broadband

Summary: If you are looking for the best UK broadband provider, we have you covered. In this article, we compare the pros and cons of the top four internet providers on the market, so you can find the deal that’s right for you.

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When it comes to choosing a broadband provider, it can be hard to know where to start. In the UK, there are a number of top broadband providers offering different deals, bandwidths and contract lengths, so it is a good idea to compare all of your options before you make a final decision.

Here, we’ve rounded up the UK’s top four internet providers and their pros and cons, so you can find the provider that is right for you.

Things to look out for in a broadband provider

• Speed: What do you use the internet for? An online gamer is likely to need faster speeds than someone who only uses the web for online shopping or social media.

• Usage: Are there any usage caps? For those who use the internet infrequently, a usage cap may be a useful way to bring down monthly costs.

• Bandwidth: If you are planning to stream videos, films or games, you will need high bandwidth to avoid buffering.

• Customer service: Having reliable customer service on hand ensures you can get back online as soon as possible should anything go wrong.

• Connections: What connection type works best for your property? Consider whether you want wireless, satellite, BPL, or full-fiber broadband.

• Contract lengths: How long are you willing to sign up for the provider’s services? Remember to take a look at change and cancellation fees too.

• Value for money: Are you getting a good deal from your provider? Compare prices with other broadband packages to make the most of your money.

• Packages: Why not include your landline, mobile, or TV on your broadband contract? Different providers offer different packages, so shop around and find the deal that works for you.

The ‘top four’ broadband providers

The UK market is currently dominated by four broadband providers: Sky, BT, Virgin Media, and TalkTalk. While there are numerous providers on the market, 2022 figures show that 85% of customers get their broadband from one of these four companies. But which internet provider is best?

Speed:

• Sky: Offers average speeds of 11Mbits/sec to 900Mbits/sec.

• BT: Offers average speeds of 10Mbits/sec to 900Mbits/sec.

• Virgin Media: The only broadband provider to offer 1Gbit/sec speeds.

• TalkTalk: Average speeds of 38Mbits/sec to 900Mbits/sec available.

Reliability:

• Sky: Widespread coverage across the UK and excellent reliability.

• BT: Fibreoptic coverage available to 93% of the UK and the Most Reliable Broadband winner in the 2022 Expert Reviews awards.

• Virgin Media: Gigabit speeds are only currently available to a small proportion of households, but the network generally offers excellent reliability.

• TalkTalk: Widespread UK coverage, with plans to expand superfast internet to smaller towns and villages by 2025, and good reliability.

Cost:

• Sky: Good value plans, but prices rise significantly after the initial contract ends.

• BT: One of the more expensive providers, but you get superfast, reliable cover in return.

• Virgin Media: Faster broadband speeds are reflected in the higher prices offered by Virgin Media.

• TalkTalk: Offers the cheapest deals out of the big four.

Customer service:

• Sky: 61% of customers were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with Sky’s customer service.

• BT: Call waiting times are above average, but they garner far fewer complaints than their competitors.

• Virgin Media: Ranks the lowest in terms of customer service out of the top four.

• TalkTalk: Customers report poor customer service, with TalkTalk attracting high numbers of complaints.

Packages:

UK broadband

• Sky: Excellent TV and mobile packages available to broadband customers

• BT: Landline package available, but this can be on the expensive side.

• Virgin Media: Broadband, TV, and phone deals are available, including access to Sky channels.

• TalkTalk: TV, broadband and landline packages are available at excellent prices.

You can find more guidance about choosing an internet provider here.

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