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 simply want to find out the best way to watch some top-class sporting action on the cheap, we've got you covered.
Cheapest deal you’ll find: Vodafone's Simply Broadband
If you’re looking for the cheapest possible solution to keep you and your housemates happy where broadband is concerned, Vodafone could be it.
With its Simply Broadband plan you’ll get an unlimited 100Mbps connection for just €30 per month for the first 12 months. And there's no sign-up or activation fee.
This means for one year of broadband with Vodafone you'll pay a total of just €360.
However this is fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) broadband and not fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) so the actual speed you get could be slower. See here for an explanation on the difference between the two.
It's a 12-month contract, after which the price rises to €50 a month. But when your monthly price goes up at the end of the first year, you can always switch providers to get a better deal!
The clear winner for tennis fans: Eir's Broadband & Home Phone
Cheaper than its broadband-only deal, Eir is offering a good deal on its broadband and home phone package for tennis fans.
On this plan, you’ll get speeds of up to 100Mbps and a home phone package, as well as a year's free subscription to Amazon Prime Video, for €29.99 a month for the first 12 months, rising to €59.99 a month thereafter on a 12-month contract.
Again, this is fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband so the actual speed you get could be lower than 100Mbps.
There is also currently a one-off activation fee of €29.99 which gives a first-year cost of just under €400.
Amazon currently has the rights to all the top tier ATP and WTA tournaments, as well the as US Open and the ATP year-end finals.
Fastest deal on the market: Pure Telecom Premium Speed
If you have a need for speed, then Pure Telecom is offering 1,000Mbps unlimited broadband for just €40 a month for 12 months. After this the price rises to €70 a month.
As this is pure fibre or fibre-to-the-home broadband you're pretty much guaranteed speeds this quick 24/7.
A 5GB HD movie can be dowloaded in less than a minute - making this a great deal for movie buffs... and gamers too.
Pure Telecom is offering this deal through the SIRO network - which is mainly available in regional towns and large villages only.
Head over to our broadband comparison service, type in your address or eircode, and we'll tell you if SIRO is available at your location.
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, for €60 per month, you get 250Mbps unlimited broadband, which can be cancelled at any time.
This is obviously a bit pricier than the previous deals discussed but bear in mind it is the fastest of all the providers (by a large margin) and the freedom to leave your contract at any time is certainly a big draw.
Want to bring your broadband with you? Consider Mobile broadband
Another option is mobile broadband. This allows you 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 special SIM. Speeds of between 10Mbps and 30Mbps are widely possible with a 4G network for as little as €15 to €30 a month. And much faster on 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. But remember, if you've patchy signal on your phone back 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 €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.
Remember to compare all deals!
While we’ve hand-picked what we believe to be the best deals suitable for students above, 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 to check which providers are available in your area to ensure that you’re getting the best possible deal when you sign up to your new broadband provider.