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24th September 2020

Finding the best broadband for a second house or holiday home

Max Beckett
Max Beckett

Broadband expert

How to find the best broadband for a second house or holiday home

Having a second home can be ideal, especially if you need to get away and take a break. But, how important is it that you have access to the internet while you’re escaping from your day-to-day life?

Whether it’s relaxing while watching your favourite shows on Netflix or keeping in touch with loved ones on social media, having broadband readily available to you when you’re visiting your holiday/second home can often be beneficial. But, how do you find the right broadband fit for a house that you don’t use 365 days a year? Our guide is here to point you in the right direction. 

Do I need broadband for my second home?

If you regularly use the internet every day, visiting your second home when it doesn’t have broadband can be frustrating. If that’s the case, it may be worth considering what options are available to you.

If you visit frequently, a long-term broadband deal similar to what you have in your permanent residence might be best for you. Our guide to choosing broadband can help you find the right package.  

What if I don’t visit my second home often?

If you only visit your holiday home for short periods across the year, you might be better off with a short-term or ‘no contract’ broadband deal. Although, you will have to make sure you set your broadband up ahead of each visit to make sure you are connected when you need to be. Here are a few of the short-term deals available:

NOW Broadband

NOW Broadband has a ‘no contract’ option that lets you pick and choose when you want to connect to the internet. Currently, you can get a broadband package offering speeds of 11Mbps with unlimited downloads from as little as £18 a month. 

Virgin Media

Virgin’s flexible 30-day rolling contracts let you pay for its services monthly and you can cancel at any time with 30 days’ notice. Its cheapest broadband deal is currently offering M50 Fibre broadband with average download speeds of 54Mbps from £44 a month. 

Direct Save

With Direct Save, you can get a ‘no contract’ package offering unlimited data and broadband speeds of up to 17Mbps for as little as £27.95. 

Plusnet

With Plusnet, you can get unlimited broadband with no contract from £23.99 a month. You can get speeds up to 10Mbps and it comes with line rental too. 

Alternative options

If you won’t be using the internet very often while visiting your second home, but still want to be connected, a mobile broadband hotspot, like MiFi, might be better for you. A mobile broadband hotspot uses the UK mobile network to let you connect different devices to the internet.

You can also switch it on and off depending on when you need to get online. Although, bear in mind it may not be an ideal option if you have multiple people wanting to connect at the same time.

What if I rent out my holiday home?

If you don’t use your holiday home for most of the year, you might be renting it out to holidaymakers. If that’s the case, you may want to set up a short-term broadband service for when you are using your home and let your tenants make arrangements for their own broadband. Alternatively, you could sign up to a long-term broadband contract and include the cost for this in the rent you charge your tenants.

You can find a range of cheap broadband packages perfect for your holiday home: 

Plusnet 

Plusnet regularly offers cheap broadband plans that have an average download speed of 10Mbps and they start from as little as £17.99 depending on what you’re looking for. 

Sky Broadband 

With Sky, you can often pick up a cheap broadband deal. Currently, you can get unlimited broadband with speeds up to 11Mbps for around £22 a month. If you’re looking for superfast internet, you can get speeds up to 59Mbps for a few pounds more (£25). 

Virgin Media

If you’re looking for a speedy connection, Virgin often offers cheap deals. For example, currently you can get fibre broadband (if it’s available) with download speeds up to 108Mbps for £28 a month. 

My holiday home is in a rural area – can I still get broadband?

The chances are that your holiday home, or second house, is situated out of town or near the countryside. If so, your broadband options may be more limited, but it’s still possible to get a stable internet connection.

The main problem with providing broadband services in more remote areas is that sometimes there is a lack of infrastructure and so you could suffer with slow speeds or no service at all. Here are some of the options you can consider: 

ADSL broadband

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) is the most basic and widely-available type broadband connection in the UK, including rural areas. It uses the same copper wires that connect your home telephone lines and transfers data from your provider to your home. Speeds can vary but you can expect to receive an average speed of up to 16Mbps.

Mobile broadband

This type of internet relies on 3G, 4G and 5G mobile networks. With this, you can access the internet using a wireless router, dongle or data-only SIM card. This uses the same signal that your phone will use for the internet, so if you struggle to get a signal on your phone while you’re in your second home, this may not be the best option for you. 

Satellite broadband

This connection is perfect if your second home is in a rural location where you can’t get fixed-line basic broadband and it even offers speeds similar to ADSL broadband. For this option you will need to have a satellite dish installed in your home. 

Bonded broadband

This is a common solution for rural areas and provides a reliable broadband service. It basically combines at least two standard phone lines to create a fast internet connection. You can use the Uswitch broadband postcode checker to find out what is available in your area.

What if my holiday home is abroad?

If your second home is not in the UK you’re probably best opting for satellite broadband, using the internet via a mobile broadband hotspot or searching in that country for its own providers that service the property.

What else do I need to consider?

Now that you are aware of what your broadband options are, it’s best to figure out what type of package you are looking for. Broadband speed and data usage are elements you should consider when choosing your broadband provider. 

Speed

If you’re visiting your second home with the family and predict that many of you will be connecting to the internet at the same time, or even online gaming when possible, a faster broadband connection would probably benefit you more. If that’s the case, you should be looking at a package offering between 34 and 108Mbps. 

Data

If you’re not going to be using the internet very often, then you may be better off with a package that limits your data usage – they are usually cheaper than unlimited broadband deals.