Affordable - one of the cheapest providers in the UK
Unlimited broadband - no download or upload usage allowances
Fibre packages available - speeds averaging 66Mb download and 18Mb upload available in enabled areas
Phone bundles available - add an inclusive minutes call plan to any package, from £4 additional monthly cost
UK-based customer services - get support from a guaranteed UK call centre
More expensive in areas outside of high competition areas - those in rural areas are most likely to be affected by this
Well above average complaint levels - Ofcom figures for January 2020 show Plusnet have the second highest level of complaints compared to other major broadband suppliers
Annual CPI plus 3.9% price rises - prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will increase with the Consumer Price Index plus 3.9% in June 2021, March 2022 and then annually each March onwards
Features at a glance
Download speeds average 10Mbps for standard broadband, 36Mbps for Fibre and 66Mbps for Fibre Extra
18 month price contracts offered as standard, cheaper 12 month contracts may be offered during promotions
All deals come with unlimited usage
Many deals with free or discounted activation
UK-based telephone support. NB: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Plusnet have limited contact centre opening hours, see their website for details
Safeguard online parental controls - easily block or allow websites and categories with no download needed. Plusnet Protect powered by McAfee - optional security suite of Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware and Anti-Spam protection (£2 extra on standard fibre)
Free N-rated wireless router with standard broadband, AC-rated for fibre
All broadband packages include line rental, inclusive minutes phone packages may be added from £4 a month extra
Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for Plusnet.
The routers that they send you are terrible. Ours made an awful noise all the time, I asked for a new one, and the new one did the same thing.
Customer service is absolutely terrible. During the pandemic you couldn't get through to anyone. The phone lines were dead.
Luckily I managed to get out of my contract early when we moved home because these idiots couldn't even transfer our broadband. That's right, they couldn't even keep a contracted customer because their systems are so bad.
They tried to con me by saying "we will cancel your current contract and add you as a new customer". I knew I could get out at that point and luckily I did.
Moved from BT because I was paying a lot for a slow connection, which is all that is available here. Plusnet is much cheaper. The switch was simple - just a few hours between BT turning me off and Plusnet becoming active. The speed is the same - not surprising since it is the same network. I didn’t even need to set up the Plusnet router. I just put my Plusnet user name and password into the BT router and it works perfectly. I suspect the Plusnet router is less sophisticated than the BT one, but I haven’t tried it. You get some extra bells and whistles with BT (wi-fi hotspots etc) but, if you don’t need them Plusnet seems like a good bet.
The issue that I have experienced was: Had no Internet for a week
Rang several times and basically been told tough luck they can't do anything its BT
The Internet has gone down I work from home and have been warning them for days that this Internet connection is causing me to drop important social emergency calls and I will be dismissed if it continues.
I have now lost my job, the Internet is still not fixed and plus net are refusing to let me out of my contract or even stop charging me for a service they dont provide
AVOID AVOID AVOID AVOID
Locked in a dispute with Plusnet. I signed up for their award winning customer service after growing discounted with BT. Big mistake.
It took them 17 days to switch. Three more than the official cooling off period. After receiving mail to welcome me to their service I connected the router which failed to connect so I contacted their award winning Customer Service team. Instead of advising me that sometimes things don't click right away and that I needed wait a bit longer I was run around and made to jump through hoops. Wasting my time and patience.
To the point where I decided to cancel and move to EE (who are also owned by BT). They have since charged me early termination fees to cover the cost of their bumbling incompetence and less than adequate customer service.
A lot of the complaints are about the reliability and speed. I have not had any such problems, in fact very reliable and fast. The main reason is that when I joined I immediately purchased a BT Smart Hub 2 from ebay for peanuts. This is a very good router and works fine on Plusnet as long as you change your username and password. My gripe with Plusnet is their customer service and the latest wind-up is moving home. I informed them I was moving in 2 weeks so that they could transfer the service. I was told it would cost £65 unless I took out a new 2 year contract at £3/month more expensive than my current contract. I refused to be bullied into a new contract since I still had almost 12 months to run on my present one. I reluctantly paid the £65 (no mention of this on their website). It has now been confirmed they, against my wishes, have put me on a new 12 month contract which is more expensive than the existing one and when I pointed this out they added a £20 credit to my account. Why not just transfer my existing contract? They have now informed me they cannot transfer until 5 days after I move. Why am I paying so much for so little service? My daughter has just moved her Sky BB in just over a week and free of charge. Plusnet, you let yourselves down in so many ways and after this contract expires never again.
Worst provider there is, you will rarely get the speeds you are paying for. Not only that but its the most unreliable service out there, been with them for a few years as I don't play for the internet in the house. In them years of being a customer my internet has go down way too many times at least 5 times a week, you will lose all internet for about 30 mins then its back but still slow. 0/10 Would recommend that people who are looking for a provider this is most definitely the one to avoid.
Dear Philip, I understand that BT is the owner of Plusnet. Sorry to be writing to you with an email you do not truly want. I am writing this to ensure that you are aware of the poor performance of a BT-owned company. I would like to suggest that you look at the reviews being left on Trustpilot for Plusnet, currently, the current score is 1.4/5. Unfortunately, I have seen it necessary to add a negative review adding to the woeful list. I have just left what I believe is my fair estimation of their performance. Sorry, this mail is wordy however it is balanced and fair. Introduction:
Plusnet, what a massive disappointment. I couldn’t give a sub1 star, or I would. Plusnet offered me a cheaper service with good speed... I thought "What could go wrong? I mean..... they even have UK Call centers”.How far from the truth could I have been? Please read if you are thinking of using Plusnet as it may save you time and money. The issue: Broadband supply to the house seems stable at 44Mbps (GOOD)and an upload for 13Mbps (GOOD)
Wired Ethernet (RJ45) seems to be OK (GOOD)2.4 Wifi works very slow. 20mbps max but stable (POOR)5 Wifi is unusable with constant dropouts in Wifi and down to sub 2 Mbps performance. (TERRIBLE). I rang for assistance: Plusnet, the first person I spoke to was rude, passive-aggressive, and really wasn’t the person I would expect to find as someone to offer help to others. The second time I rang, I spoke to a nice guy who really did try and help. But after more phone calls, it just developed into a long list of reasons why they were not to blame, and why they refuse to guarantee their own products Wifi performance. I suspect this is because they know it is such a poor performer. Plusnet excuses: They continued to tell me, it was most likely to be my issue, due to a very long list of excuses which were based on no data: Geographical location, The distance from the router to my computer, Local interference, The house structure, Other Wifi transmitters local to me, My computer. The reasons just went on and on. My Findings:
The Vodafone Router and service that I used before had no issues, the 2.4 was faster by far and the 5 was rock solid. I found the same good performance with2 or 3 other routers before from other providers. I believe that this proves, many other different routers did not have the issues the Plusnet item did. I did explain this to the Plusnet team, but they're relentlessly stated; that they don't offer a promise that the Wifi will work! I still find this amazing almost item that connects to the internet use Wifi. Is it legal to supply a product contained in a contract that doesn’t do what it says it can? The Fix: I tried everything they offered to fix it, not one of the items that Plusnet advised proved the reason for the issue. The nice guy from the second phone call clearly told me that the router is most likely the issue and it would be good to use another. I bought an Asus router for the cost of£220 and set that up. Since this, I have had fast unbroken service.
I received an email request for a response of how their customer services had performed. I took the opportunity to inform them that they were poor performers and welcomed a phone call to talk about it. I was surprised that they did call! I ran through the hours (10 plus)that I had spent in total trying to correct the issue. I was offered £35 as a contribution. I explained this is pocket change and was insulted that they thought this was going to make me happy. I asked for them to contribute 50% of the cost toward the router, which, I had bought to correct the issue, and which has fixed the issue. His answer was “No”. I made it clear to the manager that I was going to write this review of Plusnet because they were not willing to contribute 50%. His response was apologetic but thought that this was not their issue and I was asking too much.
I feel leaving this 100% honest review may protect potential future customers and warn them.
From the adverts I have seen, Plusnet, in my estimation promises to be a great and friendly service, this really hasn’t been the case for me.
Absolutely Anything BUT Garenteed Speeds I Am Currently Playing For The 60mbps Pack And Im Receiving 1/6 Of That Speed I Should Be Garenteed Absolutely Shocking How Bad You Get Scammed Nowadays Horrible Speeds
Appalling service been using it for 1 and a half years, had too many issues that aren’t even countable. Everytime i ring nothing is taken seriously, a new old router is sent out and doesn’t work and all, have the wiring re done, an engineer came out and said they’d given us the wrong router and it never works, no wifi ever, would never recommend this service to absolutely anyone it’s terrible, can’t watch anything on tv because the wifi is never actually working.
Advertised online on the sign up page that you get a reward when signing up then refused to honour it. Nowhere in the T&C did it say you had to sign up over the phone. Terrible false advertising and speeds aren't great either.
Ofcom's latest figures on broadband complaints are out - and it's bad news for Virgin Media. The company has rocketed to the top of the list as the major broadband supplier that gets the highest rate of complaints.
The report covers January to March this year, and counted the number of complaints made to Ofcom about providers with a market share of 1.5% or more.
It shows that Virgin Media generated 33 complaints per 100,000 customers, an increase of 20 in just a year. That puts them a long way ahead - or should that be behind - the next two worst performers, with Vodafone and TalkTalk both getting 24 complaints. Vodafone had been the worst ranking provider in six of the last seven quarters. Plusnet also generated complaint levels above the industry average.
And that's not the end of the bad news for Virgin Media. They also racked up the highest complaint levels for their landline service (19 per 100,000) and their pay TV service (17 per 100,000), and were second worst for mobile (5 per 100,000) behind Three.
The biggest reason why customers complained to Ofcom about Virgin Media was failings in the broadband provider's own complaints handling system - amounting to 39% in total. A third complained about faults and issues with the service, and a further 13% about billing problems.
Industry-wide, faults, service and provisioning issues accounted for 42% of reports, followed by complaints handling and billing.
Sky and EE were the least complained-about providers, generating just seven apiece. They've been in the top two positions for the last two years. The only other provider to beat the industry average was BT, with 15.
In good news for the industry overall, the average number of complaints has more than halved over the last decade, from 40 per 100,000 in the first quarter of 2011, to 19 now. The numbers are up from a record low of 10 in Q2 of last year, perhaps in part a consequence of pandemic disruption and the increasing importance of internet access for work, school and entertainment.
Broadband complaints per 100,000 customers
Industry average: 19
Virgin Media: 33
In pay TV, Virgin Media generated 17 complaints against an industry average of 6. Sky performed best with just two. For landlines, Virgin had 19 complaints, eight more than the average, and EE and Sky tied as best performers with five each.
Mobile complaints were largely flat, and at much lower levels. Three performed worst with six complaints, while Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and EE had just one each.
Service reliability, billing, and complaint handling are important factors you should consider when choosing a new broadband provider. Our site contains thousands of customer ratings and reviews that can give you a true feel for how each provider performs. Currently, Zen top our list for customer satisfaction.
If you aren't happy with the service you're getting from your supplier, and you're coming to the end of your contract, it's easy to switch. Use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deal available in your area today.
If you're splashing out on a big screen smart TV, perhaps to watch the Euros or to build your dream Home Cinema experience, it's worth also checking to make sure that your broadband package is up to scratch.
It's not really a big deal if you've gone for a smaller set, but if you're rocking a 65 inch screen or more, you want the best resolution you can get. 4K streaming is a must.
So what exactly do you need? When it comes to broadband for TV streaming, how fast is fast enough? Let's take a look.
What speeds do you need?
First, load up our speed test tool, go and stand next to your telly and run it a couple of times. This will give you an idea of the speeds your TV is able to get.
Now, you can compare the results to the speed requirements for many of the most popular streaming services:
BBC iPlayer - 4K: 24Mb, HD: 5MB. (iPlayer currently only offers a few shows in 4K, including the whole of the Euro 2020 competition.)
NOW TV - 1080p HD: 12Mb (There's no 4K option at the moment.)
Netflix - 4K: 25Mb, HD: 5Mb
Amazon - 4K: 15Mb, HD: 5Mb
Disney+ - 4K: 25Mb, HD 5Mb
Apple TV+ - 4K, 15Mb, HD: 8Mb
You might need to upgrade your subscription to get 4K streaming on some of these services. They will stream in 4K if your connection is fast enough, but will drop down to 1080p HD (and potentially even lower) if it isn't, so you don't have to worry about adjusting the settings of your streaming apps to find the appropriate quality.
Smart TVs use the same bandwidth as dedicated streaming sticks or set-top boxes, so the requirement is the same if you're using one of those instead - it's based on the software rather than the hardware.
And if you're wondering whether streaming uses more bandwidth than downloading, it's basically the same. You can technically download at a higher quality on a slower connection if you're willing to wait long enough, although you wound't want to do that too often. The big difference is for live TV, where you're always reliant on your internet connection when streaming, as compared to an aerial, cable or dish, where you always get the highest quality available, regardless.
How can you speed up the internet for your smart TV?
If you're struggling with buffering or pixellated images, or you're concerned you aren't getting the maximum quality available, there are a few things you can try.
Check your TV has a good Wi-Fi signal to begin with - you can usually see this if you delve into the TV's W-Fi settings. The weaker your signal, the slower your connection might be, and if it gets too weak, there's where you're likely to encounter problems.
If you have a weak connection, make sure there are no electrical devices nearby that can cause interference, like a cordless phone.
Also, you could try moving your router so that there are no heavy, physical objects like large bookcases that could block the signal.
Most smart TVs should have an Ethernet port around the back, so you can plug in a cable direct from your router to ensure a fast, consistent connection. Alternatively, you could use something like a Powerline adapter to extend your network coverage into a room where your Wi-Fi performance tends to be less than stellar.
The best broadband for your smart TV
As you can see from the speed requirements above, even 4K streaming is easily within the capabilities of almost all fibre packages, assuming you don't live too far away from your nearest street cabinet. This can cause a big drop-off in your download speeds.
The complication comes when you factor in what the rest of your household is doing while you're watching.
A typical entry level fibre deal, with 36Mb download speeds, comfortably exceeds the 25Mb requirement for 4K. But if you've got kids YouTubing and FaceTiming, and a partner in your home office downloading, all at the same time, your bandwidth will be spread a lot more thinly. Suddenly, that 4K streaming could be off limits.
So what speeds should you go for? Assuming a busy household, a top-end fibre-to-the-cabinet package should be the minimum. These have speeds in the region of 63-66Mb, and are enough for a few people to be busy online at the same time. Vodafone, TalkTalk and Plusnet are among the providers that offer great value fibre deals with these speeds.
But you should go faster for a larger household, to get the peace of mind that your connection will always be speedy enough to meet your needs. Most providers offer packages faster than 100Mb, including Sky, BT and Virgin Media.
If you're ready to upgrade to get the best TV and Home Cinema experience possible, use our postcode checker to discover the best broadband deals available in your area today.
Plusnet Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Plusnet right for you?
Can I get Plusnet?
Plusnet is owned by BT and benefits from BT’s network covering most of the UK. With a good 95% of homes covered, you should be able to get Plusnet broadband
However, while coverage is not an issue, it's important to know that Plusnet do charge different rates depending on where you are in the country. If you're in what Plusnet classify as a 'low cost area', where other providers have also installed their equipment at your local telephone exchange and there's lots of competition, you will get your broadband at a cheaper price. If, however, you're in a non-low cost area you'll pay in the region of 50% more each month. Plusnet's price areas are not arbitrary, they're based on market classifications provided by Ofcom.
The good news is that you're unlikely to be affected by this unless you're in a remote rural area. Plusnet say that 99% of the homes they cover are in low cost areas. You can find out if this applies to where you live by using our postcode checker.
What packages are available?
Plusnet offer three core broadband packages in a variety of configurations. You can choose your length of contract, and also get them with or without a phone line.
These are the three basic Plusnet broadband deals:
Plusnet Unlimited - unlimited standard broadband with an average speed of 10Mb
Plusnet Unlimited Fibre - average download speeds 36Mb, average upload speeds 9Mb, unlimited usage
Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra - average download speeds 66Mb, average upload speeds 18Mb, unlimited usage
All three deals are unlimited, with no traffic prioritisation. For each one you can choose between a contract of 12 months or 18 months, but special offers may only apply to one or other contract length.
All Plusnet Broadband packages come with Plusnet's basic line rental only package, where you only pay for the calls you make, but you do get free calls to other Plusnet customers and Plusnet support. Plusnet offer the option to add an inclusive calls phone service to any of these packages. For an extra £4/month you can upgrade to Evening, Weekend and Mobile calls, and for £8 a month you can upgrade to Unlimited UK and Mobile calls. Finally, you can upgrade to Plusnet International Anytime 300 for an extra £8/month, which comes with free inclusive anytime calls to UK landlines and 300 inclusive anytime minutes to 35 international destinations as well as 25% off top international call destinations outside of your 300 minutes. Mobile calls aren't included in this.
You need to pay line rental to Plusnet with all packages. This cost is included in the advertised price, not charged separately, although you can save on line rental fees by paying for a year up front.
Lastly, you can add a subscription to BT Sport for a price starting at £5 a month, depending on whether you want to watch it through an app, a YouView TV box, or have it added to your Sky satellite service.
Which package should I choose?
An important first question to ask yourself is whether you need the speed of fibre if you can get by with standard broadband speeds.
The extra speed is indeed much faster and thus a tempting prospect, but there is no point paying for it if you’re not going to use it. Plusnet’s ADSL speeds averaging 10Mb are easily sufficient for most online activities including Skype calls and downloading music. However, this is not the case if you live far enough from a telephone exchange that your ADSL speed would be very low.
It would also be worth getting fibre if you are a heavy downloader, or regular gamer, as these are both activities that would benefit from the extra speed, reducing download times and preventing lag in games. Fibre packages will help also prevent slowdown in households with many heavy internet users, such as student flats or homes with large families, where one connection has to be divided between several people.
If you're a heavy uploader, perhaps because you share your own YouTube videos or use cloud backup and sync services, or if you're in a busy household where several people may be streaming HD video at once, then you may benefit from the upgrade to Unlimited Fibre Extra offering up to double the download speed and almost 10 times the upload speed.
Points to consider before you choose
How far do you live from a BT telephone exchange, and will this be a problem for your ADSL speeds?
How many people will be using your broadband connection at any one time, especially for heavy downloading or online games?
Are you a heavy uploader, or someone who uses cloud backup and sync services?
Is fibre optic broadband available in your area?
Is the extra expense of fibre broadband really worth it for you?
It's always good to know upfront what you'll get when signing up with an ISP so you know what you can enjoy for free, or to budget for any extras you may want.
Wireless router - All new customers signing up to Plusnet will receive a free wireless router. On the Unlimited deal you get an N-rated Hub Zero, and on the fibre plans you get the more up-to-date Hub One. This is AC-rated, giving it a stronger signal over a greater range. If you wish to use your own router instead, Plusnet will allow that provided you check with them that it is compatible.
UK-based customer service - Unlike most other providers, Plusnet’s customer service is entirely based in the UK, and is available between 7:30am and 10pm, 365-days a year to help with any queries you may have. All Plusnet phone customers get free calls to Plusnet's customer service.
Plusnet Protect - Powered by McAfee, Plusnet Protect is Plusnet’s internet security package free to Unlimited Fibre and Fibre Extra customers, available for an extra £2 per month for standard Fibre after a three month trial. Up to 7 PCs can be protected through its anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing and firewall tools. It also allows you to set parental controls to filter what children using the internet can access.
Static IP available - Customers on Unlimited Broadband and Unlimited Fibre Extra can add a static IP address for a one off payment of £5.
What are the benefits of Plusnet?
The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.
Cost - Plusnet is among the cheapest of the large providers, making it a good choice for those on a tight budget or those who just like to save money.
Unlimited usage on all deals - There's no reason to choose between price and usage allowance when Plusnet's entire range of broadband products come with no limits on the amount you're allowed to download or upload each month.
Value line rental - All Plusnet packages include line rental, you can cut the cost of this by paying a reduced price for a year of Plusnet line rental up front, producing a significant saving over the monthly rate.
What are the drawbacks of Plusnet?
Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.
Few extras - Unlike many of the larger providers, Plusnet does not offer much in the way of extras like wi-fi hotspot access, online TV (apart from a BT Sport subscription) or a home move service. However this is reflected in the cheaper cost, and it does not affect the core broadband service.
Higher rural prices- Although Plusnet is owned by BT, their packages are still cheaper in some areas than others. The cheapest prices tend not to be available in rural and remote areas - although due to the Ofcom market classification mechanism this is tied to, Plusnet are still likely to be the cheapest or among the cheapest stand alone broadband on any exchange.
Complaint levels - Ofcom figures show that Plusnet are second highest in the complaints table covering the eight main broadband providers.
Annual CPI increases apply - As of October 2020, Plusnet no longer offers a fixed price guarantee, instead prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will all increase in June 2021 by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation published by the Office for National Statistics in April of that year plus 3.9%, and then will raise again on the same CPI plus 3.9% basis each March from 2022 onwards. Other prices, content and terms may also change during your contract.