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The best student broadband deal

22nd August 2012 Print

Comparison website,, has researched the huge array of broadband deals available in the UK and found that the difference between the cheapest and most expensive broadband deals can be as much as £25 per month. Simply by researching the best deals when choosing a broadband package suitable for their needs, cash-strapped students could save themselves £300 per year - equivalent to around 103 pints of lager!  

Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at commented: "Broadband is not a luxury these days, but an essential utility for students - going without is not an option. The pressures on student budgets are greater than ever before as tuition fees and living expense inflation bite into already limited funds. Students need to be smart with their money, especially when you consider that they may change accommodation at a moment's notice. Fortunately, broadband providers are aware of this and there are some great deals available." 

Savvy students can get a great deal on their broadband by taking into consideration things like contract length, download limits and area coverage. Follow's top tips to find the broadband deal that's right for you: 

1. Timescale - Students can move around over the course of a year so this will affect your choice of either mobile or fixed line broadband. If you think you may move from place to place, opt for a mobile or short term contract. Virgin Media has a 9 month contract deal, offering students the choice of unlimited broadband and calls with or without TV.

2. Go Monthly - If you are budgeting for the first time and unsure how your finances will be over the course of a year, consider a monthly contract. This will allow you the flexibility you need to stop paying for the service if you find your budget is overstretched and you need to cut back for a while. Plusnet and O2 broadband both offer ‘no contract' options, allowing students to cancel as and when they need to, meaning they can benefit from student offers even if they are not in a cable area. 

3. Download with caution - Some broadband deals, especially mobile ones, do not always have the most generous download allowances. You need to be careful and not go over your usage cap with too many episodes of Glee! Excess usage costs can mount up to a lot of money, so keep an eye on the limits set on your contract. Virgin Media's cable packages all come with unlimited downloads as well offering speeds of up to 100Mb, which means they are perfect for watching iPlayer, gaming online and downloading journal articles at the same time.

4. Look beyond short-term - Whilst shorter term contracts provide the ultimate in flexibility, they often don't come with the best terms. If you know you and your mates will be sharing the house for 12-18 months then compare all the options available on an Ofcom accredited site in order to find the best deal.  

5. Check your coverage - If you opt for mobile broadband, it won't be much use if your chosen provider doesn't have coverage in your area - rural areas are particularly unreliable. It is essential to do a postcode search with your chosen provider before signing up as patchy coverage could mean you are left without a connection when you need it most. Most mobile broadband providers offer a money back satisfaction guarantee in the first few days, so you can test the connection in your home. But if the signal is poor, don't delay in taking it back.