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Best broadband providers in the UK for 2024

Looking for cheap broadband? Compare prices from top providers and get a great deal

No broadband provider is right for every household, which is why you must do your research when it comes to picking the right broadband deal for you.

To make your journey easier, our Home Tech Expert Rachel Sadler has catalogued some of the best broadband providers in the country, all the top speeds on offer, and the types of broadband you can access. Her best picks include EE for speed, Plusnet for customer service and Vodafone for value.

Our top recommended broadband providers
Hyperoptic
Ultrafast speeds at affordable prices
Plusnet
Fast speeds & reliable customer service
Vodafone
Perks for existing mobile customers
BT Broadband
The UK’s largest broadband provider

How we ranked the best broadband providers

We surveyed 2,000 broadband customers in the UK* to better understand how people feel about their broadband services. We asked them more than 20 questions regarding their current broadband provider, including their opinion about the speeds they receive, the pricing of their plan, the value for money and their overall satisfaction.

Consumers were also asked about internet usage, the ease of contacting their provider, price increases and technical support. We used this data to discover which factors residents deem most important when looking at a broadband offer, creating an overarching score for each broadband provider. Our overall score includes value for money, speed, customer service, reliability, ease of contact and technical support. 

Survey methodology

Survey of broadband customers aged between 24-64 conducted on Censuswide, 11-14 March 2024. Survey sample: 2,003 respondents, totalling Sky (489), BT Broadband (412), Virgin Media (396), EE (134), Vodafone (124), Other (102), Plusnet (66), NOW Broadband (45), Three (31), Hyperoptic (14), Community Fibre (8), Unsure (7). Respondents who selected Hyperoptic, Community Fibre, Other or Unsure were discarded from our review; however, the information gathered for Hyperoptic and Community Fibre was used in our Broadband Providers evaluation. Respondents were asked to rate each category on a five-point scale, from Very Poor to Excellent or from Never to Always, with the option of selecting Don’t Know for all questions. For the third question (“What issues, if any, have you experienced with your current broadband provider?”) respondents could select from the following: Price Hikes, Slow Speeds, High Prices, Frequent Disconnections, Poor Customer Service, Billing Issues, Other and N/A. The questions used to calculate our score were: “How often, if at all, do you feel the actual speed of your broadband service matches the advertised speed?” “How would you rate your experience with customer service and support from your broadband provider?” ”What issues, if any, have you experienced with your current broadband provider? (Select all that apply)” “How easy or difficult is it/would it be to reach your provider using your preferred method?” “How do you rate the value for money of your broadband service?” “How would you rate the transparency of pricing and additional fees in your broadband service?” 

Our Independent Advisor rating is a combination of our home tech team’s expertise (60 per cent) and the data collated from our survey (40 per cent).

Best broadband providers compared

Based on the survey we conducted, these are the best internet providers in the UK.

Broadband providerIndependent Advisor ratingCustomer satisfactionSpeedCustomer serviceReliabilityValue for money
Hyperoptic* ★★★★100%64%64%93%79%
Community Fibre*★★★★75%63%75%80%59%
EE★★★½90%66%73%84%67%
Plusnet★★★½88%53%68%83%74%
Vodafone★★★½86%60%69%85%76%
BT★★★½85%62%61%87%59%
Sky★★★½82%62%64%81%57%
Three★★★½74%61%74%68%77%
NOW★★★½78%64%62%73%76%
TalkTalk★★★78%57%53%80%59%
Virgin Media★★★83%56%54%79%58%
*Hyperoptic and Community Fibre customers were less than 1 per cent of survey respondents. We included them in our assessment of broadband providers as their satisfaction ratings were very high, and we supplemented survey results with their Trustpilot ratings. We did not include Community Fibre in our top five providers as its availability is limited to London.

Top broadband providers

Through a combination of survey results and our experts’ research, we found that the following are the top five broadband providers in the UK.

Hyperoptic: Best overall ★★★★

  • Best offer for speed: 150Mb Superfast, £30/month
  • Best offer for affordability: 1Gb Hyperfast, £36/month
  • Speeds offered: 50Mbps to 1Gbps
  • Price range: £27 to £63 per month
  • Contract lengths: Monthly, 12 months or 24 months
  • Switching intent: 12 per cent of customers have considered switching

Hyperoptic broadband takes the top spot on our best providers list – 100 per cent of customers said they were happy with the service they receive from the provider. 

You should choose a Hyperoptic package if speed, reliable connection and price are important to you. According to our survey, the provider was ranked second for value for money (79 per cent) and speed (64 per cent of customers report they always or mostly receive their advertised speed). Hyperoptic is also ranked first for reliability (93 per cent), pricing transparency (100 per cent) and technical support (71 per cent). 

Although Hyperoptic is good for most things, its customer service isn’t the best: it ranked outside of the top five (64 per cent). It’s also worth noting that Hyperoptic doesn’t service the whole country.

What we like: no mid-contract price increases. The fastest deal, offering an average speed of 900Mbps, is just £36. 

What we don’t like: your home needs access to full fibre, and it’s only available to those who live in major cities including London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.  

EE: Best for speed ★★★½

  • Best offer for speed: Full Fibre 300Mbps Essentials, £32.99/month
  • Best offer for affordability: Full Fibre 150Mbps Essentials, £29.99/month
  • Speeds offered: 27Mbps to 1.6Gbps
  • Price range: £26.99 to £67 per month
  • Contract lengths: 24 months
  • Switching intent: 44 per cent of customers have considered switching

EE, now owned by BT Group, first became a household name for its mobile services, but it’s now favoured by customers for its superfast broadband speeds. 

Our expert Rachel recommends EE’s deals as the best for speed. Our survey results ranked it first for speed (66 per cent of users reported receiving the speeds advertised on their deal or faster), and third for reliability (84 per cent). We’d also recommend EE as one of the best providers overall alongside Hyperoptic: it was ranked second for overall customer satisfaction (90 per cent) and third for customer service (73 per cent). 

Broadband providersAs advertisedFaster than advertisedSlower than advertised
EE36%5%20%
Sky35%6%20%
BT34%6%18%
Virgin Media34%7%19%
TalkTalk35%10%18%
Vodafone41%10%19%
Plusnet33%3%24%
NOW Broadband42%2%27%
Three29%10%32%
Hyperoptic57%7%21%
Community Fibre38%0%38%

However, EE is not the best broadband provider when it comes to price. It was the fourth worst provider in terms of value for money (67 per cent), which means you may still get a good price, but you may have to spend some time comparing packages. 

What we like: many bundle packages on offer. Customers can add unlimited mobile data or TV packages

What we don’t like: not the best value for money compared to other providers’ offers. Check whether a cheaper offer with the same speed is available in your area

Plusnet: Best for customer service ★★★★

  • Best deal for speed: Full Fibre 900Mb, £44.99/month
  • Best deal for affordability: Full Fibre 145Mb, £27.99/month
  • Speeds offered: 22Mbps to 900Mbps
  • Price range: £24.99 to £41.99 per month
  • Contract lengths: 18 months or 24 months
  • Switching intent: 41 per cent of customers have considered switching

Plusnet is our best provider for customer service. In our survey, 69 per cent of respondents rated its customer service as excellent, and it scored the highest of all providers (79 per cent) for ease of contact. It ranked third overall for customer satisfaction (88 per cent), marginally less than EE (90 per cent). 

Not only did Plusnet perform well in our survey, but it also has a UK-based customer service team who are available seven days a week. Plusnet customers automatically gain access to Plusnet Perks, the provider’s loyalty reward programme, which unlocks lots of offers from restaurants and shops. 

However, Plusnet was ranked the lowest in terms of speed. Just 53 per cent of customers surveyed reported they always or mostly receive Plusnet’s advertised speeds, so we’d recommend checking whether the package’s minimum advertised speed is enough for your household’s needs.

What we like: it’s a great broadband provider for families. Plusnet Protect and Plusnet Safeguard come free with all plans; they protect your devices from security risks and give you control over the content your children view

What we don’t like: its fastest offer – Full Fibre 900Mb – is expensive compared to competitors. Offers for 500Mbps and below are reasonably priced 

Vodafone: Best value for money ★★★½

  • Best deal for speed: Full Fibre 910, £39/month
  • Best deal for affordability: Full Fibre 150, £29/month
  • Speeds offered: 35Mbps to 910Mbps
  • Price range: £24.99 to £41.99 per month
  • Contract lengths: 24 months
  • Switching intent: 44 per cent of customers have considered switching

Like EE, Vodafone has been a mainstay in the world of mobile phone networks for decades but is still relatively new to broadband. According to our survey, it was ranked one of the highest in terms of value for money (76 per cent).

We chose Vodafone as the best value for money because it scored highly across numerous categories. It was ranked fourth on our list for overall customer satisfaction (86 per cent), customer service (69 per cent) and pricing transparency (74 per cent). We also like Vodafone’s bundle options, allowing customers to include Apple TV with their broadband package, add unlimited mobile data to a broadband and mobile bundle, and more.

In answer to the question “How do you rate the value for money of your broadband service?”,  here is how different providers fared: 

Best providers

  • Plusnet (74 per cent of customers rated it “Excellent” or “Good”)
  • Vodafone (76 per cent)
  • EE (67 per cent)
  • TalkTalk (59 per cent)

Worst providers

  • BT (59 per cent) 
  • Virgin Media (58 per cent)
  • Sky (57 per cent)

We wouldn’t recommend Vodafone for customers in need of the top speeds. It was ranked outside of the top five (60 per cent), so you should be wary of their advertised speeds. 

Although Vodafone is reasonably priced, if you live in London we would recommend looking at Community Fibre’s offers, as they’re good value and come with no mid-contract price rises. 

What we like: you can bundle broadband and mobile to save money, and a basic broadband package costs less than £30. 

What we don’t like: it’s not a great choice for TV bundles, which is only an issue if you watch live TV. It does still offer a streaming package.

BT: Most reliable connection ★★★½

  • Best deal for speed: Full Fibre 900, £59.99/month
  • Best deal for affordability: Full Fibre 900, £29.99/month
  • Speeds offered: 36Mbps to 900Mbps
  • Price range: £26.99 to £59.99 per month
  • Contract lengths: 24 months
  • Switching intent: 59 per cent of customers have considered switching

BT is one of the largest UK broadband providers, so it will come as no surprise that it ranked the highest for reliability (87 per cent). 

If you’re looking for a provider to bundle phone and TV services, we would highly recommend BT for the selection of Sky channels on offer. It’s also fifth on our list for overall customer satisfaction (85 per cent), and our survey showed that customers were least likely to say they had encountered issues with their BT broadband service.    

We recommend choosing a less expensive provider if you’re on a budget, however. BT was in the bottom three for value for money in our survey results – just 59 per cent agreed it was good value. BT also isn’t the best internet provider for speed, coming in fifth in that regard.

What we like: TV packages include Netflix plans and bundles that cater for both sports and entertainment fans.

What we don’t like: Packages are very expensive compared to other providers and come with mid-contract price rises.

The best of the rest

  • Community Fibre: 100 per cent of customers said they were satisfied with the service they receive, and 93 per cent rated it excellent for reliability. The downside is it’s only available for London customers
  • Sky: one of the UK’s top providers, it has a range of offers starting at £20 per month. In our survey, 82 per cent of customers are satisfied with the service, and it scored highly for reliability (81 per cent) and speed (62 per cent). However, its packages don’t offer the best value – Sky was rated the lowest in terms of price transparency (55 per cent) and value for money (57 per cent) by customers
  • Virgin Media: it supplies more than 60 per cent of surveyed customers and ranks highly for overall customer satisfaction (83 per cent) and reliability (79 per cent). However, the provider doesn’t score well when it comes to value for money (58 per cent) and speed (56 per cent) 
icons8-did-you-know-64

Did you know?

Our survey revealed the main reasons customers have considered switching to another broadband provider in the last year:

 

  • Better price 
  • Better speed 
  • More reliable connection 
  • Better customer service 

What is the best broadband provider for me?

There’s no shortage of broadband providers to choose from, each one offering different speeds, contract lengths and bundle services. We’ve identified the main factors to consider to help you find the best deal for you.

  1. Your broadband deal should have the right speed to suit your internet usage. For example, if you have multiple devices and you frequently stream content in HD, speeds above 50Mbps are best. 
  1. Check which broadband deals are available for your area. Not every postcode has access to fibre broadband and no providers operate nationwide. 
  1. Check that your chosen deal is good value for money. Compare deals of a similar price, paying careful attention to advertised speeds and any extras included in each. 
  1. Consider customer ratings and reviews. Check our Independent Advisor Rating, the provider’s Ofcom score and customer reviews from websites such as Trustpilot. 
  1. Use our postcode checker to find packages that fit your speed and budget requirements. If you’re after a bundle deal, you can filter results to show broadband and phone or broadband and TV deals.  
Rachel Sadler new profile April 2024

Our Home Tech Expert recommends

  • Best for speed: EE
  • Best for value for money: Vodafone
  • Best for customer service: Plusnet
  • Best for London: Community Fibre
  • Best for rural or remote areas: Three

As well as reviews and ratings, another important metric is the number of complaints a broadband provider receives. The chart below shows the number of customer complaints each provider received per 100,000 customers during the fourth quarter of 2023. 

Broadband providerNumber of complaints per 100,000
Sky5
Plusnet9
EE9
BT11
TalkTalk13
Vodafone14
Shell Energy14
NOW Broadband18
Virgin Media20

Which internet provider offers the fastest speeds?

The fastest broadband widely available in the UK is usually 1Gbps, or 1,000Mbps (although some providers’ advertised speeds may greatly exceed this level). 

EE offers the fastest advertised broadband speeds at 1,600Mbps, followed by Vodafone at 910Mbps. BT, Hyperoptic and Plusnet all have top speeds of 900Mbps.

Some things to consider: 

  • You won’t necessarily always get the provider’s advertised speed; instead, focus on minimum speed and make sure it’s enough for your needs
  • Some providers, such as Sky, offer guaranteed speed or your money back
  • To reach maximum advertised speeds, you’ll most likely need to be connected via an ethernet cable, not wifi

If you want to find out more about broadband speeds and how to measure them, read our guide for more information.

Rachel Sadler new profile April 2024

“To improve your broadband speed, you’ll need to investigate the root cause of the issue. Keep in mind that when you sign up for any broadband package, the provider’s advertised speed is not necessarily what you’ll get. Instead, check the small print for your provider’s guaranteed minimum speed. If your speeds still don’t match the guaranteed minimum speeds in your contract, you could try moving your router, using a wifi booster or ethernet cable or even jumping ship and switching providers.”

How long does it take to switch broadband providers?

Our experts found switching broadband providers can take up to three weeks. We found Community Fibre can be installed in up to five working days, which is the quickest based on our research. We also researched the number of steps it takes from choosing your package to installation.TalkTalk and BT had the fewest number of steps.  

Broadband providerTime until engineer visitHow many steps are involved in the set-up process
BTUp to 10 days3
Virgin MediaUp to 7 working days4
TalkTalkOne to two weeks3
Community FibreUp to 5 working days4
SkyTwo to three weeks4
VodafoneTwo to three weeks4
PlusnetTwo to three weeks4

Types of packages available from broadband providers

There are various types of packages available from different broadband providers, both in terms of contract length and package type. 

No-contract broadband: no-contract broadband provides flexibility and can be cancelled at any time with no exit fee, provided you give a month’s notice. Not all providers offer this type of contract, and they tend to be more expensive with higher set-up fees – we found Hyperoptic, NOW Broadband and G.Network offer some of the best deals.   

Mobile broadband: mobile broadband uses a portable router and connects to 5G or 4G. O2, Vodafone and Three offer the most affordable packages of this type.

Wireless broadband: wireless broadband provides a stable internet connection through a wireless local area network, making them ideal for households in more rural areas. EE and Sky offer some excellent full fibre packages, but for a more affordable option, consider TalkTalk.

Satellite broadband: satellite broadband is another great option for those without access to a fixed internet line, although they’re generally more expensive than traditional broadband offers and come with limited speeds.

Broadband and phone: if you want additional features with your package, you can find a variety of broadband and phone services from a range of providers, although it’s worth noting that landlines are being phased out and replaced with a service called Digital Voice. TalkTalk offers affordable broadband and phone deals. 

Broadband and TV: broadband and TV comes with services such as additional TV channels or subscriptions to popular streaming platforms, which can ultimately be cheaper than purchasing them separately. If you watch lots of live TV, Sky and BT offer the best bundles; if you’re just interested in streaming, choose NOW Broadband.   

What is the cheapest internet provider?

The cheapest broadband package our experts have found is  NOW Broadband’s Brilliant Broadband package for £20 per month.

However, the best broadband provider for you, including its pricing, will depend on your circumstances. Our broadband expert Rachel recommends Community Fibre if you’re London-based as 100 per cent of its customers rated it highly in terms of value for money. If you live in another area, Three’s mobile broadband is a great choice; 77 per cent of its customers agreed it provided good value for money.

How much do customers pay for their broadband?

Our survey found that, on average, UK broadband users pay £53 per month for their broadband package per month.

Sky broadband customers surveyed pay £60 a month on average for their broadband package, compared to TalkTalk broadband customers, who pay an average of £44 per month. While broadband-only customers pay £41 per month on average, customers with a broadband, phone, TV and mobile bundle pay an average of £74 per month.

Are you eligible for social tariff broadband?

If you’re on certain benefits, you may be eligible for a cheaper social tariff broadband package. There are several benefits to these packages:

  • They often cost between £10 and £20 a month, which is cheaper than most standard packages
  • They average download speeds of up to 100Mbps
  • They have unlimited usage
  • You won’t be charged an exit fee if you leave early
  • Your price won’t go up mid-contract

You may be eligible if you receive the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support 
  • Personal Independent Payment
  • Attendance Allowance

Frequently asked questions about broadband providers

Internet providers are regulated by the Office of Communications, otherwise known as Ofcom. Broadband providers must follow Ofcom’s rules and regulations to ensure customers receive a fair service. Its rules are regularly reviewed and kept in line with new technology and industry changes.   

If you have any issues with your internet provider, you may be able to make a complaint to Ofcom.

When comparing internet providers in your area, you should consider:

  • The price of the deal per month
  • The minimum download and upload speeds (and what speed your household needs)
  • The length of the contract
  • Broadband bundles with TV or phone services
  • The provider’s customer service ratings (both on Trustpilot and Ofcom)
  • Any sign-up perks or bonuses
  • The potential for mid-contract price increases
  • The type of router that comes with the package

According to the latest Ofcom report, Plusnet scored the highest customer satisfaction rating out of the major providers at 89 per cent. Plusnet was also the highest-scored provider in terms of customer service quality in our survey, with 69 per cent of its customers giving it an excellent rating in that department.

If both your current and your new internet provider are on Openreach’s network, your current provider will take care of cancelling your old contract and making the switch, including fitting any new cables you need. However, if they’re not on Openreach, you’ll need to cancel your old service yourself, and you may need to arrange for new cables to be fitted depending on which type of broadband you’ve chosen.

Rachel Sadler new profile April 2024

Rachel Sadler

Home Tech Writer

Rachel is a seasoned writer who has been producing online and print content for seven years. 

As a home tech expert for Independent Advisor, Rachel researches and writes buying guides and reviews, helping consumers navigate the realms of broadband and home security gadgets. She also covers home tech for The Federation of Master Builders, where she reviews and tests home security devices. 

She started as a news and lifestyle journalist in Hong Kong reporting on island-wide news stories, food and drink and the city’s events. She’s written for editorial platforms Sassy Hong Kong, Localiiz and Bay Media. While in Hong Kong she attended PR events, interviewed local talent and project-managed photoshoots. 

Rachel holds a BA in English Language and Creative Writing and is committed to simplifying tech jargon and producing unbiased reviews.

Gemma Ryles new profile April 2024

Gemma Ryles

Home Tech Writer

Gemma Ryles is a BJTC and PPA-accredited journalist with three years of experience writing across various publications. As a home tech expert at Independent Advisor, Gemma tests, researches and writes about broadband and home security. 

Previously, Gemma reviewed and curated lists about consumer technology at Trusted Reviews, where she honed her skills in creating buying guides and features to help customers make informed decisions. She has previously worked at Yorkshire Post, BBC Yorkshire, Glitterbeam Radio and Bonus Stage. 

Gemma has a BA in Journalism and in her free time can be found writing short stories, gaming and crocheting.