When you move into a shared student property, it’s unlikely there’ll be internet already, unless your landlord has set it up for you. So, you’ll need to decide which broadband supplier (also known as internet service supplier or ISP) you choose.

In this guide you will find out how to:

How to find out which broadband suppliers are in your area

Visit www.broadband.co.uk and enter your postcode to find out what broadband companies provide coverage in your area. You can then research which ISP offers the best deal.

What to consider when choosing a broadband package

Don’t know your fibre from your fixed contract? Check out our handy broadband Jargon Buster here

Choosing the cheapest broadband package might not be the best idea, as limited data downloads and poor reception could leave you and your housemates with 12 months of misery.

So what do you need to consider before making a decision on which package is best?

  • Connection speed

If you’re living in a shared property, you’re going to need a decent broadband speed to cope with multiple users browsing, streaming and gaming at the same time.

A download speed of a minimum of 100Mbps will comfortably allow 3-4 people to watch video streaming services, listen to music, upload files and, of course, Google anything you want, all at the same time.

To achieve these speeds – you’re going to need cable or fibre optic broadband.

If there are more than four of you in the property, then look for a download speed of 200Mbps to avoid a super frustrating slow connection.

Broadband type

Maximum speed

ADSL/standard broadband

17Mbps

Cable broadband

363Mbps

Fibre optic broadband

1000Mbps

4G broadband

60Mbps

  • Data allowance

Always choose a package with unlimited data allowance when you’re sharing a student house. Choosing a package with a capped data allowance could be cheaper, but if you go over your allowance, you could be charged extra or your supplier may restrict your connection speed at peak times.

  • Contract length

Standard broadband contracts last a minimum of 12 months. Some providers offer nine month contracts to students, so you and your mates won’t have to pay for broadband over the summer when you’re not there. Do your research though, sometimes it can be cheaper to just sign up for 12 months, as some nine month packages work out more expensive, despite being shorter. 

  • Special offers

Broadband providers will try anything to get you to sign up, and in some cases, a special offer can make the package cheaper when the value of the offer is spread over the contract period.

Examples of special offers are:

  • Vouchers – usually these have nothing to do with broadband but are pretty useful, such as a Nando’s voucher or M&S gift card
  • Cashback or pre-paid credit cards
  • Free extras on your package such as sports channels
  • Broadband bundles

Broadband bundles are often great value for money – that is, they are if you use the services they provide. Bundles usually include TV, landline, mobile and broadband but if you and your mates aren’t going to make use of these, it’s best to stick to Wi-Fi only deals.

Paying for broadband

The most common and easiest way to pay for broadband is by a monthly direct debit for the duration of your contract. Some providers do accept other payments, such as credit or debit card or even cash, but you’re likely to be charged extra for paying this way.

The most hassle-free way to pay for (and set up) your broadband is by signing up for a bill-splitting service such as Split The Bills. We organise setting up your broadband service and bills (and all your other utilities if you like) so we do all the faffy stuff for you and you simply pay a set monthly fee.

Setting up your broadband

How long does broadband take to set up?

Once you’ve signed up for your package, it can take up to two weeks for it to be installed. It can be quicker if there’s already a phone line installed in your accommodation as you won’t need to wait for an engineer to fit one.

If you’ve signed up for fibre optic broadband and your accommodation has never had this, then you’ll need to wait for an engineer to install the correct socket in your home. Once this is done, you can plug in your new router and get online.

If there’s already fibre optic broadband for your property, all you need to do is plug in your new router and you’re good to go.

Looking for something quicker? Try Virgin Media’s QuickStart service. If eligible, you can install the broadband yourself and be up and running in as little as four days.

How do I set my broadband up?

You will need to set up your router in order for your Wi-Fi to work. Most broadband suppliers will give you a wireless router, usually for free, but some do charge.

  • Simply plug your router into the mains and telephone socket, switch it on and you’ll be online.
  • You’ll find the name of the Wi-Fi connection and your password on the bottom of the router, use this to log on to the wireless network from your PC, laptop or gadgets.

FAQs

Do I need separate landline rental to get broadband in a student property?

Yes, most ISPs use the landline to deliver broadband to a property but to make it easier for customers, the majority of broadband packages include line rental as part of their monthly costs.

Virgin Media is the only ISP that supplies broadband without needing to sign up for a landline connection.

Is mobile broadband a good alternative?

3G and 4G mobile broadband (where you connect to the internet via a dongle plugged into your laptop or tablet) doesn’t require a landline. This can be expensive though and mobile broadband often has limited data allowances and slower speeds – not ideal if you’re down to the wire to get an essay submitted!

Split the Bills

Want superfast broadband that’s super simple to set up and pay for? Speak to the Split Squad – we offer great prices on broadband with broadband speeds from 100mbps to 362mbps. We offer our broadband packages with zero download limits at great prices!