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Now vs Plusnet broadband: Which is better?

Two of the UK’s cheapest providers, Now and Plusnet are all about simple, straightforward broadband that won’t break the bank. But aside from low prices, what else do they have to offer? And which one is better for you? To help you choose, we weigh up what you can get with each provider.

Now vs Plusnet broadband at a glance

Now

Plusnet

Can I get ADSL?

Yes – average speeds of 11Mbps

Yes – average speeds of 10Mbps

Can I get superfast fibre?

Yes, with average speeds of 36Mbps or 63Mbps

Yes, average speeds of 66Mbps

Can I get ultrafast fibre?

No

Yes, average speeds of 74Mbps, 145Mbps, 300Mbps, 500Mbps, or 900Mbps

Download limit?

No, all packages are truly unlimited

No, all packages are truly unlimited

TV

Yes, with its flexible Now TV Memberships

No

Do I have to take a home phone?

Yes – all packages include line rental

No – all packages are broadband-only (home phone optional)

Now vs Plusnet: Cost

With both providers specialising in budget-friendly broadband, costs are very competitive between the two.

Looking solely at monthly costs, Now comes out as the cheaper option – but generally only by a couple of pounds. Also, Plusnet likes to offer reward cards, gift cards or cashback when you sign up as a new customer, which may sway you.

Now charges a £10 delivery fee with its 12-month plans. However, if you’re getting a monthly no-contract plan, you’ll have to pay a steep set-up cost of £65.

Plusnet doesn’t charge any set-up fees with its 24-month plans, but it does charge a small activation fee with its 12-month contracts.

Now vs Plusnet: average broadband speeds

Each provider offers the following speeds:

  • Now’s broadband speeds: 11Mbps, 36Mbps and 63Mbps
  • Plusnet’s broadband speeds: 10Mbps, 36Mbps, 66Mbps, 74Mbps, 145Mbps, 300Mbps, 500Mbps and 900Mbps

It’s worth mentioning that Plusnet is the only one of the two dipping its toes in the world of full fibre, offering ultrafast speeds. So it's the clear winner of the two.

Now vs Plusnet: broadband packages

Compared with Plusnet, Now doesn’t have the same range of broadband packages to choose from.

Instead, it offers three straightforward plans: one standard ADSL package and two superfast fibre optic options. As listed above, speeds are comparable between the two providers - until you look at ultrafast FTTP options, which you can only get with Plusnet. So it's a winner in terms of the range of options.

Plusnet’s broadband packages are available on 24-month and 12-month contracts, though 12-month deals aren't available online. On the other hand, Now has a bit more flexibility; as well as 12-month contracts, it’s one of the only providers to offer one-month rolling contracts.

Now vs Plusnet: home phone

Now includes line rental with its packages, with ‘pay as you go’ calls as standard - while all Plusnet deals are broadband-only, with the option to add home phone if you want.

With both, you can choose to add a call plan: evening and weekend calls to UK landlines and mobiles, or anytime calls.

Additionally, Plusnet also offers an international call plan, which is useful if you want to make calls abroad.

Now vs Plusnet: TV

When it comes to TV, there’s no question about it: Now has its own TV service that gets you access to some of the top Sky TV channels.

Known as Now TV Memberships, these work as a subscription service – simply sign up to one or more memberships on a monthly rolling basis, and you’re free to cancel whenever you like. It’s a more affordable and flexible way of getting Sky Sports, Sky Entertainment and Sky Cinema channels.

What’s more, you don’t have to be a Now broadband customer to get Now TV (though you can get discounted memberships). As long as you have an internet connection for streaming video, anyone can sign up to a Now TV Membership.

In contrast, Plusnet doesn’t have its own TV service, and it no longer offers a set-top box.

Now vs Plusnet: Fibre broadband and availability

Both providers deliver their services via BT’s Openreach network, which is the biggest one in the UK.

This means that both Now and Plusnet have wide availability, particularly as the speeds they offer are very common and easily achievable in most areas. It’s highly likely you’ll be able to get a choice of packages at your address.

To find out what’s available in your area, just enter your postcode in our availability checker below.

Now vs Plusnet: Download limits

Both providers offer truly unlimited broadband, meaning there’s no limit on how much you can use and download. Additionally, there’s no traffic management, so your speeds won’t be artificially slowed down, even during peak hours.

Now vs Plusnet: Extras

Budget-friendly providers typically forgo the perks offered by major providers. Now does offer a few discounts if you bundle your broadband with TV, but that’s about it.

On the other hand, Plusnet has a few extras up its sleeves. As well as reward cards when you sign up, you get its security software, Plusnet Protect, and parental controls with your broadband. There's also a refer-a-friend scheme, giving you a small monthly discount for every friend you introduce.

Now vs Plusnet: Customer service

Plusnet has won awards for its UK-based customer service. It generally scores pretty well in Ofcom’s annual reports on customer satisfaction, with Plusnet customers reporting higher than average satisfaction with their broadband service.

Being a smaller provider, Now hasn’t been included in any of Ofcom’s reports yet. However, online customer reviews suggest that people aren’t happy with its service. At the time of writing (November 2023), Now has a Trustpilot rating of 1.3 out of 5.

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