Sky

Pioneers of truly unlimited broadband offering standard and superfast broadband both with and without Sky TV

  • TV options are second to none with Sky Q and Sky Go
  • Truly unlimited broadband available
  • Fibre broadband services available
  • Wide range of combined phone/TV/broadband packages
  • Free access to thousands of Sky Wi-Fi hotspots

Need help choosing? Give us a call on 0800 083 2414   Go to site

Sky Broadband Unlimited with Pay as you Talk
£22.40 for 12 months
£27.40 thereafter

£9.95 upfront cost

  • Only £15 per month for a year
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • Up to 17Mb download speed
  • Free McAfee Internet Security
  • Add a Sky Talk package for just £4
  • Free N-rated Sky Hub or pay £20 for the AC-rated Sky Q Hub
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • Free connection online
  • 12 month contract

Buy now

Or call us on
0800 083 2414

Sky Original Bundle with Broadband Unlimited
£47.40 per month
12 month contract

£24.95 upfront cost

  • Ending Choose either a free 32" LG TV, Lenovo laptop, £100 Amazon gift certificate, £100 Tesco gift certificate or a £100 prepaid MasterCard®!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • 1TB Sky Q, their best ever box!
  • Sky TV with 35 entertainment channels, Sky Atlantic and more
  • Free AC-rated Sky Q Hub for 3 times faster connections
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • 12 month contract

Buy now

Or call us on
0800 083 2414

Sky Fibre Broadband
£27.40 per month
12 month contract

£48.95 upfront cost

  • Up to 38Mb download speed
  • Up to 9.5Mb upload speed!
  • 25GB monthly usage
  • Pay £10 more to go Unlimited
  • Or pay £15 more for up to 76Mb
  • Available both standalone or with a Sky TV subscription
  • Free N-rated Sky Hub or pay £20 for the AC-rated Sky Q Hub
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • 12 month contract

Buy now

Or call us on
0800 083 2414

Reasons to choose Sky

  • Fibre packages available - a range of fibre options, from entry-level to a superfast deal with speed up to 76Mb
  • Truly unlimited broadband - packages available with allowances from 25GB to truly unlimited with no caps or traffic management
  • Large range of TV packages - virtually anyone can get TV from Sky as it's supplied by satellite and doesn't depend on cable or broadband speed
  • Sky Q box - all new Sky TV customers get the industry-leading Sky Q box as standard
  • On Demand - catch up on TV you've missed, or choose from a large selection of TV box sets and movies
  • Sky Go - watch the channels available on your TV subscription on tablets, Xbox, laptops and phones where there is a broadband, wireless or 4G connection available
  • Free wi-fi for Sky Broadband customers - unlimited wi-fi in popular high street locations around the UK
  • Customer satisfaction - Sky has one of the lowest customer complaint levels in Ofcom's quarterly broadband, telecoms and TV complaint reports and has been reported as having the highest or joint highest broadband customer satisfaction level out of the 'big 5' providers since 2009

Possible downsides

  • Expensive outside of Sky network areas - Sky Broadband Connect is also slower and has a traffic management policy in place
  • No standalone broadband available - although Sky Broadband can be taken without TV, phone line rental must be paid on all packages
  • No short contracts - standard contracts are 12 months with no shorter options available
  • Satellite dish needed for TV packages - not for the aesthetically-conscious, though Sky dishes are as discrete as such things can be

Features at a glance

  • Up to 17Mb download speeds and up to 1.3Mb upload speeds outside fibre areas, up to 76Mb download and up to 19Mb upload fibre speeds

  • 12 month contracts as standard

  • Download allowances from 25GB to truly unlimited

  • Free for standard broadband, £39 for fibre

  • 24 hour technical support

  • 10 email addresses with every account

  • McAfee Internet Security Suite, free for 12 months

  • AC-rated Sky Q Hub with TV bundles, N-rated Sky Hub with Broadband and Phone, £9.95 delivery charge applies

  • TV options are unrivalled in both content and features, including Ultra HD through the 2TB Sky Q box

  • Phone service included

  • Unlimited free wi-fi in popular high street locations around the UK

2.7 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 46174 customer ratings since 2015-12-08. See more Sky customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2016-12-05

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Package    
Speed    
Usage    
Contract    
1st Year Cost  (Sorted)  
Monthly Cost    
Sky Broadband Unlimited with Pay as you Talk More Info

Special offer: Only £15 per month for a year + free connection online!
Add a Sky Talk package to your order from just £4 a month!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

up to
17Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£279 £22.40
£27.40 after 12 months

£9.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Broadband Unlimited with Pay as you Talk (Existing Sky TV Customers) More Info

Special offer: Save £5 per month for a year + free connection online!
Add a Sky Talk package to your order from just £4 a month!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

up to
17Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£279 £22.40
£27.40 after 12 months

£9.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Fibre Broadband More Info

Add a Sky Talk package to your order from just £4 a month!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

up to
38Mb
25GB 12
months
£378 £27.40

£48.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Broadband Connect More Info

Only offered outside Sky low cost networks areas

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

up to
8Mb
unlimited 12
months
£453 £34.40

£39.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Fibre Unlimited More Info

Add a Sky Talk package to your order from just £4 a month!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

up to
38Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£498 £37.40

£48.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Fibre Max More Info

Add a Sky Talk package to your order from just £4 a month!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

up to
76Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£558 £42.40

£48.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Original Bundle with Broadband Unlimited More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, laptop or £100 reward + Sky Q, their best ever box!
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
17Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£594 £47.40
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£24.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Original Bundle with Fibre More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, laptop or £100 reward + Sky Q, their best ever box!
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card
Go truly unlimited for £10 more!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
38Mb
25GB 12
months
£633 £47.40
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£63.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Cinema Bundle with Broadband Unlimited More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, laptop or £100 reward + 50% off Sky Cinema for 12 months + Sky Q, their best ever box!
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
17Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£702 £56.40
£65.40 after 12 months
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£24.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Variety Bundle with Broadband Unlimited More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, laptop or £150 reward + Sky Q, their best ever box!
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
17Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£738 £59.40
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£24.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Cinema Bundle with Fibre More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, laptop or £100 reward + 50% off Sky Cinema for 12 months + Sky Q, their best ever box!
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card
Go truly unlimited for £10 more!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
38Mb
25GB 12
months
£741 £56.40
£65.40 after 12 months
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£63.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Sports Bundle with Broadband Unlimited More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, laptop or £100 reward + 50% off Sky Sports for 12 months + Sky Q, their best ever box!
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
17Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£759 £61.15
£74.90 after 12 months
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£24.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Variety Bundle with Fibre More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, laptop or £150 reward + Sky Q, their best ever box!
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card
Go truly unlimited for £10 more!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
38Mb
25GB 12
months
£777 £59.40
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£63.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Sports Bundle with Fibre More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, laptop or £100 reward + 50% off Sky Sports for 12 months + Sky Q, their best ever box!
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card
Go truly unlimited for £10 more!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
38Mb
25GB 12
months
£798 £61.15
£74.90 after 12 months
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£63.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Box Sets Bundle with Broadband Unlimited More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, Xbox One S, laptop or £150 reward + Sky Q, their best ever box
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
17Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£810 £65.40
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£24.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Box Sets Bundle with Fibre More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, Xbox One S, laptop or £150 reward + Sky Q, their best ever box
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card
Go truly unlimited for £10 more!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
38Mb
25GB 12
months
£849 £65.40
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£63.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Box Sets Bundle with 2TB Box and Broadband Unlimited More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free LG 43" Ultra HD TV, Xbox One S, Lenovo laptop or £150 reward + Sky Q, their best ever box
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
17Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£954 £77.40
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£24.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Complete Bundle with Broadband Unlimited More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, Xbox One S, laptop or £150 reward + 50% off Sky Cinema and Sports for 12 months + Sky Q, their best ever box!
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
17Mb
truly
unlimited
12
months
£1041 £84.65
£107.40 after 12 months
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£24.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
Sky Complete Bundle with Fibre More Info

Hurry, ends soon! Free 32" TV, Xbox One S, laptop or £150 reward + 50% off Sky Cinema and Sports for 12 months + Sky Q, their best ever box!
Reward is a choice between Amazon.co.uk or Tesco gift vouchers, or a Prepaid MasterCard debit card
Go truly unlimited for £10 more!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

up to
38Mb
25GB 12
months
£1080 £84.65
£107.40 after 12 months
Reward offer for new customers buying online only

£63.95 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 2414
  • ICON KEY
  • Wireless Router
  • 802.11n Wireless Router
  • 802.11ac Wireless Router
  • Phone Calling
  • Television Service
  • Line Rental

Details last checked on 2016-12-05

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 Sky.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    2.7 stars
  • Speed
    2.3 stars
  • Reliability
    2.6 stars
  • Customer Service
    3.1 stars

Based on 46174 customer ratings since 2015-12-08

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of Sky

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 to begin, rude customer service, terrible practices. Ordered broadband and the date for it to work came and went. Rang sky only to be given the usual run around and "were working on it", over a week later still nothing so after 4 phoncalls was told "this was going to be escalated" and would be sorted soon, recieved a call back an hour later where they asked me to carry out all checks my end and that my phoneline doesnt work, it worked fine, to which it was checked and all fine. At this point i asked to speak to management as i was being given the run around.
The irish sky customer service agent then became defensive and began to refuse to give me any information. At this point i asked for his full name to which he became abusive and hung up the phone. Absolutely ridiculous customer service. Very very poor. Still no internet and now in the process of cancelling sky already. Such cowboys, please really dont waste your time and effort. Its been an absolute headache and hassle for somthing that hasnt even started yet. Terrible
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Stanwell Sky  
Got home after a weeks break and no internet or landline phone , assumed it was a temporary fault switched the box , router etc off and on again , still no joy.
Left it overnight still not working spent god knows how much calling sky on mobile got the bog standard its the micro filters response.
They posted new filters as expected did no good i had already established myself it was the phone line by simply plugging the phone direct into the socket and bypassing all the sky gubbins altogether.

Called sky back after 10 minutes of being told it was my fault and my equipment they eventually made an appointment for openreach to attend which they did this morning 11 days after the fault was reported .

Engineer checked line said in seconds the line is faulty , checked the socket the line outside and the box in the street it turns out another openreach engineer had needed to disconnect our line at the exchange to repair another line but had forgot to re connect our line.

took an hour no apology but at least its working.
Sky service is terrible..
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
carlisle Sky  
Have been satisfied with sky until the green box at the end of the road was smashed by a car, all BT customers in the road were reconnected in between 2-5 days max I was connected in 15 days and I got a £5 Marks and Spencers voucher. This was after phoning from a neighbours house regulary to ask for updates
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
IMMINGHAM Sky  
Terrible have had no WiFi for 2 weeks now. Engineer came out today couldn't fix it. So now we have to wait another 5 days for Bt to come out. Got a £10 Tesco voucher. Not good enough.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
St. Ives Sky  
i had this sky broadband from march till April was OK somehow, then start losing the connection every single hours i did contact the customer service the transferred me to the "Techinaction" department as they have routine words take the cable about putted back is your micro fillet new yes OK take the screw diver open the plug take the photo send that to us... etc like i am working as a an engineer for them this issue still exist again call them same procedure again for third time, i asked one of customer service for third tome i need to have word with your manager they refuse to put me thought to manager i said OK then since you don't solve my issue please cancel my broadband contract sky customer service she told me if cancel you have to pay earlier cancellation fee £36.75 i m not sure the precise amount i told her how dare sky to ask me the cancellation fee since you broken the policy you didn't give a properly internet service i have paid all my bill up to date i am not willing to pay a penny for cancellation fee , after all they have sent out a bill of cancellation fee to me i phoned them i told gentleman i am not going to pay this i told the reason you know what he said sated in our teams condition you have to help as when we have a problem regarding internet issue ok i help you once twice but not third times and as maintenance i am afraid i am not your staff to help like that i pay you to get the service he insist me to pay otherwise will reefer me to the debit collector can you imagine but you know what even i go to court i wont pay a penny.i have got some video recorded for those day internet was not working
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
London Sky  
I was due to receive my new sky HD box today, I waited in all day because "That was the date agreed" and when I contacted services to ask when installation was coming because theresults only 45min late, a worker called Keith words are "Didn't they inform you there not coming today?? Do you possible have a week off in December because we've penned you in for next availability 14th". When I told him am going to the bank in morning to stop payment, Keith says "can I pass you on to other department" I had to tell him that they've wasted my entire day never mind other 20min. Crap is a understatement
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
Durham Sky  
Installed Sky Q TV, phone and broadband in the summer. Issues with all 3 services from start. Phone not working at all and broadband slow. It took me hours on the phone before they sent out an engineer but even then phone fixed but speed still slow. More hours on the phone and technician eventually got me to download and time a file through a hard wired connection to test my speed, which I timed at 67 seconds but they claimed was only 45 seconds. A blatant lie. Resorted to writing letters but refused to send engineer out again, claiming speed test at their end was fine despite receiving only half advertised speed. TV box still crashing on daily basis.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
Merseyside Sky  
I've recently moved house (2 miles apart). First OpenReach connected me to someone else's line! Previously I was getting around 16Mbps download which was quite good. Tests with assorted speed testers show below 3 Mbps and as low as 0.6 now. I've just downloaded a 12.5 MB file which previously would have taken about 20 secs but took nearly 6 minutes! If the broadband was as good as their customer service it'd be okay. How I miss Virgin!
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Northwich Sky  
Anyone that wants good service for either tv phone or broadband dont go with these they rob people of money by making them pay for things that are either interupted or dont work ..... when you contact customer service the advisors talk over you and speak to you like utter rubbish you try and complain about it and they dont like it you have the phone put down on you ... they even ring you and tell you that yourentitled to a 100% debt wipe off and able to rejoin sky then half way through the call they then say you dont qualify . I dont blame any customer who leaves sky or dont pay them because all in all their just bothered about emptying peoples pockets and conning people . Never again will I ever fall for your tricks sky .
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Pontefract Sky  
I'm moving away from Sky because we don't need the TV service anymore, and because our bills seem to be completely random between 45 and 60 pounds recently for no apparent reason. Got confirmation of the move on the 22nd, but Internet stopped working today, one day early at midnight. And that's after about 10 years with Sky. Make of that what you will.

Unless you need Sky TV, anywhere else is better!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    4 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
London Sky  

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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.

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Sky Buyers Guide

Can I get Sky Broadband?

Sky are known for their satellite television service, allowing you to get a vast array of TV channels from anywhere so long as you have a satellite dish. However their broadband and phone coverage doesn't use satellite technology, and instead comes through your phoneline.

Sky’s low cost broadband network is the second largest (third if you count BT), available to more than 90% of the UK population as of 2015. Those outside of this network live mostly in rural areas, and while they can still get broadband from Sky as Sky Broadband Connect, it is much more expensive, slower and has less flexibility than inside Sky’s LLU (local-loop unbundling) areas.

Sky’s fibre optic broadband service uses the Openreach fibre optic network and is therefore available anywhere fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband has been enabled. This is currently available to nearly 90% of UK households, with best coverage typically in urban and central areas. 

You can check to see if you live in Sky’s network or fibre network area with our postcode checker.

What packages are available?

Sky offer four core packages catering to different speed and download requirements. You can customise them by adding your choice of TV bundles.

There is one standard broadband package, plus three fibre options:

  • Sky Broadband Unlimited - totally unlimited standard broadband with speeds up to 17Mb, on a 12 month contract. You get Sky Talk Anytime Extra free for 12 months when you take Sky TV as well
  • Sky Fibre - a basic fibre service with a 25MB per month download limit. It comes with a 12 month contract and has speeds of up to 38Mb
  • Sky Fibre Unlimited - totally unlimited fibre broadband with speeds up to 38Mb, on a 12 month contract
  • Sky Fibre Max - a high-end fibre service with speeds up to 76Mb on a 12 month contract. Usage is totally unlimited

All packages come with a Sky Talk calls plan, which can be upgraded further to include Anytime or International calls.

There are six TV options. They start with the basic Original Bundle, with access to 270 channels:

  • Original Bundle - access to 270 channels including Sky 1, Sky Atlantic and Fox
  • Variety Bundle - the same as the Original bundle, plus more than 30 Documentaries and Kids channels, and over 4500 episodes of children's TV shows on demand
  • Box Sets Bundle - over 350 channels, and full on-demand content with more 350 box sets and kids' shows
  • Cinema Bundle - 11 channels and over 1000 movies on demand
  • Sports Bundle - watch live Premier League football, Test cricket, Formula 1 and more across eight channels
  • Complete Bundle - the full package containing everything listed above

All TV bundles now come with the industry leading Sky Q box as standard. You have the option of the stand 1TB Sky Q box which enables you to record three shows while watching a fourth. If you need more storage, or more simultaneous recordings, you can upgrade to the 2TB box for an additional one-off fee, this also has the benefit of an innovative Bluetooth Touch Remote and the capacity to watch the growing number of Ultra HD broadband on your 4K TV.

Sky Q Multiscreen is also available as an add-on, enabling you to watch your channels and recordings on other TVs in your home as well as on tablet computers. If you have a 2TB Sky Q box then Multiscreen may be requred to unlock some advanced features.

Which package should I choose?

Sky Broadband has something for every level of user, and the packages can be customised to ensure you get exactly what you need.

Your choice of broadband package really depends what speed you require. Faster broadband is more appealing, but there is no need to pay more than necessary, especially when the broadband service is truly unlimited, letting you download, Skype, or game to your heart’s content. If you live near enough to the telephone exchange to get the full benefit, Sky Broadband Unlimited’s speeds of up to 17Mb are sufficient for these things and you won’t be artificially slowed down at peak hours.

Sky Fibre represents an extremely affordable way of benefiting from the faster speeds of fibre broadband. However, with its 25GB per month download limits it's only suitable for smaller households with more modest usage requirements. Netflix, for example, eats through around 3GB of data for every hour of HD video. If you use streaming services like this, you should go for an unlimited package.

If you want fast and unlimited then take a look at Sky Fibre Unlimited, at up to 38Mb, and Sky Fibre Max, at up to 76Mb. Which you choose depends on the size of your household - whether it's a large family or a student house, for instance - and if they are likely to be streaming, gaming and downloading at the same time.

Once you've chosen your broadband service you can customise it by choosing the Sky Talk bundle you need, if you make lots of landline calls. You can also add your choice of TV bundle. This gets you a 1TB Sky Q box as standard, with the option to upgrade to a more powerful 2TB box offering double the storage, the ability to record more channels and Ultra HD support. See below for full details about the different types of Sky Q box.

Points to consider before you choose

  • How many people will be using your broadband connection?
  • Are you a heavy downloader, do you regularly play online games or do you stream TV and films?
  • Do you want to watch TV on your tablet, or in more than one room?
  • Would the expense of the faster speed of fibre packages worth it for you?

Compare all Sky Broadband packages

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.

  • Sky Go - Sky Go allows you to watch live or on-demand TV while on the move, letting you access your TV subscription anywhere there is a broadband, wireless or 4G connection available. The Sky Go app gives you TV direct to iPhones, iPads or selected Android smartphones, letting you watch live from your mobile device (although be careful if using 4G that you do not exceed your mobile download allowance as streaming TV is bandwidth-intensive). Essentially, you get to take your TV with you ...without even needing an actual television.
  • Sky Hub - Customers opting for Sky Broadband without a TV package get the older N-rated Sky Hub wireless router, with the option to upgrade to a Sky Q Hub for a small one off charge.
  • Sky Q Hub - Customers joining Sky Broadband and taking a TV bundle get a Sky Q Hub. The 802.11ac wireless router allows up to 64 devices to connect at the same time, and supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands for a better and more reliable connection. In practice this means higher connection speeds at longer distances with compatible devices.
  • Sky Q Box - All customers receive a Sky Q box. The standard option - a 1TB box - allow you to record up to three shows simultaneously, while watching a fourth. It has enough space to record 500 hours of standard definition TV, and has full Multiscreen support (for an extra fee). There's also the option to upgrade to a 2TB box for an extra one-off fee. This enables you to record four channels, while watching a fifth, and has support for Ultra HD broadcasts among its extra features. With Sky Broadband, all Sky Q boxes will also work as wi-fi hotspots, potentially improving wi-fi coverage throughout your home.
  • Sky Wi-Fi - Sky Wi-Fi is available to Sky broadband customers and allows you to use a wireless-enabled device to go online at any Sky hotspot no extra cost. This allows you to go online at thousands of locations including high streets, coffee shops, railway stations, and pubs. This not only allows you a much faster connection than through mobile broadband, but also has no download limit, letting you use The Cloud to access the internet while you wait for your train, or sit down with a large cappuccino (however traffic management and fair usage limits may apply).
  • McAfee Internet Security - Customers signing up to any unlimited Sky broadband package will get a 12 months free trial of McAfee Internet Security Suite to protect their computer from viruses and malware. 
  • Broadband Shield - Sky's Broadband Shield enables you to control the kinds of content that can be accessed on your network.

What do I get with Sky TV?

With Sky TV you get access to a vast array of TV channels and content, both live and on-demand. It's delivered to your home via a cutting edge Sky Q box.

All customers signing up to Sky TV get a Sky Q box as standard. The basic 1TB box offers many cutting edge features, including:

  • 1TB hard drive - Enough space to store 500 hours of standard definition TV.
  • Record three shows - You can record up to three channels at the same time while watching a fourth.
  • Multiscreen capability - Watch recordings around your home on either a free Sky Q Mini box or your tablet computer, or pause on one device and continue watching on another. Requires additional Sky Q Multiscreen subscription.
  • Mobile device support - The ability to save recordings to a tablet or other mobile device to watch on the go. Available as part of the Sky Q Multiscreen add-on.
  • Wi-Fi hotspot - The Sky Q box and any Mini boxes work as wi-fi hotspots, which can help to improve the wireless signal around your home.

The Sky Q Multiscreen feature requires an additional subscription of £12 per month. This provides you with a Sky Q Mini box that connects to another TV in your home (you can add more TVs for a one-off fee of £99 each), and also enables you to stream your recordings to a compatible tablet. You can stream to one tablet at a time with a 1TB Sky Q box, or two tablets if you upgrade to a 2TB box.

Both Sky Q boxes, and all additional Mini boxes, double up as wi-fi hotspots. Put one in the living room and one in a bedroom upstairs, for example, and you should find you'll get much improved wi-fi speeds throughout your home. If you've had issues with wi-fi performance in the past, the Multiscreen add-on could be a convenient solution.

If you choose to upgrade to the 2TB Sky Q box you get a number of extra features. As well as the extra storage space - enough for 1000 hours of SD TV - you can record four shows while watching a fifth. You can also watch Ultra HD broadcasts - although you do need to take out the Sky Q Multiscreen subscription to unlock this - and you get an innovative Sky Q Touch Remote powered by Bluetooth. The 1TB box gets a standard IR remote.

The monthly price is the same whichever box you choose, but the 2TB model increases installation costs to £60 if you take Multiscreen, or £199 without. By contrast, you pay a £15 installation fee for the 1TB box. In either case you won't actually own the box - you keep it for as long as you maintain your subscription. This also applies to the Sky Q Hub.

Once you have subscribed to the Sky TV service you get access to all of your chosen channels - including the optional Sky Sports and Sky Cinema - plus a full suite of on-demand services, including:

  • Catch up TV in HD - Catch up on shows you may have missed during the week. Sky has the UK's largest Catch Up TV service, which includes most TV channels and channels in HD.
  • TV Box Sets - Whole seasons of TV shows so you can watch episodes back-to-back and relive your favourites, or catch up on shows that are new to you.
  • Showcase - A selection of the week's best television.
  • Sky Store - There are over 1,000 movies that you can rent through the Sky Store, from as little as 99p.
  • Sky Cinema - Take out a Sky Cinema subscription with your package, and you'll have access to over 800 movies online.

The Sky Q boxes come with wi-fi capability already built in, so you don't need to worry about connecting them to your broadband router with long cables. Once you're connected, it's simple to use by hitting your ‘TV Guide' button and accessing the On Demand features with the red button.

What are the benefits of Sky?

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

  • Truly unlimited broadband - Sky offer truly unlimited broadband with not only no monthly download limits, but also no traffic management even at peak times. This lets you download files or play games to your heart’s content without needing to worry about being artificially slowed down, which can be a problem especially in larger households.
  • Sky TV - Sky’s satellite TV service is second-to-none in the range of options it provides, including premium channels such as Sky Sports and Sky Cinema. Even the most basic Sky TV packages offer the exclusive channel Sky Atlantic, UK home of such dramas as Game of Thrones and all HBO original shows, and a range of Sky entertainment channels. No other provider offers as wide a selection of TV channels. The Sky Q box also builds in Multiscreen support (for an additional monthly charge), so you can catch your favourite shows on TVs and tablet computers around your home.
  • Some of the best wi-fi kit available - If you take the Sky Q Hub, standard with TV and only £20 without, you get one of the most reliable and best performing wireless routers provided with a broadband service. What's more, if you're a TV customer then your Sky Q TV box and any Sky Q Mini boxes used for Multiscreen will all work as wi-fi hotspots, strengthening and extending your wireless network to more areas of your home.
  • Reliability and Customer service - Ofcom's Telecoms and Pay TV Complaints Report from September 2016 showed that Sky had broadband and phone complaint levels well below the industry average, and the lowest level of complaints of any pay TV supplier. Sky has been consistently below average for complaints in all areas since 2011 and has had highest or joint highest Ofcom reported customer satisfaction levels for broadband (out of the 'big 5' providers) since 2009.
  • Complete entertainment package - Sky’s combined TV/broadband/phone packages allow you to pay for all of your entertainment services together, saving hassle and potentially saving money on getting these individually, especially from different providers.

What are the drawbacks of Sky?

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

  • Worse performance outside of Sky network areas - Customers outside of Sky network areas can still get the services through Sky Connect. However, this is more expensive than the options within Sky's network and is also slower and subject to a traffic management policy. This only affects a minority of UK households, however, and usually in rural areas. Sky TV would still be available through satellite and Sky Wi-Fi allows you to go online from thousands of other locations, meaning that you would not lose out on those options.
  • No short contracts - Sky’s contracts have a minimum of 12 months, which can be a problem for those who have short tenancies or do not want the commitment of a year-long contract. The lack of one-month contracts is not necessarily a problem however, as the long contracts can be a plus to those who live in one place and do not wish to renew on a regular basis.
  • No standalone broadband options - Unlike with Virgin Media, a phoneline is required to access Sky's standard and fibre broadband products, there's also no option to pay one provider for phone services while taking only broadband from Sky, although Sky TV can be combined with other broadband providers. Sky's combined broadband and phone packages are competitively priced though, with optional call plans for cheaper calling if required.
  • Many flagship TV features cost more - A number of Sky Q's widely advertised features actually require the additional Sky Q Multiscreen subscription, which adds £12 to your monthly cost. This includes the ability to watch live TV and recordings on tablet computers, 'Liquid viewing' where you can stop watching on one device and pick up from the same point on another, and support for watching shows in 4K Ultra HD on a 2TB Sky Q box.
  • Satellite TV can be affected by storms - Viewing and recording of live TV can be negatively affected by heavy rain, although On Demand services will be unaffected. Other TV providers use underground cables or internet streaming to provide TV channels so don't have this limitation. However, most if the time satellite TV will be superior to internet streamed content that may be prone to buffering or drops in quality at peak times.
Broadband.co.uk