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Tip: Consider splitting the cost of a higher-speed package with your housemates. It often works out cheaper per person and provides a better experience for everyone.

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What is Student Broadband?

Student broadband refers to internet packages tailored specifically for students living in shared accommodations or halls of residence. These deals often come with shorter contract lengths and more flexible terms compared to standard household broadband contracts.

Reliable broadband is an essential utility for students, enabling them to access online resources, submit assignments, and communicate with tutors and peers. A stable internet connection is crucial for research, streaming lectures, and participating in online seminars and discussions.

Did you know: Some providers offer free gifts with student broadband deals, such as shopping vouchers or tech gadgets. These can be great for kitting out your student digs.

What is Student Broadband

Types of Student Broadband Contracts

12-Month Contracts

12-month broadband contracts are a popular choice for students, offering a balance between commitment and flexibility. These deals typically align with the academic year, allowing students to avoid paying for broadband during the summer holidays.

9-Month Contracts

Some providers offer 9-month broadband contracts specifically designed for students, covering the core academic year from September to June. These shorter contracts are ideal for students who don't need broadband during the summer months and want to avoid unnecessary costs.

30-Day Rolling Contracts

No-contract broadband deals, also known as 30-day rolling contracts, provide the ultimate flexibility for students. With these plans, you can cancel your broadband service at any time without incurring penalty fees, making them perfect for short-term student accommodation.

Remember: If you're in halls of residence, check if broadband is already included in your accommodation fees before signing up for a separate contract.

Choosing the Best Student Broadband Package

When choosing a student broadband package, consider the following factors:

  • Price: Look for affordable deals that offer the best value for money, taking into account any upfront costs and monthly charges.
  • Speed: Consider the number of people sharing the accommodation and choose a broadband speed that can handle multiple devices and heavy usage.
  • Contract Length: Opt for a contract length that aligns with your academic year and living arrangements to avoid overcommitting.

Additionally, choose a deal that allows you to pause or cancel your service during the summer months when you're away from your student accommodation. Ensure your broadband package offers unlimited downloads to avoid additional charges for heavy usage, especially if you enjoy streaming or online gaming.

Mobile broadband can be a convenient option for students, offering the flexibility to access the internet on the go. Consider a mobile broadband package if you need internet access beyond your student accommodation or if you frequently travel between home and university.

Tip: Look for deals that offer a low-cost or free 'holiday pause' feature. This allows you to suspend your service during summer breaks without paying full price.

Compare Unlimited Broadband Deals

With unlimited broadband, you pay a set monthly price for your internet connection and can use as much data as you like

Best Broadband Providers for Students

Overview of Top Providers

  • BT: BT broadband offers student-specific broadband packages with competitive prices and reliable speeds.
  • Virgin Media: Provides ultrafast broadband speeds and exclusive student deals with added perks.
  • Sky: Delivers a range of broadband packages suitable for students, with the option to bundle TV services.
  • TalkTalk: Known for affordable broadband deals with flexible contract options for students.

Smaller Providers and Their Offers

Hyperoptic specialises in full fibre broadband, offering lightning-fast speeds in select student accommodations. NOW Broadband provides no-contract broadband deals with the flexibility to cancel anytime, perfect for students in short-term accommodation.

Did you know: Some smaller, local providers might offer competitive student deals in university towns. Don't overlook these when comparing options.

Pros and Cons of Student Broadband Deals

Pros and Cons of Student Broadband Deals

Student broadband deals come with several advantages, such as unlimited data allowances, flexible contract options, and exclusive discounts or perks. However, no-contract broadband deals may come with higher monthly prices compared to longer-term contracts, and some student-specific deals might have limited availability or only be accessible in certain locations or accommodations.

How to Find the Best Student Broadband Deal

To find the best student broadband deal, use comparison websites to easily compare deals from multiple providers side by side. Filter your search results by speed, price, and contract length to find the best package for your needs.

Time your purchase to coincide with the start of the academic year, when providers often offer exclusive student deals and promotions. Look out for student-specific discounts or voucher codes that can help you save on upfront costs or monthly bills.

Tip: Check if your university has partnerships with broadband providers. These can sometimes lead to exclusive discounts for students.

Additional Tips for Students

When living in shared accommodations, discuss broadband requirements and costs with your housemates to ensure everyone is on the same page. Set up a fair usage policy to prevent any one person from monopolising the bandwidth and affecting others' internet experience.

Carefully read the terms and conditions of your broadband contract to understand any additional fees, such as installation charges or early termination costs. Be aware of any price increases that may occur during your contract term and factor them into your budgeting.

Understanding Broadband Speeds for Students

Download speed refers to how quickly you can retrieve data from the internet, such as streaming videos or downloading files. Upload speed indicates how fast you can send data from your device to the internet, which is important for video calls, online gaming, and submitting large assignments.

Superfast broadband, with download speeds of at least 30Mbps, is ideal for student households with multiple users and devices. With superfast speeds, you can enjoy seamless streaming, faster downloads, and smoother online gaming experiences.

For students who rely heavily on the internet for research, streaming lectures, and staying connected with family and friends, unlimited broadband is a must-have. Unlimited broadband packages eliminate the worry of exceeding data caps or incurring additional charges.

Broadband Installation and Setup for Students

Contact your chosen broadband provider well in advance of your move-in date to schedule an installation appointment. Inform your accommodation manager or letting agency about the installation to ensure they can provide access to the property.

Once your broadband is installed, connect your devices to the wireless router using the provided network name and password. If you encounter any issues during setup, don't hesitate to reach out to your provider's customer support team for assistance.

To optimise your broadband connection in a student house, place your wireless router in a central location, away from walls and obstructions, to ensure the best possible signal coverage throughout your accommodation. Consider investing in a Wi-Fi booster or powerline adapters to extend your broadband connection to hard-to-reach areas of your accommodation.

Broadband Installation and Setup for Students

Remember: If you're sharing a house, designate one person to be the account holder. This simplifies communication with the provider and bill management.

Switching Student Broadband Providers

If you're nearing the end of your current broadband contract or you've found a better deal elsewhere, it might be time to consider switching providers. Keep an eye out for new cheap deals for student broadband and promotions, especially around the start of the academic year.

Before switching, check your current contract for any early termination fees or remaining obligations. Contact your new chosen provider to arrange the switch, providing them with your current provider's details and the date you want the new service to begin. Your new provider will handle the transfer process, including notifying your current provider of the switch and arranging the necessary installations or activations.

To secure the best broadband deal when switching, compare the latest student broadband deals using online comparison tools, taking into account factors like download speed, contract length, and overall cost. Don't forget to factor in any upfront costs, such as installation fees or equipment charges, when calculating the total cost of a new deal. Look for providers offering exclusive student discounts, cashback incentives, or free gifts to get the most value for your money when switching.

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How can I troubleshoot common issues with my student broadband connection?

If you're experiencing issues with your student broadband connection, there are several troubleshooting steps you can try:

  1. Restart your router: Unplug your router, wait for 30 seconds, and then plug it back in. This can often resolve connectivity issues.
  2. Check your cables: Ensure that all the cables connecting your router to your devices and the wall socket are securely plugged in.
  3. Update your router's firmware: Check your provider's website for any available firmware updates and follow the instructions to install them.
  4. Run a speed test: Use an online speed testing tool to check if you're getting the speeds you're paying for. If the speeds are consistently low, contact your provider for further assistance.
  5. Reduce interference: Keep your router away from other electronic devices that may cause interference, such as cordless phones, microwaves, or Bluetooth speakers.

If these steps don't resolve the issue, contact your broadband provider's customer support for further guidance.

Can I install student broadband myself, or do I need a technician

Can I install student broadband myself, or do I need a technician?

The answer depends on the type of broadband connection you have and your provider's installation process. For most broadband connections, such as ADSL and fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), you can usually install the service yourself using the provided equipment and instructions. The provider will send you a self-installation kit containing a router, cables, and a step-by-step guide.

However, for some broadband types, like cable or full fibre (FTTP), you may need a technician to install the service. This is because these connections require specific equipment and access to the provider's network infrastructure. Your provider will inform you of the installation process when you sign up for the service.

If you're unsure about the self-installation process or encounter any issues, don't hesitate to contact your provider's customer support for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions about Student Broadband

Some providers offer bundle deals that include both broadband and TV services, which can be a cost-effective option for students who want access to additional entertainment. Look for packages that combine your desired broadband speed with a TV subscription tailored to your viewing preferences.

The optimal broadband speed for your student household depends on the number of people sharing the connection and your online activities. For a shared house of 3-4 students, a speed of at least 30Mbps should suffice for general browsing, streaming, and online coursework.

Use online speed checkers to test your current broadband speed and compare it against the advertised speeds for your package. Contact your accommodation manager or letting agency to inquire about the available broadband speeds and providers in your building.

Many broadband providers offer exclusive discounts for students, often in partnership with student unions or discount schemes like UNiDAYS or Student Beans. Check with your preferred provider to see if they have any ongoing student promotions or discount codes.

Some providers, such as Virgin Media, offer broadband-only packages that don't require a phone line. Alternatively, you can consider mobile broadband options, which use 4G or 5G networks to provide internet access without the need for a fixed line connection.

Page last updated on: 20/06/2024

Page reviewed by: Brijesh Patel

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