Affordable - one of the cheapest providers in the UK
Unlimited broadband - no download or upload usage allowances
Fibre packages available - speeds averaging 66Mb download and 18Mb upload available in enabled areas
Phone bundles available - add an inclusive minutes call plan to any package, from £4 additional monthly cost
UK-based customer services - get support from a guaranteed UK call centre
More expensive in areas outside of high competition areas - those in rural areas are most likely to be affected by this
Well above average complaint levels - Ofcom figures for January 2020 show Plusnet have the second highest level of complaints compared to other major broadband suppliers
Annual CPI plus 3.9% price rises - prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will increase with the Consumer Price Index plus 3.9% in June 2021, March 2022 and then annually each March onwards
Features at a glance
Download speeds average 10Mbps for standard broadband, 36Mbps for Fibre and 66Mbps for Fibre Extra
18 month price contracts offered as standard, cheaper 12 month contracts may be offered during promotions
All deals come with unlimited usage
Many deals with free or discounted activation
UK-based telephone support. NB: due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Plusnet have limited contact centre opening hours, see their website for details
Safeguard online parental controls - easily block or allow websites and categories with no download needed. Plusnet Protect powered by McAfee - optional security suite of Anti-Virus, Anti-Spyware and Anti-Spam protection (£2 extra on standard fibre)
Free N-rated wireless router with standard broadband, AC-rated for fibre
All broadband packages include line rental, inclusive minutes phone packages may be added from £4 a month extra
Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for Plusnet.
Worst Internet provider by a country mile.
I was informed by customer service to go and buy my own router if I wanted better WiFi coverage around the house.
Still no better, constantly cuts off and getting online via WiFi at peak times is a nightmare.
Avoid plusnet at all costs.
terrible speeds, terrible service, constant high packet loss. absolutely shocking.
Sorry to be a party pooperon this forum of slagging off your ISP, but I have been a Plusnet customer for about 5 years and have just renewed. They are a little cheaper than BT and their router is a hand me down from that company. However their service has improved considerably over the years. I still use their original IEC modem which is connected to a sinology router. I get consistent high speed and have had no issues apart from when we had a power cut and the Synology router went off piste, but Plusnet tech helped me sort the problem even though it wasn't their router. So I can recommend them. So there.
had contract with them for 2 years geting about half download speed stated on my contract switched to sky better deal and getting advertised speed also charged for finishing contract one week early avoid plusnet had talk talk and ee before but no one as bad as plusnet
I would advise against taking a contract with them. I am alone using the broadband, and still having issues. Netflix keeps disconnecting as I use it via Google Chromecast. Teams call for work are poor quality and often need to switch video off.
An absolutely terrible experience from this incompetent company.
We moved into a new property in November and booked a connection slot for a fibre order in advance. Despite calling for updates, we still weren't connected a month later. I was told that it was Openreach's fault and they hadn’t booked us in.
Openreach actually visited our property a few days after to connect us to the cabinet but when I called Plusnet, due to their sheer incompetence, they told me I couldn't have Fibre and couldn't be connected at our property. When I asked what the engineer had been doing in my property if not connecting me to fibre I was told oh, something else.
Following this exchange and what had already been a month of waiting and additional delays I cancelled my account with them. In the end I switched to EE (both owned by BT) but miles apart in terms of the helpful, prompt customer service I received. Although we had to wait a few more weeks for the EE connection, I asked if I could have unlimited free data to hotspot while we waited for our connection and it was absolutely no problem - they were super helpful. When an engineer came back out to connect us to EE before Xmas - he found we were already running fibre to our home (!) Exactly what I suspected, despite Plusnet telling me otherwise…
I couldn't recommend EE highly enough and though we're on the standard broadband now (due to Plusnet's mess-up with the fibre) I've got total peace of mind and feel like I'm dealing with a quality company. They even discounted my mobile bill.
A final detail - we are still awaiting our £36.99 refund from Plusnet as of January… having just paid a petty £3.52 for the 'service' we (didn't) use in November/December. What a joke. I fully expect my 36.99+3.52 refund but am sure I'll have to call a few more times to get it.
Avoid like the plague and go for a proper provider - BT, EE, Sky etc.
Worst service - winners of the Wooden Spoon. In case there is an issue that you complain about, they will take a month to fix - this is written in the contract. In my case, they had restricted the broadband to a lower speed inspite of charging me for higher speed - when questioned, no word of apology or anything. You are tied in 18 months contract to cant do anything. Very unreliable speeds. Why do review sites not have less than 1*.
I switched to Plusnet after many years with ee, we had issues with ee's service but nothing like the issues with Plusnet. When you can get their attention they say that they will check out the speed, spooling and dropping out of signal issues and then dont. An engineer did visit and said there was a fault outside our property, but it wasn't followed up. Plusnet doesn't seem fit for purpose, I'm off as soon as the contract finishes in March, I don't know who to but by God I'm off.
AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!
WORST BROADBAND PROVIDER EVER!!
After 15 hellish months of Plusnet we have decided to pay the exit fee and return to Sky.
15 months of having put up with constant drop outs (frequently every few minutes) making it impossible to work from home, watch Netflix, play on xboxs etc etc!
Constantly phone calls to Plusnet customer services, 3 openreach engineer visits, 2 new routers. NOTHING HAS IMPROVED.
it's a shame I can't give 0 stars. This is probably the worst broadband provide I have ever had. Their internet connection keeps dropping, wifi wors just by the router, nowhere else, but Plusnet won't give you any compensation or solution. Instead, they offer you commitment for another 12 months and advise you to buy a signal booster! Well, I didn't need anything like that when I had BT! I just spent almost an hour on the phone and got nowhere. Can't wait to get transferred to my new broadband provider.
Ofcom's latest figures on broadband complaints are out - and it's bad news for Virgin Media. The company has rocketed to the top of the list as the major broadband supplier that gets the highest rate of complaints.
The report covers January to March this year, and counted the number of complaints made to Ofcom about providers with a market share of 1.5% or more.
It shows that Virgin Media generated 33 complaints per 100,000 customers, an increase of 20 in just a year. That puts them a long way ahead - or should that be behind - the next two worst performers, with Vodafone and TalkTalk both getting 24 complaints. Vodafone had been the worst ranking provider in six of the last seven quarters. Plusnet also generated complaint levels above the industry average.
And that's not the end of the bad news for Virgin Media. They also racked up the highest complaint levels for their landline service (19 per 100,000) and their pay TV service (17 per 100,000), and were second worst for mobile (5 per 100,000) behind Three.
The biggest reason why customers complained to Ofcom about Virgin Media was failings in the broadband provider's own complaints handling system - amounting to 39% in total. A third complained about faults and issues with the service, and a further 13% about billing problems.
Industry-wide, faults, service and provisioning issues accounted for 42% of reports, followed by complaints handling and billing.
Sky and EE were the least complained-about providers, generating just seven apiece. They've been in the top two positions for the last two years. The only other provider to beat the industry average was BT, with 15.
In good news for the industry overall, the average number of complaints has more than halved over the last decade, from 40 per 100,000 in the first quarter of 2011, to 19 now. The numbers are up from a record low of 10 in Q2 of last year, perhaps in part a consequence of pandemic disruption and the increasing importance of internet access for work, school and entertainment.
Broadband complaints per 100,000 customers
Industry average: 19
Virgin Media: 33
In pay TV, Virgin Media generated 17 complaints against an industry average of 6. Sky performed best with just two. For landlines, Virgin had 19 complaints, eight more than the average, and EE and Sky tied as best performers with five each.
Mobile complaints were largely flat, and at much lower levels. Three performed worst with six complaints, while Tesco Mobile, Sky Mobile and EE had just one each.
Service reliability, billing, and complaint handling are important factors you should consider when choosing a new broadband provider. Our site contains thousands of customer ratings and reviews that can give you a true feel for how each provider performs. Currently, Zen top our list for customer satisfaction.
If you aren't happy with the service you're getting from your supplier, and you're coming to the end of your contract, it's easy to switch. Use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deal available in your area today.
If you're splashing out on a big screen smart TV, perhaps to watch the Euros or to build your dream Home Cinema experience, it's worth also checking to make sure that your broadband package is up to scratch.
It's not really a big deal if you've gone for a smaller set, but if you're rocking a 65 inch screen or more, you want the best resolution you can get. 4K streaming is a must.
So what exactly do you need? When it comes to broadband for TV streaming, how fast is fast enough? Let's take a look.
What speeds do you need?
First, load up our speed test tool, go and stand next to your telly and run it a couple of times. This will give you an idea of the speeds your TV is able to get.
Now, you can compare the results to the speed requirements for many of the most popular streaming services:
BBC iPlayer - 4K: 24Mb, HD: 5MB. (iPlayer currently only offers a few shows in 4K, including the whole of the Euro 2020 competition.)
NOW TV - 1080p HD: 12Mb (There's no 4K option at the moment.)
Netflix - 4K: 25Mb, HD: 5Mb
Amazon - 4K: 15Mb, HD: 5Mb
Disney+ - 4K: 25Mb, HD 5Mb
Apple TV+ - 4K, 15Mb, HD: 8Mb
You might need to upgrade your subscription to get 4K streaming on some of these services. They will stream in 4K if your connection is fast enough, but will drop down to 1080p HD (and potentially even lower) if it isn't, so you don't have to worry about adjusting the settings of your streaming apps to find the appropriate quality.
Smart TVs use the same bandwidth as dedicated streaming sticks or set-top boxes, so the requirement is the same if you're using one of those instead - it's based on the software rather than the hardware.
And if you're wondering whether streaming uses more bandwidth than downloading, it's basically the same. You can technically download at a higher quality on a slower connection if you're willing to wait long enough, although you wound't want to do that too often. The big difference is for live TV, where you're always reliant on your internet connection when streaming, as compared to an aerial, cable or dish, where you always get the highest quality available, regardless.
How can you speed up the internet for your smart TV?
If you're struggling with buffering or pixellated images, or you're concerned you aren't getting the maximum quality available, there are a few things you can try.
Check your TV has a good Wi-Fi signal to begin with - you can usually see this if you delve into the TV's W-Fi settings. The weaker your signal, the slower your connection might be, and if it gets too weak, there's where you're likely to encounter problems.
If you have a weak connection, make sure there are no electrical devices nearby that can cause interference, like a cordless phone.
Also, you could try moving your router so that there are no heavy, physical objects like large bookcases that could block the signal.
Most smart TVs should have an Ethernet port around the back, so you can plug in a cable direct from your router to ensure a fast, consistent connection. Alternatively, you could use something like a Powerline adapter to extend your network coverage into a room where your Wi-Fi performance tends to be less than stellar.
The best broadband for your smart TV
As you can see from the speed requirements above, even 4K streaming is easily within the capabilities of almost all fibre packages, assuming you don't live too far away from your nearest street cabinet. This can cause a big drop-off in your download speeds.
The complication comes when you factor in what the rest of your household is doing while you're watching.
A typical entry level fibre deal, with 36Mb download speeds, comfortably exceeds the 25Mb requirement for 4K. But if you've got kids YouTubing and FaceTiming, and a partner in your home office downloading, all at the same time, your bandwidth will be spread a lot more thinly. Suddenly, that 4K streaming could be off limits.
So what speeds should you go for? Assuming a busy household, a top-end fibre-to-the-cabinet package should be the minimum. These have speeds in the region of 63-66Mb, and are enough for a few people to be busy online at the same time. Vodafone, TalkTalk and Plusnet are among the providers that offer great value fibre deals with these speeds.
But you should go faster for a larger household, to get the peace of mind that your connection will always be speedy enough to meet your needs. Most providers offer packages faster than 100Mb, including Sky, BT and Virgin Media.
If you're ready to upgrade to get the best TV and Home Cinema experience possible, use our postcode checker to discover the best broadband deals available in your area today.
Plusnet Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Plusnet right for you?
Can I get Plusnet?
Plusnet is owned by BT and benefits from BT’s network covering most of the UK. With a good 95% of homes covered, you should be able to get Plusnet broadband
However, while coverage is not an issue, it's important to know that Plusnet do charge different rates depending on where you are in the country. If you're in what Plusnet classify as a 'low cost area', where other providers have also installed their equipment at your local telephone exchange and there's lots of competition, you will get your broadband at a cheaper price. If, however, you're in a non-low cost area you'll pay in the region of 50% more each month. Plusnet's price areas are not arbitrary, they're based on market classifications provided by Ofcom.
The good news is that you're unlikely to be affected by this unless you're in a remote rural area. Plusnet say that 99% of the homes they cover are in low cost areas. You can find out if this applies to where you live by using our postcode checker.
What packages are available?
Plusnet offer three core broadband packages in a variety of configurations. You can choose your length of contract, and also get them with or without a phone line.
These are the three basic Plusnet broadband deals:
Plusnet Unlimited - unlimited standard broadband with an average speed of 10Mb
Plusnet Unlimited Fibre - average download speeds 36Mb, average upload speeds 9Mb, unlimited usage
Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra - average download speeds 66Mb, average upload speeds 18Mb, unlimited usage
All three deals are unlimited, with no traffic prioritisation. For each one you can choose between a contract of 12 months or 18 months, but special offers may only apply to one or other contract length.
All Plusnet Broadband packages come with Plusnet's basic line rental only package, where you only pay for the calls you make, but you do get free calls to other Plusnet customers and Plusnet support. Plusnet offer the option to add an inclusive calls phone service to any of these packages. For an extra £4/month you can upgrade to Evening, Weekend and Mobile calls, and for £8 a month you can upgrade to Unlimited UK and Mobile calls. Finally, you can upgrade to Plusnet International Anytime 300 for an extra £8/month, which comes with free inclusive anytime calls to UK landlines and 300 inclusive anytime minutes to 35 international destinations as well as 25% off top international call destinations outside of your 300 minutes. Mobile calls aren't included in this.
You need to pay line rental to Plusnet with all packages. This cost is included in the advertised price, not charged separately, although you can save on line rental fees by paying for a year up front.
Lastly, you can add a subscription to BT Sport for a price starting at £5 a month, depending on whether you want to watch it through an app, a YouView TV box, or have it added to your Sky satellite service.
Which package should I choose?
An important first question to ask yourself is whether you need the speed of fibre if you can get by with standard broadband speeds.
The extra speed is indeed much faster and thus a tempting prospect, but there is no point paying for it if you’re not going to use it. Plusnet’s ADSL speeds averaging 10Mb are easily sufficient for most online activities including Skype calls and downloading music. However, this is not the case if you live far enough from a telephone exchange that your ADSL speed would be very low.
It would also be worth getting fibre if you are a heavy downloader, or regular gamer, as these are both activities that would benefit from the extra speed, reducing download times and preventing lag in games. Fibre packages will help also prevent slowdown in households with many heavy internet users, such as student flats or homes with large families, where one connection has to be divided between several people.
If you're a heavy uploader, perhaps because you share your own YouTube videos or use cloud backup and sync services, or if you're in a busy household where several people may be streaming HD video at once, then you may benefit from the upgrade to Unlimited Fibre Extra offering up to double the download speed and almost 10 times the upload speed.
Points to consider before you choose
How far do you live from a BT telephone exchange, and will this be a problem for your ADSL speeds?
How many people will be using your broadband connection at any one time, especially for heavy downloading or online games?
Are you a heavy uploader, or someone who uses cloud backup and sync services?
Is fibre optic broadband available in your area?
Is the extra expense of fibre broadband really worth it for you?
It's always good to know upfront what you'll get when signing up with an ISP so you know what you can enjoy for free, or to budget for any extras you may want.
Wireless router - All new customers signing up to Plusnet will receive a free wireless router. On the Unlimited deal you get an N-rated Hub Zero, and on the fibre plans you get the more up-to-date Hub One. This is AC-rated, giving it a stronger signal over a greater range. If you wish to use your own router instead, Plusnet will allow that provided you check with them that it is compatible.
UK-based customer service - Unlike most other providers, Plusnet’s customer service is entirely based in the UK, and is available between 7:30am and 10pm, 365-days a year to help with any queries you may have. All Plusnet phone customers get free calls to Plusnet's customer service.
Plusnet Protect - Powered by McAfee, Plusnet Protect is Plusnet’s internet security package free to Unlimited Fibre and Fibre Extra customers, available for an extra £2 per month for standard Fibre after a three month trial. Up to 7 PCs can be protected through its anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing and firewall tools. It also allows you to set parental controls to filter what children using the internet can access.
Static IP available - Customers on Unlimited Broadband and Unlimited Fibre Extra can add a static IP address for a one off payment of £5.
What are the benefits of Plusnet?
The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.
Cost - Plusnet is among the cheapest of the large providers, making it a good choice for those on a tight budget or those who just like to save money.
Unlimited usage on all deals - There's no reason to choose between price and usage allowance when Plusnet's entire range of broadband products come with no limits on the amount you're allowed to download or upload each month.
Value line rental - All Plusnet packages include line rental, you can cut the cost of this by paying a reduced price for a year of Plusnet line rental up front, producing a significant saving over the monthly rate.
What are the drawbacks of Plusnet?
Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.
Few extras - Unlike many of the larger providers, Plusnet does not offer much in the way of extras like wi-fi hotspot access, online TV (apart from a BT Sport subscription) or a home move service. However this is reflected in the cheaper cost, and it does not affect the core broadband service.
Higher rural prices- Although Plusnet is owned by BT, their packages are still cheaper in some areas than others. The cheapest prices tend not to be available in rural and remote areas - although due to the Ofcom market classification mechanism this is tied to, Plusnet are still likely to be the cheapest or among the cheapest stand alone broadband on any exchange.
Complaint levels - Ofcom figures show that Plusnet are second highest in the complaints table covering the eight main broadband providers.
Annual CPI increases apply - As of October 2020, Plusnet no longer offers a fixed price guarantee, instead prices for broadband, line, call plans and call charges will all increase in June 2021 by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation published by the Office for National Statistics in April of that year plus 3.9%, and then will raise again on the same CPI plus 3.9% basis each March from 2022 onwards. Other prices, content and terms may also change during your contract.