You may feel aggrieved at having to dedicate a portion of your budget to simply connecting to the internet, but choose the wrong broadband deal and you could be left with a painfully slow service or paying too much for a package you just don't need.
And then there's the precious time it will cost you to hunt around for the perfect deal for you or your business. That's where Creative Bloq comes in. We've done the hard work for you, scouring the market and narrowing down the multitudes of packages to a shortlist of five to choose from.
We've unearthed internet deals that will suit self-employed freelancers on a tight budget, small businesses and studios where super-fast fibre broadband is a must and all-in-one plans that include unlimited telephone calls as well.
And if you're still scratching your head at the sheer amount of options out there, below the deals we have some morsels of advice to help you come to your decision. (Non-UK readers, don't despair that our top featured deals are for UK customers, as our deal finder at the bottom of this article will show you local deals for you).
Best fibre broadband deal for freelancers:
Vodafone Unlimited Fibre 38 | 18 months | Up to 38Mb | Line rental inc. | FREE activation | £20 per month
This is a really easy pick, as Vodafone is a country mile ahead of the competition when it comes to price on superfast fibre optic broadband. Assuming your postcode has access to fibre (90% of the UK now does), £20 per month with nothing to pay at the outset is outstanding value. So you know that you'll be getting a speedy connection without feeling like you're eating too much into your income. Total cost over 18 months is £360
Best fibre broadband deal for a studio:
Sky Fibre Max | 18 months | Up to 76Mb | £59.95 upfront | £43.99 per month – free £50 prepaid Mastercard
If you're running a bustling design studio and need to make sure that everybody has the benefit of fast internet, then it makes sense to splash out on Sky's fastest Fibre Max plan. It guarantees speeds of at least 55Mb, which should cope easily with lots of people using the broadband at once. You can get super-fast broadband cheaper, but not with that all-important guarantee. Sky is throwing in a £50 prepaid Mastercard to sweeten the deal at the moment, so the Total cost over 18 months is £801.77
Best value cheap broadband-only deal:
Plusnet Unlimited Broadband | 12 months | Up to 17Mb | FREE upfront | £19.99 per month – £50 Cashback
If money's tight and you just need bog standard ADSL internet (or you can't get fibre where you are), then Plusnet is well worth a look. The monthly bills come in a penny shy of £20 and you don't have to pay any activation or set-up costs. And to really try to get you on board, Plusnet is giving £50 cashback as well, so the Total cost over 12 months is £189.88
Best BT Infinity broadband deal:
BT Unlimited Infinity 1 | 18 months | Up to 52Mb | Line rental inc. | £9.99 delivery | £29.99pm – £100 Reward Card
If you've already made up your mind and know that you're going with BT no matter what, then this is the deal we'd choose. It's the telecommunication giant's Infinity 1 fibre optic plan. At 52Mb, it's faster than the entry-level fibre offered by most providers. Standard broadband is £6 less a month. And at the moment, you get a very tempting prepaid £100 Mastercard to spend on almost anything you wish, making the Total cost over 18 months £449.81
Best broadband and phone package deal:
John Lewis Unlimited Broadband | 12 months | Up to 17Mb | Anytime UK calls with mobile bolt-on | FREE upfront | £32.50pm
Working from home and need a landline during business hours for conference calls (or just a chinwag)? Then you could go for this John Lewis plan. As well as unlimited broadband usage, you also get as many calls as you can manage to UK landlines and mobiles at any time of day. Total cost over 12 months is £390
What broadband speed do I need?
Home workers: Generally, we would say that you should get the fastest internet that you can allow your budget to stretch to. So if there's fibre where you live, the extra money is worth it to ensure that your work is never hindered by a faltering broadband connection speed. That said, if the only thing you really need it for is checking and replying to emails and the odd bit of Google research, 17Mb should be sufficient.
Small business or agency: Don't be faffing around with 17Mb internet if you've got a busy office with (hopefully) busy employees. Be sure to get at least the 38Mb fibre broadband. We'd actually recommend you go the next level up and sign up for a 76Mb deal instead. That equates to roughly 9.5MB per second, which should be a fast enough connection to cope with at least 10 people at once.
What contract length should I go for?
12 months remains the most common contract length that internet providers will give you, especially with standard ADSL internet. However, more and more companies are now making 18 months the norm for fibre broadband deals.
It's worth having a quick think ahead now before you choose your plan. If you're in a situation where you're unsure where you'll be and what you'll be doing next year, then make sure to pick a one year term – the costs of breaking a longer contract can be severe. Otherwise, 18 months can give a little more surety, as some providers guarantee you the cheaper introductory rate for the entirety of the broadband contract.
Do I have to pay more to have a phone line?
Not any more you don't. Not so long ago, you would have to add on an extra cost for line rental, but now it's included in the internet providers' tariffs.
Today's best broadband deals where you are
If you've not found the broadband deal to suit you in our recommendations above, then you're sure to in the below comparison chart. It includes the full range of internet plans from a whole fleet of providers. Pop in your postcode to narrow down the available packages where you live, and then use the filters to handcraft your ideal plan.