Best broadband providers in the UK 2024

With over 100 internet providers in the UK, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. Deciding between well-known names like Vodafone, BT, Sky, Virgin, and TalkTalk adds complexity, especially when each offers different packages and deals.

To help you navigate this crowded market, we’ve meticulously and comprehensively reviewed the top broadband providers in 2024 based on key features such as reliability, cost, speed, and customer service. We aim to highlight the best broadband deals and make your decision easier. Whether you're looking for high-speed fibre, affordability, or excellent customer support, we've got you covered.

Best broadband providers in the UK – shortlist

How have we ranked these broadband providers?

We evaluated publicly available data and online user reviews to determine the best broadband providers in the UK. This process gathered comprehensive insights into which internet providers genuinely stand out. We rated these providers based on four essential criteria:

  • Reliability. Uninterrupted internet access is crucial whether you're working from home, streaming, or gaming. We evaluated how consistently each provider delivers a stable connection.
  • Cost. Affordability is a significant factor for many households. We compared the overall costs of broadband packages, including any hidden fees, to ensure you get the best value for your money.
  • Speed. Internet speed impacts how quickly you can download, stream, and browse. We looked at each provider's average speed to determine which offers the fastest connections.
  • Customer service. Outstanding service can turn a frustrating issue into a positive experience, making all the difference in customer satisfaction. We assessed each provider’s customer support based on user feedback, looking at response times, helpfulness, and resolution efficiency.

Best broadband providers in the UK 2024

We've selected the best broadband providers in the UK for 2024 based on reliability, cost, speed, and customer service. This detailed list highlights the top options to help you find the perfect provider for your needs. Read on for in-depth descriptions of each provider.

1. Vodafone – top overall UK broadband provider

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Vodafone is the top overall broadband provider in the UK, offering a mix of high-speed internet, affordability, and excellent coverage. With advanced Wi-Fi technology and special discounts for low-income households, Vodafone caters to a broad subset of users. Vodafone also demonstrates dedication to environmental responsibility, actively implementing strategies to minimise its ecological impact and embrace sustainability.

Reliability. Vodafone provides a stable and consistent internet connection, supported by excellent full-fibre coverage across the UK.

Cost. Vodafone offers compelling value with affordable entertainment bundles, cheap landline extras, and potential savings of up to £230 when switching from BT.

Speed. Vodafone offers impressive download speeds of up to 910Mbps on its fastest plans, making it ideal for streaming, gaming, and heavy internet use.

Customer service. Vodafone is known for its responsive and helpful customer service, ensuring it can quickly solve any issue.

2. BT – most comprehensive network coverage in the UK

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BT is renowned for its extensive network coverage, reaching up to 97% of UK homes with numerous and varied broadband options. From standard ADSL to superfast fibre packages and the rapidly expanding ultrafast full-fibre network, BT offers something for every household.

Reliability. BT guarantees minimum speeds with its packages, ensuring a reliable connection. You may be eligible for compensation if your performance falls below the guaranteed standard.

Cost. While BT's prices are slightly higher than those of some competitors, the wide range of packages and reliable service offer good value for money.

Speed. BT’s plans provide impressive download speeds, from Fibre Essential (up to 36Mbps) to ultrafast Full Fibre 900 (up to 900Mbps), catering to data-heavy households.

Customer service. BT is known for its solid customer service, which provides support to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently.

3. Sky – ideal for TV and broadband packages

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Sky stands out for its bundled packages, combining broadband, TV, phone, and mobile deals into one convenient monthly payment. With Sky, you get more than just fast internet; you get a complete entertainment package. Sky is also actively involved in the community, supporting local sporting initiatives and charities.

Reliability. Sky guarantees fast and consistent speeds up to 900 Mbps, ensuring a seamless streaming and browsing experience. Sky’s reliable network supports both casual users and heavy streamers.

Cost. Sky offers good value for money, especially with bundled packages that simplify payments and often include discounts on premium features.

Speed. Sky's broadband is perfect for high-definition streaming and gaming, with speeds up to 900 Mbps and 4K sports feeds.

Customer service. Known for responsive customer service, Sky ensures that it can efficiently resolve any issues you may encounter with your broadband or TV services.

4. Virgin Media – consistent and fast UK broadband

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Customer service4.5

Virgin Media is a major internet service provider with blazing-fast download speeds of up to 1,130Mbps. Ideal for gaming, streaming, and heavy internet use, Virgin Media provides a reliable and consistent connection.

Reliability. Virgin Media ensures a consistent and stable internet connection, making it perfect for uninterrupted online gaming and streaming.

Cost. Virgin Media provides flexible contract options that cater to different budgets and needs.

Speed. With download speeds up to 1,130Mbps, Virgin Media delivers the fastest internet speeds, enhancing your online experience.

Customer service. Virgin Media’s award-winning customer support ensures it can solve any issues quickly and efficiently.

5. TalkTalk – most affordable broadband options

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TalkTalk is well-known for offering some of the most affordable broadband options in the UK. With excellent customer service, TalkTalk provides high-speed connectivity and flexible packages to suit various needs and budgets.

Reliability. TalkTalk offers high-speed connectivity that ensures seamless browsing and streaming experiences.

Cost. With some of the most competitive pricing in the British market, TalkTalk’s broadband deals fit varied budgets, making it particularly appealing if you are cost-conscious.

Speed. TalkTalk provides reliable speeds catering to everyday internet use, from browsing to streaming.

Customer service. TalkTalk has achieved recognition for its outstanding customer support, helping users resolve their issues promptly.

6. Plusnet – outstanding customer support

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Customer service4.5

Users celebrate Plusnet for its exceptional customer support, which provides reliable and budget-friendly broadband options and ensures a satisfying internet experience.

Reliability. Plusnet offers dependable internet connections ranging from standard broadband (around 10Mbps) to its superfast fibre package (up to 66Mbps), suitable for various internet activities.

Cost. With many deals at different price points, Plusnet provides budget-friendly options. Its 24-month contracts contribute to keeping prices competitive.

Speed. While not the fastest, Plusnet's speeds are adequate for most household needs, ensuring smooth browsing and streaming.

Customer service. Plusnet is renowned for its UK-based customer service, and users consistently rate it highly for its responsiveness and effectiveness in resolving issues.

7. Now – most flexible broadband contracts

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NOW, a subsidiary of Sky, is known for its flexible contracts and affordable broadband plans. With options for rolling monthly contracts and various add-ons, NOW offers a versatile solution for diverse internet needs.

Reliability. NOW provides a dependable internet connection with a speed guarantee, ensuring consistent performance across all plans.

Cost. NOW offers some of the most affordable broadband plans, starting at £20 a month, with options for significant discounts on broadband and phone bundles.

Speed. NOW’s fastest plan offers average downloads of 100Mbps, suitable for standard household usage.

Customer service. With over ten years of industry experience and nearly 2 million UK subscribers, NOW provides reliable customer service to assist with any issues.

8. Three – best UK mobile broadband

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Users recognise Three for offering the best mobile broadband in the UK with its wireless broadband services. Three provides a reliable alternative to traditional broadband with reliable coverage and impressive speeds.

Reliability. As a major mobile operator, Three maintains a high-quality nationwide network, ensuring consistently good service reliability. Three can guarantee strong coverage with 99% 4G coverage and growing 5G availability.

Cost. Three offers some of the most affordable broadband deals, starting at just £11 per month with no upfront fees, making it an appealing long-term option.

Speed. Three’s 5G broadband averages 150Mbps download speeds, rivalling fibre. Its 4G broadband also offers decent speeds optimised for home usage.

Customer service. Three provides an easy setup without an engineer appointment, and the flexible month-to-month or fixed contracts offer outstanding customer support options.

9. Zen – customer satisfaction champion

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Zen achieves a very high customer satisfaction among UK broadband providers. With a demonstrated commitment to service quality and reliability, Zen offers excellent broadband options for various needs.

Reliability. Zen provides superfast fibre broadband, delivering high-speed connections for online gaming, streaming media, and video calling.

Cost. Zen guarantees that the price of its broadband packages will not change during the contract period, offering stability and peace of mind.

Speed. Zen's fibre broadband deals offer lightning-fast speeds, ensuring a smooth and efficient internet experience.

Customer service. As the UK's largest independent B Corp broadband provider, Zen’s dedication to providing exceptional customer service with support from UK-based employees has earned high praise from its loyal customers.

10. Hyperoptic – good full-fibre broadband option

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Hyperoptic provides one of the best full-fibre broadband options in the UK, delivering ultra-fast and reliable internet speeds. Perfect for heavy internet users, Hyperoptic offers a superior browsing and streaming experience.

Reliability. Hyperoptic’s full-fibre broadband ensures a highly reliable connection with minimal downtime, which is ideal for both work and play.

Cost. While Hyperoptic’s pricing is competitive, the exceptional value lies in its high-speed performance and reliability offered by its full-fibre technology.

Speed. With speeds up to 1Gbps, Hyperoptic provides some of the fastest broadband available, perfect for streaming, gaming, and large downloads.

Customer service. Hyperoptic offers responsive customer service and addresses issues promptly and effectively.

How to compare broadband providers

Comparing broadband providers can seem overwhelming, but you can make an informed and practical decision if you follow these steps:

  1. Identify your needs. First, determine what services you need. Are you looking for a broadband-only deal or a package bundle with both phone service and TV? Providers offer various packages, so identifying your requirements will narrow your options and ensure you get a plan that fits your lifestyle.
  2. Compare prices. Next, compare prices among different providers. Look at the overall cost, including any setup fees and monthly charges. Don’t forget to check for hidden costs or price increases following your initial contract period. Comparing prices helps you find a deal that offers the best value for your budget.
  3. Read customer reviews. Customer reviews are invaluable when comparing broadband providers. They give insights into the reliability of the service, customer care quality, and any common issues customers face. Look for reviews on independent websites to get an unbiased view of each provider's performance. Reliable service and good customer care are crucial for a positive broadband experience.

What you should look for when choosing a broadband provider

Choosing the right broadband provider ensures a seamless internet experience. Here are the main factors you should consider:

  • Broadband speed. One of the most important factors is the speed of the broadband connection. Your internet usage will determine the speed you need. For basic browsing and email, a standard broadband connection might suffice. However, you'll need faster speeds if anyone in your household works from home, streams videos, or plays online games. Look for providers that offer the speed necessary for your daily activities, such as fibre optic or full-fibre broadband for high-demand usage.
  • Contract length. Broadband contracts vary in length, typically ranging from 12 to 24 months. Consider how long you’re willing to commit to a provider. While a lengthy contract often comes with better rates, it locks you in for much longer. If you prefer flexibility, look for providers offering rolling-monthly contracts or shorter terms, though these may come at a higher monthly cost.
  • Value for money. Assessing value for money involves looking at the overall cost and what you get for that price. Compare packages not just on price but also on the features included. Some providers offer extras like free routers, security software, or discounted streaming services. Ensure you get a good deal that balances cost with the features and speeds provided.
  • Availability. Not all broadband providers are available in all areas. It’s essential to check which providers service your location. Use online tools to compare availability by postcode, ensuring you can access the providers and speeds you’re interested in. Rural areas, in particular, might have limited options compared to urban centres.
  • Additional services. Consider any additional services that your provider might bundle with your broadband package. Some providers offer TV and phone services, which can be convenient and cost-effective. Extras like on-demand TV, sports channels, and premium streaming services can add significant value to your package.
  • Customer service. Excellent customer service is essential for quickly and effectively resolving issues, so prioritise providers with top customer service ratings and positive reviews detailing how they handle problems. Responsive, helpful support can significantly improve your overall experience and satisfaction with your internet service provider.

Fibre optic internet providers

Most UK broadband providers offer fibre optic broadband, which delivers faster and more reliable internet connections than traditional ADSL. Fibre optic broadband is becoming increasingly widespread, with various speeds available to suit different needs. When selecting a provider, understanding the differences between part-fibre and full-fibre broadband is crucial.

Part-fibre broadband

Part-fibre broadband (Fibre to the Cabinet or FTTC) combines fibre optic cables and traditional copper wires. The fibre optic cables run to a street cabinet – from there, copper wires connect to individual homes. This type of broadband offers significant speed improvements over ADSL, with average download speeds ranging from 30Mbps to 76Mbps. FTTC is widely available across the UK, making it a popular choice for many households.

Part-fibre broadband provides a reliable connection for standard internet use, including streaming, online gaming, and video calls. However, speeds can vary depending on wiring quality and your distance from the street cabinet. While slower than full-fibre, FTTC is a cost-effective solution for most users.

Full-fibre broadband

Full-fibre broadband (Fibre to the Premises or FTTP) uses fibre optic cables running directly to homes and businesses. This advanced technology provides high-speed, dependable internet connectivity, with download speeds approaching 1 gigabit per second. Full-fibre broadband is ideal for heavy internet users, large households, and businesses that require high-speed, consistent connections for activities like 4K streaming, large file downloads, and seamless video conferencing.

Coverage for full-fibre broadband is expanding but is less widely available than part-fibre options. Urban areas are more likely to have access to FTTP, while rural areas might face limitations. Providers like Hyperoptic and Virgin Media are at the forefront of expanding full-fibre coverage across the UK.

More broadband deals you may be interested in:

Are you still looking for more options? Explore additional broadband deals tailored to your needs. Many choices are available for higher speeds, better value, or extra services like TV and phone bundles. Check out the latest offers to find the perfect broadband package for your home.