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
Full Fibre available - speeds of up to 500Mb in anabled areas
Phone bundles available - add an inclusive minutes call plan to any package, from £5.71 additional monthly cost
UK-based customer services - get support from a guaranteed UK call centre
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 March every year
Features at a glance
Download speeds average 10Mbps for standard broadband, 36Mbps for Fibre, 66Mbps for Fibre Extra and up to 75Mb on Full Fibre
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 from 8am to 8pm, 7days a week
Safeguard online parental controls - easily block or allow websites and categories with no download needed. Plusnet Protect powered by Norton - optional security suite of Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware and Anti-Spam protection (£2 extra on standard fibre)
Free AC-rated Plusnet Hub Two with fibre packages
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.
I have been a Plusnet customer since 2008. Had quite a few problems with back in the past so went to fibre TTC and there was a great improvement. The customer service is very good when you can get through. Next year my 24 month contract ends and Plusnet wants to increase it by over £20 per month. This will not happen as I will seek another supplier.
Shocking. Transferring from John Lewis and was promised a smooth transition. Now been without Internet for two days with no idea when we will have it back only said they will give an 'update' on Monday. Avoid avoid avoid
I joined Plusnet broadband in March 2023 at an advertised cost of £25.99 per month, switching from Sky which was £30 per month. However, I have never paid £25.99 per month but instead, £29.74 per month. I joined Plusnet via their telephone sales team and not once was I warned that I would never pay the price agreed of £25.99 per month but in fact an increased price. If I'd have been told, I would never have switched.
I called this morning to complain and was told that there is an annual price increase at the end of March. I questioned why the operator is happy to tell me this following a complaint but the sales person did not tell me this at the time. He just repeated his script about the annual price change etc. As soon as I put the receiver down I received an automated email saying it's all explained in their T&Cs and that my complaint was closed.
Absolutely brilliant customer service. All their call centres are based in Yorkshire and you really feel that care and warmth when they try to help you. Fibre in all of the UK by 2026
Waiting for my new contract to start, which was expected to commence on 01/06/23. However, Plusnet notified me via text on 15/05/23 that my activation date has been changed to 24/07/23, nearly 2 months later than requested.
Upon speaking to Plusnet they explained the situation, however, did not explain how I am supposed to work from home with no internet for two months.
Their customer service team has been helpful in most instances so far, however, I would be wary regarding any promised activation date if you don't want to be stung. I am now going to have ask my current provider if I can delay my agreed cancellation date.
Unlikely to be renewing with Plusnet after this contract.
Started badly, never sent me my router, spent a month chasing the router and line issues, so for the first month I paid for nothing. Service was ok once I finally had it working but the modem would crash about once every two days and need power cycling to get it running again. I put it on a time clock and had it power cycle every night. Left at the end of the contract, would have liked to have stayed a few months more but not at the huge price increase out of contract £28-50.
Would not even give one star if it was possible. Signed up 6.3.23 leaving 4.5.23. After hours and hours of phone calls being passed here there and everywhere without sorting any issues sometimes unable to speak to people numerous promises of calls back which were never received etc. they have been useless from start to finish! Please do not sign up for your own sanity even my husband who is very placid and laid back said they are making him ill.
I'm happy to be leaving Plusnet broadband next month - their service is overpriced and unreliable. I just had my internet cut out at a crucial moment during an extremely important meeting. Charging out of contract customers over £50 a month for rubbish connectivity is not a good look. If I ever need to change broadband providers again, Plusnet will be at the bottom of the list.
If I could put a minus figure, I would give plusnet a minus. We took out a broadbrand contract with Plusnet, due to circumstances we had to move within 6 months of starting the account. We provided a change of address and asked if we could continue with them at the new address. We were told there would be no problem. We were then told we had to pay £173 cancellation fee, we disputed this and Plusnet apologised. A few weeks later £173 was deducted from our account, without notice. We have been fighting for a month to get that back. We have had numerous phone calls with Plusnet and passed from pillar to post. We have now had enough, we do not recommend anyone goes with Plusnet!
Plusnet quoted me a reasonable price on an 18 month contract. Just after the two week exit period elapsed Plusnet spiked the price up by nealy 4 pounds a month. Their head office refused to let me out of the contract, said it was within their terms and now I just have to keep paying it.
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
While you'll still need to be in enabled areas for higher speed Fibre to the Cabinet and Full Fibre packages, no matter where you are, Plusnet are there for you. This is good news if you're in a rural area, as you'll be able to benefit from Plusnet's competetive pricing with standard broadband packages. 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:
Unlimited - standard broadband with an average speed of 10Mb
Unlimited Fibre - average download speeds 36Mb, average upload speeds 9Mb
Unlimited Fibre Extra - average download speeds 66Mb, average upload speeds 18Mb
Full Fibre 74 - average download speeds 74Mb, average upload speeds20Mb
Full Fibre 145 - average download speeds 145Mb, average upload speeds 30Mb
Full Fibre 500 - average download speeds 500Mb, average upload speeds 75Mb
All deals are unlimited, with no traffic prioritisation. For standard and Fibre to the Cabinet products you can usually choose between a contract of 12 months or 18 months, but special offers may only apply to one or other contract length. Full Fibre products are all on a 24 month contract.
Standard and Fibre to the Cabinet include call plans where you only pay for the calls you make, but you do have the option to add an inclusive calls phone service to any of these packages. For an extra £5.71 a month you can upgrade to Evening, Weekend and Mobile calls, and for £10.28 a month you can upgrade to Unlimited UK and Mobile calls. Finally, you can upgrade to Plusnet International Anytime 300 for an extra £10.28 a 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.
There are no call packages for Full Fubre products as these do not use the landline system, it's fibre all the way to your property. This suits most people these days as we tend to use our mobile phones for calls and don't need a landline phone. In the event that you do, there are VoIP services available that provide you a similar service, but it's done over the internet rather than the old landline system.
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 Two. 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 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week to help with any queries you may have. All Plusnet phone customers get free calls to Plusnet's customer service.
Plusnet Protect - Powered by Norton, 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.
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, or a home move service. However this is reflected in the cheaper cost, and it does not affect the core broadband service.
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 March each year by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 3.9%. Other prices, content and terms may also change during your contract.