The great thing about the internet is that there really is something for everyone, with more users over the age of 50 logging on to social media and streaming tv shows than ever before, it seems only fair that providers come up with some commercial favours for the older users amongst us.
So if you’re looking for tips on picking the right package, to working out the best data limits and the latest deals then have a read of our guide and you could get yourself or a relative up and running in no time.
If you're pondering how to choose a package that'll have you covered, you'll want to consider the following:
The cost of broadband is clearly a concern for most of us, but may be more important to an older person that's no longer working. Check out our comparison tool to find the best-value broadband deals available in your area.
There's a huge range available, from a paltry 1Mbps to an astonishing 300Mbps. For people who only need to browse or stream a moderate amount – say a single-person household – then standard ADSL broadband should be fine. If there are multiple inhabitants who enjoy streaming, downloading and gaming, then fibre-optic broadband is your best bet.
You'll find that a limited package is cheaper than unlimited. If you're thinking internet usage is likely to be limited to occasionally look up information and send emails, then a limited deal might be better value. If Spotify or iPlayer are likely to be running for hours each day, then go for unlimited.
Adding some extra TV channels or inclusive landline calls may be better value than paying for all these things separately.
We often don't appreciate how important this is until something goes wrong. Hopefully everything will go swimmingly, but just in case, it's helpful to choose a provider known for excellent customer service. Origin, for instance, offers 24/7 UK-based technical support and Sky received the fewest complaints per 100,000 customers, according to Ofcom.
There's oodles of choice when it comes to personal broadband contracts. You could pick a contract-free deal, as offered by Now TV, or you might want a longer term ranging from one month to two years.
Though a short contract (or no contract) sounds ideal, it'll work out more expensive overall. Plus, almost every broadband provider will require a phone line (Virgin Media's broadband-only deal excluded), which requires signing up for a year.
Assuming you're looking for the best-value deal, the most suitable option is likely to be a 12-month contract.
To get connected, you won't need anything other than a laptop, computer or tablet. The new provider will supply a router and any other essential equipment, often free of charge.
1) ADSL – If there’s already an existing phone line at your home, the provider can usually access this remotely, so no engineer is required. The router will be sent before the line becomes active and can be switched on as soon as the provider gives the go-ahead.
2) Fibre – As fibre-optic broadband has a different setup to ADSL, it’s more common to need an engineer. They may have to fiddle with the cables to connect the router. This’ll happen once the line is active, so you’ll have access to broadband immediately afterwards.
3) Engineer appointment – You’ll only need an engineer if your provider says so, or if you’ve picked a fibre or cable package. The provider will arrange the appointment with you, so make sure you’re around to let the engineer in.
4) Self-install – If no engineer is needed and you’ve been tasked with the setup, all you need to do is install the router. Simply plug your router into the phone socket, and you’ll have access via a wireless or wired connection.
As long as you’re using a device that supports WiFi, you can pop the router anywhere that’s near both a plug and phone socket, preferably high up.
Even easier, though, you can simply plug your computer or laptop directly into the router via an ethernet (or network) cable, meaning you’ll be online instantly. The internet service provider (ISP) will usually supply this cable.
There are some highly competitive broadband packages available, some especially tailored for pensioners or those on a low income, including:
Post Office broadband offers a reasonable basic ADSL package with speeds up to 17Mbps, unlimited downloads and unlimited weekend calls. Plus, it offers flexible payment options: pay in cash, debit card or direct debit, to name just a few.
Similarly, TalkTalk has an economical fixed package for 18 months with no setup fees and unlimited usage – so there're no caps on how much you can stream, upload or download. It also offers extras like unlimited UK mobile and landline calls.
POP Telecom provides some thoughtfully tailored packages to suit particular groups, including pensioners. Its Over 60 tariff combines unlimited broadband with 3,000 anytime minutes.