Student vs. Broadband
The internet has fast become an absolute necessity for students these days – possibly as much as food and heating! Jokes aside, it’s very hard to be a student consulting the internet for something or other.
As a fresher, you’re likely to be in cushy student halls with free WiFi and won’t give it a second thought, but for those of you making the move into private rented accommodation, it’s a major thing to consider. But before your run off and sign up to some expensive monthly contract, consider these points!
- Free Wireless at University – You need to consider how much you will actually be using the internet in your house, and if it justifies shelling out money every month. If you’re on campus every day, universities tend to have a wireless network that reaches every corner of campus – could you get everything done here? For all the small titbits that require internet, most students have smartphones that has an app for everything!
- Free Wireless on the High Street – almost every restaurant, café, gym, tourist spot, you-name-it has WiFi that is available publicly and widely password-free or easily accessible. If you spend a lot of time in public places, do you necessarily need WiFi at home too? It’s definitely something to consider.
- Consider a Shorter Contract – Students are very rarely, truly settled. Between visits home, Christmas and summer vacation; you have to consider how much time you actually spend in your student house. Some broadband companies offer rolling 30-day type contracts which you freely opt in and out of. If your house will be empty for the majority of one month, opt out. If you’re back starting term opt-in. This is an option definitely worth considering if you’re hoping to save money.
- Be Wary of Download Limits – If your student house is a some-what large, packed one, it may be worth considering a contract with an unlimited download feature. Many students downloading things from the internet and watching TV online can quickly drain a download limit, and going over this limit can incur hefty charges, so consider this when choosing a provider.
- Compare, Compare, Compare – Don’t take the first contract you’re offered, and you shouldn’t necessarily stick with the company that the previous contract was with. The internet has a comparison site for just about everything that can be compared – and broadband packages are no exception. Explore the possibly of a student-specific contract which runs only for nine months, or those that offer special extras. However, student-specific packages aren’t necessarily the cheapest, so explore every avenue.
- Beware of hidden costs – Broadband, as with most contracts, always has ‘hidden costs’. Companies who provide broadband often require you to set up a landline also, and these cost money to set up and generally the process will incur and initial or administration fee. Also, if at some point you decide to leave the company –say, you were moving back home – early cancellation charges usually apply and can be as much as £50, so consider these costs when signing up.
- Mobile Broadband – If you live in an area where the broadband is particularly costly, or move about a great deal, consider the option of mobile broadband. These can also be compared online and it’s worth considering if you fit the bill!