Money saving tips 2024

Our finance tips for 2024

In 2024, as living costs continue to rise, it’s crucial to examine our money saving habits thoroughly.

For most bill payers, this includes your phone bills, broadband, energy efficiency, and subscriptions.

Aside from obvious money saving strategies, such as budgeting, we’ve highlighted a few less common hacks to help you save money.

Let’s explore some strategies to optimise money saving for each category:

Phone Expenses

With mobile phone ownership exceeding 90% and landline usage declining, it’s time to reassess our phone bills. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Check your contract status to see if you’re overpaying.
  • Explore options like switching providers or negotiating better deals.
  • Consider social tariffs for cheaper broadband if eligible.
  • Opt for SIM-only plans, especially if you own a handset.
  • If you still rely on your landline, bundle your services to save up to 34%.

Broadband Bills

A more complex tip which involves initial costs before money saving is transitioning to fibre broadband.

Overall, it offers better value in the long run, providing faster speeds when most needed.

This is especially true if you experience losses due to poor broadband. This includes not being able to work remotely, or having a smart home security hub that frequently drops out or disconnects.

To read more please visit our previous blog post.

Other ways to optimise your broadband expenses include:

  • Negotiating your broadband deal strategically, especially when your contract is ending or during promotional periods.
  • Research competitor offers and use them as leverage during negotiations.
  • Clearly express dissatisfaction with your current package and your willingness to switch providers if necessary. This can sometimes lead to compensatory money.
  • Highlight your loyalty as a long-term customer to inquire about loyalty discounts.
  • Utilize online tools and forums for additional support and guidance.

Energy Efficiency

Improving energy efficiency not only lowers utility bills but also reduces environmental impact. Here are some energy-saving tips:

  • Invest in energy-efficient appliances like LED light bulbs and smart thermostats.
  • Ensure proper home insulation to prevent heat loss.
  • Optimise heating and cooling by adjusting thermostat settings and installing programmable thermostats.
  • Adopt energy-saving habits in your daily life. This includes turning off lights and electronics when not in use.
  • Use your washing line or clothes maiden instead of a tumble drier.
  • Explore renewable energy sources like solar panels or wind turbines.

Subscriptions

Managing subscriptions efficiently can lead to significant savings. Here are some of our helpful tips:

  • Regularly review your subscriptions to assess their value.
  • Bundle services for discounts.
  • Negotiate better deals with subscription providers.
  • Take advantage of free trials to test services before committing.
  • Share subscription accounts with family or friends to split costs.
  • Opt for annual payments for additional discounts.
  • Keep track of renewal dates and use discounts or coupons to save money.
  • Downgrade plans if you’re not fully utilising higher-tier subscriptions.
  • Explore free or lower-cost alternatives to paid subscriptions.

By implementing these strategies, you can better manage your budget and achieve long-term financial stability in 2024 and beyond.

Which Expenses are Going up in 2024?

Unfortunately, annual inflation is common – and 2024 will be no exception.

We’ve covered the main household costs due to soar this year and advised on how to counteract them.

Council Tax

Council tax, a major monthly expense, typically increases in April.

While Scotland enjoys a freeze until April 2025, the rest of the UK awaits news.

Councils in England can hike taxes up to 5% annually, potentially adding £103 to the average bill.

Despite calls for fairer collection methods, missed payments can still lead to consequences.

Explore options like payment rescheduling, hardship relief, tax reduction, or challenging your property’s valuation.

TV Licence Fee

TV licence fees are set to rise to £169.50 in April, a £10.50 increase.

This is below the expected inflation-linked rise, offering some relief.

Renewing before April can lock in the current price.

Additionally, individuals over 75 receiving Pension Credit are eligible for a free licence.

Energy Bills

Energy bills may surge by up to 5% in January due to rising energy price caps.

Mitigate costs by ensuring accurate meter readings, questioning changes, and adopting energy-saving habits.

Mobile and Broadband

Mid-contract price hikes are common in mobile and broadband contracts, with some providers planning increases of over 8% in 2024.

Explore switching to a provider without mid-contract rises or negotiate with your current provider for a better deal.

Insurance Premiums

Home and car insurance premiums have soared, with the average quoted price rising significantly.

Shop around for better deals, consider annual policies, and compare ratings to find the best insurance options.

Mortgages

Mortgage rates have increased, driven by a freeze in the base rate.

Consider switching deals if nearing the end of a fixed term, or, seek advice from a mortgage broker to navigate your options effectively.

We recommend staying in the loop by checking out local money saving sites and news outlets.

Your suppliers also have a duty to inform you about any upcoming price hikes.

Cut your Household Bills With Switch Experts

Ready to find a new fast and affordable broadband provider?

In just a few clicks, we can help you see how much you could be saving on your broadband bills.

Simply search your postcode and browse our latest available deals.

 

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Ready to part with your landline?

In recent years, the traditional landline phone, once a household staple, has faced a steady decline in usage across the UK.

The average household now uses their landline phone for as little as 35 minutes per week. This has dropped considerably in the last two years – by almost a quarter!

With the emergence of advanced technology and the rapid expansion of broadband networks, the era of landline phones is approaching its twilight. However, this isn’t a change to be feared – it’s one for us all to embrace.

A Lightning-Fast Future is Coming

The UK’s major broadband providers have set their sights on a transformative journey, signalling substantial changes post-2025 that could shape the future of telecommunications for good.

The narrative of landline phones losing their prominence in UK households has been gradually unfolding. We’ve all slowly become more mobile-focused, especially in the last 10 years.

There are now as many as 111.8 million mobile phone subscriptions across the UK. No one needs to stay tethered to their landline cord or get wrapped up in knots trying to pace the room when we have the flexibility of mobile phones.

Why Has Landline Phone Use Declined?

Aside from the rise in mobile, what else has knocked landline phones off the top spot?

  • Technological advancements: High-speed internet and the availability of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services have become much more enhanced and widely available.
  • Demographic shifts: Younger generations tend to rely more on mobile and internet-based communication, which goes hand in hand with our previous point mentioned above.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Landline phone services are often perceived as less cost-effective compared to bundled mobile or internet packages, especially nowadays.

Post-2025 Plans for Landline Phones

All major UK broadband providers are preparing for a significant shift in their offerings post-2025.

As part of a forward-looking strategy, these providers have already made some transformative plans.

The plans include:

Phasing Out Traditional Landline Services

Broadband giants are gradually phasing-out conventional phone services. One way that they are doing this is by subtly encouraging customers to switch from ADSL to full fibre.

Enhanced VoIP Integration

Providers are poised to bolster their VoIP offerings, elevating them to primary communication solutions for households and businesses. This strategic shift aims to deliver feature-rich, reliable, and cost-effective voice services over broadband connections.

Investment in Broadband Infrastructure

Anticipating the increased demand for robust broadband connectivity, providers are working hard to expand and enhance broadband infrastructure. This includes bringing full fibre connections to as much of the UK as possible and improving VoIP capabilities.

Will I Lose Access to my Landline Phone?

Despite the race to implement speedy VoIP technology officially being on, it won’t suddenly cut off your landline access – but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually!

Say if for example, you took out a new broadband deal today, by the time you come to switch or renew, your landline phone will likely be redundant.

Any further broadband deals after this time will no longer be bundled with a landline phone and internet speeds needed for VoIP will ne promptly considered.

Are There Any Downfalls to Know About?

Recently, concerns were raised by MPs about how effective the nationwide transition to VoIP will be.

Vulnerable bill payers that still rely on their landline phone will face the biggest loss, especially during bouts of extreme weather.

This is because internet connections can be affected by extreme weather, whereas in comparison, landlines are unfaltering.

Embracing the Landline Switch-Off

The impending ‘big switch off’ will significantly change the way consumers and businesses communicate.

In our opinion, it’s for the better, too!

We’ve outlined the main benefits of switching to VoIP below:

Cost Savings

VoIP call charges are significantly lower, especially for long-distance communication. To put it into perspective, landline calls can cost up to 20p per minute, whereas VoIP calls only cost 1.5p per minute.

Flexibility and Mobility

VoIP enables flexibility as calls can be made from any internet-connected device, allowing users to stay connected even while on the go. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for remote workers.

Advanced Features

VoIP systems often come with a range of advanced features such as voicemail-to-email transcription, call forwarding, conference calling and many more.

Scalability

One for business owners – the scalability of VoIP! Businesses are able to add or remove lines as needed without requiring significant infrastructure changes, making it adaptable and flexible.

Integration with Technology

VoIP integrates seamlessly with other technologies and software, enabling easier collaboration through video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing.

Enhanced Accessibility

VoIP systems can offer accessibility features which cater to diverse user needs, including options for individuals with disabilities.

Geographical Flexibility: Another one for the business owners! With VoIP, businesses can have phone numbers from different area codes, providing a local presence in multiple regions without physical office locations or hefty calling charges.

Say Goodbye to Landline and Switch to VoIP

The shift away from landline phones signifies a transformative moment in the UK’s communication landscape.

The time has come to bid farewell to the landline phone and embrace a future where robust broadband connections pave the way for an interconnected world.

Switch Experts is committed to keeping you informed about the evolving trends in communication and technology. Stay connected for more updates and insights.

You can also get a head start by searching for the best prices on the latest broadband deals in your area.

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4G or Fibre?

Don’t be fooled by the name – 4G broadband is very different to your traditional home Wi-Fi!

In some cases, it might be a better option for you.

We’ll explain all the how’s, what’s and why’s you might have.

What is 4G Broadband?

4G broadband is a cutting-edge internet connection.

It’s often used as an effective substitute for regular broadband, and we’ve explained why.

Unlike standard phone-line-based arrangements, 4G broadband frees you from the constraints of wire.

How?

By delivering a smooth internet connection to households over the omnipresent 4G mobile network that spans the majority of the UK.

Why Not Just Use Wi-Fi?

In some areas, internet suppliers have limited infrastructure.

This means that some homes simply can’t access faster broadband because they don’t have fibre optic cables installed in their area.

People living in more rural towns might also find that they have limited choice of suppliers and consequently fewer deals to pick from.

Whilst fibre coverage is expanding every day, lots of people are understandably looking for alternative Wi-Fi solutions.

How do I Access 4G Broadband?

You can connect to 4G broadband in a few ways.

Our experts have covered the main three ways below:

‘Tethering’ – The ‘tethering’ feature on your smartphone effectively turns it into a Wi-Fi hotspot. You will be able to connect a small number of gadgets and devices, but your usage will be limited. You might also notice that your mobile data is quickly eaten up when you do this, so it’s key to review your contract terms.

A Mobile Broadband ‘Dongle’ – A mobile broadband ‘dongle’ is a small gadget with 4G or 5G capability. It connects your devices using Wi-Fi or a USB to give you internet access. Compared to ‘tethering’, you can access more data and at a faster speed with a dongle.

A Dedicated Router – By using a dedicated router, you can connect more devices and handle more traffic than you can with tethering or dongles. Most large mobile networks offer this type of router, as it gives you a strong connection wherever you go.

What are the Benefits of 4G Broadband?

There’s a lot of important benefits to 4G broadband.

Our experts rate the top five perks to be:

  • Reliable Speeds. 4G broadband is faster than the speeds you receive to your mobile phone, as it uses more advanced hardware.  This is what makes it comparable to broadband, rather than mobile data signal.
  • Widely Available. Because 4G is practically everywhere, it is an excellent choice for rural WiFi and other areas lacking cable infrastructure.
  • No Fuss Set-up. Installation is quick and simple, requiring little to no setup.
  • Portable. Certain routers can be transported with you when you travel, allowing them to deliver WiFi in a caravan, for example.
  • Flexible Packages. You are not usually locked in long term with 4G broadband, as flexible packages are more readily available. One of our suppliers even offers a 30-day rolling contract.

Are There any Drawbacks of 4G Broadband?

Despite all the benefits, there are a few factors to consider.

  • Limited Bandwidth and Speed: 4G networks can provide impressive speeds, but they still have limitations in terms of bandwidth compared to newer technologies like 5G. As more users connect to a 4G tower, the available bandwidth is shared, leading to potential slowdowns during peak usage times. This is especially the case in densely populated areas or during crowded events.
  • Signal Interference: 4G signals can be affected by physical obstacles such as buildings and trees. Interference can lead to weaker signals and reduced network coverage, particularly in rural areas.
  • Limited Coverage: We’ve already hinted at this one! While 4G coverage is widespread in many areas, it may not be available in more remote or rural locations. This is something we can help you identify.
  • Data Caps and Throttling: Many 4G broadband plans come with data usage limits and may impose throttling or reduced speeds once those limits are reached. This can be a concern for heavy data users who rely on consistent high-speed connections.
  • Security Concerns: 4G networks, like any wireless technology, can be vulnerable to security breaches. Unauthorized access to the network can pose risks to user privacy and data security.

What About 5G Broadband?

5G works the same as 4G – it’s just considerably faster!

5G broadband is still fairly new and therefore less widely available than 4G, but coverage is growing consistently.

Your supplier will let you know if you’re eligible for 5G, as this depends solely on their network.

It’s also worth noting that 5G is currently more expensive than 4G.

Should I Consider Getting a 4G Broadband Deal?

If you live in a rural area with limited internet availability, it could be a perfect solution for you.

4G and 5G broadband solutions are growing in popularity due to being flexible, fairly priced, and reliable.

However, if your area also struggles with flaky mobile signal, this could affect your service.

This is something our experts can help you decide.

Start searching for the latest deals in your area today and see which plan is best suited to you.

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6 hacks to lower your bills

Managing household bills can be a real challenge, especially when they seem to keep climbing higher each month.

But fear not!

We’ve got your back with six ingenious household bill hacks that will help you save money without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

These simple yet effective strategies will empower you to take control of your expenses and free up some extra cash for the things that truly matter to you.

Let’s dive in and discover how you can make a significant difference in your monthly budget!

Why are household bills soaring in the UK?

Since 2020, prices have been rising nationwide. Although this may have been kickstarted by the pandemic in several ways, the war in Ukraine has also led to soaring inflation.

Staying up to date on market trends is more important than ever and can help you stay prepared for further price rises.

Our weekly shops, insurance, petrol, and energy bills are sky-high, so it’s understandable that you’re looking to cut back where you can.

Our top 5 expert tips for cutting household bills

We asked our experts to explain the top six most effective hacks for reducing your home bills.

Everyone can try at least one of these – so read on for more!

  1. Energy-Efficient Appliances: Cut Costs, Not Comfort

One of the most impactful ways to save on your household bills is by investing in energy-efficient appliances. These modern marvels consume less power while delivering the same level of performance.

From energy-saving LED bulbs to Energy Star-rated refrigerators and showerheads, these appliances will not only lower your electricity bill but also reduce your carbon footprint.

We say that’s a win-win for your wallet and the planet!

  1. Embrace the Power of Smart Thermostats

Heating costs can take a considerable chunk out of your budget.

Enter the era of smart thermostats – the ultimate household bill hack. These intelligent devices learn your preferences, adjust temperatures accordingly, and can be controlled remotely through your smartphone.

By optimizing your home’s climate, you’ll avoid energy waste and save big on your bills.

Plus, some energy providers even offer rebates for installing smart thermostats, giving you an extra incentive to make the switch.

This is also the case for solar panels, depending on whereabouts you live.

It’s worth investigating if you would be eligible for a government grant.

  1. Bundle Up and Save on TV, Internet, and Phone Services

If you’re still paying for TV, internet, and your landline phone separately, it’s time to bundle up and save!

Many providers offer attractive bundle packages that combine these services into one convenient, discounted bill.

Not only will you enjoy the convenience of a single monthly payment, but you’ll also benefit from significant savings compared to individual subscriptions.

As for your mobile, could you consider a SIM-only plan?

If you’re nearing the end of your contract, and you’re happy with the device, you should look into it.

See our blog explaining everything you need to know.

  1. Unplug to Save: Combat Phantom Energy Drain

Did you know that even when your electronic devices are turned off, they still draw power? Our experts call this “phantom energy drain”, and it contributes to unnecessary energy costs.

Combat this sneaky expense by unplugging “vampire” devices when they’re not in use.

You’ll be amazed at how much you can save just by being more mindful of your off switches!

  1. Save on the Splash and Save up Your Cash

We all love a hot bubbly bath from time to time, but showering is much more efficient.

Even by just swapping to showers and having one bath per week, you can save tens of litres per month.

Putting your clothes on a slightly cooler wash of 30 degrees also saves you money every month, without decreasing the effectiveness of your washing powder.

  1. Don’t be Afraid to Switch, Shop Around and Haggle

When it comes to your bills, switching is your secret weapon. Many providers offer low priced and unbeatable introductory periods, or discounts for new customers.

We’re here to find these deals for you. Small changes make a big difference to your bills, and when it comes to broadband, you might be able to save AND upgrade!

In essence, our team will do all the haggling for you and find you a personalised deal within your budget.

Could you be Overpaying on Your Bills?

Switching your broadband or mobile deal could potentially save you hundreds per year. If you haven’t switched plans in a while, there’s a very real chance you could be overpaying.

Many suppliers will automatically enrol you onto a new standard tariff plan once your initial contract ends.

The catch? You’ll likely be paying more per month – and not necessarily for a better service in return.

We’ll find out how much you could be saving in no time, whilst also ensuring that your new contracts are well suited to your home.

Switch and Save Now

We can help you cut back on your expensive contracts. Whether it’s your mobile, or your home broadband, we can find you a personalised deal today.

Get started with a few clicks and you’ll be surprised by the savings!

 

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New to SIM-only plans?

Switching to a SIM-only deal for the first time can seem daunting – but it could also be a smart, savvy, and exciting move for you.

Not everyone needs the latest handset with an eye-wateringly priced contract.

In fact, most people don’t.

This is why we help sign up countless customers to a new SIM-only deal every day. If you’re happy with your current mobile device, it could be perfect for you too.

Read on to learn everything else you need to know.

What is a SIM-only deal?

A SIM-only deal does exactly what it says on the tin.

Rather than sticking with a long term, £30+ monthly contract to pay off the cost of a new device, you’re only paying for your usage.

Your usage includes texts, minutes, and data – not the handset itself.

Once you picked a suitable plan, you’ll receive a SIM card, which is a small and removable card you can put straight into your current mobile to activate it and connect you to the network.

A lot of people don’t realise when they’re out of contract, so they often end up overpaying for months when they already own the phone outright and could switch to a SIM for no-brainer savings!

Benefits to consider

Our experts have explained all the benefits of getting a SIM-only plan below.

  • Money savings. As you’ll have guessed it, SIM-only plans are considerably cheaper than handset contracts. Our SIM-only deals start from just £5 per month, whereas the average contract is at least £30 per month.
  • Personalised usage. Not only will your bill be cheaper, but you’ll find that SIM-plans can be a lot more generous too. In a few quick clicks, we’ll help you find a deal that gives you all the minutes, texts and data you need.
  • Freedom and flexibility. A lot of networks will offer you 30-day rolling contracts, Pay -as-you-go, or short term SIM-only plans. Given that the average contract length is 24 months, a short-term SIM would be perfect if you don’t want to be tied down. What’s more, a lot of deals give you the freedom to change or end your plan whenever you want – as long as you give a bit of notice.
  • Travel-ready. If you’re going abroad, a SIM-only plan gives you the freedom to use minutes and data internationally, without it costing you a fortune.

Are there any disadvantages of a SIM-only plan?

The only resounding difference between a contract and a SIM-only plan is that you don’t get a new mobile included with your deal. This means you’ve got to own a device beforehand, which might not suit every customer.

Networks may also be less likely to throw in freebies and perks with a SIM-only plan, due to their competitively low prices.

However, if you’re looking to save up money (perhaps for a new device?), a SIM-only plan helps you do just that, without any long-term commitments.

How do I set up a SIM card?

Once you have your new SIM card, you’ll need to activate it.

This typically involves calling your carrier or visiting their website to input your SIM card information and set up your account. Make sure you have your phone’s IMEI number handy, as well as any other information your carrier requires to activate your account.

Once your account is set up and your SIM card is activated, your new phone is ready to go!

If you’re switching carriers, you may need to transfer your contacts and other data from your old phone to your new one. This can be done using a cloud service or through a USB cable.

Regardless of what deal you choose; our experts will guide you through the whole switching process and explain everything you need to know.

Will a SIM-only plan affect my credit score?

Unlike a pay monthly mobile contract, signing up for a SIM-only doesn’t involve a credit check.

Making regular-timed payments every month for your SIM deal helps you to build a positive payment history, which will boost your credit score over time.

This makes a SIM-only deal more attractive if you’ve had issues with your credit rating in the past and want to build it back up.

What is an eSIM?

eSIMs are still a fairly modern invention, but they’re set to take off in the near future. Rather than having a separate SIM card to put into your phone, your phone will have one prebuilt into the device.

When switching network carriers, eSIMs can be reprogrammed with ease, making them a popular choice for users with multiple phone numbers with one device.

Find your new SIM-only plan in seconds

Switching to a SIM-only plan is simple when you do it through our experts.

You tell us a few quick details, and we’ll find you a new plan that’s guaranteed to save you money.

You’ll never go without usage and you’ll notice you’re saving more money every month from the get-go.

If you like the sound of that, we suggest you take the plunge and switch to a SIM-only deal today!

Still not sure if SIM-only is right for you?

Read our blog explaining four key reasons why a SIM-only plan might suit you.

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Is a SIM plan right for you?

Unlike smartphone contracts that come with a brand-new handset, a SIM-only plan refers solely to your mobile usage. 

If you’re happy with your current mobile handset, and also looking to cut your monthly expenses, a SIM-only plan could be exactly what you need. 

Our experts have covered the main benefits below to help you decide.

1. Money Saving

Compared to smartphone contracts, SIM-only plans can be ridiculously cheap. Especially when you consider the eye-watering monthly cost for the newest smartphone on the market, which could be up to a shocking £90.

For example, one of the specialist suppliers we work with, Neatley, offer a completely unlimited SIM deal for just £24.95 per month.

Compare this to the average contract bill of £50+, you’re guaranteed to save money. Switch today and you’ll soon see the savings add up.  

2. Good Credit Building – Even if you Don’t Have it

When you apply for a mobile contract, your credit rating is checked.

Having a poor credit rating means you’re likely to struggle in finding a mobile network to accept you. This is because a mobile contract works similarly to a credit agreement, with monthly payments planned to cover the cost of the handset itself.

SIM-only plans are a much lower risk to the network, so the requirements for signing up are a lot laxer.

Say you have bad credit at the moment, then getting a SIM plan will actually help you improve your score – especially if you choose a 12-month or more deal. 

Paying your SIM plan price every month helps to strengthen your rating, as you’re proving to the network that you’re a financially responsible customer. 

By the end of your SIM plan, you should have built up a fairly respectable credit score for yourself – AND saved money for your next handset!

3. Business Benefits

Business owners – you could benefit from a SIM deal too.

It’s a cheap way to keep your professional and personal life separate, such as using a second mobile number for clients to call. SIM plans are also incredibly flexible and can grow with your business as and when it needs to.

We’ve compared mobile networks offering specialist plans to small business owners. 

4. Flexibility

Aside from the low price, the biggest benefit of SIM plans is undoubtedly the flexibility they give you.

Rather than being tied down to an expensive contract for 2 years or more, SIM plans can be tailored. No one can predict where life will take them in that time, so a SIM plan could offer you peace of mind.

You also get the freedom of choosing which mobile network to go with, despite which network you originally took your phone out with. 

There’s also the complete control over your usage. Regardless of what’s most important to you (be it data, texts, 5G access etc), we’ll find you a fair-priced plan that meets all your needs.

Besides, unlimited mobile data is a lot cheaper nowadays! 

Find a new SIM-only deal

Happy with your device but not the usage allowance?

Nearing the end of your contract and looking to cut costs?

These are perfect examples of situations in which it would be wise to get a SIM.

We’ve already compared mobile providers for you. Get started with a few clicks and find your new deal today.

Could you save on your broadband bills next?

Search the latest broadband offers.

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VoIP is the future of the telephone

You’ll likely have heard all about the national landline switch off by now.

Don’t get left behind – you’ve only got two years to prepare!

With the right VoIP solution, you can revolutionise and streamline the way you work.

Is VoIP right for my business?

Regardless of your industry, you’ll find that there’s a lot of ways in which the right VoIP system supports your productivity.

As with all business suppliers, it’s important that you compare before you buy – especially if you’re new to VoIP.

Noisy office environment? Make high quality conference calls to remote staff.

Want to re-route customer calls? Create a seamless self-service phone option. We’ve got deals from every VoIP supplier in one place, so you can find a new deal with ease. Speak to our experts for professional advice today.

Small business? VoIP could be an asset to you too

Don’t overlook VoIP – it’s not just for big teams or large businesses!

In fact, recent research finds that more than one-third of all businesses now use a VoIP phone system.

The vast majority of those being businesses have less than 50 employees, proving you don’t need to be a large brand to access the best tech.

What is VoIP and how does it work?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is internet-based phone system.

Instead of transmitting voice conversations over copper phone lines, you make calls through the internet.

Although it might sound technical, it’s simpler than you realise – and not too dissimilar to Skype.

If you have internet, you’re already halfway there!

Not only will VoIP replace your traditional business landline, but you can also make calls from your laptop, mobile or other smart devices.

All of this happens instantaneously.

Benefits of VoIP

There are several reasons why more businesses are switching to VoIP phone systems, which don’t necessarily revolve around cost.

Call quality

VoIP calls don’t use a lot of bandwidth, which means you get to enjoy clear and crisp audio quality. As long as you have stable internet, your calls will be higher quality than landline.

Simple installation

In addition to better sound quality, the cloud is also making VoIP a more viable option for small businesses.

Rather than having to install special equipment or wiring, companies can simply choose a cloud-hosted VoIP phone solution. This means you don’t need to buy any more equipment or employ IT staff to maintain it.

Ease of use

VoIP systems are very user-friendly. You also get a dedicated level of customer service from your supplier, in the rare event of any downtime.

Flexibility

Depending on your needs, you can scale up or down with ease.

This is especially true if you choose a cloud-based solution, which is easy to tailor and grows with your business. Say you hire new employees and need more phone lines – it can easily be arranged with your supplier!

Remote connectivity

One of the biggest advantages of VoIP is that it allows you to collaborate seamlessly with remote staff. Your team can take their business phone line anywhere they go, meaning higher rates of productivity.

You can also stay in close contact with your customers on the go by having business calls re-routed to your personal mobile.

Cost benefits

Cost is another reason businesses are making the switch from landline.

VoIP technology can also be relatively low cost, making it ideal for small businesses – but you still need to research before you commit!

Most VoIP providers charge a monthly fee per-user, making it a lot cheaper to maintain than old-school landline systems.

Add-ons

VoIP plans are highly customisable. It’s crucial you compare and research beforehand to make sure you pick a deal with the right features for your business.

These include conference calls, call logging and routing, customer insight, call recording, a virtual receptionist and many more.

You can even integrate VoIP systems with other business services, like email.

We can also find you a solution to disguise your personal mobile number for professional use – so you can still work on the go.

Ready to find a VoIP deal?

We’ve got every VoIP plan from every supplier in one place.

The package you choose will significantly impact price, features and installation – all of which we can help you consider.

Compare VoIP suppliers for free.

Apple iPhones

It’s that time of year again – where a new iPhone hits the market.

Meet the iPhone 14 Pro, plus its slightly larger countermodel, the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

So you don’t have to, our Experts have already explored the main differences between the iPhone 14 and the iPhone 13.

First impressions

The 14 Pro is the same size and shape as the 13, featuring a 6.1-inch OLED screen and a stainless-steel edge.

However, even when the phone is locked, you’ll notice one key difference – an always-on display. Even on standby, you’ll see a dimmed version of your lock screen (useful for checking the time).

We’ve explained the other key changes below.

iOS 16

A new lock screen and features!

Every device runs on IOS 16, giving it a fresh and modern user experience.

The software even comes with a new revolutionary car-crash detection app, designed to sense the force of a collision and alert emergency services.

Speaking of this new update, it hit the headlines recently.

Its effectiveness (or rather, sensitivity) was noted by one American user, after their mobile identified a roller coaster as a high-impact car crash – mistakenly alerting the police to a theme park!

Imagine getting off a coaster and finding out your phone has called for help!

Battery and charging

Fit with the A16 Bionic chip, it’s 10x faster than previous models.

When it comes to battery life however, the 14 Pro isn’t too dissimilar to the 13. It offers 75 hours of audio playback and 23 hours of video.

The iPhone 14 Pro Plus is the new champion though, with 95 hours of audio and 29 hours of video playback available on full charge.

“Dynamic island”

You know that rectangular notch at the top of your iPhone screen? It’s now 31% smaller and interactive.

Just by clicking and expanding the notch, you can skip songs, stop timers, or open notifications.

Fondly called “Dynamic Island” by Apple, we can see why!

The main event – an impressive camera

Expect crisp and defined landscapes.

The new camera is what makes the 14 Pro that bit heavier than the 13 – and it’s worth it.

It features a 48-megapixel sensor and a slightly wider shot, plus a whole new image-processing technique called the Photonic Engine.

This Photonic Engine is particularly important for taking high-quality images in darker conditions.

The price

Our least favourite part.

Currently, the iPhone 14 Pro can be bought outright for £849.

The 14 Pro Max comes in at an even steeper £949.

Contracts are priced from around £39 per month, but you need to compare to find the best deal.

This way, you won’t get caught out by a hefty upfront fee or a ridiculously long contract.

Our conclusion

There’s no denying that the iPhone 14 Pro/Plus are impressive new phones, but this is certainly reflected in the price tag.

The iPhone 13 is also still an impressive phone – and now it’s more likely to drop in price.

However, we’re all trying to battle price rises right now, so you might not be interested in a super-luxurious mobile if it’s not necessary.

For now, you might be better investing in a new SIM deal to help save up for an upgrade

ft image 5g blog

You may have noticed some tall masts in your area.

Sure, we know they’re a bit of an eye-sore.

But if you rely heavily on mobile internet, you’ll soon realise you’re actually in luck!

5G is set to change the way the entire world communicates, so here’s our expert deep dive.

First there was 3G – now we’re on another level

It was 10 years ago when 4G networks started taking over from 3G.

Fast forward 7 years to 2019, when 5G was first introduced by mobile networks EE and Vodafone.

5G was designed to be up to 10X faster than 4G.

Using smaller wavelengths and higher frequencies, this means that more users can connect simultaneously – without sacrificing speed.

This means the average mobile user connected to 5G could download nearly an hour of Netflix content in less than 20 milliseconds!

The issue of availability

You might be thinking, if 5G is so great, why aren’t we all connected to it?

There are two main issues preventing this being from being the case.

The issue of availability is still prevalent, with some more rural parts of the UK yet to see any developments.

New areas are becoming eligible every week, and 5G is expected to be available nationwide by 2025.

There’s also the issue of price – seeing as a lot of networks need you to buy their latest model.

This can quickly become off-putting if you compare alone, which is why we’ve made it easy to see every deal in one place.

Which networks offer 5G currently?­

EE, O2, Sky, Three, Vodafone and Tesco Mobile currently boast the most 5G coverage across the UK.

What’s more, major phone makes including Samsung, Apple and Huawei all offer 5G compatible models – and the list is always growing.

Why don’t you check your eligibility for free today?

What about 5G broadband?

5G broadband is already on the way. However, 4G broadband has been popular for years – and it’s not going away any time soon.

With 4G broadband, you essentially use a mobile router, which relies on air waves instead of a wired signal.

If you have strong mobile service where you are (but maybe not the best Wi-Fi options), this could be the solution for you.

Currently, EE, Three, Vodafone and Neatley, an independent supplier we’re proud to support, all offer 4G broadband deals.

If your network already offers 5G and mobile broadband, you’ll get the best of both worlds!

Will 5G replace 4G for good?

As previously mentioned, 5G isn’t predicted to be used across the UK until 2025.

Until then, 4G remains the go-to in a lot of areas.

This doesn’t mean incredible developments aren’t in the works every day. Plans for 5G use include high-tech bus shelters, street/traffic lights and modernised healthcare, just to include a few.

It also has the power to improve energy sustainability across the UK, with large businesses looking to invest.

Ready to upgrade?

Have we caught your attention?

It’s understandable – who wouldn’t want the fastest mobile speeds possible?

Regardless of how you plan on using 5G, we’ll make sure you get the right deal.

Before diving headfirst into plans and providers, you should compare with our friendly experts to ensure you find the right price.