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It can seem like we’re all constantly being bombarded with adverts for the latest broadband deals, some for just a couple of quid a month and others even claiming to be free. But are they really all they seem?

While these deals can seem like great value at first glance, another look reveals that they often have several charges that might not be immediately obvious. With this in mind, we’re taking a look at a selection of the best current deals* from some the UK’s biggest broadband providers and seeing if they’re really all they seem, or if you could end up paying more than you’d bargained for.

Behind the headlines

BT Unlimited broadband and weekend calls – £5 a month

On top of the £5 a month charge for broadband, you’ll also have to pay £17.99 a month line rental. If you’re not currently a BT customer, you’ll have to get a BT Home Hub wireless router. This is technically free but you pay £6.95 to have it delivered. As the contract is for 12 months, you’ll pay a total of £282.83 over the year for the broadband deal.

Plusnet Unlimited broadband and Plusnet calls – Free

It sounds too good to be true and of course you can’t get broadband without paying anything. It’s only free for the first 12 months of the 18-month contract, and then it’s £9.99 a month for the remaining six months. You’ll also have to pay £16.99 a month line rental but if you’re willing to shell out for a year’s line rental in one go, this will be £185.88 (the equivalent of £15.99 a month). Once again, your wireless router is free but it will cost £6.99 in delivery charges. That means that you’ll pay a total of £372.75 for the 18 months – or £354.75 if you buy the year’s line rental at once.

TalkTalk Unlimited broadband – Free

Like the Plusnet deal, this isn’t completely free either, just for the first 12 months. After this time, the broadband will cost £7.50 a month for the final six months of the 18-month contract. Line rental is £17.70 a month, and new customers will have to pay £6.75 for the delivery of their router. The total cost for 18 months will be £370.35.

Virgin Media Unlimited fibre broadband and weekend calls – £4.99 a month

This is another 18-month contract where you’ll only get the headline deal of £4.99 a month for the first nine months, and then £17.50 a month for the remaining nine. Line rental is £16.99 a month and you’ll have to pay £49.95 for the router to be installed. In total, you’ll pay £558.18 for 18 months of fibre broadband.

Sky Unlimited broadband – Free

It probably won’t come as a surprise to hear that this deal isn’t totally free, just like the TalkTalk and Plusnet offers. You do only have to sign up for 12 months though, so you won’t have to pay any extra for any more months of broadband. Line rental is £17.40 a month and the Sky Hub router delivery is £6.95. For the year, you’ll pay £215.75.

What to check

Broadband deals are constantly changing, so it’s likely that these offers won’t be around for long. In general, when you’re checking broadband offers, make sure to check how much the line rental is. You should also see how long the contract is, and if that means you’ll have to pay any extra after the deal runs out.

Finally, it’s also worth looking at the costs for getting the broadband company’s wireless router. It might be worth going for a deal with your current supplier rather than a slightly better one with another, as this means you won’t have to pay for a new router to be delivered.

*Prices correct at the time of writing 07/10/15

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