Unlimited broadband deals in the UK in (July 2024)


Gone are the days when broadband data caps were the norm. Today, nearly every broadband deal offers unlimited data, with speeds fast enough even for heavy streaming. But with a sea of enticing offers out there, picking the right one might seem daunting.

In this article, we’ll uncover the best unlimited broadband deals in the UK. We will also explain what unlimited broadband is, why you need it, and the speeds and you can get, and how much it costs you can reasonably expect.

Best unlimited broadband deals:

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What is unlimited broadband?

Unlimited broadband is a broadband deal from an internet service provider that lets you access the internet without a monthly cap on the total data you upload and download (also known as throughput).

Unlike standard broadband packages that only allow a set amount of data per billing cycle, unlimited broadband deals remove this limit so you can browse, stream, share, and download as much as you want without tracking your usage or incurring extra charges.

However, it's important to understand that unlimited broadband is different from unthrottled broadband. Most providers still manage traffic speeds during peak congestion times to balance network capacity – a process known as ‘throttling’. While you can use as much data as you want during the month, your connection speeds may still slow down during busy periods.

That said, some of the very best unlimited broadband deals won't throttle users no matter how much bandwidth they use. These next-generation services offer high speeds and unlimited downloads around the clock.

As such, be sure to check the fine print to confirm there are no “fair usage” policies (speed throttling after a certain amount of monthly data use) when comparing unlimited broadband deals.

Do you need unlimited broadband?

The question of whether you need unlimited broadband hinges on your internet use patterns. While those confident they won't hit a download limit might consider capped plans at a low enough price, the safest bet is an unlimited broadband deal. This typically offers the best value and guarantees that you won’t suffer a penalty if your usage increases briefly.

With all of that said, your internet activity can fall into light, medium, or heavy usage categories. Here’s how the different user categories compare:

  • Light data user: Folks who only engage in basic online tasks like emailing, shopping, or social media browsing might not need high speeds or unlimited data.
  • Medium data user: Medium users who frequently surf or occasionally stream could benefit from more generous limits and faster speeds.
  • Heavy data user: Unlimited broadband with top speeds will be essential to meet the high demands of a heavy data user’s constant streaming, gaming, or file sharing.

What speed can you get with unlimited broadband?

The speeds you get with your unlimited broadband deal will depend on the technology your internet service provider uses to transmit the signal to and from your location. The most common options are ADSL, fibre optic, and cable. Below is a breakdown of the different technologies used for data transfer and the average speeds they offer.

  • ADSL broadband. ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line), often the easiest and cheapest broadband to install, utilises existing phone lines to deliver internet. Basic ADSL provides average speeds of about 10-11Mbps, while its enhanced version, ADSL2+, offers slightly higher speeds of up to 24Mbps. It’s best suited for small businesses and home users who fall within the Light and Medium data use categories set out above.
  • Cable internet. Cable internet utilises the same cable wires that power your TV to provide broadband access. This technology is significantly faster than ADSL and delivers download speeds of between 30Mbps and 100Mbps – fast enough to handle activities like HD streaming across multiple devices.
  • Fibre-optic broadband. The fastest option – fibre optic broadband – transmits data via light through glass fibres, achieving speeds between 50 and 1000Mb/s. This technology efficiently handles demanding online tasks like video conferencing and large file transfers.

While the performance and suitability of these technologies vary for different online activities, all of these are much faster than traditional dial-up.

How much does unlimited broadband cost?

The cost of unlimited broadband is comparable to limited plans. However, some unlimited options might be pricier, especially those bundled with TV. And yes, speed matters too – typically, the faster the connection, the higher the price tag.

But the difference isn't astronomical. Most leading unlimited broadband providers, including big names like Vodafone, Plusnet, Now, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, and BT, offer monthly plans averaging between £20 and £30. So, while the fastest, most decked-out packages come with a higher price tag, unlimited internet can fit into most budgets.

What other services can you get with unlimited broadband?

There's more to unlimited broadband than just internet access. Many providers offer packages that bundle broadband with other services like landlines and TV, potentially saving you money and adding convenience. Here’s a quick look at the common types of bundles offered by top providers:

  • Broadband and TV. This bundle is ideal for entertainment lovers because it often includes perks like a 4K TV box and subscriptions to streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime, all for one price.
  • Broadband and phone. If you need a home phone package alongside any broadband deal, look for providers like Vodafone with combined deals. Companies like Plusnet are moving away from traditional landline services.
  • Broadband, phone and TV. Providers like Sky offer packages that mix phone, broadband, and TV, although this option tends to be more expensive.

Broadband providers may also offer incentives like gift cards, vouchers, prepaid cards, or gadgets to attract new sign-ups. However, focusing on the internet service and not just the giveaways is vital to avoid picking plans with unnecessary features or high costs.

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