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.
“terrible internet provider" sign up with the cash back offer, then they just turn around, and tells me you are not eligible for the offer" scumbag plusnet" scammer!!!
Could not have messed up our home move any more if they were trying.
Installed it into the wrong house.
Kept trying to tell the engineers they sent out to contact us on the home phone that was not working despite us giving them mobile numbers again and again and again. So nothing got fixed again and again and again. They had to cancel our service and reapply for it then they only put in a landline because they hadn't transferred the broadband order. Had to reorder broadband even more delays.
And then after all that I find out they Tltransferred us onto fibre optic against my express wishes on the phone at the start of this rigmarole but they won't change it because they informed me somewhere in a barrage of emails. So I'm stuck paying more for a service I never wanted.
To cap it all off the internet speed for the "fibre optic" at our new place is worse than the non-fibre optic in our old place.
And I thought BT were bad!
Absolutely diabolical company. Tread with care. I joined their broadband and mobile and laid down upfront fee of £6 for mobile sim only, and £25.99 for broadband. After 10 days I have still not received a sim card that they said they ha sent. Then they said they sent a second one, this hasn't arrived either. They are at it. I cancelled the two services broadband and sim, but they wont release my refund. I have no charges to pay, but they are at it. Watch them, they are dodgy dodgy.
Only been with them for 2 days and already they are increasing my price!
The router they supply is a joke, poor wifi, overheats looks nasty!
The main reason I joined them was for the UK call centre, but honestly the ones abroad are better then these! Very patronising, you can tell they are working from home as they don’t care, each time you call up they honestly can’t be bothered.
Will be going back to Talktalk once my contact ends.
I was moving house so rang Plusnet to find out about changing my service to the new house
I was told it could be done on April 26th (about 2 weeks).
With this date given I arranged my house move to align with that date, for the smallest amount of inconvenience to my service.
April 26th: Moved in, Internet and Phone were not connected, Service was already disconnected at my old house (still had access that day) .. rang Plusnet and was told it could take up to Midnight to switch on
April 27th: Internet and Phone still not working, rang plusnet and was told an Openreach engineer would need to investigate.
Rang Plusnet later that day (Free number why not?) to be told by another employee the Fibre deal they had suggested to me was not possible as the Fibre equipment was not available in the local exchange box, it could be a month to get that sorted. (I'm unsure why Plusnet didn't bother to use the 2 weeks up to the switchover date to actually Check the local exchange was working and equipped properly??)
So cancelled the Fibre and said ADSL would be fine, agreed but told could take 3 to 5 days to switch on(should be done by weekend).
April 29th: Believe this was the day my phoneline actually switched on, though still no internet
April 30th: Openreach engineer called by, checked the house end of things said it was all ok, and all that needed to be done was switched on by Plusnet.
rang plusnet again to see how my order was progressing, and was told They were not interested in what an Openreach engineer thinks! and they couldn't even find my house by postcode on their system so they would need to verify my address and then Restart my order.
Rang plusnet again 10 minutes later spoke to a different worker who found my address on 2 separate system searches, and had no idea why the other advisor could find it, looking through my issues it appears Plusnet were still trying to go ahead with my original Fibre package despite it being cancelled. This was the most helpful of all the 15-20 support staff I talked to through the whole process. They again cancelled the Fibre package, Again started the ADSL order, they added an Open Complaint to the order in an attempt to speed the process, and even advised I still phone back if possible on the Saturday as it was the weekend and a bank holiday and honestly might not get picked up.
May 1st: Rang Plusnet as suggested and was told my order was being acted on, should be Tuesday as it was a bank holiday.
May 4th: Still no internet, Rang Plusnet as was told it would be now be May 7th, and nothing they could do
May 5th: Rang Plusnet to see if my service would still be going live on the 7th, was told it would
May 6th: Rang Plusnet to see if my service would still be going live on the 7th, was told it would
May 7th: No Internet, Rang Plusnet to see if my service was going live today, told it could be up to midnight
May 8Th: No Internet, Rang Plusnet and was told it would now be May 10th my service would go live.
May 10th: Finally my Internet service went live, 2 weeks after their given date, pitiful compensation given, and I hoped my trouble were over.
Now 1 Month later:
Plusnet got the price of the finally agreed contract incorrect, it took 2 more phone calls just to get the price I agreed to.
Internet has dropped off several times over the last month, thankfully late at night
Plusnet have contacted me to say my service has not activated correctly and they will need to reactive it, it shouldn't mean a loss of internet while this is done (I simply don't believe them) and I will need a Change of Phone Number. I have told them to put it On Hold while they see if the problem can be fixed, as I am still mid process of the Old House selling and can't afford to have no email to contact solicitors and estate agents.
But what amazes me most is an Alleged Award winning National Internet Supplier, Owned by THE National Phone company are incapable of switching a Telephone number from one house to another?
I made a simple house move and did everything by their dates given and the company Could Not Handle It, two people I spoke to at customer service gave me the same answers over the 2 week complaint, very few were even interested in trying to help solve my problem
Pathetic company since BT took them over, once I have some time and get sorted with my Old House getting sold I will probably take the one piece of good advice they gave "If you switch providers, they could keep your phone number for you, then when you switch back to us we can keep it from them"
Why on earth would they think I will switch back??
Avoid at all cost - for home broadband service. Broadband speed slow and intermittently dropping out (no connection for hours on ends). Issues worse past few months. Also, very bad router provided - keep breaking and need replacing by Plusnet (which usually take ages to arrive, leaving me without internet). Very bad customer service. When I ring to try to sort out connection issue, always been told that they can't see any fault on their end. The internet connection was clearly not working then. They then 'offer' to send out an engineer, but threatened to charge me if they can't find any fault or the fault fall within my property parameter (including issues such as faulty router provided by Plusnet or Openreach facilities within my property parameter). Despite not providing paid service (home broadband), Plusnet does not allow me to leave without paying an exit fee. I have not change any of my internet/router set up - never have any problem with other providers.
When ask to speak to the advisor's supervisor, I had been told that the supervisor is too busy to speak to customer. I was also told there is no way to raise a complaint. The advisor also refuse to tell me the exact date that I can leave Plusnet without incurring an exit fee - ask me to ring again instead. Every phone call to Plusnet involves >30mins of waiting time!
Please avoid if you value your time and sanity.
The broadband worked absolutely fine during the contract, then when I became out of contract miraculously my router broke down. They said they couldn't send me a new one because I was out of contract. I tried two different routers which worked fine but I still had no internet. I told the fault was on their side. They did some kind of check and sent it over though a ticket system but it was so technical I did not understand it. I cancelled the broadband over the phone and asked me why I want to cancel it. (?) I stopped my direct debit as a precaution, and of course they keep texting me to pay up, which can only be done over the phone. There is no bill on my account. There is no other payment method.
Here are the worst things abou this company:
1, They say you can contact them many ways, which is a lie. They only take calls. No online chat, no email. No ticket, unless it's a formal complaint.
2, They say you can pay your bill online as a one off payment, which is also a lie. No bill is shown on the account. It's either direct debit, or the customer has to pick up the phone.
3, Their different departments do not communicate with each other.
4, They do not update anyone of their internet outages. In fact they deny it.
I am very disappointed with Plusnet broadband, the issue I have experienced is being two days late in making payment due to my monthly income being late payment to my bank account, Plusnet has temporarily cut my service off because of this issue, I was told you get fourteen days to make payment and if not payed you will be cut off. I have been a long term customer and never missed a payment in all the time I have been with Plusnet, I feel that I am not a valued customer and the fourteen days did not apply to me. I will change provider when my contract comes to an end, thanks Plusnet for not understanding this issue I have had.
a customer for nine years. quality of service very good as has been reliability. target estimated speed optimistic but above guaranteed minimum.
Appalling service from a very bad company that does not care about customers.I get my paperwork and router delivered to me after 15 days from the day I placed my order and Internet was up and running the day after. When enquired about a voucher offered online, the company washed their hands off. I stated that it was poor marketing to get customers and asked to cancel my contract, just to be told that I need to pay a penalty because its outside the cooling period of 14 days! Knowing that for 15 days I did not have a router nor any paperwork nor any Internet service from them!
Agents were very sarcastic and abrupt over the phone. Which made me even more furious while trying to resolve the issue over the phone.
You know how it goes. Whenever you start shopping for a new broadband deal, you find yourself being steered towards the faster, flashier and more expensive services.
The thing is, not everyone needs an upgrade. Some of us are happy with what we've already got, and some don't even need that.
If you don't have a house full of kids who are all online 24/7, or if you live on your own, or are part of the generation that's less computer-reliant, then you may be able to get away with a much more basic broadband service. It could even save you some money in the process.
Let's take a look at your options.
How light is light use?
First of all, you need to work out how much you actually use the internet, to make sure your usage is as low as you think it is.
If your usage is mostly things like web browsing, shopping and bill paying then that's definitely light use. TV streaming counts as well, so long as there's only one person in your house doing it at any given time, and that you don't want to watch in the highest quality on your massive 4K TV.
But there are lots of other things as well that you don't tend to think about: Windows updates on your laptop that happen in the background, downloading movies and TV shows to your Sky Q box, playing games, and sharing large files for work. And all those other little devices you've got connected to your Wi-Fi. Some of them won't be downloading much, but it all adds up.
Chances are that you do use more bandwidth than you realise, so do make sure that you buy a broadband service that's right for your needs.
Broadband for light use
The slowest broadband you can get is standard broadband. This is the old pre-fibre service that runs entirely on the copper phone network. It offers average speeds of around 11Mb, which is enough for general web use or for one person to watch Netflix in HD.
Standard broadband is old tech and is set to be phased out in a few years, but you can still get it right now. It doesn't offer huge savings - standard broadband will typically save you a couple of pounds a month, but over the course of a year they do amount to the cheapest deals you can get.
If you don't want to go quite that slow, the most basic fibre deal you can get is from Onestream. Their 17Mb service is the cheapest widely available fibre broadband package.
Most suppliers' entry-level fibre offers more than double that speed, at around 36Mb. Almost every broadband company has a deal at this level, so there's bags of competition on price and service. TalkTalk, Vodafone and EE all have deals around the same price point for the same speed services.
36Mb is ideal for light use - it's affordable but not too restrictive. It can handle many people online at the same, with even two or three streaming movies simultaneously, so has plenty of headroom for when you have guests round.
You could also consider some specialist providers. Hyperoptic and Community Fibre have great value full fibre packages - at 30Mb and 50Mb respectively - but they're both available in only very limited areas. Or you could go for a mobile broadband deal, running on the 4G network (or 5G in some areas), such as the 18Mb plan from Three.
You don't always have to buy the best or fastest broadband deal around. Pick what you need, and if you only need something basic then you've got plenty of choices.
Ready to start shopping for a new broadband deal? Just enter your postcode into our postcode checker and you'll be able to see exactly what offers are available in your street right now.
Make sure you read the terms carefully when you take out a new broadband deal: there's a growing trend for some providers to sneak in new clauses promising significant mid-contract price rises.
The four BT Group brands - BT, EE, Plusnet and John Lewis - have now all announced new policies to allow bigger price hikes on their deals. They will see annual increases equal to the consumer price index (CPI) inflation rate - plus an extra 3.9% on top.
Previously, ISPs would typically peg their rises to the CPI, or in some cases promise none at all.
Plusnet, for example, have effectively replaced their heralded fixed price guarantee with the guarantee of at least one - and potentially two - price rises over the course of a broadband deal.
BT, meanwhile, no longer offer contracts shorter than the two-year maximum that Ofcom allows. That means you'll be paying at least 7.95% more at the end of your deal than you were at the start.
Here's what they've announced:
BT and EE are using the CPI published every January. The price rises go into effect from 31st March each year, and apply to customers who signed up after 1st September 2020.
For the 2021 increase, Plusnet and John Lewis are using the CPI published in April and applying the increase from 1st June. After that, they're using the CPI published every January, and adding the increase to bills from 1st March. It affects customers who signed up from 7th October.
If you're on an older deal and still within your initial contract period you won't be affected by these changes until the time comes for you to renew. If you're out of contract you will be affected, although you should never stay on an out-of-contract deal for long.
So how much more will you be paying? For reference, the CPI rate for December 2019 was 1.3%, so that's the rate by which your price would have gone up on most deals. Under the new policy, that increase would have been a hefty 5.2%.
The Bank of England's target for the CPI is even higher at 2%. Of course, with the uncertainty that comes from the UK being in the middle of the biggest economic slump in 300 years, it's hard to predict what that rate will be in future. Needless to say, negative inflation won't result in a discount as that 3.9% will stay in place regardless.
What can you do?
Ofcom rules state that you can quit your contract without penalty if your broadband provider introduces "unexpected" mid-contract increases. But by announcing these plans, and writing them into your contract, they won't be classed as unexpected, so there's no escape.
What you can do instead is ensure you factor in the changes in your monthly charges when you're comparing broadband deals. And also keep in mind the date you sign up. If you take out one of these deals in February or March you'll be hit by an immediate price hike.
This move makes genuine fixed price guarantees more valuable than ever, especially if you're signing up for longer than 12 months. TalkTalk, italk and SSE are among the suppliers still offering them, so if you want clarity over what your bills will look like over the next couple of years they're worth checking out.
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.