Skip to main content

There are a few Christmas traditions that most of us enjoy – putting the Christmas tree up, leaving a mince pie and carrot out for Santa and Rudolph, and watching all of our favourite Christmas films. Nowadays more and more of us are watching these or the latest box sets on an online subscription service like Netflix – but will your broadband download limit be able to handle it? Let’s find out.

What is a broadband data allowance?

A broadband data allowance is how much internet data you are allowed to download within a set period. Your download limit will be set in line with the package that you’re on and you’ll use different amounts of data depending on the activity. For example, typically downloading a song will take up 3Mb of data whereas a film will use up around 400Mb. If you happen to use more data than your limit, your provider may slow down your broadband speed or charge you extra.

To make sure you’re not left eagerly awaiting the next episode of your favourite show or forced to pay for extra data this Christmas, it’s important that you check your data allowance. This should be laid out quite simply in the details of your package and will most likely be measured in gigabytes (GB).

Is it time to switch?

The amount of data that you use will vary depending on your lifestyle. If you spend the majority of your free time online, streaming lots of films, TV programmes and video clips, you may find that your current broadband data allowance isn’t enough.

If you would like to increase the amount of broadband data you have access to, it may be worth looking at a broadband tariff with a higher or unlimited download allowance. To give you a better idea of what’s out there, check out the following tariffs*:

1) TalkTalk Unlimited Broadband

Monthly cost: Free for 12 month plus £17.70 line rental

Contract: 12 months

Downloads: Unlimited

Speed: up to 17 MB

2) Plusnet Unlimited Broadband & Phone Line

Monthly cost: £2.50 plus £16.99 line rental

Contract: 12 months (after a year, increases to £9.99 a month)

Downloads: Unlimited

Speed: up to 17 MB

3) Virgin Media SuperFibre 50 Broadband & Calls

Monthly cost: £5 plus £17.99 line rental

Contract: 12 month contract

Downloads: Unlimited

Speed: up to 50MB

As you can see, there are some affordable deals out there if you’re looking for unlimited broadband. Just remember that although a broadband package says that it’s unlimited, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is. Some networks apply a fair usage policy, which means that they can limit your connection if you use a large amount of data.

You don’t necessarily need to switch to get a great deal on unlimited broadband. Speak to your existing provider, tell them that you’d like to upgrade to an unlimited tariff and see what deal they can offer you – they might even be able to make the change there and then – just in time for Christmas.

None of the big four providers (BT, Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk) apply these policies to their current unlimited packages and they are now less common than they were, but it would still be wise to check a provider’s policy before you decide to go with them.

*Prices correct at time of writing – 21/12/15

Legal Information