A good and reliable broadband connection is becoming ever more essential for many households. 

After all, access to the internet provides a whole range of services which we would now struggle to do without — whether that's the weekly food shop, working from home, TV and entertainment or keeping in contact with friends and family.

Switching broadband provider could well be the right move for you if:

  • You want a better service
  • You’re out of contract and want to save some money
  • The broadband speed you have at home is no longer fit for your needs
  • You’ve moved and your old provider isn't available at your new place

If you've decided to switch your broadband network, here are some key points to bear in mind.

  • If you use a landline to keep in touch with friends and family, you will almost certainly be able to keep your phone number when you switch broadband providers. But if this is something that’s particularly important to you, it might be worth double checking with your provider before you commit to the switch.
  • If your email address is tied to your broadband, you should be able to keep it, even if it’s only for a limited time, while you set up a new account. But you should double check with your existing provider before switching.
  • Running a broadband comparison is really straightforward. You can even find out what providers are available in your postcode and what speeds they offer. Just bear in mind that some comparison sites only give you an average speed for your local area, so you may have to speak to the provider itself to get a more accurate picture.

If you’ve decided to switch, it usually takes about two weeks for everything to happen. Your new provider will send you a new router. In most cases, you can just plug this straight into the wall in place of your old router and the new router will work fine. If you’d like an engineer to visit and set it up, it may take a little longer, but they bring the advantage of doing all the work for you.

Just keep in mind that COVID-19 restrictions may make it harder for engineers to enter the home and set up your connection. As of the 6 January 2021, Openreach has delayed broadband installations for all connections with broadband speeds above 30Mbps until the 1 March, in order to focus its efforts on vulnerable customers, those with no existing broadband service or customers with speeds too slow to work or learn from home during the lockdown.

However, most broadband installations don’t require an engineer visit, and many of the ones that do can be performed outside of the home, so you’re still likely to be able to switch during this period.

Related links

Money saving tips

Personal finance experts at money.co.uk, part of the same group as Uswitch, have shared some money saving tips on subjects from budgeting to finding the right savings solution.

Where to get help with energy bills 

If you find you're struggling to pay your energy bills, there's plenty of help out there — from government grants to supplier support. Uswitch has identified five key sources of support for you.

Mobile phone switching

If you've decided to switch your phone network, here are some key points to bear in mind.

About Uswitch

Uswitch is a comparison website for home services switching. It says it has saved consumers £2.5 billion on their energy bills since launching in September 2000 and helps people find a better deal on their broadband, mobile, TV and financial services products. 

If you would like some help deciding which provider is best for you, call Uswitch on 0800 014 29 20.