages that also include your phone and specialist TV channels, there’s never been a better time to get a great deal.

What does unlimited broadband mean?

Whenever you use the internet – whether that’s accessing your email, watching a TV show on BBC iPlayer or streaming a movie on Netflix – you’re consuming data. If you have an unlimited broadband package, it means that you can use as much data as you like each month without incurring any additional charges.

Do I need unlimited broadband?

It depends what you use the internet for, how often you use it and how many people there are in your household using it. If any of the following sound familiar to you, then you might want to consider getting an unlimited broadband deal, as you’d be likely to use up the monthly download allowance you get with a capped deal.

  • You’re a family of browsers: everyone’s online a lot of the time, using various devices
  • You live in a shared house and everyone uses the internet
  • You like to watch catch-up TV on BBC iPlayer
  • You download video games and play them online with friends
  • You use a music streaming service, such as Spotify
  • You stream movies on Netflix, for example
  • Your TV is an internet-connected smart TV

Can I work out how much data I use?

We’ve listed a few things you might do online, along with how much data they use. If you’re a regular user of data-heavy activities, you’ll probably benefit from unlimited broadband.

Download a document: 2 MB
Download a music track: 4 MB
One hour of browsing: 10 to 25 MB
One hour on social media: 20 MB
Stream one hour of music/radio: 150 MB
Stream one hour non-HD video: 250 MB to 500MB
Download a non-HD film: 700 MB to 1GB
Stream one hour HD video: 2 GB
Download a HD film: 4 GB

What’s traffic management?

Used on some unlimited broadband packages, traffic management is when your broadband provider manages the upload or download speeds on its network for certain activities, often at peak times of the day, to provide a stable connection for everyone.

For example, if everyone in the area you live in is accessing the internet at the same time, servers can become congested, which can lead to a general fall-off in speed. To try to avoid this happening, your broadband provider might reduce the speed on a particular activity, such as file sharing, to help maintain speeds on other services, like streaming.

What’s a fair usage policy?

Some providers also have a fair usage policy. This usually dictates when they’ll use traffic management, but it also contains other potential restrictions. It may set out how much you’re allowed to download each month, even on an unlimited broadband deal, before the provider slows down your connection or possibly takes other measures.

For most users, this shouldn’t be anything to worry about as the data limits are usually set very high. However, if you’re a serious internet user, it’s something to be aware of.

Are there any truly unlimited broadband deals available?

There are truly unlimited broadband deals available, which aren’t subject to traffic management and have no usage caps. But just be aware that your broadband speed could still slow down if there are lots of people online – this is less of an issue if you have fibre optic broadband than if you’re on standard broadband.

What’s a capped broadband deal?

A capped broadband deal limits the amount of data you can use in a month. The advantage of this type of deal is that it might work out cheaper if you’re an occasional internet user. The downside is that if you go for a capped deal then use up your data allowance, you could face extra charges if you want to use more data or your provider might reduce your broadband speed to a crawl.

Will I get the advertised broadband speed?

At the moment, broadband providers are allowed to quote ‘up to’ speeds. Currently, the ‘up to’ speeds quoted in broadband adverts only need apply to a minimum of 10% of all customers. That means your broadband speed might differ considerably to what’s advertised. Additionally, speeds will probably drop off if there are more people online, which is why your internet connection may seem slower during busy periods.

How can I get a good deal on unlimited broadband?

That’s where we can help. Go to our broadband comparison page, enter your postcode and we’ll show you a list of deals available in your area. All you have to do is decide on the one that suits you best.

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