Whether you’re moving to the big city for the first time for college, or you’re just looking for a new broadband deal that will suit your student pocket a bit better - we’ve got you covered. In this article, we compare the best student-friendly broadband deals currently on the market.
At bonkers.ie we’re all about helping you to save money when it comes to household bills and we know that no one appreciates a good deal more than the savvy money-saving student.
Though we’re aware that price is usually top of any student’s agenda while deal hunting, we’re equally aware that price isn’t everything.
So below you’ll find some of the best broadband deals out there, which take into account factors that cover more than just price. So whether you're looking for a zero commitment deal, the cheapest deal going or want to watch some TV too.
Cheapest deal you’ll find: Eir broadband and home phone
If you’re looking for the cheapest possible solution to keep you and your housemates happy where broadband is concerned, Eir could be it.
With its broadband and home phone plan you’ll get an unlimited 100Mbps or 500Mbps connection for just €34.99 per month for the first 12 months. Plus for a limited time you'll get the first month for free. And there's no sign-up or activation fee.
This means for one year of broadband with Eir you'll pay just under €385, which is pretty good value to be fair.
The speed you can get will depend on the area you're in and whether your line has been upgraded to a full fibre connection. Don't worry - on bonkers.ie we'll let you know what services are available at your location. Just input your address or eircode using our broadband checker and we'll do the rest.
It's a 12-month contract, after which the price rises to a fairly hefty €65.99 for the 100Mbps service or €75.99 for the 500Mbps service. But when your monthly price goes up at the end of the first year, you can always switch providers to get a better deal!
Want some TV channels? SKY Q LITE
Even though more of us are streaming than ever before, it's still nice to have access to a TV for things like big events and live sport. But you don't want to overpay.
The Sky TV Essentials deal (also known as Sky Q Lite) gives you a Sky Q box with access to more than 100 free-to-air channels on your Sky Q box, with the ability to pause, rewind and record live TV.
Channels available include RTE One, RTE2, Virgin Media 1, 2, 3, TG4, BBC One and BBC Two. You’ll also get access to Sky Arts and channels such as CBS Drama, Food Network, Dave, Quest, Pick and more.
And depending on your location, you'll get up to 500Mbps unlimited broadband.
The price is just €39 a month for the first 12 months, then €65 for the 100Mbps service or €75 for the 500Mbps service.
Can’t be tied into a contract? Check out Virgin Media's Freedom 250
A big problem for students every year is the issue of long-term broadband contracts that offer no flexibility to students who might only need broadband during the academic months of the year. Many students can’t afford to be tied into 12 or 18-month contracts like those discussed above and contract breakage fees are both unwelcome and costly.
That’s where Virgin Media comes in. It is the only broadband provider currently offering an unlimited broadband plan based on a 30-day, rolling contract. With its Freedom 250 plan you get 250Mbps unlimited broadband, which can be cancelled at any time.
The plan used to cost €60 a month but is now available for just €35 a month for the first 12 months (however you can cancel before this if you want to).
The €35 deal lasts from 1st Sept until 5th October 2022.
Want to bring your broadband with you? Consider Mobile broadband
Another option is mobile broadband. This allows you to access the internet via the 4G or 5G network operated by mobile operators, usually through a small router plugged into your wall into which you insert a SIM. Speeds of between 10Mbps and 30Mbps are widely possible with a 4G network for as little as €15 to €30 a month. And even faster speeds with 5G.
Some providers like 3 Ireland offer the choice of a rolling, 30-day plan or a contract between 18 and 24 months.
Depending on the plan, the router might be included too.
The beauty of mobile broadband is that you can take the router, and thereby your WI-FI, with you wherever you go. And there are no installation fees or wires that need to be reconfigured! You just plug and go!
But remember, if you've patchy signal on your phone in your home, it'll probably be true for your mobile broadband too as it's using the same network. And if you decide to go with a flexible, 30-day rolling contract you'll likely have to pay for the router yourself, which could set you back around €100 to €150.
Also, mobile broadband is never as fast and reliable as fixed broadband so is rarely suitable for homes where several people might be sharing the connection. But it's still something to consider.
Remember to compare all deals!
While we’ve hand-picked what we believe to be some of the best deals suitable for students, it’s important to remember that everyone’s needs are different and it may be the case that none of these deals suit your particular requirements.
Here we’ve focused primarily on broadband-only deals but you might be interested in tripleplay deals that include broadband, home phone as well as TV.
Run a full comparison across all providers on bonkers.ie today to check which providers are available in your area.
Learn exactly how you can switch broadband providers with this step-by-step guide.
Check out our broadband guides
If you found this article helpful, you may be interested in taking a look at some of our broadband guides:
- Wrapping your head around different broadband types can be confusing. We explain all five types and outline the pros and cons of each in this guide.
- Here's a list of simple steps you can take to help improve your broadband speed and make the most of your internet connection.
- Take a look at this list of 7 factors to consider when assessing your broadband options.
- Unsure about whether or not you need unlimited broadband? You can find out in this guide.
Get in touch with us
Would you consider switching to a more student-friendly broadband deal?