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Student broadband deals for 2024

Looking for cheap broadband? Compare prices from top providers and get a great deal

Student broadband deals offer flexibility and sometimes last only for the academic year. An affordable and reliable broadband connection is a necessity in any student house – here’s how to get the best student broadband deals.

Independent Advisor’s top deal

We’ve chosen this deal because it offers a balance of speed and affordability for the everyday user, with no upfront cost.

Plusnet – Full Fibre 145
Monthly Cost
£27.99
Average speed
145 Mb
Contract term
24 months

Price could rise by CPI+3.9% next April

Our top recommended broadband providers
Plusnet
Fast speeds & reliable customer service
Virgin Media
Ultrafast speeds at affordable prices
Vodafone
Perks for existing mobile customers
BT Broadband
The UK’s largest broadband provider

What is student broadband?

Student broadband is specifically designed for students – typically with shorter, more flexible contracts. Lengthy broadband contracts are not well-suited to the academic year, so student broadband deals cater best to students’ needs.

Student houses are likely to be occupied by multiple internet users who share the bills equally. Most student broadband deals come with 12-month contracts rather than the typical 18-month contract with non-student deals. However, there are a handful of providers who offer nine-month contracts to reflect the academic year.

For complete flexibility, you might consider a no-contract broadband offer. This is a 30-day rolling contract that you can cancel after 30 days with no exit fee. However, it’s worth noting that 30-day contracts are the most expensive broadband deals, and even 12-month deals can be pricier than longer contracts.

Types of student broadband

Type of student broadband
Nine-month contract Generally lasts for the academic year – well suited if you won’t be at university out of term time.
12-month contract The most common type of student broadband.
Mobile broadband Uses a mobile phone network via 3G, 4G and 5G. You’ll need to plug a dongle into your device and can use this internet at home or away.
No contract broadband A 30-day rolling contract. You can cancel after 30 days with no exit fee, giving you flexibility. 

Factors to consider with student broadband deals

To get the best student broadband deal, consider your house’s internet usage, speed requirements and budget:

  • How you’ll use the internet: if members of your student house are avid streamers or gamers, you’ll need a decent download speed. Downloading and streaming content requires a lot of bandwidth, so you’ll need fast broadband
  • Which type of broadband you have: full fibre broadband is the fastest type, but it’s not yet available UK-wide. Fibre broadband still offers superfast speeds and often costs a little less than full fibre
  • Whether you need a landline for your broadband connection: most broadband deals require an active phone line. All types of broadband besides full fibre use your landline to deliver broadband to your home. If you don’t have a phone line, you should consider broadband without a rental
  • Data allowance: most deals are for unlimited broadband, which means you’ll have access to as many downloads and as much data as you need
  • Contract length: some broadband providers cater to students with nine-month or 12-month deals. You can also choose a no-contract broadband deal – a monthly rolling contract with 30 days’ notice. However, shorter contracts generally cost more in the long run
  • Whether you need a wifi booster: sometimes, wifi doesn’t reach all the areas of the home – often referred to as wifi dead spots. Most providers offer wifi boosters and speed guarantees
  • Setup time and fee: check how long your wifi will take to install so you’re not caught short. Most providers also charge a setup fee, which you’ll want to factor into your budget and split with your student house equally

Which provider should I choose for the best student broadband deal?

Though there are plenty of broadband providers in the UK, not all have suitable deals for students. We’ve rounded up the best providers and deals offering students shorter contracts at reasonable prices.

Broadband providerContract lengthAverage speedsPrice*
BT12 months35Mbps to 73Mbps£28.99 to £38.99
Virgin Media 30 days to 12 months132Mbps to 516MbpsAvailable from Summer 2024 
NOW Broadband 30 days to 12 months11Mbps to 63Mbps£20 to £24
Hyperoptic30 days50Mbps to 900Mbps£26 to £52
Cuckoo12 months200Mbps to 900Mbps£39.99 to £54.99

*Prices correct at the time of writing, 6 February 2024, and may be subject to rise mid-contract

Tips for getting cheaper student broadband

Broadband can be a steep monthly expense when you’re on a budget. Here are some money-saving tips to help you keep your monthly bill to a minimum:

  • Be aware of price hikes: typically, this is advertised at the time of signing your contract, and increases are linked to inflation
  • Consider a fixed deal: this is likely to cost more monthly, but you won’t be faced with a price increase in the middle or at the end of your contract
  • Haggle your broadband price rise: call your provider, inform them you’re overpaying and tell them you’re leaving – sometimes, this results in a more affordable deal
  • Switch broadband providers following a price increase: if your current provider isn’t willing to budge following a price increase and you’re out of contract, you can easily switch broadband providers to get a better deal
  • Pay upfront if you can: this should reduce the overall cost
  • Choose paperless bills: some providers offer a small discount on their monthly fees if you choose digital billing
  • Choose unlimited broadband deals: this will prevent additional data costs (most are unlimited)
  • Pay a cancellation fee if you want to leave or switch: sometimes, it’s cheaper to pay the cancellation fee as opposed to seeing out your contract
  • Choose deals with no setup fee: make sure you’ve checked for any hidden costs, too

Student broadband deals FAQs

You’ll likely need your “.ac.uk” student email address to get student broadband. Where new wiring is required, you’ll need permission from your landlord. You must also nominate one household member to receive your broadband bills and setup costs, and then you can split them equally between your housemates.

Yes, it’s possible to transfer your broadband to your new house. You should first check with your provider. It may need to check if the type of deal you currently have is available for your new postcode. However, you may be charged a moving fee or need to switch contracts.

Broadband speed is an important factor to consider, especially in a shared student house. With many devices connected to your broadband at any given time, you’ll want to choose a deal that meets your house’s needs. You can check with your provider which deals are best suited for heavy internet usage.

rachel

Rachel Sadler

Home Tech Writer

Rachel is a seasoned writer who has been producing online and print content for seven years. 

As a home tech expert for Independent Advisor, Rachel researches and writes buying guides and reviews, helping consumers navigate the realms of broadband and home security gadgets. She also covers home tech for The Federation of Master Builders, where she reviews and tests home security devices. 

She started as a news and lifestyle journalist in Hong Kong reporting on island-wide news stories, food and drink and the city’s events. She’s written for editorial platforms Sassy Hong Kong, Localiiz and Bay Media. While in Hong Kong she attended PR events, interviewed local talent and project-managed photoshoots. 

Rachel holds a BA in English Language and Creative Writing and is committed to simplifying tech jargon and producing unbiased reviews.

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.

Amy’s work covers topics ranging from home, interior and garden design to DIY step-by-steps, planning permission and build costs, and has been published in Period Living, Real Homes, and 25 Beautiful Homes, Homes and Gardens.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Amy manages homes-related content for the site, including solar panels, combi boilers, and windows.

Her passion for saving tired and inefficient homes also extends to her own life; Amy completed a renovation of a mid-century house in 2022 and is about to embark on an energy-efficient overhaul of a 1800s cottage in Somerset.