Find out more about the UK's most trusted broadband providers. See what's on offer, how they compare for service and if you can save any money by switching.
In the market for better broadband? Maybe you're looking to cut your outgoings? Or you'd like a cutting-edge set top box or a sports package that'll get you access to the pick of Premier League fixtures
The good news is you're in the right place. Read on as we take a look at the UK's household-name providers and a few that are less well known but well worth a look.
We'll arm you with all the information you need to get a brilliant broadband deal at a bargain price.
Who are the biggest broadband providers in the UK?
Sky offers a full range of fibre broadband deals, from decent basic speeds right up to ultrafast packages.
What makes it stand out, though, is its TV bundles, letting you get excellent home internet and access to the best in sports and entertainment in one package.
Virgin Media doesn’t use the Openreach network, meaning even its most basic packages require a connection right to your door.
But while it’s not as readily available as its rivals, it has long offered the best speeds in the business, as well as excellent TV bundles.
NOW Broadband offers highly affordable broadband at a great range of speeds.
It’s set apart by the fact you can pair it with Now TV passes, meaning you can access Sky’s Sports or Cinema channels without needing a monthly TV contract or satellite dish.
TalkTalk pairs a wide range of broadband deals with price points that won’t break the bank.
That means affordable fibre broadband and the chance to get a new 4K TV box too if you take out a TV package.
Plusnet serves up cheap and fast fibre broadband alongside award winning customer service. If you want the basics done well, it’s hard to look further.
Vodafone’s home broadband packages have the advantage of coming at speeds ranging from the basic to lightning fast and all at prices that are highly competitive.
BT broadband isn’t the cheapest. But you get what you pay for, with a rock solid network, access to millions of WiFi hotspots and speeds to suit all budgets.
As well as the major names, we also offer deals with a host of smaller providers. These include:
Cuckoo Broadband offers rolling 30-day or 12-month deals, at the end of which it promises not to increase the price.
Fibrus aims to bring full fibre broadband to homes and businesses in towns and villages across Northern Ireland and Northern England.
Entry level fibre broadband speeds at cheap prices make Onestream an upstart to look out for if you’re on a budget.
Aimed at serving rural communities in the south of England, Gigaclear offers super fast speeds and an excellent router. If you live in the countryside, it could be for you.
Another rural provider in South East England, Trooli delivers full fibre in areas that have previously struggled to get online.
As well as energy, Shell Energy offers broadband as well, and at speeds to suit every kind of user and budget.
Its background in business broadband has made Zen Internet the provider of choice for those who want reliable fast connections with customer service that regularly tops the charts.
Fibre optic providers
Nearly all providers in the UK now offer fibre broadband . Here’s what you can expect from each.
Speeds ranging from a basic 36Mbps using old copper wiring for the final leg into your home, right through to 900Mbps super fast broadband.
Prices aren’t the lowest, but the network is one of the UK’s best.
Virgin’s fibre network is one of the UK’s most established, as well as its fastest, with its Gig1 broadband topping out at over 1Gbps. Expensive, but worth it.
Like BT, TalkTalk offers entry level fibre from 36Mbps all the way to 900Mbps with its FTTP powered packages.
Cheap deals, offset by a history of iffy customer service.
Sky sits alongside BT and TalkTalk in the speed stakes, with speeds starting at 36Mbps and topping out at 900Mbps in some areas. Prices are in line with BT.
Get Vodafone broadband and you can get speeds from 36Mbps to 900Mbps all with its excellent router thrown in. Affordable, too.
Onestream serves up basic fibre rather than FTTP, with 55Mbps and 80Mbps packages. It’s not too expensive , but customer service isn’t great.
Although one of the UK’s most affordable providers, Plusnet doesn’t skimp on speed, with 900Mbps available in some areas.
Full fibre available across London in speeds ranging from 150Mbps to 1,000Mbps (1Gbps) and at great prices, too.
A rural provider offering FTTP broadband in select areas in southern England, Gigaclear is great if you don’t live in a town or city.
Another rural provider offering speeds up to 900Mbps, Trooli is able to bring speeds you’d expect in city centres rather than the out in the sticks.
How do I know which broadband provider is best for me?
With so many deals available and networks offering ever better full fibre, picking a provider can be tricky. That’s what we’re here for.
Read our some of our own reviews and we’ll give you the lowdown on what to expect.
Whether you want BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Now, Virgin, Plusnet, EE or another provider altogether, we’ve got you covered.
How are internet service providers regulated?
Ofcom regulates all broadband providers, ensuring they offer the service that they advertise and checking on their customer service to give you a clear idea of how they’re performing.
Its annual report on the state of broadband is worth checking out when you’re ready to switch suppliers.
Who are the fastest internet service providers?
Broadband comes in lots of different speeds, but if you want the fastest possible, you want gigabit broadband. This gives speeds in excess of 1Gbps – that’s 1,000Mbps.
You might not need such speeds, but if you’re connecting a lot of devices to the same network over Wi-Fi, and doing a lot of streaming and downloading, and don’t want to wait while your network buffers, it could be for you.
Not all broadband providers offer gigabit broadband. The following do – but note that some of these (like KCOM) are extremely localised to one relatively small area:
Gigabit broadband uses full fibre technology (also known as FTTP, or fibre-to-the-premises), which uses fibre optic cables throughout the network. This is faster than the usual fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) networks, which replace the fibre optic cabling with the older copper phone line for the last section (i.e. from the cabinet in the street to your home).
Our page on FTTP vs FTTC broadband goes into more detail.
Who are the cheapest internet providers?
Broadband doesn’t have to be expensive. If you don’t need the fastest speeds, or the most robust connections, you can get broadband for a very reasonable monthly fee. Some of the best known internet providers offering cheap broadband are Plusnet, TalkTalk and Hyperoptic.
Lots of broadband providers offer social tariffs as well – these are discounted tariffs for people on certain benefits. Internet providers offering social tariffs include Sky, BT, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Vodafone – see our guide to social tariffs for more information.