Guide To Broadband In A Shared Home


Choosing broadband is usually a matter of checking what’s available and picking the fastest or the cheapest option. But what about when you share your home with others? How do you decide? Sharing facilities can be difficult enough but what happens when it comes to something we all value like broadband?

This guide from Broadband Genie includes some practical tips to help you manage broadband in a shared house. Whoever you share with, whatever the arrangement, this guide can help ensure everyone stays connected!

Picture of a router and a plant


Key considerations for broadband in a shared home

The one way to ensure harmony within a shared property is to ensure there is no competition for resources. To make sure everyone has what they need when they need it. That includes broadband.

If you’re setting up broadband for the first time, it might be worth sitting everyone down over a coffee and discussing the following:


Broadband speed

Depending on where you live and what broadband packages are available, you may have a range of speeds to choose from. Broadband speed typically comes at a price that increases with that speed so it’s useful to decide how much is enough.

How much will everyone use the internet? How often will it be in use? Are there particular needs such as for home working or video streaming? 

Knowing what everyone needs in advance can help ensure you get the right broadband deal.


Fair use

Part of that conversation should be around fair use. By that, we mean how everyone will use the internet, how many of you will download files, be gaming online and using your broadband at the same time.

For things such as large downloads, it makes sense to agree to download when everyone is out of the house. It may also be practical to avoid broadbands contracts with data caps too!


Contract length and cancellation

Most broadband contracts are for 12, 18 or 24 months. If your tenancy agreement is for a similar time, you should be fine. If your agreement is shorter than that, you may want to consider how you will handle the broadband contract if or when you move out.

Will you hand it to another housemate? Will you take it with you? Will you just pay the early termination fee and make a clean break? Agreeing on this in advance while you’re all together should avoid any difficulties later on.


The broadband bill

An important aspect of broadband in a shared house is the bill. Who will be paying? Will there be a sole contract holder or will you have a joint contract? Will one person pay the bill and everyone contributes, or will you all do it jointly?

It’s up to you to come up with a fair way to split bills and make payments. One suggestion is the Splitwise app or service such as Split the Bills. These can take the awkwardness out of handling joint responsibilities, including broadband bills.

Tips for getting the most out of your shared broadband

With the admin done, you should now have a good idea of what broadband package is right for your shared house and everyone should be getting what they need.

Here are some tips for making the most of your shared broadband once it’s up and running.


Time heavy use

We mentioned this earlier but it’s important enough to mention again. If you have a heavy internet user in the house, have them agree to download large files when nobody else is using it. This ensures everyone gets to use the internet whenever they need it.


Monitor connected devices

Knowing what devices are using the internet is a useful way to ensure everyone gets a turn. You can do this by logging into the broadband router and checking for connected devices. You may also be able to see how much traffic each device uses. This can be useful for controlling or monitoring access and internet use.


Use QoS

QoS, Quality of Service, is a router setting you can use to manage internet traffic. QoS can ensure bandwidth is shared fairly between apps and control particular traffic types. This is useful if you have a housemate who is a heavy internet user or if you have a particularly important client video conference when everyone else is home.


Set up a guest network

A guest network is a secondary WiFi network that uses your broadband. If your house is usually full of people, you can control how much of your bandwidth they use by having your main network for housemates and a guest network for visitors. 

You can control availability, speed, bandwidth use and types of websites or traffic used with a guest network. Just keep your home network password safe and make sure it isn’t shared to get the most out of it!

picture of a box being moved into a house

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