BT

The UK's largest telecoms provider offering nationwide broadband availability with the same low prices even in rural areas

  • Wide range of packages available with truly unlimited usage
  • Faster than average basic fibre with up to 52Mb on Infinity 1
  • Free access to over 5 million BT Wi-fi hotspots
  • Free technical support over a variety of media
  • Wide range of TV inclusive options with BT TV
  • Infinity comes with the fastest and smartest hub of any major broadband provider
  • BT Sport Pack, exclusively covering UEFA football and 38 Premier League matches

Go to site

BT Unlimited Broadband and Weekend Calls
£27.99 for 12 months
£38.99 thereafter

£9.99 upfront cost

  • Online only: £75 BT Reward Card!
  • 12 months reduced price!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • BT Sport Pack only £6 extra
  • Free BT Sport app and player
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi access
  • BT Home Hub 4 with n-rated Wi-Fi
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • Free connection
  • 12 month contract

Buy now

BT Infinity 1 Unlimited with Weekend Calls
£34.99 for 12 months
£44.99 thereafter

£59.99 upfront cost

  • Online only: £125 BT Reward Card!
  • 12 months reduced price!
  • Up to 52Mb download speed
  • Up to 9.5Mb upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • BT Sport Pack only £6 extra
  • BT Smart Hub with ac-rated Wi-Fi and smart technology to give faster connections in more rooms!
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi access
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • 12 month contract

Buy now

BT TV Entertainment Starter with Infinity 1 and Weekend Calls
£32.99 for 12 months
£42.99 thereafter

£59.99 upfront cost

  • Online only: £125 BT Reward Card!
  • 12 months reduced price!
  • Up to 52Mb download speed
  • Up to 9.5Mb upload speed!
  • BT Sport Pack free with BT TV
  • AMC channel free with BT TV
  • 25GB monthly usage
  • BT Smart Hub with ac-rated Wi-Fi and smart technology to give faster connections in more rooms!
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • 12 month contract

Buy now

Reasons to choose BT

  • Established reputation - BT have been operating for a very long time, and it's a name that people know and trust
  • Available nationwide - BT Broadband's lowest prices are available at all BT telephone exchanges, even in rural areas
  • Infinity 2 - BT were the first to offer the higher up to 76Mb speeds, and plans are under way for upgrades to Infinity 3 (160Mb) and Infinity 4 (300Mb)
  • Faster basic fibre - BT's Infinity 1 fibre products offer up to 52Mb speeds, beating most competitors' up to 38Mb
  • Variety of packages with truly unlimited usage
  • BT TV - enjoy a range of TV channels, movies and catchup TV powered by YouView
  • BT Sport - not just on BT TV, all BT broadband customers have access to BT Sport Lite via the online player at BTSport.com - BT Sport Pack with exclusive live UEFA matches is free on BT TV and only £6 per month for BT Broadband customers via the app or an existing Sky TV package
  • Line rental saver - pay £205.08 for a year up front, a saving on paying it on a monthly basis
  • Comprehensive security - with Family Protection and Net Protect Plus from McAfee
  • Extensive support options - you can get in touch with BT in a variety of ways, including the phone, online chat, online forums and Twitter
  • Smart Hub for Infinity - router with the latest 802.11ac wireless technology and smart techology to get faster Wi-Fi connections in more rooms of your home. BT claim this beats the latest hubs from other major UK broadband providers
  • BT Wi-Fi - free and unlimited access over 4 million wi-fi hotspots in the UK - the UK's largest hotspot network
  • BT Cloud storage - for storing your personal files, the amount depends on the size of the package
  • SmartTalk app - lets you use your mobile phone via wi-fi to get the same rates as yout BT landline

Possible downsides

  • Line rental - BT's line rental may not be the cheapest to pay on a monthly basis, but paying for a year up front offsets the costs
  • BT line rental required - this is not a problem for a lot of customers as they may already use BT for their phone needs
  • Must use BT for phone - unlike some providers, such as Plusnet, it's not possible to take your call plan and line rental from another phone supplier
  • Best Hub not on standard broadband - If you're not opting for BT Infinity you need to pay £50 extra to for the BT Smart Hub, or opt for the slower free Home Hub 4
  • No short contracts - All products are on 12 month contracts and prices rise from the 13th month

Features at a glance

  • Up to 17Mbps download speeds or up to 76Mbps via fibre optic BT Infinity Broadband

  • 12 month contracts on all deals

  • Truly unlimited download allowances on many deals

  • Many deals with free connection

  • Free 24/7 customer support

  • BT Yahoo email accounts that don't get full included with all deals

  • Security from basic to advanced McAffee protection

  • BT Home Hub 4 802.11n wireless router as standard or 802.11ac BT Smart Hub with BT Infinity

  • Range of BT TV packages available from BT TV Starter to Total Entertainment with exclusive channels and Ultra HD

  • Inclusive phone calling to UK landline numbers with some packages

  • Free access to thousands of wi-fi hotspots worldwide

  • Line rental required for all packages

  • BT Broadband have published a Traffic Management Policy

2.8 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 52629 customer ratings since 2015-12-08. See more BT customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2016-12-06

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Package    
Speed    
Usage    
Contract    
1st Year Cost  (Sorted)  
Monthly Cost    
BT Broadband and Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £75 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + BT Sport Lite + free connection!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.95 a month!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

up to
17Mb
12GB 12
months
£310 £24.99
£33.99 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Unlimited Broadband and Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £75 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + BT Sport Lite + free connection!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

up to
17Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£346 £27.99
£38.99 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Infinity 1 and Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £125 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + BT Sport Lite + Smart Hub!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.95 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

up to
52Mb
25GB 12
months
£420 £29.99
£39.99 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£59.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Essential with Unlimited Broadband and Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £75 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + Free BT Sport Pack + Free AMC channel + TV Starter!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
17Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£432 £30.99
£37.99 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£59.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Entertainment Starter with Infinity 1 and Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £125 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + 20 premium channels + Free BT Sport Pack + Free AMC channel + Smart Hub!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.95 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
52Mb
25GB 12
months
£456 £32.99
£42.99 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£59.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Infinity 1 Unlimited with Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £125 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + BT Sport Lite + Smart Hub!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.95 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

up to
52Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£480 £34.99
£44.99 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£59.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Entertainment Plus with Infinity 1 and Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £125 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + Free BT Sport Pack + Free AMC channel + Smart Hub!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.95 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
52Mb
25GB 12
months
£510 £37.49
£49.99 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£59.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Entertainment Plus with Unlimited Infinity 1 and Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £125 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + Free BT Sport Pack + Free AMC channel + Smart Hub!
Now up to 52Mb; the fastest fibre speeds as standard!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
52Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£570 £42.49
£54.99 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£59.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Total Entertainment with BT Infinity 1 and Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £125 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + BT Sport Ultra HD + Free BT Sport Pack + Free AMC channel + Smart Hub!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
52Mb
25GB 12
months
£576 £42.99
£57.99 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£59.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Infinity 2 Unlimited with Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £125 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + BT Sport Lite + Smart Hub + free connection!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

up to
76Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£610 £49.99
£50.49 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Total Entertainment with Unlimited BT Infinity 1 and Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £125 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + BT Sport Ultra HD + Free BT Sport Pack + Free AMC channel + Smart Hub!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
52Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£636 £47.99
£62.99 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£59.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Entertainment Plus with Unlimited Infinity 2 and Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £125 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + Free BT Sport Pack + Free AMC channel + Smart Hub + free connection!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
76Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£700 £57.49
£60.49 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Total Entertainment with Unlimited BT Infinity 2 and Weekend Calls More Info

Special offer: £125 BT Reward Card + 12 months reduced price + BT Sport Ultra HD + Free BT Sport Pack + Free AMC channel + Smart Hub + free connection!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
76Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£766 £62.99
£68.49 after 12 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
  • ICON KEY
  • Wireless Router
  • 802.11n Wireless Router
  • 802.11ac Wireless Router
  • Phone Calling
  • Television Service
  • Line Rental

Details last checked on 2016-12-06

Customer Reviews

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 BT.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    2.8 stars
  • Speed
    2.5 stars
  • Reliability
    2.7 stars
  • Customer Service
    2.7 stars

Based on 52629 customer ratings since 2015-12-08

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of BT

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
where do i start, well i just moved to a new flat on the 7th nov 2016, i then thought i go with BT broadband which they gave a a date for the 28th nov 2016 that then got changed to the 29th nov, i still had no internet, so got in touch with BT they booked out a engineer for the 1st dec, great start this was as a new customer, engineer turned up he gone his checks sid it was a fault from the outside whick in my books was good because i won't get charged the £129. he come back and said that the engineer that done it done it from the wrong CAB address then he said the good news is, is that i've sorted the phone line which i 'm not bothered about but he said the bad news is you still haven't got inter net until the sort out the fibre in the right CAB, so went back on the phone to BT they said they get it sorted the next day which then got changed to the 6th of dec, guess what didn't have internet on that day so i got back in touch again with BT they said they changed the date to the 7th because they wanted to do a big fix in my area as more people was having the same problem and i will without fail have the internet by 8pm no later on that day guess what still no internet, the funny thing is was when i moved to this address the people b4 had talktalk i know this because by chance i pluged my router in and guess what, i had internet it was only 17mb down and less then 1mb up but i had internet, as someone thats wants to start streaming to twitch tv and youtube i need more upload speed BT at the time was a good offer, which so far is the only good thing i have seen in BT the offer would be twice as good if the internet was working. If any off you guys are thinking about BT please beware!!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Weston-super-Mare BT  
After moving home, I was forced to get BT as they are the only ones supplying broadband to this area. They are horrific. Totally unreliable internet fails all the time. I hope virgin gets fibre to this area soon.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Weybridge BT  
This is now the 5th time. Yes, the 5th TIME that we're trying to get internet home with BT and ONCE AGAIN IT FAILED.

I have spent a total of upward of 10 hours on the phone with BT. This is scandalous. The incompetence is beyond anything I've EVER seen and I've lived in many countries.

I'm going to start a class action. BT is making money from these customer service phone calls and I believe there is a real slyness behind this incompetence. Reading comments online, I am not the only one to be so disappointed and I believe there is a real chance for a class action to stick.

They've lot more than 10 hours of my time and at 20p/min, they're making tons of money from our phone calls.
Using the median.

At a cost of 20p/min, that's GBP 120 + time I've spent if we use the median income hourly rate (GBP 12.5/hour), that an additional GBP 125.

TOTAL = GBP 245

I really hope we can start a class action. And BT better understand the consequences. They will be serious: in terms of brand image as well as financially once a class action starts.

Do not proceed with them whatever you're thinking. They will waste your time - unless you're very lucky which has not been my experience (I'm not the only one apparently).

Christopher
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Reading BT  
Rubbish company Paid for 12 months never fix my fault, only worked for the 1st day !!!!!! Terrible
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Manchester BT  
this is the worst service I have ever had. I swapped over to bt at the beginning of October. firstly the phone line nor the internet worked even though they did before I changed.
after waiting 2hrs on the phone managed to get hold of someone they said there is nothing wrong but would book an engineer to come out.
1week later an engineer came out said nothing wrong outside and they wanted to charge us £129.
I rang again 1.5hrs later spoke to someone who said they will send another engineer out. yet again no problem apparently .. still no phone line or broadband.
rang again their exact words were nothing they could do.
after complaining they admitted that the line hadn't been switched over !!! this was done 48hrs later and all seemed well.
but 24hrs later broadband went down and guess what still not working 2months later and the official line from bt is nothing they can do.
but they still are charging me for the service.
I am trying to switch again but this is a struggle as the new company are saying that bt are blocking it even though I am paid up to date etc..
if you want to keep your sanity do not use bt !!!!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
kettering northamptonshire BT  
Guys, if you think you have got a nice life, don't have enough problems to suffer, then BT is for you!

In the last 6 days I met so many people who is not interested in helping you with a problem. My broadband is not working for 2 weeks, today engineer visited me and nothing happened! The doggiest and the worst provider all over UK! THEY DO NOT PROVIDE ANY SERVICE BUT THEY HAVE THE HIGHEST RATES! NEVER EVER WILL SUGGEST IT TO ANYONE!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
London BT  
They advertise as the most reliable WiFi signal. This is not the case.
I switched from Virgin Media due to rising cost. Never had any issues with the WiFi signal with Virgin. When I switched to BT I gave it a week or so to let equipment settle down. However broadband kept dying several times a day. After a few weeks and phones calls and eventually an email to their complaints department I finally got some testing on line that determined Hub was faulty. New hub installed. However, WiFi signal is terrible. I use BT app on phone to check service regularly as devices will disconnect and my phone often says switching to mobile data (as I have it set on poor WiFi to use mobile data), This is even when sat in same room as BT hub. Once year is up will be finding different provider.
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
Grantham BT  
Just discovered BtT have been money from my bank without my permission for over two years despite me cancelling my account my subscription with them. Apparently I didn't cancel the free bet sport so they've been charging me for this. Be warned.

Also the reason I left them was due to a poor unreliable service.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Glenrothes BT  
Pathetic customer service
Insanely long waiting times on phone
Engineer does not turn up as promised
Order not placed as requested. (Choose the address they wish, date they wish, cancel the order without informing)
Nobody takes responsibility on customer service and keeps on transferring call saying other team is responsible. Each call transfer comes with overhead of atleast 20 min holding time.


Would have given NEGATIVE stars if there was an option.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Greenwich BT  
I have the highest level of broadband Infinity and the latest Hub 6. The service is very expensive, with prices rising at least twice a year. The broadband drops out whenever ther is the slightest storm, wind or rain. TV advertisements are usually dishonest and deceitful, making outrageous claims as to coverage and reliability. 'Deals' are offered to new customers only with no regard to loyal customers.
Would advise anyone to look elsewhere as BT offer a poor, expensive service with little respect of customer loyalty.
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
Bognor Regis BT  

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Sky Q Hub

Why getting a new router can speed up your broadband

Posted on 2016-11-22 11:35 in News Features Virgin Media Origin TalkTalk Zen EE Vodafone Plusnet Sky BT

If you find broadband speeds confusing, you're not alone. What speed broadband providers advertise and what you actually get are rarely the same thing. The ASA has recently announced that it will be taking steps next year to bring clarity to the entire issue.

But that's a way off. In the meantime there are steps you can take to ensure you achieve speeds closer to what you were expecting.

You may not know that your Wi-Fi router can have a massive impact on the internet speeds you get throughout your home. Since the provider supplies the router we tend to assume that they're automatically good enough. But that isn't always true - sometimes they're old or slow, and not capable of handling a superfast broadband connection.

In these cases, upgrading to a more powerful router can help speed up your broadband dramatically.

How a new Wi-Fi router can help

Let's start with the technical bit.

The performance of a router is determined by the wireless standard that it uses. The best modern routers use the latest standard, called 802.11ac. It's the fastest available, and it runs on the 5GHz band which is clean and interference free.

802.11ac superceded the 802.11n standard. This is much slower - perhaps half or even a third of the speed - and it commonly runs on the 2.4GHz band which is much more prone to interference from other electrical devices in your home. As a result, the signal is not just slower but it gets much weaker the further it travels.

The router as a bottleneck

Many broadband providers supply an N-rated router with their packages, and it may not be up to the job. Tests show that 802.11n routers have a real world top speed of 50-100Mb, at close range. At a distance of 20 metres, and with a few obstacles like walls and floors in the way, that speed can be slashed in half - or worse.

So, if you've got a high-end fibre package and are getting speeds of 50Mb or more, then an N-rated router simply won't cut it. Your broadband is faster than your router, and the router becomes a bottleneck. Even on an entry-level fibre deal, with speeds of 25Mb, you'll be pushing it. You might find you get good speeds downstairs, but that they fall off sharply in the bedrooms.

In both cases, upgrading to an AC-rated router is likely to give you a major speed boost. The exception is standard broadband. Here, the speeds top out at 16Mb, and in practice are usually somewhat slower. An N-rated router should be able to handle this.

An easy way to check if you're affected is to use our free Speed Test tool. Stand next to your router and run the test on your laptop. Then head to the furthest corner of your house and run it again. If there's a major discrepancy in your results then it could be a sign that you need to upgrade your router. (Or it could mean you need to find a better position for your router.)

Do you need a new router?

You can see why a slow router can mean you don't get the broadband speeds you were expecting. So do you need to upgrade?

When you're shopping for broadband deals, all our comparison tables have icons to show what kind of router you're getting. Click the More Info button to see whether there's an option to upgrade to a better router when you sign up.

What router do you get?

  • Many of the major providers now supply AC-rated routers with all their packages. This includes TalkTalk, Vodafone and Virgin, while Sky also provides the new Sky Q Hub if you are a TV customer.
  • BT, Plusnet and EE supply 802.11ac routers with their fibre packages, and N-rated routers with standard broadband. BT offers a paid upgrade for standard broadband customers, but the other two don't.
  • Origin customers get an N-rated router, and need to pay at checkout to upgrade to a faster AC-rated unit.

If you've been with a provider for some time it's possible you're still using an older N-rated router and aren't getting the fastest possible speeds from your broadband. In this case it's worth checking with the provider to see if they'll swap your router for a newer model for free. Some may give you one in exchange for you signing a new contract. Just make sure you know exactly what you're getting, and that you aren't charged or placed on a new contract without knowing.

Lastly, a handful of providers, including Plusnet, Zen and Origin, allow you to use own router, so you can shop around and check independent reviews to get the best model for your needs.

The router is a frequently overlooked part of the broadband service. It's natural to assume that broadband problems are the fault of the provider, but the reality is that if your router is too slow you can easily be cutting your internet speed in half without even realising.

Give your router a quick check now to see if you would benefit from an upgrade.

Comments

Logging into Facebook on a MacBook

Data limits: Are they right for you?

Posted on 2016-10-21 12:19 in Features BT Plusnet Sky

We're all keen to shave a few pounds off our monthly bills, so when we're shopping for broadband and find an entry level package that looks the same as the more expensive alternatives, it can prove pretty tempting. Many broadband providers - from the industry's biggest and smallest names alike - offer these. They can be extremely cheap, but they come with pretty hefty restrictions.

Sky make a compelling offer with their cheapest fibre deal. It gives you the opportunity to upgrade to the benefits of fibre broadband and get it completely free for the length of the contract, while paying only line rental. Except there's a catch - you're limited to 25GB of data each month.

BT's lowest priced fibre deal also comes with a 25GB limit, and their cheapest standard broadband just 12GB. Many other providers also impose limits on their most affordable packages, ranging from 100GB down to a paltry 5GB.

Not only do these limits restrict how you can use the internet, they can also prove more expensive in the long run. Exceed your limit on BT, for example, and you'll pay £1.80 for every additional gigabyte you use. The price can rack up quite quickly.

Now, this doesn't mean you should avoid data limited packages outright. For lighter users in smaller households they might be ideal. Just make sure you know how much data you will be using before you sign up.

How much data do you need?

The amount of data you use depends what you do online. Casual browsing, shopping and banking, email and Facebook are not especially data intensive. If that's the extent of your web use, and there's only a couple of people in your household, then you might be okay with a data limit.

Anything media-related, on the other hand, eats through data rapidly. Here's a rough guide to how much data common apps use:

  • Netflix - the TV streaming service Netflix uses around 1GB of data per hour for standard definition, and 3GB per hour for HD. For BBC iPlayer, you can expect to use 2GB per hour of HD viewing.
  • Sky TV on demand - On-demand downloads through your Sky box will also count towards your data allowance - even if you use Sky broadband. A typical movie will use 1.5GB of data for SD and 4GB for HD.
  • Music streaming - The Spotify music streaming service uses around 115MB per hour at the highest quality setting.
  • Gaming - Tests have shown that online video gaming can use anywhere between 20MB and 200MB, depending on the title. Stream your gameplay over the Twitch service and you'll use up to 1.6GB per hour.
  • Video calls - Skype can use between around 200-600MB per hour for video calls, although it can be lower depending on the quality of the connection.

And then there are the numerous other things that will burn through a data allowance. Regular updates for your laptop, phone and games console, for example, stretch to several hundred megabytes or more. They may be mandatory, and they may even happen in the background without you realising.

Uploads count, too. use iCloud or OneDrive for your files, back up your important files to DropBox or Google Drive, share your holiday snaps on Facebook or Google Photos, or upload funny videos to YouTube or Snapchat, and that's another chunk of your data gone.

A false economy?

A cheap broadband deal with a monthly data allowance can be tempting - why pay any more than you need to, right? But it can prove to be a false economy, and you certainly shouldn't choose one in the hope that you'll be able to ration your usage.

Some providers, like BT, will start charging the moment you exceed your limit. Others, like Sky, will allow you to go over once every six months, before automatically upgrading your broadband to their more expensive Unlimited package. And in some cases, the difference between limited and unlimited isn't even all that great. At the time of writing you can get an unlimited fibre deal from Plusnet for just £25 more per year than Sky Fibre.

If you're only a light internet user, going online to pay bills and the like, then the cheapest, limited deal may suffice. For everyone else, you'd be better off steering clear and picking the best unlimited deal that suits your needs.

Use our postcode checker to find your best broadband deal today.

Comments

BT Buyers Guide

Can I get BT Broadband?

BT's standard broadband services are available at all UK telephone exchanges (excluding those in Hull) so can be accessed in all but the remotest of rural areas

BT's fibre-optic service, BT Infinity, is available to more than 85% of UK homes — more than 25 million premises — with BT continuing the roll out to more and more areas every month. BT Infinity is based on fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology meaning that both your telephone exchange and your street cabinet need to have been upgraded to support fibre before you can sign up to the service. Urban and central areas tend to be activated first. You can check to see if BT Infinity is available in your area with our postcode checker.

Does BT Broadband have a technical advantage or faster installation time?

BT Broadband is provided by BT Retail, which is a separate company from those that administer telephone exchanges, street cabinets and phonelines. As a result, there is no technical advantage over any other provider reselling BT Wholesale Connect; they have to wait in the same queues for Openreach installation or home visit engineers and use the same systems of contact as any other reseller.

BT Broadband are just one of many consumer broadband service providers using BT Wholesale Connect technology. In many areas competiting broadband providers have installed their own equipment in telephone exchanges and may even be able to beat BT's standard broadband speeds.

As British Telecom, BT provided the nationalised telecoms service for the whole of the UK, controlling all telephone exchanges (except those in Hull). Since then British Telecom were split into three companies; BT Wholesale, who sell telecommunications services to phone and broadband suppliers, Openreach, who maintain the technical aspects of the BT infrastructure including phone lines, exchanges and street cabinets; and BT Retail, who sell BT phone and broadband products to consumers. This separation was enforced by the Competition Commission to ensure that BT did not have a monopoly or unfair advantage over other telecommunications companies.

What broadband options are available?

BT provide a wide range of packages catering to different speeds, download restrictions, and associated extras including TV options.

BT also allow you to build your own package on their site by choosing from a range of broadband speeds:

  • BT standard broadband - up to 17Mb download and up to 1Mb upload speed, limited to up to 8Mb down and up to 0.75Mb up in some rural areas
  • BT Infinity 1 fibre-optic broadband - up to 52Mb download speed and up to 9.5Mb upload speed
  • BT Infinity 2 fibre-optic broadband - up to 76Mb download speed and up to 19Mb upload speed

Whether you can enjoy BT's fastest speeds depends on factors like whether your exchange and street cabinet have been upgraded to the latest technology, and how much copper telephone cable there is between your home and the exchange (or the street cabinet for BT Infinity).

For the standard broadband and Infinity 1 packages you can choose whether to have unlimited usage, allowing you to use as much Internet as you like each month, or whether you will pay less and have a download limit. There are a range of limits available with smaller limits usually costing less, although special offers and promotions may apply to make unlimited options more affordable. Infinity 2 is unlimited.

All packages come with free unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines, but this is again flexible, allowing you to extend the option to unlimited anytime calls.

What TV options are available?

You can also combine your broadband and phone service with a TV service by adding BT TV - BT's digital television service - to your package.

BT TV can only be taken with a BT broadband subscription as it uses your connection to stream content which is not available on Freeview. Speeds of 5Mb or more are required to view high definition content, 2Mb or more for standard definition. If your connection falls short of this minimum you won't be able to sign up.

Customers can choose between:

  • BT TV Entertainment Starter - 80 Freeview channels (including 12 in HD), On Demand, Catch up TV, BT Sport, 20 premium channels
  • BT TV Entertainment Plus - 80 Freeview channels (including 12 in HD), On Demand, Catch up TV, BT Sport, 27 premium channels and TV on the Go
  • BT TV Total Entertainment - 80 Freeview channels (including 12 in HD), On Demand, Catch up TV, BT Sport, 50 premium channels and TV on the Go

All BT TV packages come with up to 80 Freeview TV and radio channels, plus access to 7 day catch up TV and on-demand shows. The YouView powered set top box also gives you high definition versions of the 4 main terrestrial TV channels via Freeview HD and allows you to pause and rewind live TV or record your favourite shows for later. You can also access a large library of on demand TV shows, music videos and more, or pay per view blockbuster films.

BT TV's streamed channels and on-demand films and TV shows do not count towards your broadband usage allowance. Viewing rival services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or NOW TV will count towards any usage limit you might have on your BT Broadband service, so bear this in mind when deciding between limited or unlimited packages.

Which package should I choose?

It is worth working out what your download needs are in advance as there is no need for you for to pay more than you have to, such as paying for extra bandwidth that you won't need.

At speeds of up to 52Mb, the BT Infinity 1 package offers the fastest potential speeds for basic fibre broadband in the UK (at launch time, at least — it's likely that other providers will upgrade their basic services in due course). This is fast enough for virtually all online activities, including watching BT Sport in Ultra HD, and may now be sufficient for those customers who would have previously been considering the faster Infinity 2 connection.

BT Infinity packages will help prevent slowdown in households with many heavy Internet users, such as student households or those with large families. However, if you're close enough to the telephone exchange, BT Broadband's speeds of up to 17Mb may still be fast enough, allowing you to stream live television or communicate over Skype without encountering problems. You might benefit from faster internet speeds if you do a lot of online gaming, regularly download a lot of large files or stream large amounts TV and films, especially in larger households where more than one person might be doing these things at any one time.

When considering your usage limit, it is worth asking yourself what you use the Internet for, and how often you use it. Those who use the Internet regularly for downloading files, gaming or watching a lot of streaming video (outside of the unmetered BT TV service) will hit a usage limit faster than those who only use the Internet for email, websites and social media, or go online less often. If you can find out your current monthly usage, it will provide a useful estimate for what limit you might need. There is no need to pay for capacity you will not use, but it can also provide peace-of-mind not to worry about if a YouTube video might take you over your limit.

Points to consider before you choose

  • How many people will be using your broadband connection?
  • Are you a heavy downloader, or do you regularly play online games?
  • Will you only watch streamed TV and films on unmetered BT TV or will you also use rival services like Netflix or NOW TV?
  • How heavy is your Internet usage and how often do you use it?
  • Would the expense of the faster speed or larger download capacity be worth it for you?

Compare all BT Broadband packages

I already have Infinity 1, do I automatically get the new, faster speed?

Existing Infinity 1 customers will not be upgraded automatically to the faster speeds, and will continue on their current up to 38Mb service.

You can upgrade by taking out a new contract, but unless you're already getting speeds of 38Mb, or thereabouts, it may not be worth it. For many users the internet speeds they get are limited by physical factors such as their distance from the street cabinet, rather than the speed limits of their chosen broadband service. Thus, upgrading to a faster service will not automatically mean faster internet.

What do I get when I sign-up?

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.

  • BT Home Hub router - Standard BT Broadband customers will receive a free BT Home Hub 4 802.11n wireless router for their connections, while Infinity customers get the enhanced Smart Hub which is supercharged for fibre with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and uses smart techology to get faster Wi-Fi connections to more rooms in your home that any other major broadband providers' hubs. These routers use dual-band technology to reduce wireless interference and come with an easy online set-up.
  • BT Cloud storage - BT Broadband comes with access to BT Cloud, which allows you to store your files online. This enables you to have a back-up of important documents on your devices so that you do not lose them if something happens to that device. You can also access BT Cloud from anywhere if you have an account, which makes it easy to transfer and share files. The unlimited packages come with either 100GB or a massive 500GB, depending on which you choose. Cloud storage is an optional extra on the limited packages.
  • Internet security - All of BT's unlimited broadband packages come bundled with BT NetProtect Plus online security with McAfee. Up to 7 PCs and Macs can be protected through firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and site rating systems. The cheaper BT Broadband deals with limited data allowances can still get BT NetProtect Plus for a small extra cost. BT Family Protection is also available to restrict and monitor children’s internet usage, including blocking access to social media and setting time limits.
  • SmartTalk - BT provide a SmartTalk app that BT Broadband users can use. This allows you to use up to 5 smartphones for landline calls through your router, potentially saving a lot of money on expensive mobile calls, and even allowing you to use your landline while abroad with a wi-fi connection. No other provider offers this option.
  • BT Sport - You don’t have to be a BT TV subscriber to have access to BT Sport. If you are a BT Broadband customer then you can use the BT Sport app or the online player to access BT Sport Lite for free or you can pay £6 extra per month for the BT Sport Pack and the exclusive sports coverage they provide, including live UEFA football, 38 Barclays Premier League matches and all Aviva Premiership Rugby matches. You can also add BT Sport to your existing Sky TV service for only £6 per month.

What are the benefits of BT Broadband?

The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.

  • Very fast basic fibre - BT's cheapest Infinity 1 fibre cabinets offer download speeds of up to 52Mb while most competitors limit basic fibre to only up to 38Mb. If you're close enough to your street cabinet to get the boost then the extra 14Mb could make a significant difference.
  • Wi-fi access points - All BT Broadband customers benefit from free unlimited broadband access even when not at home through free access to BT Wi-fi (formerly BT FON/BT Openzone), the world’s largest wi-fi network with over 5 million wi-fi hotspots across the UK. This lets you access the internet without the restrictions of mobile broadband from coffee shops, airports, high streets, stations, and many more places - including international hotspots.
  • Free technical support - BT Broadband provide many support options for when things go wrong. Customers can call their helpline for free from their landlines at any time of day, and access hundreds of free online guides complete with videos. BT Broadband also maintain a social media presence through forums, Twitter and YouTube, helping you solve any problems that may occur.
  • Free installation for BT Infinity 2 - BT Infinity 2 customers can get their fibre broadband installed at no extra cost.
  • Available in rural areas - BT offer the same prices at all telephone exchanges, making BT a good choice for those living in rural and remote areas where choices may be limited. In areas where Virgin cable TV isn't available, BT TV may be a good alternative to Sky.
  • Super Hub for BT Infinity - Supercharged for fibre with the very latest 802.11ac advanced wireless networking technology, BT claims their smart techology makes the Smart Hub better than any major broadband provider's latest hub at getting faster connections into more rooms of your home.
  • BT Sport Pack - If you're a sports fan and intend to sign up for BT Sport in order to see UEFA Championship, Premiere League Football, FA Cup, Rugby etc matches, it can be very attractive to switch to BT TV and get these channels for free, or to switch to BT Broadband and get them through the app or your existing Sky TV package for only £6 per month.
  • No satellite dish needed for TV - If you don't want or aren't able to install a satellite dish for your home, BT TV is available using your standard Freeview aerial and BT broadband connection.

What are the drawbacks of BT Broadband?

Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.

  • Costs - BT Broadband is rarely the cheapest option for all the services they provide, however this is made up for by BT providing a wider range of included extras than many other providers.
  • Must take BT phone and line rental - BT Broadband is only offered bundled with BT phone services, you can't take your line rental or call plan from someone else, or sign up with broadband from BT without having a phoneline. BT line rental tends to be priced higher than many other providers.
  • No short contracts - BT’s contracts are for 12 months, which requires a greater degree of commitment and less flexibility than other providers that offer shorter contracts. Those looking for one month contracts may be better off looking elsewhere. However, as BT Broadband is available at all BT telephone exchanges, you're unlikely to find yourself moving home to an area with no BT Broadband service at all, which can happen with some providers.
  • Smart Hub only standard on Infinity - If you want the lastest and greatest router technology, capable of getting faster connections into the 'dead spots' in your home, you only get the BT Smart Hub inclusive with BT Infinity. If you're a standard broadband customer then you get the previous generation BT Home Hub 4 or you need to pay an extra £50 to get the Smart Hub.
  • Complaint levels - The communications regulator Ofcom keeps track of the customer complaint levels of for broadband and TV services. The Ofcom complaint figures for late 2015 show that while BT had the third lowest level of complaints among the major broadband provders, it was still well above the industry average. It also the highest level of complaints for pay TV, nearly four times the industry average.
Broadband.co.uk