Best broadband deals in Belfast
Find fast and cheap broadband deals in Belfast
Best broadband deals in Belfast
Find fast and cheap broadband deals in Belfast
Fastest broadband deal in Belfast
These speeds are based on the Belfast postcode BT9 6FY. We've used this postcode because it is representative of one of the fastest areas for broadband in Belfast.
The fastest broadband deal in Belfast is , with a download speed of .
Cheapest broadband deal in Belfast
The cheapest broadband in Belfast is 's package costing per month. With download speeds advertised at and upload speeds at . Other broadband providers also offer very cheap broadband deals in Belfast so it is worth looking for other packages which might suit your needs better.
Compare Broadband deals in Belfast
Broadband providers in Belfast
In Belfast, you will see Openreach broadband providers advertise speeds up to . Virgin Media advertise speeds up to .
According to Ofcom data, the average broadband speed in Belfast is .
Check the best broadband deals for your address.
Everything you need to know to find the best broadband deal in Belfast
Whatever you do online, whether it's streaming video, gaming, reading the news or merely looking at your emails, you need to have dependable broadband. In the UK, we're fortunate to have access to a wide range of broadband services with different levels of performance and features. However, with so many broadband deals out there, deciding which deal is right for you can be difficult.
Not sure how to find the best broadband deals, what speed you need, or what you should be looking for? Then you're in the right place.
Why changing broadband provider is often a good idea
One of the most frustrating parts of adult life is that you have to join a seemingly endless number of contracts. Want entertainment? You'll want a Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Sky subscription. Want heating and water? That's another contract. Setting up new contracts is sometimes confusing and time-consuming, and that's why many people prefer just to do it once. They find a deal they like and let it renew every year.
However, things can change a lot from when you first arrive in your new home to today. Are you still paying a competitive rate? Is your broadband download speed still fast, or is it sluggish compared to what's on offer today? According to the UK's consumer champion and second-largest consumer organisation in the world, Which? British consumers can save an eye-watering £143 annually by switching.
Saving money is probably most customers' primary reason to change, however it's not the only reason that switching is often a good idea:
Loyalty doesn't mean rewards
In the past, being a long time customer could guarantee you more benefits like competitive rates, cashback, or add-ons. However, today, 'loyalty penalties' are more and more common. A loyalty penalty is where you pay a higher amount to continue with the service. So, for example, your service fee may rise in price each year while new customers get offered cheaper broadband deals with the same provider.
Better all-round broadband deals
More affordable broadband doesn't necessarily mean slower speeds. Broadband is a competitive consumer product and even more so in the age of the internet, where it's simpler than ever to compare deals. As a result, many broadband providers offer money-saving deals to first-time customers together with competitive speeds.
Types of broadband in Belfast
When searching for the best broadband deals, you'll encounter many buzzwords, and it's crucial you know what these words mean. For instance, did you know the terms 'superfast' and 'ultrafast' aren't just fancy ways of saying fast but actually have distinct definitions?
The most important decision you need to make is what type of broadband you need.
ADSL (Standard broadband)
ADSL represents Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line and is the most commonly obtainable broadband type in the UK. With ADSL, broadband is delivered via the phone lines, along copper wires. Since these wires were originally designed for voice calls, they're not super efficient at transferring data and therefore can't attain the fast speeds we see with fibre.
There are two frequently used types of ADSL in the UK, ADSL1 and ADSL2+. ADSL1 is the slower of the two, with maximum speeds of around 8Mbps, while ADSL2+ can achieve speeds of 24Mbps. Nevertheless, it's worth keeping in mind that with both ADSL types, speeds vary depending on how far you live from the telephone exchange. Additionally, actual speeds are usually much lower than the maximum speeds.
Fibre Optic and Full Fibre
With fibre broadband, data is sent out over clusters of fibre optic cables (each one thinner than a human hair). It uses glass fibres instead of the standard copper lines used in standard ADSL broadband. Fibre is both extremely quick and stable.
So that's fibre, but what's 'full fibre?'. Some broadband providers deliver fibre services that are known as fibre-to-cabinet (FTTC). This means that the fibre service stops at the street cabinet, and data travels over copper wires the remainder of the way (into your home). While this isn't normally a big issue for most consumers, it can cause drops in performance if your home is located far away from the cabinet.
In contrast, full-fibre, or fibre-to-premises (FTTP), takes the fibre right into your property.
Typically you'll see FTTC called 'superfast fibre' and FTTP called 'ultrafast fibre'. According to Ofcom, superfast broadband (with speeds over 30mbps), is now available to 96% of UK households.
While the steadily increasing fibre coverage is promising, individuals living in rural areas might still struggle to find fibre deals.
This is where things can get a little confusing. Cable broadband is still mostly fibre, but with one key difference. Data is sent out through fibre cables to the local exchange cabinet (the same as in FTTC). However, it then uses coaxial cables for the last little stretch into your home. These are the same cables that deliver cable TV and are much faster than copper phone wires.
Cable is more dependable than ADSL, and can support much faster speeds than FTTC and lastly, speeds are not lost with distance. The dominant cable provider in the UK is Virgin Media, although a couple of smaller cable broadband providers are also out there.
Satellite broadband is an alternative way of getting internet in your home without all the wires. With satellite, data is beamed from space to a satellite dish installed on your house, much like with satellite TV. Satellite broadband isn't common in the UK however is a great option for homes in very rural areas that don't have fixed line broadband infrastructure.
What speed do I need?
While many people understand that the more the megabits, the faster the internet connection, many struggle to understand how that relates to their household. So, how many megabits is enough for you?
1-2 People in the Household
Generally speaking, if you live alone or with another person and don't do especially bandwidth-intensive activities, you should be alright with standard broadband (ADSL). When looking for the best broadband deals for standard broadband, you'll generally see average speeds of 10-11Mbps.
Speeds of 10-11Mbps suffice for one or two people to stream video, do internet shopping, or browse social media without performance issues. Additionally, it's cheap!
When you get to 3+ people in the household, you can begin to see performance issues with standard broadband. For example, you may have three people trying to stream HD video at the same time while using the internet on their other devices, all from different house areas.
For a home of 3-4 people, fibre package deals with speeds of 30-60Mbps are recommended. Lots of entry-level fibre packages in the UK offer speeds of 35-38Mbps, which will satisfy the needs of a family this size with typical internet use. But obviously, you can opt for speeds closer to 60Mbps if you have a gamer among you or just to be on the safe side.
Intensive Internet Users
If you have a larger than average family (5+) or several online gamers under your roof, then you'll want to look for broadband deals with speeds of 60-100Mbps. For the large majority of homes in this category, speeds in the range of 60-70Mbps will be more than enough, so don't think you need to strive for that magic 100 number.
What are my contract length options?
Broadband contracts are usually 12, 18, or 24 months, and generally speaking, the longer you're prepared to commit, the cheaper the monthly rate.
Alternatively, some broadband providers provide short-term or rolling broadband contracts for people renting for short periods of time or working away from home temporarily. These contracts usually work on a month by month basis and can be cancelled at short notice. However, these contracts are typically more expensive because you're paying for the privilege of cancelling whenever you want.
When can I switch broadband?
The very best time to switch broadband providers is at the end of your current contract. However, if you would like to switch early, you'll probably need to pay an exit fee, so it's only worth it if your cost savings or performance improvement are significant.
It's also worth keeping in mind that broadband contracts have a 'cooling off period' of 14 days where you can cancel without penalties if you change your mind or find a better broadband deal.
The only other situation where you can guarantee no penalties for cancelling a continuous broadband contract is when your provider fails to meet their contract's promised terms. For example, if you're getting broadband speeds far below what they quoted for your location.
Broadband deals FAQs
How do I know when my broadband contract ends?
You can check when your contract ends by logging into your account online or asking your internet service provider through live chat, phone, or email.
How do I check my broadband speed in Belfast?
You can check out your broadband speed using an online broadband speed test tool.
How can I find better broadband deals in Belfast?
You can find better broadband deals by using our address level accurate comparison tool.
Will I get the advertised speeds in Belfast?
Maybe, but not necessarily. Lots of broadband contracts contain small print saying that the advertised speed isn't guaranteed or warning you that certain factors might impact it (like distance from the telephone exchange).
In May 2018, the rules around broadband speed advertising were changed to promote more transparent (and less misleading) information around broadband speeds. Basically, today, broadband providers are only permitted to advertise the average speed of their service instead of a top speed only available to a handful of properties. This was a move in the right direction and means that the majority of consumers experience speeds near those marketed.
If your speeds fall short of what you were guaranteed, you should contact your broadband provider.