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% on March 31st 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.
Rubbish customer services Just had what can be described as a ri off price increase. So rang them to tell them to stick they product, Instantly the staff member offered my a monthly cost just lower than, my current price they planned to almost double. He cancelled my DDM so he could set up a new 12month contract. What did I get today an email from plus a text message threatening to restrict my broadband service unless the rip of monthly cost was paid. Still what can yo expect from a division of BT, strange how they keep quite about that though but the engineer let the cat out of the bag when they had to come out to correct a router and socket fault. Avoid like the palgue they are BT even the same standard BT routers with a Plusnet sticker on them
Ordered Plusnet broadband earlier today to go live on the 9th, which is the date we move into the property. Received comms this evening confirming activation on the 10th, so I phoned immediately to say it needed to be the 9th and I advised by an adversarial agent that that my request to go live on the 9th, which I repeated to him several times, was correctly interpreted as requesting an activation date of the 10th. When I said, make broadband go live on the 9th he said it would delay activation by 4 days, and given his tone of voice it was clear he was just being difficult! Just rubbish, will shop around for another provider and cancel the Plusnet installation.
Just spoke to customer service in Sheffield, about no broadband. I am not on the list, for security, I explained my mother is 93, just out of hospital district nurse attending, she is unable to hear or speak coherently, all he would say was when can I talk to her, I explain again, when can I speak to her, all I asked is to check the line, nope when can I speak to her, you are not on the list, please just check the line, when can I speak to her, I reply you can't so is this a waste of time. He then hung up. The broadband supplied here is, and has always been terrible and slow, lucky to get 1.5 Meg speed, constantly dropping out, if the landline is used, or called broadband drops, because of my mothers very low need she has said nothing and just got on with it. Think its time to change providers as no speed no stability and no help at all.
I don't often have problems with the broadband service, but I wanted to get my Google Chromecast working (which worked fine with my previous provider (John Lewis), and now it complains about AP isolation towards the end of the setup. I looked on the Plusnet forums and others have had the same problem. Rang tech support, and the only thing they could do was factory reset the router, which did not help, and then suggest contacting Google. I have not done this because Google are just going to say that it is their issue, and I am inclined to agree.
Tech support basically useless.
East Cowes, Isle of Wight
I have been with Plusnet broadband for several years and never had any problems with their service. Today I spoke to customer advisor Luke in Sheffield. After answering my call almost immediately, he went above and beyond to help me with my query in a manner that I could fully understand. Excellent customer service. Thank you
I joined plusnet for what I believed was for people on benefits
Now I find they don't do it
So where has my supposedly plusnet account for people on benefits come from ???
Incompetent staff who like to leave you in the dark, I made a complaint about some issues I had. I was told an investigation was going to take place and that I would hear back. Obviously I’ve heard nothing back until a debt collections letter come through my door for £20. No phone calls or emails about owed money, straight to a third party company. Of course all they care about is money and not customer satisfaction.
Avoid! Terrible company,I was told it would cost 24 pounds a month but it was 30,they then started taking 53 pounds,I rang them up they offered me it for 28 said no then said I could have it for 22,I cancelled.
Bunch of clowns!
I have been with PlusNet now for around 12 months. I was previously a customer many years ago and had a bad experience with their customer service. When looking to change deals in our new home, PlusNet offered the best deal so I decided to try them again. I have been shocked at how bad this company have become.
We have a relatively new build home (<10 years) yet from the speeds we get you'd be forgiven for believing we live in a forest with no phone line. We are a short distance to the 'green box'. We get, apparently, acceptable speed to the router which is where their customer service ends. They guarantee a line speed but in the small print this is only for a wired connection and does not apply to WiFi. We had many issues with the service cutting out and receiving sub 1mbps speeds they sent a new router, which made no difference. They sent two 'engineers' the last from BT who decided to disconnect every other phone socket in the house bar the master at the front of the home. Not only did this mean we had to relocate the router, but now signal towards the back of the house was almost non-existent. PlusNet did not care a bit that this happened.
I have tried range extenders, power line adaptors and installing a MESH network, none of which improve the overall quality of the broadband and ultimately I still only receive 1-4mbps download the majority of the time and cannot even stream a 3 min YouTube clip!
Complaining to PlusNet is nothing short of banging your head against the wall. They are rude, unhelpful and simply do not care they are providing a subpar service.
I will never use this company again. Their Hub2 does not support MESH network so now I am having to work out how to install a 3rd party modem/router to improve performance.
Use at your peril!
Was happy with them for a while, but my wife and I are getting issues for work, teams, FaceTime, blink and ring cameras not working.
Upload speed is 0.5 mbps, new router installed, engineer tried to improve the speed but hopeless, FULL FIBRE is not available as only CITY FIBRE
Want to terminate contract but not possible for 7 months
Looks like I will have to pay twice now for another provider
If you want to use any application or device that needs reasonable upload speeds then avoid PLUSNET
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 - Prices for broadband (and any other addons, such as line, call plans and call charges) increase by the Consumer Price Index March 31st of each year plus 3.9%, and then each March onwards