Best Broadband Providers in the UK

Compare the best broadband providers in the UK

With time and technological advancement, the number of UK broadband providers is going up. With so many options, it’s becoming difficult to choose the best broadband deal. Moreover, deals from some providers may save you money but may not fulfil other desired requirements. We’re here to compare broadband providers and their proposed deals for you. If you’re wondering what to look for in an internet provider, learn everything you need to know on this page.

Best broadband providers

  • Compare the top internet service providers in the UK
  • Check best deals, limit, speed, type, cost of internet service from different providers
  • Get information about the best broadband services in the UK.
  • All of this completely free of charge!

How to Compare Internet Providers?

With so many options in the market, comparing broadband providers is a necessary task. Each provider is popularly known for its signature feature, but this may change between providers. To find the most reliable broadband, you must look into some major features such as broadband speed, cost, the provider’s customer service, availability, etc. Below are a few features you should consider while selecting broadband for yourself.

Broadband speed

The demand for broadband speed varies from person to person. When it comes to choosing an internet provider, you need to know your usage. For instance, if you intend only to do some light browsing and emailing, an average speed of 10 Mbps may suit you. However, if you work from home and have to download large files or you live in a household which does a lot of streaming, you’ll need to go for a fibre broadband provider with superfast download speeds.

Download limit

This feature, again, depends on your own requirements. If your usage is not heavy, you may not need to worry about download limits when choosing a provider. However, if you’re fond of playing video games or streaming videos online, you may want to take a closer look and make sure you’re getting unlimited broadband. Most providers now offer unlimited broadband, but don’t get caught out by an unwanted data cap.

Type of broadband

The type of broadband should be considered when looking for an internet provider. When comparing broadband deals, you need to be particular about the type of broadband that you need. The most common types of internet deal are ADSL broadband, fibre broadband (FTTC or FTTP), cable broadband (offered exclusively by Virgin Media), and mobile broadband. Most of these come with line rental, particularly ADSL and fibre broadband, as they use the BT Openreach network to connect you. If broadband without line rental is important to you, consider Virgin Media or mobile broadband.

Hardware requirements

Another significant feature that you need to look at when comparing internet deals is hardware requirements. Once you select your offer, you need to find out if you need any equipment for setting up a new internet connection. Bear in mind that switching to or from Virgin Media’s network if you’re leaving or joining a broadband provider on the BT Openreach network will mean an installation process and setup costs.

Availability

For a well-operated and uninterrupted internet connection, you need to check the availability of fibre in your area. While looking for reliable internet, make sure that the broadband provider you want is available in your area.

Average monthly cost

Monthly cost is an aspect that you can’t ignore at all while selecting a broadband provider. A provider may offer all the features that you’re looking for in one deal, but it’s no good if it will cost you a fortune. Likewise, there will be various offers that are light on your pocket but won’t provide you with the average speed you need. You need to look for a broadband package that offers both high-quality internet, excellent customer service, and all the extras you need for an affordable monthly price.

Customer support

Good communication can make your life a lot easier. When choosing a broadband deal, make sure that the selected provider is promising you respect and availability - you can use Ofcom data to find this out, as well as online reviews. Good customer support is mandatory when signing up to a new broadband deal, as it’s important in fixing issues with your broadband service on time.

Benefits and bundles

When choosing a new broadband provider, it’s best to go for one that offers you the most benefits for your money. Moreover, you need to check that the bundle you’ve chosen offers all the features mentioned above. You can save a lot if your provider allows you to bundle your internet deal with TV or phone.

What type of broadband deal should I go for?

When comparing broadband providers, you need to make sure that the type of broadband deal is best suited for you. There are various types of broadband deals available in the UK, and the most important thing is your broadband plan matches your requirements. Additionally, you must remember to look at broadband speed - it’s the most important feature to most users.

Here are some popular broadband deals broken down for you:

Broadband-only

This is the basic deal for those who aren’t interested in phone or TV services as part of their broadband deal. It is a deal that offers broadband-only, and is offered by all internet providers, though all except Virgin Media will charge you line rental as part of the deal because they all use the BT Openreach network to get you connected.

Broadband and phone

In this type of deal, you can pay for both your broadband and phone as part of one broadband deal. Most deals come with line rental anyway, and pairing internet with calls can get you discounts. This type of deal is offered by all major internet providers - including BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, and Sky - and it’s a good decision to pick one company that would lump your internet and home phone together in one deal if you’re going to need both.

Broadband and TV

In this type of deal, you can pair your broadband and TV in one package. If you’re only a fan of streaming services like Amazon and Netflix, you may not need this type of deal, as you can get these outside of your package. Many channels, however, like Sky Cinema and sports channels, are only available via traditional TV deals. This is still and important choice for those who love TV, and is offered by major providers like Sky, Virgin Media, BT, and now even challengers like Plusnet and TalkTalk.

Broadband, TV, and phone

Dealing with various companies can be quite hectic. Having a combination in one broadband deal can help you save both your time and money. Such deals come with numerous benefits. The major providers mentioned above offer these services together as one bundle, and some - namely Virgin Media, BT, Plusnet, and Sky - allow you to add mobile plans to your deal as well.

What are the different types of broadband available?

Below are some commonly used types of broadband available in the UK. The right one for you will depend on your needs:

ADSL

If you are looking for a basic type of broadband, or live in a more remote area, ADSL is the best broadband. There are few areas where cable and fibre broadband fail to provide internet service. In such a case ADSL is preferred since it tends to provide its services at all places. The mode of connection for this type of broadband is copper wire that is carried directly to your home.

Fibre broadband

Fibre broadband is the most technologically advanced form of internet. It offers high-speed internet with a faster, more reliable connection. Fibre-optic cables have replaced copper wires in most places, though the majority of connections still use a combination of fibre cables and copper phone lines. Fibre cables are a sort of wire with glass fibres inside which transfer data at a much faster rate than traditional phone wires. Fibre broadband is now widely-used, with the BT Openreach network offering availability across almost 90% of the UK.

Cable broadband

Cable broadband uses a network of coaxial cables instead of fibre cables to connect users to the internet. It is the second-most common type of broadband, just behind fibre broadband, and is used exclusively by Virgin Media. It is not as widely available yet, however, with availability to around 50% of households.

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband is completely wireless, giving users internet access in a portable way. Mobile broadband doesn’t limit you to a certain place and uses data from mobile networks to get you connected. To get mobile broadband, look into networks like Vodafone and EE.

Which ISPs offer the best broadband service in the UK?

Read this section to get information about the broadband providers with the best internet service in the UK.

ISPs Average speed range Description
BT Broadband 36 Mbps - 1 Gbps BT Broadband offers a package to suit everyone, from a basic download speed of 36 Mbps as well as high-speed internet of up to 1Gbps in some areas. You should be able to find a broadband package to suit you whatever your needs. BT also promises highly functional WiFi with signal-boosting discs to cover your entire home or office.
EE 10-300 Mbps EE is a broadband provider with a wide range of internet packages to offer its customers. Be it 10 Mbps download speeds or 300 Mbps download speeds, EE can service you. Moreover, the provider’s mobile broadband may be functional in some areas where standard fibre-optic internet doesn’t yet reach.
Gigaclear 200-900 Mbps Gigaclear specialises in packages offering hyperfast speeds and uninterrupted service. The provider instals fibre cables directly to its customers’ properties, so it is a good option for those needing fast internet in rural or remote areas.
John Lewis 10-66 Mbps John Lewis Broadband offers its customers a selection of three basic broadband packages, each of which offers customer service available 24/7. Line rental is obligatory with all of its packages, allowing for call plans to be added cheaply and easily.
NOW Broadband 11-63 Mbps NOW Broadband also offers three basic packages. Though not the fastest speeds, NOW is great for those looking to add TV packages to their broadband, with discounts on NOW TV passes for broadband customers.
Plusnet 10-66 Mbps Plusnet’s award-winning customer service is what attracts many to its basic set of broadband packages. Customers who pair unlimited broadband with a calls package get a discount, and Plusnet Unlimited Fibre customers can add YouView TV to their deal.
Vodafone 38-900 Mbps Like Plusnet, Vodafone is also a good choice when it comes to customer support. It also offers a high-speed connection, with fibre packages ranging from 38 to 100 Mbps for most users, though users in some parts of the country can get up to 900 Mbps speeds. Vodafone also promises to repay customers for periods when its speeds don’t match those offered by the package until the issue is resolved. Vodafone is also one of the market leaders in mobile broadband.
Sky 36-900 Mbps Sky Broadband offers a variety of different speeds to suit all types of customers. It will particularly appeal to those looking to add phone and TV bundles to their deal. If you can get it, Sky Gigafast Broadband offers some of the fastest speeds on the market.
SSE 35-900 Mbps A relative newcomer to the broadband market, SSE offers a broad range of fixed 18-month contracts. SSE Energy customers also get £75 in account credit when they sign up to its Unlimited Fibre or Unlimited Fibre Plus packages.
TalkTalk 35-900 Mbps TalkTalk offers four broadband deals, though only three will be available to most customers, with its 900 Mbps Future Fibre deal only available in certain parts of the country. Home phone packages are included with all TalkTalk deals and users also have the option of adding TV.
Virgin Media 54 Mbps - 1.13 Gbps If you’re looking to bundle the fastest broadband with home phone, TV and even mobile phone deals, Virgin Media might be your best bet. It was the first to offer all four, though the likes of Sky, BT and Plusnet have followed suit. Virgin Media also offers the option of a 30-day rolling contract, though if you want this you may have to pay an extra setup fee.
Hyperoptic 50 Mbps - 1Gbps Hyperoptic offers uninterrupted FTTP broadband with speeds of up to 1 Gbps. You’re directly linked to its fibre-optic network when you sign up, meaning you get a high-quality connection offering upload speeds which match its download speeds. Its service is not widely available, however, and unlikely to be available to those outside of London.
Shell Energy 11-67 Mbps Shell Energy Broadband will suit those just looking for simplicity. You’ll have to pay for line rental but no fee is required to activate your WiFi router. Shell Energy customers also get £50 worth of bill credit when they sign up to broadband as well.
OneStream 16-67 Mbps OneStream is another relative newcomer. Its biggest appeal is in providing line protection for engineering call-outs in case of trouble with your connection. Don’t be caught out by the speeds advertised on its website - OneStream advertises based on top speeds rather than average speeds.
Zen Internet 10-900 Mbps Zen claims not to be constrained by short-term financial targets and not to increase your prices for as long as you’re a customer with them. In order to find out the speeds available with Zen, customers need to get a quote, though in some areas the provider offers up to 900 Mbps.
Truespeed 150-900 Mbps Truespeed specialises in only the fastest broadband speeds, offering full fibre packages starting at 150 Mbps. The provider sets you up with your own line which you won’t share with other users (as is typical), meaning your speeds won’t suffer at peak times.
XLN 17-76 Mbps A specialist in business broadband, XLN packages come with unlimited UK calls as standard and customers can add a Free Public Wi-Fi service with simple guest registration for as little as £15 a month.
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