A Guide to Broadband Options for Students

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The most important aspect of a happy, harmonious student home is good Internet. Forget taking the bins out or putting that toilet seat down, if you want a stress-free student home, you need a superb Internet connection that allows everyone to go online at the same time.

The problem is, with so many different broadband providers and deals on the market, how do you know if you’re making the right choice?

Well, before you sign on the dotted line, here are some of the most important considerations you should make before you commit to any broadband contract:

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Internet Speed

When it comes to your Internet connection, speed is everything. This is particularly important in regards to download speed, as this number will determine whether you and your housemates can stream your favourite Netflix TV shows at the same time. Unfortunately, if your download speed is too low, you’ll find yourselves getting more and more infuriated as your video buffers every few minutes.

Most standard broadband packages will only have a potential of around 17 Mbps. For homes with more than three students, 17 Mbps will not be speedy enough if using the Internet at the same time. Which is the last thing you need when you have an upcoming exam or essay deadline.

Instead, opting for fibre is far more sensible. Here you will benefit from speeds ranging from 50 Mbps to 362 Mbps (you can check with an online speed test), which is enough for everyone to use the Internet comfortably. Even better, the price tag for fibre Internet has become far more affordable over the last few years. When split amongst your housemates, this super-fast broadband will cost little more than a few pints down at the students’ union.

How Long Will You Be in the Accommodation?

Most students are only in their student accommodation for around 9 months of the year, as they’ll head back home for the summer break. The question is then, should you try and find a 9-month broadband deal?

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Well, in most cases, these shorter contracts aren’t as cheap after all. So, for better overall value, you’re best opting for a 12-month contract.

If you plan to stay in your chosen accommodation for longer, you may find an 18-month contract for even better value.

Do You Want a TV Package?

For students who enjoy watching the latest dramas or live sports, most providers offer combined broadband and TV packages. Providers, such as Sky, Virgin and BT, often have deals on TV and broadband bundles, which can even result in better value for households that were planning on getting a TV subscription anyway.

Your Area

The area that you live in can affect what type of broadband is available to your student home. Although Fibre is available to over 80% of the UK, it’s still important to check what type of Internet is available in the area that you plan to live in. This may even help you decide if a certain rental is right for you or not.

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Make Sure You Get Unlimited Data

No matter what Internet service provider you choose, make sure that your bundle comes with unlimited data. This means that, no matter how many TV shows that you and your housemates are watching on a daily basis, you won’t use up all your data.

Does it Take Long to Switch Broadband Provider?

Generally, if you choose phone line broadband, your switch will take around 2 weeks, whereas fibre connections can be set up and activated quicker. However, if you need an engineer to come to your home and set up your connection, this may take a number of weeks depending on demand.

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