Posts Tagged ‘broadband bundles’

  • 10
  • Oct
  • 14

Do your neighbours try to intimidate you? Deliberately make noise late at night or act inappropriately in front of your children?

But, what happens when your neighbour costs you cash? From stealing your post, using your Wi-Fi connection or stealing your gas or electricity, it could end up costing you hundreds over time.

Love them or barely tolerate them, we all have them, unless we chose to live remotely in the UK or are fortunate to own a secluded estate.

Beware as your neighbour could cost you cash

However, the lines do become blurred for some neighbours about what is acceptable and what isn’t, yet some are downright blatant when it comes to misappropriating what isn’t theirs or deliberate anti-social behaviour.

Many respectful people are not problem neighbours at all and they wouldn’t dream of helping themselves to your property, but there are the neighbours from the ‘dark side’ who can try hard to cause you unnecessary costs.

I will discuss your rights and the action you can take to save you some cash. Some home insurance policies cover legal advice so check and make sure yours covers you.

Stealing your mail

What happens when you discover that your mail continues to go missing? You think you may be imagining it until several letters go astray. I experienced this myself with a cheque and some official post, but I took immediate action, as it is a criminal offence.

Your stolen mail could be a fundamental problem in the case of identity theft. If you suspect your mail is going astray courtesy of your neighbours, then you need to take action.

If items that could be used in identity theft go missing, such as credit or debit cards, a passport or driving licences report it to your sender immediately.

You can report it to your local police, keep a note of when and what date your post went missing. Another avenue is to report it to the Royal Mail on 0845 7740 740. You have the option of obtaining a private mail box too.

Wi-Fi wars

Some neighbours may piggy- back on your Wi-Fi connection. Make sure your Wi-Fi is secure as they could cause you all sorts of connection problems, it could slow down your broadband speed, but a serious issue is that they can steal files from your computers, try to check your personal information or infect your network with viruses. It’s rude, illegal, and potentially they could be prosecuted.

If you suspect a Wi-Fi thief is getting a free ride, then check your wireless network log. This may vary depending on your computer, but if you look at your network and see more devices connected to it than there should be, your neighbour could be stealing from you.

To stop thieves, turn on your WEP or WPA encryption. Several broadband suppliers do this immediately and give you the ‘key’ or password when you set up broadband with them, but if yours is optional, make sure it’s activated. If it doesn’t come with that option you could choose to switch your broadband supplier.

Utility danger

If you find that your fuel bills are unusually high suddenly then it may be that your neighbour is stealing your fuel. It’s a crime and can be potentially extremely dangerous.

There thousands of instances of this type of theft every year in the UK, costing the public more than £100m. It is common for people to interfere with meters when they are involved in illegal drug cultivation.

If you think your gas or electricity meters has been tampered with, then contact the UK Revenue Protection Association (UKPRA) and report them straight away. If you think your neighbours have interfered with your internal wiring, report them to the police and take legal advice.

Old adages such as bullies are cowards and thieves never prosper can be appropriate clichés to keep in mind for hellish neighbours. It is worth reporting any inappropriate, illegal or disrespectful behaviour, as we all have a right to enjoy our homes in peace.

Amanda Hall-Davis - Image
Written by :
Amanda Hall-Davis - Signature
Amanda is the editor for worked as a journalist at the FT business publication, ‘Financial Adviser’. She also worked for the nationals including The Guardian, The Independent, The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mirror. Alongside working for major UK personal finance sites, she now investigates and reports on new, novel ways to help our readers save money.For press enquiries, please visit our Media Centre page.


  • 12
  • May
  • 14

Broadband on the cheap

Get the best broadband deal

While superfast broadband is now a reality in some areas of the UK, telecoms watchdog Ofcom has spoken out about how widespread connectivity issues are still a reality.

Despite average UK download speeds hitting 31.9Mbps in November 2013, not all homes and businesses are able to benefit from the next-generation technology – and it’s not just in rural areas.

According to Ofcom, UK towns and cities are also affected by slow broadband speeds, yet too many people stick with their provider despite poor speeds and high prices.

If you’ve never switched broadband providers, you might even be able to get more bangs for your buck. Follow these tips below to secure the cheapest and best value broadband deal.

Broadband on the cheap

Pay line rental upfront

The majority of consumers pay BT for their line rental, no matter who their broadband provider is. However, BT’s line rental has soared in the past six years from £11.50 in 2008 to £15.99.

TalkTalk, PlusNet and Tesco are three providers offering phone and broadband for less than £20 a month. There’s a catch though – you’ll have to pay for 12 months upfront.

If you’ve got the cash it’s well worth doing. For example, TalkTalk’s Simply Broadband is a bargain £3.50 a month. Line rental is a similar price to BT at £15.95, but pay upfront and it’s just £10.50. Over the year, that’s £168 for phone and broadband – a £65.40.

You might also find it cheaper to go for a phone, broadband and TV bundle if you already pay for TV with Sky, BT or Virgin.

Keep an eye on data

The cheapest broadband packages don’t offer much in terms of data allowances, and if you’re not careful, you could end up paying more than if you’d opted for an unlimited package

While 2GB may have been plenty of data a couple of years ago, now we eat our way through data like nobody’s business.

Just browsing the net, sending and receiving emails as well as streaming the occasional video will probably use up 10GB throughout the month. If you’re one for watching catch up TV, you’ll need more – just one episode could eat through 1GB.

To give you an idea BT Infinity starts from £15 a month, but that restricts you to a 20GB download limit. If you want to upgrade to 40GB, you’ll have to pay £16 a month and totally unlimited starts from £23 a month.

Watch your speeds

Broadband adverts bombard you with figures for download speeds; upload speeds, average speeds, up to speeds and so on.

Yet all this is pretty irrelevant as the advertised speed is not necessarily the speed you will get. That all depends on the exchange you use and how close you are to it.

In general, fibre broadband does offer a faster and more reliable connection as it doesn’t rely on the old network; it uses fibre optic cables that offer the same service no matter how far a property is from the exchange.

However, it’s also much more expensive. If you’re a fairly light user, you will find that speeds of 14-16Mb are perfectly adequate, whereas superfast speeds of up to 30Mb may be preferred for heavy users.

You can boost your internet speeds without having to pay a lot more. For example, signal boosters and sing the Ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi can all impact on the actual speed achieved.

Cheapest deals

It’s worth comparing broadband packages to see the costs over 12 months.

It’s usually the landline cost that bumps up the price of your broadband, so it’s important to consider the price of both.

One of the cheapest deals on the market is TalkTalk, although you will have to pay 12 months up front to get the best price of £14 a month. Buy before 30th June 2014 and Tesco has a similar upfront deal, but that’ll set you back £17.80 a month.

If you already pay for a landline and don’t want to switch, there are broadband only deals. Unfortunately, they don’t save you £15 a month though.

PlusNet is one of the best providers for broadband only deals. Their cheapest is £8.40 a month, but once you’ve factored in the extra £25 connection fee and £5.99 for delivery of the router, it works out at £11 a month.

Finally, the only operator to provide broadband without the need for a landline at all is Virgin Media. It costs £25 a month for its fibre optic broadband, but with £5 off for the first three months and a £49.95 installation charge, it works out at £27.90 a month.

Jemma Porter - Image Written by : Jemma Porter - Signature
Jemma is a news & research reporter for worked as a journalist on a number of personal finance websites; she now spends time researching and commenting on UK personal finance stories and investigating new ways to help our readers save money.For press enquiries, please visit our Media Centre page.


For most people in the UK, the deciding factor when choosing a broadband package is the speed of the connection, as this is what enables the efficient use of rich media such as videos and photos, and faster downloading.  All this talk of connection speeds leaves people wondering, ‘have I got fast broadband in my area?’.

Checking speeds

One of the best ways to check the connection you already have is with an online speed test which determines how fast your broadband really is, rather than the ‘up to’ speed the provider tells you that you can get.

These tests can scan your connection and the broadband exchange to find out what broadband speed you receive. Some of the top broadband providers in the UK have been under fire recently after a campaign was launched to prevent them from telling customers what speed they can get ‘up to’ because the reality is often much lower.

Broadband speeds are often dependent on where you live and the type of broadband you have, so just because your friend down the road says “I have fast broadband in my area” doesn’t mean that you will. Broadband speeds are notoriously faster in urban areas and if your home is closer to the telephone exchange.

Slow connections

Even top broadband providers in the UK cannot prevent your connection slowing in the evening because ADSL broadband is a shared service. The more people using the connection at once, the slower it will become. This is why you will find that your fast broadband slows down at peak hours and performs better throughout the day.

If you feel that you have a slow connection and would prefer to able to get fast broadband you have two options: you could optimise your computer and broadband connection (for example, you could look into whether you could switch to a cable connection which is typically faster than ADSL) or compare best broadband and phone deals on offer to find a new provider.

Comparing broadband and phone deals

Should you decide that you would prefer to switch to a different broadband package, you should compare broadband and phone deals first, as you will often get better value for money if you take out a combination package, or ‘bundle’. There are plenty of offers available from a variety of providers and one of the best ways to narrow your choices down is by comparing the top broadband providers in the UK.

An online broadband comparison tool will allow you to get an impartial overview of the broadband market, what speeds are available to you, and how much you should expect to pay. However, don’t forget that if you are already signed up to a broadband package, you may have to pay an exit or cancellation fee.

You should also be wary of broadband providers who claim that you can receive ‘up to’ a certain speed as  this will often depend on how fast broadband is in your area. Some online tools will show you results based on the speeds that are achievable in your postcode catchment area, giving you a more realistic idea of what to expect.


The lack of a consistent high speed broadband service across the UK is depriving the country of £1.3 billion of revenue, according to eBay, the leading auction site. Research from the online auction company has found that unless the UK upgrades to the best broadband, the country will continue to lose out on over a billion pounds worth of income.

16 per cent of the UK has no high speed broadband

The research from eBay found that 16 per cent of the UK is in an area where it is not possible to undertake a transaction on a mobile telephone – a so-called ‘not-spot’.

While rural locations such as the Outer Hebrides have no coverage, other areas including Jersey, the Isle of Man and Inverness were identified as ‘not-spots’ by the eBay research. The auction company claims that ‘more than a third of consumers have failed to complete a purchase on their mobile due to issues with mobile broadband’.

eBay has urged Ofcom to make sure that the new 4G networks are set up so everywhere has access to the best broadband speeds available. The Daily Telegraph reports that ‘mobile shopping could deliver a £4.5 billion boost to Britain’s economy by 2016 and a further £13 billion by 2021.’

Angus McCarey, UK Retail Director for eBay UK, said: “Consumers and retailers are missing out as the cost and reliability of mobile broadband prevents shoppers from spending. High quality and reliable mobile broadband coverage throughout the UK has to be our ambition.”

Broadband only deals offer high speed broadband at a low cost

If you’re looking to get the best high speed broadband then there are two ways that you can go about finding it:

•    Broadband bundle comparison
•    Broadband only deals

A broadband bundle comparison involves researching the costs of accessing a range of home media services from the same supplier. For example, you might compare bundles including satellite TV channels, a home landline and broadband.  You will often find that buying multiple services from the same provider will save you money.

Alternatively, you can research broadband only deals. As well as comparing the monthly cost of these deals, it’s important to compare both the speed and the reliability of each broadband service.  Sometimes it is worth paying a little bit extra every month in order to benefit from a faster, more reliable broadband service.

If Ofcom heeds the eBay research, the choice of high quality broadband could improve over the next few years.

Rory Stewart, MP, commented on the eBay research: “This is another fantastic example of why we must take this opportunity to expand mobile broadband coverage as far as possible.”

Marzena Lipman, digital expert at Consumer Focus, agrees: “Mobile commerce offers consumers another choice on how they shop. This broadband lottery is particularly worrying as online deals are often the cheapest around and can help customers save much needed cash. The Government must ensure reliable broadband is available to everyone regardless of location.”


Did you compare broadband deals before you signed up, or did you simply take a package with your existing TV or telephone provider?

Recent subscriber figures from Sky, one of the UK’s leading broadband providers, show that more and more people are switching to the satellite TV provider for their broadband. Sky signed up 155,000 new broadband subscribers in the first three months of 2011 taking its total number of internet subscribers to 3.2 million.

While more and more people are turning to their TV and phone providers for broadband, it’s vital that you undertake a broadband comparison before you sign up.

Broadband bundles through your existing phone or TV company

The recent subscriber figures show that one in four Sky households now receives broadband, TV and a landline from the company. So-called ‘broadband bundles’ are often popular with consumers as buying multiple services from one provider can sometimes save money. Indeed, Jeremy Darroch, chief executive of Sky, recently stated that many consumers are looking to save money by signing up for broadband bundles.

However, to get the very best deal it is important that you compare broadband deals before simply signing up with your existing TV or phone provider.

Undertake a broadband comparison before committing

There are plenty of websites that now let you compare broadband deals so that you can get the best price and the best high speed broadband. Quality, reliability and service vary from provider to provider and, depending on your household’s broadband needs, you may find that factors other than cost will determine which provider is best for you.

While over three million people believe that getting broadband as part of a deal with their TV provider is the right thing for them, you should always undertake a broadband comparison rather than simply signing up for a deal you have been offered as an existing customer.


First it was dial-up through a modem, then wired and now wireless broadband.

Accessing the web has become easier and easier over recent years thanks to technological advances and improved Wi-Fi access. There are loads of advantages to using the internet via wireless broadband and it may not be nearly as expensive as you think.

Advantages of wireless broadband

Firstly, wireless broadband allows for increased mobility. You can access the web from anywhere you get a wireless signal, which is generally anywhere in your home or garden. You don’t have to run cables through walls or floors as the signal is beamed wirelessly from your router to any PCs/laptops/netbooks within range.

In addition, technological advances in amplifying wireless signals means that wireless broadband technology can now match the speed of a wired connection. And, if you use the best broadband you can enjoy easier access to shared devices such as faxes and printers. Everyone within range of the peripheral device can connect using a wireless connection, resulting in fewer wires and cables.

Compare broadband to get the best deal

There are lots of broadband packages available and they are offered by everyone from your home landline provider to your satellite TV company. The easiest way to find the best wireless broadband deal for you is to head online and compare broadband prices on the web. Many comparison sites allow you to compare various broadband prices and speeds at the click of a mouse.

Many broadband suppliers offer excellent deals if you buy more than one telecommunications service from them. For example, you may choose to buy your home or mobile phone calls from the same company or you may sign up for a subscription television service. These so-called ‘broadband bundles’ can help you save a substantial sum on your monthly telephone and wireless broadband costs.


  • 14
  • Mar
  • 11

Saving money on financial products has become second nature to many people.

However, while many of you may not think twice about getting a better deal through switching your car insurance, changing your gas and electric supplier or transferring your credit card balance, fewer people take advantage of the savings on offer through switching their home telephone or broadband service.

There are some great cost savings to be made from finding the best broadband, and you may also improve your service.

Here’s why you should consider spring cleaning your broadband this year:

Switching to the best broadband is simple

More than 18 million households in the UK have broadband and many more have a home telephone service. One of the reasons that many people don’t even consider switching their provider is that they are worried that they may be without a broadband or telephone service for days or weeks.

However, the process for switching to the best broadband is improving all the time and there should be no reason why you would have to endure a break in your telephone or internet connection.

Compare broadband online to find the best deals

The tools available to compare broadband have also improved significantly in recent years. It is now possible to find all the best broadband deals in one place on the web. As well as comparing prices, you can also compare the reliability and speed of the best broadband products.

In addition, competition within the home telecommunications sector has meant that many providers now offer discounts if you buy multiple services through them. For example, you may be offered cheap landline calls if you buy broadband. Or, you may also benefit from some low cost subscription television services by buying a so-called ‘broadband bundle’ of various services.

Switching to the best broadband is easy and you could save yourself a considerable sum. Head online to compare broadband today and you may also enjoy a Spring reduction in your phone and TV subscription bills.


Finding the best broadband isn’t always easy.

There is a mesmerising selection of broadband packages available in the UK today. Everyone from your supermarket to your television provider now offers broadband, making it tough to know where to go for the best deal.

It’s no surprise therefore that websites have sprung up to guide you through the minefield and to help you compare broadband deals on the web.

Here are three reasons you should use the internet to find the best broadband product:

1. Comparing broadband online saves you time

One of the main advantages of comparing internet or mobile broadband deals online is that the various products are all in one place. You don’t have to trawl up and down your High Street or navigate dozens of different websites to find the various deals.

You can now find the best deals for you at the click of a mouse – all on one page.

2. Online broadband comparison is available 24/7

Not everyone has the time to head into their local retailer or to take time off work to speak with their telecoms provider. With changing shift patterns and increasingly busy lives, having the ability to compare broadband deals at any time of day or night is a huge benefit.

That’s where the web comes in. If you need to, you can scour the net for the best broadband in the middle of the night.

3. You can find exclusive broadband deals using the internet

If you compare broadband deals online you will often find that there are ‘exclusive’ deals, only available to customers that apply for packages online. As broadband suppliers don’t have to pay expensive retail overheads when promoting their services online, you can often find that you get a better deal by buying your broadband on the net.


No UK city features in the worldwide top 100 list for the speed of internet access. That is the damning outcome of a recent global report into broadband speeds that has found that the UK is lagging behind many other countries when it comes to high speed broadband.

With the UK’s figures so disappointing, it is vital that you shop around and compare broadband speeds to find the best package.

UK lagging behind the world’s best broadband

According to the figures from web traffic research firm Akamai, the UK has an average internet connection speed of 4 Mbps, placing the country below many other European nations in terms of average speed measured during the past quarter.

The Netherlands had the top connection speed in Europe with an average of 6.3 Mbps, followed by the Czech Republic and Switzerland both with 5.4 Mbps. The Asian nations led the way globally with South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan topping the world broadband speed table.

The highest ranked European city was Constanta in Romania, while no UK cities featured in the top 100 list.

Compare broadband to get the best speeds

There is a wide choice of broadband providers in the UK each advertising various different connection speeds. When you compare broadband providers it is worth considering the quality of their service (speed, reliability) as well as the monthly cost.

While so-called ‘broadband bundles’ – packages which include broadband and home telephone/subscription television packages – may seem like excellent value, you need to be sure that you are going to benefit from a decent broadband connection.

The UK may have plenty of distance to go before it catches up with other nations – South Korea’s average broadband connection speed is over three times what it is in the UK – but you can help yourself by shopping around to compare broadband speeds before you buy.


Can the UK lead Europe in terms of wireless broadband?

The Government certainly thinks so.

Last month, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that the government intends to provide universal access to 2 Mbps broadband by 2015. However, his plans to make the UK the best broadband network in Europe have been criticised by many leading figures in the industry.

Huge investment in wireless broadband

The Department of Culture, Media and Sports has set aside a budget of £830 million to achieve its goal of universal 2Mbps access, although it has called on private investment to upgrade the existing infrastructure.

However, Antony Walker, chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, said that limited government funding could put these plans in jeopardy. He commented: “How do you achieve that target whilst also entering a situation where there’s very constrained public spending?”

Mr Walker also added that unless the government throws ‘vast amounts’ at the problem, there is unlikely to be a resolution. According to figures compiled by broadband services advice and information website Broadband Expert, just five per cent of Brits believe that government plans for the best broadband network in Europe are achievable.

Compare broadband to find the best service in your area

In order to achieve the best broadband service for your geographical area, it is useful to head to an online comparison site. Here, you can compare the various broadband providers in your area, taking into account factors such as speed, reliability, download limits and cost.

If you plan to use the web often, you should compare broadband providers offering high speed web access and an unlimited download limit. If you are a casual user you may be able to save money by selecting a service with a lower download limit.

In addition, many wireless broadband providers will also offer savings if you ‘bundle’ other services, such as a subscription television package or your home telephone.