Broadband is a home essential but with the cost of living hiking up prices, many people are looking to switch providers or change packages to keep their bills down. Broadband can get quite expensive depending on the provider or service you choose, but unfortunately, it’s not something we can live without, especially if you work from home.
As a Deals Writer and Shopping Expert, I’ve been trying to find ways for T3 readers to save money on their monthly bills and everyday purchases. I’ve already covered how I save money on my broadband package (opens in new tab) and choosing the right provider is a great way to get the most out of your money.
Sky, BT and Virgin Media are three of the main broadband providers in the UK. Alongside their broadband packages, all three also provide mobile phone and TV packages and you can often find money-saving bundle deals which is a great way to keep the costs down. But which one should you choose?
I’ve looked into Sky Broadband (opens in new tab), BT Broadband (opens in new tab) and Virgin Media Broadband (opens in new tab), and have rounded up what they offer and which one has the most value, in terms of price, package options and power. We’ve also got a broadband comparison (opens in new tab) guide that you can refer to to find the best deals.
Starting off with Sky Broadband, Sky has some of the best speed and package options on the market. From Sky, there are three broadband options to choose from: Superfast 35, Ultrafast and Gigafast.
Superfast 35 is the most basic broadband package with 36 Mb/s download speeds and 9 Mb/s upload speeds, and is best for streaming and browsing in small households. This package is £25 a month for 18 months. Ultrafast is the next one up with 145 Mb/s download and 27 Mb/s upload speeds and is designed for streaming and gaming in UHD. The Ultrafast package is £32 a month for 18 months. Finally, the Gigafast is the fastest option from Sky with average download and upload speeds of 900 Mb/s and 90 Mb/s. Gigafast is £55 a month for 18 months and offers future-proof broadband for big and busy homes. All plans include Sky Pay As You Go and come with a £19.95 set-up fee.
If you want Sky Broadband and TV together, you can get some great TV, Broadband and Talk deals (opens in new tab). The basic TV and Broadband plan you can get is the Q Lite - Fibre and Sky Q for £31 a month, the Sky TV and Superfast Broadband is £39 a month and the Sky TV, Netflix & Ultrafast Broadband package is £46 a month.
The main benefits of Sky Broadband are the speed and WiFi guarantees, as if the speed or WiFi isn’t as promised, Sky gives you your money back. Sky Broadband also has daily line checks and comes with built-in security. Overall, the Sky Broadband & TV plans are definitely the best on the market, but as a Sky user, my broadband does have rare occasional outages which I don’t love. Although, the TV plans are what makes Sky stand out. Check out the best Sky deals (opens in new tab) for TV, broadband and mobile discounts you can find this month.
BT Broadband is another option for UK broadband customers and is known as the most reliable broadband service. There are multiple packages available with Fibre, Full Fibre and Complete Wi-Fi. The BT Fibre packages include BT Fibre Essential, BT Fibre 1 and BT Fibre 2. The Full Fibre plans are Full Fibre 100, 300, 500 and 900 and then there’s the Complete Wi-Fi packages, all with 24 month contract lengths.
When you sign up to BT Broadband, you’ll have to check what’s available to your area and this will determine how much you spend and the speeds you get. Prices typically start at around £34.99. If you want something super powerful, I suggest looking at the Full Fibre which can go up to 900 Mb/s download speeds or if you want extra WiFi in specific spots, you can get Complete Wi-Fi to cover more areas in your home.
Similar to Sky, you can get BT Broadband and TV deals (opens in new tab). BT Broadband is extremely fast, reliable and comes with money-back guarantees if the service isn’t up to par. The TV plans are what makes BT Broadband and TV so popular, especially its Sports channels. It really packs a punch so I’d definitely recommend looking into BT Broadband.
Virgin Media Broadband
Finally, Virgin Media Broadband has the fastest speeds on the market. All plans are on an 18 month contract length, free set-up and comes with Virgin Media Talk Weekends, so you get broadband and phone services. The broadband packages you can find are: Broadband + Phone (M50, M100 or M200 speeds) and Volt M100 Fibre. There are also bundle packages with Virgin Media TV which is the Big Bundle or the Ultimate Volt Bundle.
The Broadband + Phone plans are the best basic broadband packages and prices typically start at £20 a month which is the cheapest price compared to the other two providers. Volt M100 Fibre is normally £50 a month (although it’s discounted right now to £29.99 (opens in new tab)) and comes with an O2 SIM.
Virgin Media broadband and TV have a wide variety of options and prices range from £20 up to £85. The Broadband + Phone packages are definitely the best and most popular, and all Virgin Media broadband plans are super strong, fast and reliable. If you want to sign up just for broadband and phone but not TV, Virgin Media is the best choice, although it’s not as widely available as Sky or BT.
Verdict: Which is the best broadband provider?
Overall, the best broadband provider out of Sky, BT and Virgin Media has to be Virgin Media. It’s super fast, reliable and there are so many options to choose from which are all at amazingly affordable prices. Its TV packages could be better but in terms of just broadband, the crown has to go to Virgin Media. Other than Virgin Media, BT is also quick and reliable but is lacking when it comes to TV. If you’re looking for broadband and TV, I’d definitely recommend going for Sky.
For more details on what TV packages you can find from Sky, BT and Virgin, I’ve also had a look into which TV provider you should choose (opens in new tab) too.