If you own a second home, broadband internet is likely to be an essential addition. Even if the property is only occupied occasionally connectivity is still vital.

But what is the best way to get broadband for a house that you may not use most of the year?

Are there broadband deals specifically for second homes?

Sadly, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) do not offer broadband deals for second homes. However, with a bit of shopping around, you should be able to find short term or cheap fibre broadband packages.

Short term contracts are best relied on for stays of three months or longer. Any less than this and it becomes a hassle. You’ll have to regularly request account setup and installation of the router, a process which can take around two weeks.

Perhaps the easiest solution is to find a cheap fibre or ADSL broadband deal. You can do this using a broadband postcode checker. You’ll typically find a reliable, fast, cost-effective connection, suitable for most uses. Note, however, that contracts tend to be 12 – 24 months and you’ll be paying for periods when the property is not in use.

To mitigate this outlay, consider looking for broadband packages with discounts or other deals attached. This might be cashback, a period of free or cut-price billing, or perhaps retail/shopping vouchers.

If you’re in need of a short term contract ( or if your second property is in a location where broadband internet cannot be accessed) the smart alternative solution is mobile broadband. As long as there is a strong 4G (preferably 5G) signal and you can get an unlimited data plan, this flexible option will be ready to use when you need it, assuming you can find a PAYG deal to suit. Note that you may need to purchase a SIM card-compatible router from the ISP.

Can you move a broadband contract to a second home temporarily?

It would be great if you could move your broadband contract from your main property to your second home. This is an option to consider, but it does come with some shortcomings.

E.g. if you were moving into a brand new house, the ISP would allow you to port the contract to the new property. In most cases, a new contract would commence, which might not be what you want.

REMEMBER, moving your broadband from your main home to a second property will result in you losing broadband at the first home.

When would doing this make sense? Probably the only time it should be considered is for staying in the second home for a prolonged period during renovation work on the first home. However, it would be easier to simply use mobile broadband on a PAYG deal, or have a dedicated service installed in the second home.

What speed should you get?

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to connect your second property to the internet, it’s time to research what speeds are available and which one you’re going to choose. What is a suitable speed for the second property?

The best way to settle on a broadband internet speed is to consider two things:

  • how many people can stay in the house?
  • And what will they use broadband for?

For example a house with one double bedroom occupied by an older couple with occasional evening Netflix use will be able to handle a slower speed than a house of five people using Netflix, online gaming and uploading or live streaming videos to Twitch or YouTube. 

Different broadband uses demand different speeds and bandwidth. Some ISPs limit these factors with cheaper packages, a fact that will influence which broadband deal you choose for your second property.

How to tell if someone has accessed broadband in your second home

Is someone staying in your second home? Perhaps you’re concerned about squatters or other unwelcome guests on the property. 

One way you can keep an eye on things is by keeping tabs on the broadband internet connection in the second property. Use this to check connected devices, by remotely (or in-person) connecting to the router and checking the logs.

Start by consulting the router’s documentation and setting up a secure admin account. This will mean changing the default password for the administrator account. If possible, change the username too, as “administrator” or “admin” are a bit obvious.

Next, again using the router documentation, set up remote access. This will allow you to connect to the router remotely and check what devices (if any) are connected. This will tell you if someone is using your router without permission – and perhaps accessing the property without your knowledge.

Have any questions about broadband in your second home? Then feel free to get in touch with us today and our team will be on hand to help you.