If it's just you, then fine. But if your kids are going to be jumping onto YouTube and start FaceTiming as soon as they get home from school, you might want to opt for a faster fibre deal to ensure you won't have any interruptions.
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Don't overlook the upload speed, too. You need a good upload speed if you do a lot of video conferencing, or need to send large files to clients. For this reason we'd recommend steering clear of a cheap standard broadband plan, as the upload speeds are usually dreadful. When you rely on your internet connection to earn a living you need to be confident that it will work reliably.
If there are problems you need access to good customer support to fix them. To make your decision a little easier take a look at our customer reviews for all broadband providers. They show ratings for speed, reliability, support and overall satisfaction. There's often a link between reliability and support, and price. Cheaper services from less established players tend to attract more negative reviews and lower satisfaction levels. It might be worth paying a little extra for a plan from one of the bigger brands. Also, keep an eye out for speed and performance guarantees from the different broadband suppliers, which will help you avoid being left high and dry should problems strike.
So far, the issues we've looked at are ones that you'd consider when buying any broadband service. Next up is a factor that mostly applies only to a subset of remote workers: the need for a static IP address. In simple terms, an IP address is the address of your computer on the network.
With all home broadband packages it's assigned dynamically, so you get a new one each time you connect. A static IP address means you keep the same address permanently.
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Why might you need a static IP address? There's plenty of reasons, like if you're running a server or hosting your own website, or if you need a secure way to remotely log in to your employer's computer systems. You get a dynamic IP address with all home broadband products and you'll need to check if your chosen provider can offer you a static address instead. You need to switch to a business plan instead. You don't just need to find the right broadband, you need to get it working well enough, too. And that means making sure your Wi-Fi coverage extends to wherever you set up your office.
Now, if you're just working from your dining room then you're probably already good to go.
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But if you're planning to convert your loft - or even your shed - into an office, you should hold off on that trip to Ikea until you're sure you've got your internet sorted first. Your Wi-Fi signal is less likely to reach into the furthest corners of your house or garden.
Even if it does, a weaker signal will mean slower speeds. Grab your laptop and head out to your office location, then use our Broadband Speed Test tool to find out if your connection and speeds are up to scratch. If it isn't see our guide on how to speed up your broadband for tips on the best ways to extend your Wi-Fi coverage.
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Finally, you might be wondering if you need a specialist business broadband package when working from home, or if you're okay with a normal home deal. It depends on what type of work you're doing, and what's specified in your provider's terms and conditions. In all cases, a residential call plan will be strictly limited to personal use - so don't go setting up a call centre in your kitchen.
Prices from suppliers like Plusnet aren't all that much higher than what you'd pay for home broadband. Want more on finding the right internet service for your remote working needs?
What you need to know
Check out our full guide to home office broadband. It's the time of year where students around the country are heading to university, either to start their studies or return for a new academic year. Whether you're heading to uni for the first time, returning to your student accommodation or about to start out in a new student house share, now's the time to look for a good student broadband offer to keep you online over the next 9 months.
To prepare for student broadband season, we updated our longstanding Student Broadband Guide to reflect some of the student-specific offers available this year with student-exclusive 9 month contract offers from BT and student-exclusive cheaper 1 month rolling contract offers from Virgin Media. Both of those option mean that you can avoid paying for broadband costs should you head home or go off on travels in the 3 months between academic years.
This year, we're also endorsing a mobile broadband option for the first time. Well, it's 4G or 5G mobile broadband technology sold as home broadband services. With 4G and 5G home broadband routers from Three, Vodafone and EE you may have to commit to a much longer contract, but you can then take your router with you wherever you travel during summer break. Vodafone even offer a 30 day rolling contract version , although you'll have to pay more than the cost of 3 months contract to get it. Unlike most mobile broadband solutions, these have large enough usage allowances for many households.
Three's home router even comes with unlimited usage! Even if mobile data usually isn't strong inside your student accommodation, you may get a better connection from a router, or may even be able to get an external antenna installed to boost the signal. We weigh up all these pros and cons and give you a table of all the relevant offers over on our Student Broadband guide. View all blog posts related to BT Broadband. BT's standard broadband services are available at all UK telephone exchanges excluding those in Hull so can be accessed in all but the remotest of rural areas.
BT Superfast Fibre is based on fibre to the cabinet FTTC technology meaning that both your telephone exchange and your street cabinet need to have been upgraded to support fibre before you can sign up to the service. Urban and central areas tend to be activated first. You can check to see if BT Superfast Fibre is available in your area with our postcode checker. BT Broadband is provided by BT Retail, which is a separate company from those that administer telephone exchanges, street cabinets and phonelines.
As a result, there is no technical advantage over any other provider reselling BT Wholesale Connect; they have to wait in the same queues for Openreach installation or home visit engineers and use the same systems of contact as any other reseller. In many areas competiting broadband providers have installed their own equipment in telephone exchanges and may even be able to beat BT's standard broadband speeds.
As British Telecom, BT provided the nationalised telecoms service for the whole of the UK, controlling all telephone exchanges except those in Hull. Since then British Telecom were split into three companies; BT Wholesale, who sell telecommunications services to phone and broadband suppliers, Openreach, who maintain the technical aspects of the BT infrastructure including phone lines, exchanges and street cabinets; and BT Retail, who sell BT phone and broadband products to consumers. This separation was enforced by the Competition Commission to ensure that BT did not have a monopoly or unfair advantage over other telecommunications companies.
BT provide a wide range of packages catering to different speeds, download restrictions, and associated extras including TV options. BT also allow you to build your own package on their site by choosing from a range of core broadband offer:. For the standard broadband and Superfast Fibre 1 packages you can choose whether to have unlimited usage, allowing you to use as much Internet as you like each month, or whether you will pay less and have a download limit.
There are a range of limits available with smaller limits usually costing less, although special offers and promotions may apply to make unlimited options more affordable. Superfast Fibre 2 is unlimited. There are no inclusive calls with any packages, however you are given the option to upgrade to Minutes or Unlimited Minutes.
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Unlimited Minutes is essentially an Anytime call package, and Minutes replaces the old Evenings and Weekends package, which allows you to use what amounts to just over 8 hours of calls to any UK landline or mobile at any time of day. BT TV can only be taken with a BT broadband subscription as it uses your connection to stream content which is not available on Freeview.
Speeds of 5Mb or more are required to view high definition content, 2Mb or more for standard definition. If your connection falls short of this minimum you won't be able to sign up. You can also access a large library of on demand TV shows, music videos and more, or pay per view blockbuster films.
BT TV's streamed channels and on-demand films and TV shows do not count towards your broadband usage allowance.