We’re creatures of habit, so when it comes to our broadband bills, we’re unlikely to make the switch, even if it could save us money. However, staying with your current internet service provider (ISP) could be costing you up to hundreds of pounds every year, and with already rising gas and electric bills, especially around winter time, it’s important to make savings where you can.
The biggest mistake that people make is assuming that the market prices are frozen. Since you joined up with your ISP, it’s likely that broadband services have adjusted their prices and packages.
Firstly, evaluate your current internet service: unlimited and capped. Unlimited means you have free use of downloads and uploads, within reason. Capped means there is a fixed amount you can use, and exceeding your agreed, capped usage can result in heavy fees.
Do you need unlimited? The best way to answer this question is to work out your monthly internet usage. Capped fees are generally cheaper, so if your internet usage doesn’t take advantage of the unlimited service, it’s better to switch to capped. There are online services that can measure your internet usage, but some routers do this job for you: look for ‘SNMP support’ in the instruction manual and locate the information for accessing the data.
Broadband For Free?
If you are an occasional internet user, you will benefit from being subscribed to Sky TV. They’ll give you free broadband with a 2GB monthly cap and a 14MBits/sec service. Obviously, you still need to pay your subscription fees, but if you have Sky TV anyway, there’s no loss here.
Ask your ISP if you can’t work out your internet speed for yourself, but there is an online service that can do this for you called ‘mybroadbandspeed,’ and it’s completely free.
To compare the prices and speeds of the available ISPs, use a broadband comparison site like Broadband Genie. Pay special attention to bandwidth (how much you can download) and speed offered, as you want a high quality service for what you’re paying. There is no point in chasing low prices if the internet service is rubbish.
Now that you’ve chosen an ISP that not only provides the level of service that you want but at the right price too, contact your current ISP and let them know that you want to make the switch. They may offer you a discounted service to keep you as a user, so it’s always good to discuss it with them first. However, if you still want to use a different ISP, you’ll need to…
• Request a Migration Authorisation Code (MAC) from your current ISP
• Wait for the MAC to appear (5 days max) and give it to your new ISP
• Your new ISP will let you know the date of your broadband transfer, and don’t worry, this shouldn’t affect your internet – you shouldn’t even notice the handover
• Prepare for changing your router – you may not have to, depending on your ISP but it’s okay, your new ISP will go through this with you