Changing broadband providers is a headache that most of us could do without, but resting on your laurels can mean you miss out on potential savings - as well as the opportunity to upgrade your package and find a better service. It's important you shop around every now and then to make sure you're getting the best deal you can. To help you get started, we've looked at the best packages available to UK consumers in 2017.
TalkTalk have hit the headlines for the wrong reasons recently, but their Broadband package remains one of the best for value. You can sign up for their service for just a few months instead of being tied down to a long-term contract, and the monthly cost (including line rental) is as little as £20. The speed is only 17MB but it's enough to serve a one or two person household.
With speeds of up to 52MB, BT Infinity offer the fastest service in the UK - bar none. The downside is there are hefty set-up costs to pay - as much as £60 if you include the price of the hub itself - and the monthly cost, most of which is the pricey line rental, comes to £30. BT Weekend Calls are covered in the monthly fee.
Virgin offer more of the more comprehensive packages on the market, combining internet, calls and a complimentary TV service into one bundle, which is marked up at £30 per month including the cost of line rental. The speeds rival that of BT but the start up fees - just £15 upfront - are significantly less, and you also get free weekend calls as well.
Sky will charge you £10 for the privilege of having to set up your Sky hub yourself, but in fairness the monthly costs are relatively inexpensive at just £18, which includes line rental and free Sky Pay As You Talk calls - this usually runs up charges of 10p per minute without the broadband package alongside it.
Despite heavy regulation, there is still a fair bit of monopoly abuse within the industry and that means you need to keep your wits about you to ensure you don't fall victim to unscrupulous business practices.
Many companies will reserve the right to impose a penalty fee if you try to get out of your contract before your renewal is up, but there is a way out of this. If your company decide to hike the price unexpectedly then you can use this to annul the contract early without paying the charge - this is effectively enshrined in your consumer rights.
Once you've found a better deal, it's also worth speaking to your existing provider to see if you're able to to negotiate more favourable terms. Like your mobile network, broadband providers don't want to lose your custom to a rival company, and you basically hold all the cards once you're contract starts winding down.