BT

The UK's largest telecoms provider offering nationwide broadband availability with the same low prices even in rural areas

  • Wide range of packages available with truly unlimited usage
  • Faster than average basic fibre with Superfast Fibre averaging at 50Mb
  • Free access to over 5 million BT Wi-fi hotspots
  • Free technical support over a variety of media
  • Wide range of TV inclusive options with BT TV and the exclusive AMC channel
  • Superfast Fibre comes with the fastest and smartest hub of any major broadband provider
  • BT Sport Pack, exclusively covering UEFA football and 38 Premier League matches

Go to site

BT Broadband Unlimited and Weekend Calls
£24.99 for 18 months
£45.49 thereafter

£19.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £50 BT Reward Card!
  • 18 months reduced price!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • Free BT Sport app and player
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi access
  • BT Home Hub 4 with n-rated Wi-Fi
  • BT Virus Protect on 2 devices
  • 100GB Cloud Storage
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

BT TV Starter + BT Sport with Superfast Fibre Unlimited and Weekend Calls
£37.99 for 18 months
£58.99 thereafter

£59.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £120 BT Reward Card!
  • 18 months reduced price!
  • 50Mb average download speed
  • 9Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • AMC channel free with BT TV
  • BT Sport Pack free with BT TV
  • BT Smart Hub with ac-rated Wi-Fi and smart technology to give faster connections in more rooms!
  • TV Starter - pause and rewind 80 live Freeview channels (12 in HD)
  • TV Catch-up and On Demand
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

BT Superfast Fibre 2 Unlimited with Weekend Calls
£41.99 for 18 months
£58.99 thereafter

£9.99 upfront cost

  • Ending £130 BT Reward Card!
  • 18 months reduced price!
  • 67Mb average download speed
  • 18Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • BT Smart Hub with ac-rated Wi-Fi and smart technology to give faster connections in more rooms!
  • Now with Anytime calls as standard, save £135 over the contract length!
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • No activation fee
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

Reasons to choose BT

  • Established reputation - BT have been operating for a very long time, and it's a name that people know and trust
  • Available nationwide - BT Broadband's lowest prices are available at all BT telephone exchanges, even in rural areas
  • Superfast Fibre 2 - BT were the first to offer the higher up to 76Mb speeds, and plans are under way for upgrades to Superfast Fibre 3 (160Mb) and Superfast Fibre 4 (300Mb)
  • Faster basic fibre - BT's Superfast Fibre 1 fibre products offer up to 52Mb speeds (average 50Mb), beating most competitors' up to 38Mb products
  • Variety of packages with truly unlimited usage
  • BT TV - enjoy a range of TV channels, movies and catchup TV powered by YouView
  • BT Sport - not just on BT TV, all BT broadband customers have access to BT Sport Lite via the online player at BTSport.com - BT Sport Pack with exclusive live UEFA matches is free on BT TV and only £6 per month for BT Broadband customers via the app or an existing Sky TV package
  • Comprehensive security - with Family Protection and Net Protect Plus from McAfee
  • Extensive support options - you can get in touch with BT in a variety of ways, including the phone, online chat, online forums and Twitter
  • Smart Hub for Superfast Fibre - router with the latest 802.11ac wireless technology and smart techology to get faster Wi-Fi connections in more rooms of your home. BT claim this beats the latest hubs from other major UK broadband providers
  • BT Wi-Fi - free and unlimited access over 4 million wi-fi hotspots in the UK - the UK's largest hotspot network
  • BT Cloud storage - for storing your personal files, the amount depends on the size of the package
  • SmartTalk app - lets you use your mobile phone via wi-fi to get the same rates as yout BT landline

Possible downsides

  • Must use BT for phone - unlike some providers, such as Plusnet, it's not possible to take your call plan and line rental from another phone supplier
  • Best Hub not on standard broadband - If you're not opting for BT Superfast Fibre you need to pay £50 extra for the BT Smart Hub, or opt for the slower free Home Hub 4
  • No short contracts - All products are on 18 month contracts and prices rise from the 19th month
  • No fixed price term - Prices may rise during your 18 month minimum contract

Features at a glance

  • Download speeds average at 10Mbps for standard broadband, 50Mbps for Superfast Fibre and 67Mbps for Superfast Fibre 2

  • 18 month contracts on all deals

  • Truly unlimited download allowances on many deals

  • Many deals with free or discounted activation

  • Free 24/7 customer support

  • BT Yahoo email accounts that don't get full included with all deals

  • Security from basic to advanced McAffee protection

  • BT Home Hub 4 802.11n wireless router as standard or 802.11ac BT Smart Hub with BT Infinity

  • Range of BT TV packages available from BT TV Starter to Total Entertainment with exclusive channels and Ultra HD

  • Inclusive phone calling to UK landline numbers with some packages

  • Free access to thousands of wi-fi hotspots worldwide

  • Line rental required for all packages

  • BT Broadband have published a Traffic Management Policy

2.8 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 29698 customer ratings since 2017-05-26. See more BT customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2018-05-23

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Package    
Speed    
Usage    
Contract    
1st Year Cost  (Sorted)  
Monthly Cost    
BT Broadband Unlimited and Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £50 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price!
Add BT Sport for FREE for 3 months then £6 a month!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
10Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£320 £24.99
£45.49 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£19.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Superfast Fibre Unlimited with Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £120 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Add BT Sport FREE for 3 months then £6 a month!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£394 £31.99
£52.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Starter + BT Sport with Broadband Unlimited and Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £50 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + BT Sport Pack + free AMC channel + TV Starter!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11n Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
10Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£442 £30.99
£51.49 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£69.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT Superfast Fibre 2 Unlimited with Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £130 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + Smart Hub + no activation fee!
Add BT Sport FREE for 3 months then £6 a month!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£514 £41.99
£58.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£9.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Starter + BT Sport with Superfast Fibre Unlimited and Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £120 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + free AMC channel + BT Sport Pack + Smart Hub + TV Starter!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£516 £37.99
£58.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£59.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Entertainment with Superfast Fibre Unlimited and Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £120 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + free AMC channel + Smart Hub!
Add BT Sport FREE for 3 months then £6 a month!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£558 £43.99
£64.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£29.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Starter + BT Sport with Superfast Fibre 2 Unlimited and Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £130 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + free AMC channel + BT Sport Pack + Smart Hub + TV Starter!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£636 £47.99
£64.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£59.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Entertainment with Superfast Fibre 2 Unlimited and Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £130 BT Reward Card + 18 months reduced price + free AMC channel + Smart Hub!
Add BT Sport FREE for 3 months then £6 a month!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£678 £53.99
£70.99 after 18 months
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£29.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Max + Sport with Superfast Fibre Unlimited and Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £120 BT Reward Card + BT Sport Ultra HD + BT Sport Pack + free AMC channel + Smart Hub!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
50Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£702 £55.99
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£29.99 upfront cost

Go to site
BT TV Max + Sport with Superfast Fibre 2 Unlimited and Weekend Calls More Info

Hurry, ends soon! £130 BT Reward Card + BT Sport Ultra HD + free AMC channel + BT Sport Pack + Smart Hub!
Add Anytime calls for just £7.50 a month!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
67Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£822 £65.99
Reward only available to new customers signing up online

£29.99 upfront cost

Go to site
  • ICON KEY
  • Wireless Router
  • 802.11n Wireless Router
  • 802.11ac Wireless Router
  • Phone Calling
  • Television Service
  • Line Rental

Details last checked on 2018-05-23

Customer Reviews

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 BT.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    2.8 stars
  • Speed
    2.6 stars
  • Reliability
    2.7 stars
  • Customer Service
    2.8 stars

Based on 29698 customer ratings since 2017-05-26

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of BT

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
I HATE BT SO MUCH!!! Its so slow and when the Bt man came to my house to check the speed he made it even worse. Its a massive waste of money and I would recommend you to never ever use your money on Bt because its trash!!!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Wales BT  
I play video games during my spare time and I have several devices connected at once with no drop in speed, I am able to download large video game files from my ps4 very fast, I am shocked everyone else on these sites give BT stick for little problems that cab be solved easily, the engineer for me came earlier than was meant to, I even got sent a second router as a spare, any queries I have I phone up and get assistance instantly with very polite customer service, I cant be more thankful to BT, People should 100% give BT a go, Infinity 2 package is the dream.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
London BT  
I switched from Sky to BT after 2 years of good service with Sky for what I thought was a better deal and had a 3 month nightmare as the connection failed every few days for 1 or more days and I spent hours on the phone while they tested the line only to conclude every time that there was a problem at my property and they would have to send an engineer out. When the engineer came he could find no problem, but more often than not the service resumed again and they said there was a problem at the exchange which they had just fixed. They sent me a new router after one call saying the problem was with that but it was not. Meantime when the service was working the download speed was always abysmal, which they said was because it was over the phone line and 3 miles from the exchange, but I countered that with Sky I had 2 years of good bandwidth as well as zero service interruption. After 3 months I got them to agree that the service was inadequate and I am currently exiting the 2 year £30 per month contract with them to go back to Sky, which will cost me £35 for broadband and TV. Interestingly BT are also playing a game in these contracts where they say 'up to' a certain speed but when the service is crap they say that contractually there is no minimum bandwidth agreement. They could have held me to contract on that basis but as it happened I also had the zero service days, which they couldn't duck out of. In my opinion you should avoid BT, and in my case it was only the hotspot nearby that kept me connected most of the time at all, though that service itself would come and go. Luckily I was not working from home otherwise it would have been very difficult and I would have spent a lot of money getting data through my mobile provider. BT? Never again thanks.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Tarrant Rushton BT  
Hi everyone,

I signed up to BT fibre broadband in August 2017 in what otherwise seemed a smooth transfer which took just over 2 weeks to complete - a very good sign you'd say. Within two weeks after the service started, I started experiencing drops in connection every evening with router blinking amber, fluctuating connection speed and juddering video/gaming. So I reported my fault with BT helpline (which is based overseas, so often understanding them was an issue in itself) and the saga began. Instead of calling an engineer, BT kept resetting my router and sending me "helpful tips" how to make my broadband better - which worked for probably 30 mins, sometimes even less. Having called them for approximately 20 times (and each call was taking no less than 30 minutes), I finally managed to convince the customer service representative to call the engineer - guess what, she never called one in, although it was promised. Later on, I was promised a wifi booster and a 15m cable to rectify the issues - they have never been sent to me. I was also promised that I will receive refund for these months when I had no quality connection. Finally, in the end Dec 2017, fed up with non-existent quality and constantly dropping connection I threatened to leave - at which point BT customer service managed to call the engineer in who came in around 7th of January and identified the problem with the BT exchange, after which the connection was okay, albeit not perfect.

A couple of days ago I called BT and asked whether they refunded me for three months of no connection and my pain and time spent on the phone with them - I reckon about 25 hours by that time. In response, I was told that they could give me £10 as a goodwill gesture as they apparently cannot refund monthly fees past 120 days(!).

Over past 10 years or so I've been a customer of O2, Sky and Plusnet, but at no point I had such a dreadful combination of poor connection, incompetent customer service and false promises.

I will be taking this to the ombudsman to make sure this experience is heard and appropriate action is taken.

My takeaway is - if you keen to spend hours of your precious time on the phone and get no result - sign up to BT broadband. Otherwise steer clear.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Erith BT  
I have to re start several times each day as the system cuts out
Streaming services are often a challenge, the picture either freezes or cuts out
As an old loyal customer I cannot access the cheaper offers aimed at new customers
If I want to alter my package I have to sign up for a minimum of 18 months
No one at BT can tell me when new fibre optic options will be available in my rural area
The only positive is that they are not Talk Talk
herefordshire BT  
Never again BT, I’m an/was a new customer to BT they “delivered” my service .. no functional of cause now a 1 ½ week later it is still not working .. calling to cancel now
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Brentwood BT  
BT is the worst service provider I ever dealt with. I am paying for nothing, Although, I have a BT broadband at home, but I have to connect my PC to my phones network using personal Hotspot. I have been with them for more than two and half years, they not letting me to leave their rubbish service, they have a very bad customer services they do not care about their customer, they looks they know nothing about the service except that related to money. They over charge their customer without letting them know, they should understand people are not free to phone them up frequently asking foe explanations and reporting problems. last week I phoned them many times reporting problems and overcharging. They are a big lair, they told me that the engineer will come on Saturday to fix the problem, I was waiting him all the day, but he did not come, when I phoned them, they said he came on Friday and he fixed the problem, but actually I have not noticed any improvement, I gave them few weeks time, but it still as it was, when I asked them to resend the engineer they said they will charge 120 pounds.
Eventually, I am still paying for nothing in addition to wasting my time and making me angry and depressed.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Burton on Trent BT  
I had been with BT for 5+ years. Their service was alright as long as you paid them. When I tried leaving them they threatened me with a £400 fine. I pleaded with them saying that the only reason I am leaving them is because their Internet broadband is very slow in my new property after I moved house. They refused to listen. They constantly threaten over the phone. I have now opened a case with the ombudsman. I have learnt that it takes 8 weeks before Ombudsman opens a case against BT so I am patiently waiting without giving up. I have since moved to Virgin and their internet connection is so fast! Wish I had moved away earlier.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Dartford BT  
quite bad because the wifi always cuts out and starts flashing yellow and takes like an hour or longer to start again and for the light to turn blue but most of the time its good internet and speed
-grace
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    1 star
portsmouth BT  
Absolutely terrible service. From what used to be a very reliable brand, this is now one of the worst. For the past 4 years I have had nothing but issues with BT broadband. Along with BT Sport my month bill is just shy of £70 per MONTH! With that I get a maximum speed of around 4mbs. That is a 10th of what it should be. I am constantly resetting the router.

Whenever I call(ed) BT I get a foreign call centre and have a lot of trouble understanding what they are saying. They take me through troubleshooting steps, which I know and memorised. When they get to the end of the steps they advise me about sending an engineer out at a cost of around £100 (if the fault is that of my own). I have since started a new broadband contract with Sky (who I know aren't the greatest - but surely cannot be worse?) I have managed to reduce my monthly combined bill of TV+Broadband by almost £50 per month.

I am so fed up of BT. Overpriced, overhyped and just plain thieves.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Dartf BT  

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The reviews published on this page are those of the individual authors who have warrantied that they abide by our review guidelines. Reviews are not the opinion of Broadband.co.uk.

money

Loyal broadband customers pay £113 more than those who switch providers

Posted on 2017-04-12 13:46 in News EE Virgin Media Sky BT TalkTalk

Loyal customers who stick with their broadband provider end up paying on average 43% more than if they had switched.

Research by Citizens Advice has cast a light on the way the major providers hike their prices once a contract has ended. Customers who choose to keep their existing deal instead of shopping around find themselves paying an average of £113 extra each year in what has been dubbed a "loyalty penalty".

Citizens Advice analysed the cheapest broadband deals from the UK's five largest suppliers. They found that Virgin Media was the only one that did not bump its prices at the end of the initial contract period. The other four saw increases of as much as 67%.

  • BT - the price rises from £24.49 to £40.99 after 12 months. An increase of 67%, amounting to £198 per year.
  • TalkTalk - the price goes from £20 to £25.50 after 24 months. An increase of 28%, or £66 per year.
  • Sky - after 12 months the price rises from £18.99 to £28.99. An increase of 53%, or £120 per year.
  • EE - the price rises from £21 to £28.50 after 18 months. An increase of 36%, amounting to £90 extra per year.
  • Virgin Media - the cheapest deal is £32.25 per month for 12 months. The price doesn't rise at the end of the contract.

The report found that more than a third of customers didn't realise that prices could go up once their contract had ended. It also found that customers stay on the same deal for an average of four years, which ends up costing them as much as £594 extra.

Those over 65 or on lower incomes were significantly more likely to stick with a deal for more 10 years.

Time to switch

The study highlights the fact that it's more important than ever to shop around for the best broadband deal. Our Ofcom-approved price comparison service helps you find the best and cheapest packages available for your postcode.

Switching broadband providers is easier than you might expect. In most cases, your new provider will handle all aspects of the switchover. You should experience no loss of service, and you won't even need to inform your old supplier that you're leaving. Read our guide to switching broadband providers to see how the process works. 

Citizens Advice is calling for greater clarity in how providers advertise their services, and also to inform customers by text when the fixed price comes to an end.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said, “People often choose their broadband deals based on the price that works for them - but our evidence shows that many do not realise the price will rise after the end of the fixed deal. The government has rightly put energy firms on warning for how they treat loyal customers - the actions of broadband firms warrant similar scrutiny. Extra protections for vulnerable consumers are also a must.”

The moral of the story is clear: loyalty doesn't pay. Once your contract is up, find a new provider. There are some incredible deals to be had on both standard and fibre broadband, and if you're lucky you might even bag an awesome free gift at the same time.

So don't delay. Click here to visit our postcode checker and you can start saving money today.

Comments

Sky Q Hub

Why getting a new router can speed up your broadband

Posted on 2016-11-22 11:35 in News Features Virgin Media Origin TalkTalk Zen EE Vodafone Plusnet Sky BT

If you find broadband speeds confusing, you're not alone. What speed broadband providers advertise and what you actually get are rarely the same thing. The ASA has recently announced that it will be taking steps next year to bring clarity to the entire issue.

But that's a way off. In the meantime there are steps you can take to ensure you achieve speeds closer to what you were expecting.

You may not know that your Wi-Fi router can have a massive impact on the internet speeds you get throughout your home. Since the provider supplies the router we tend to assume that they're automatically good enough. But that isn't always true - sometimes they're old or slow, and not capable of handling a superfast broadband connection.

In these cases, upgrading to a more powerful router can help speed up your broadband dramatically.

How a new Wi-Fi router can help

Let's start with the technical bit.

The performance of a router is determined by the wireless standard that it uses. The best modern routers use the latest standard, called 802.11ac. It's the fastest available, and it runs on the 5GHz band which is clean and interference free.

802.11ac superceded the 802.11n standard. This is much slower - perhaps half or even a third of the speed - and it commonly runs on the 2.4GHz band which is much more prone to interference from other electrical devices in your home. As a result, the signal is not just slower but it gets much weaker the further it travels.

The router as a bottleneck

Many broadband providers supply an N-rated router with their packages, and it may not be up to the job. Tests show that 802.11n routers have a real world top speed of 50-100Mb, at close range. At a distance of 20 metres, and with a few obstacles like walls and floors in the way, that speed can be slashed in half - or worse.

So, if you've got a high-end fibre package and are getting speeds of 50Mb or more, then an N-rated router simply won't cut it. Your broadband is faster than your router, and the router becomes a bottleneck. Even on an entry-level fibre deal, with speeds of 25Mb, you'll be pushing it. You might find you get good speeds downstairs, but that they fall off sharply in the bedrooms.

In both cases, upgrading to an AC-rated router is likely to give you a major speed boost. The exception is standard broadband. Here, the speeds top out at 16Mb, and in practice are usually somewhat slower. An N-rated router should be able to handle this.

An easy way to check if you're affected is to use our free Speed Test tool. Stand next to your router and run the test on your laptop. Then head to the furthest corner of your house and run it again. If there's a major discrepancy in your results then it could be a sign that you need to upgrade your router. (Or it could mean you need to find a better position for your router.)

Do you need a new router?

You can see why a slow router can mean you don't get the broadband speeds you were expecting. So do you need to upgrade?

When you're shopping for broadband deals, all our comparison tables have icons to show what kind of router you're getting. Click the More Info button to see whether there's an option to upgrade to a better router when you sign up.

What router do you get?

  • Many of the major providers now supply AC-rated routers with all their packages. This includes TalkTalk, Vodafone and Virgin, while Sky also provides the new Sky Q Hub if you are a TV customer.
  • BT, Plusnet and EE supply 802.11ac routers with their fibre packages, and N-rated routers with standard broadband. BT offers a paid upgrade for standard broadband customers, but the other two don't.
  • Origin customers get an N-rated router, and need to pay at checkout to upgrade to a faster AC-rated unit.

If you've been with a provider for some time it's possible you're still using an older N-rated router and aren't getting the fastest possible speeds from your broadband. In this case it's worth checking with the provider to see if they'll swap your router for a newer model for free. Some may give you one in exchange for you signing a new contract. Just make sure you know exactly what you're getting, and that you aren't charged or placed on a new contract without knowing.

Lastly, a handful of providers, including Plusnet, Zen and Origin, allow you to use own router, so you can shop around and check independent reviews to get the best model for your needs.

The router is a frequently overlooked part of the broadband service. It's natural to assume that broadband problems are the fault of the provider, but the reality is that if your router is too slow you can easily be cutting your internet speed in half without even realising.

Give your router a quick check now to see if you would benefit from an upgrade.

Comments

BT Buyers Guide

Can I get BT Broadband?

BT's standard broadband services are available at all UK telephone exchanges (excluding those in Hull) so can be accessed in all but the remotest of rural areas

BT's fibre-optic service, BT Superfast Fibre, is available to more than 85% of UK homes — more than 25 million premises — with BT continuing the roll out to more and more areas every month. BT Superfast Fibre is based on fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology meaning that both your telephone exchange and your street cabinet need to have been upgraded to support fibre before you can sign up to the service. Urban and central areas tend to be activated first. You can check to see if BT Superfast Fibre is available in your area with our postcode checker.

Does BT Broadband have a technical advantage or faster installation time?

BT Broadband is provided by BT Retail, which is a separate company from those that administer telephone exchanges, street cabinets and phonelines. As a result, there is no technical advantage over any other provider reselling BT Wholesale Connect; they have to wait in the same queues for Openreach installation or home visit engineers and use the same systems of contact as any other reseller.

BT Broadband are just one of many consumer broadband service providers using BT Wholesale Connect technology. In many areas competiting broadband providers have installed their own equipment in telephone exchanges and may even be able to beat BT's standard broadband speeds.

As British Telecom, BT provided the nationalised telecoms service for the whole of the UK, controlling all telephone exchanges (except those in Hull). Since then British Telecom were split into three companies; BT Wholesale, who sell telecommunications services to phone and broadband suppliers, Openreach, who maintain the technical aspects of the BT infrastructure including phone lines, exchanges and street cabinets; and BT Retail, who sell BT phone and broadband products to consumers. This separation was enforced by the Competition Commission to ensure that BT did not have a monopoly or unfair advantage over other telecommunications companies.

What broadband options are available?

BT provide a wide range of packages catering to different speeds, download restrictions, and associated extras including TV options.

BT also allow you to build your own package on their site by choosing from a range of broadband speeds:

  • BT standard broadband - up to 17Mb (10Mb) download and up to 1Mb upload speed, limited to up to 8Mb down and up to 0.75Mb up in some rural areas
  • BT Superfast Fibre 1 - up to 52Mb (average 50Mb) download speed and up to 9.5Mb upload speed
  • BT Superfast Fibre 2 - up to 76Mb (average 67Mb) download speed and up to 19Mb upload speed

Whether you can enjoy BT's fastest speeds depends on factors like whether your exchange and street cabinet have been upgraded to the latest technology, and how much copper telephone cable there is between your home and the exchange (or the street cabinet for BT Superfast Fibre).

For the standard broadband and Superfast Fibre 1 packages you can choose whether to have unlimited usage, allowing you to use as much Internet as you like each month, or whether you will pay less and have a download limit. There are a range of limits available with smaller limits usually costing less, although special offers and promotions may apply to make unlimited options more affordable. Superfast Fibre 2 is unlimited.

All packages come with free unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines, but this is again flexible, allowing you to extend the option to unlimited anytime calls.

What TV options are available?

You can also combine your broadband and phone service with a TV service by adding BT TV - BT's digital television service - to your package.

BT TV can only be taken with a BT broadband subscription as it uses your connection to stream content which is not available on Freeview. Speeds of 5Mb or more are required to view high definition content, 2Mb or more for standard definition. If your connection falls short of this minimum you won't be able to sign up.

Customers can choose between:

  • BT TV Entertainment Starter - 80 Freeview channels (including 12 in HD), On Demand, Catch up TV, BT Sport, 20 premium channels
  • BT TV Entertainment Plus - 80 Freeview channels (including 12 in HD), On Demand, Catch up TV, BT Sport, 27 premium channels and TV on the Go
  • BT TV Total Entertainment - 80 Freeview channels (including 12 in HD), On Demand, Catch up TV, BT Sport, 50 premium channels and TV on the Go

All BT TV packages come with up to 80 Freeview TV and radio channels, plus access to 7 day catch up TV and on-demand shows. The YouView powered set top box also gives you high definition versions of the 4 main terrestrial TV channels via Freeview HD and allows you to pause and rewind live TV or record your favourite shows for later. You can also access a large library of on demand TV shows, music videos and more, or pay per view blockbuster films.

BT TV's streamed channels and on-demand films and TV shows do not count towards your broadband usage allowance. Viewing rival services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or NOW TV will count towards any usage limit you might have on your BT Broadband service, so bear this in mind when deciding between limited or unlimited packages.

Which package should I choose?

It is worth working out what your download needs are in advance as there is no need for you for to pay more than you have to, such as paying for extra bandwidth that you won't need.

At speeds of up to 52Mb, the BT Superfast Fibre 1 package offers the fastest potential speeds for basic fibre broadband in the UK (at launch time, at least — it's likely that other providers will upgrade their basic services in due course). This is fast enough for virtually all online activities, including watching BT Sport in Ultra HD, and may now be sufficient for those customers who would have previously been considering the faster Superfast Fibre 2 connection.

BT Superfast Fibre packages will help prevent slowdown in households with many heavy Internet users, such as student households or those with large families. However, if you're close enough to the telephone exchange, BT Broadband's speeds of up to 17Mb may still be fast enough, allowing you to stream live television or communicate over Skype without encountering problems. You might benefit from faster internet speeds if you do a lot of online gaming, regularly download a lot of large files or stream large amounts TV and films, especially in larger households where more than one person might be doing these things at any one time.

When considering your usage limit, it is worth asking yourself what you use the Internet for, and how often you use it. Those who use the Internet regularly for downloading files, gaming or watching a lot of streaming video (outside of the unmetered BT TV service) will hit a usage limit faster than those who only use the Internet for email, websites and social media, or go online less often. If you can find out your current monthly usage, it will provide a useful estimate for what limit you might need. There is no need to pay for capacity you will not use, but it can also provide peace-of-mind not to worry about if a YouTube video might take you over your limit.

Points to consider before you choose

  • How many people will be using your broadband connection?
  • Are you a heavy downloader, or do you regularly play online games?
  • Will you only watch streamed TV and films on unmetered BT TV or will you also use rival services like Netflix or NOW TV?
  • How heavy is your Internet usage and how often do you use it?
  • Would the expense of the faster speed or larger download capacity be worth it for you?

Compare all BT Broadband packages

I already have Superfast Fibre 1, do I automatically get the new, faster speed?

Existing Superfast Fibre 1 customers will not be upgraded automatically to the faster speeds, and will continue on their current up to 38Mb service.

You can upgrade by taking out a new contract, but unless you're already getting speeds of 38Mb, or thereabouts, it may not be worth it. For many users the internet speeds they get are limited by physical factors such as their distance from the street cabinet, rather than the speed limits of their chosen broadband service. Thus, upgrading to a faster service will not automatically mean faster internet.

What do I get when I sign-up?

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.

  • BT Home Hub router - Standard BT Broadband customers will receive a free BT Home Hub 4 802.11n wireless router for their connections, while Superfast Fibre customers get the enhanced Smart Hub which is supercharged for fibre with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and uses smart techology to get faster Wi-Fi connections to more rooms in your home that any other major broadband providers' hubs. These routers use dual-band technology to reduce wireless interference and come with an easy online set-up.
  • BT Cloud storage - BT Broadband comes with access to BT Cloud, which allows you to store your files online. This enables you to have a back-up of important documents on your devices so that you do not lose them if something happens to that device. You can also access BT Cloud from anywhere if you have an account, which makes it easy to transfer and share files. The unlimited packages come with either 100GB or a massive 500GB, depending on which you choose. Cloud storage is an optional extra on the limited packages.
  • Internet security - All of BT's unlimited broadband packages come bundled with BT NetProtect Plus online security with McAfee. Up to 7 PCs and Macs can be protected through firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and site rating systems. The cheaper BT Broadband deals with limited data allowances can still get BT NetProtect Plus for a small extra cost. BT Family Protection is also available to restrict and monitor children’s internet usage, including blocking access to social media and setting time limits.
  • SmartTalk - BT provide a SmartTalk app that BT Broadband users can use. This allows you to use up to 5 smartphones for landline calls through your router, potentially saving a lot of money on expensive mobile calls, and even allowing you to use your landline while abroad with a wi-fi connection. No other provider offers this option.
  • BT Sport - You don’t have to be a BT TV subscriber to have access to BT Sport. If you are a BT Broadband customer then you can use the BT Sport app or the online player to access BT Sport Lite for free or you can pay £6 extra per month for the BT Sport Pack and the exclusive sports coverage they provide, including live UEFA football, 38 Barclays Premier League matches and all Aviva Premiership Rugby matches. You can also add BT Sport to your existing Sky TV service for only £6 per month.

What are the benefits of BT Broadband?

The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.

  • Very fast basic fibre - BT's cheapest Superfast Fibre 1 fibre cabinets offer download speeds of up to 52Mb while most competitors limit basic fibre to only up to 38Mb. If you're close enough to your street cabinet to get the boost then the extra 14Mb could make a significant difference.
  • Wi-fi access points - All BT Broadband customers benefit from free unlimited broadband access even when not at home through free access to BT Wi-fi (formerly BT FON/BT Openzone), the world’s largest wi-fi network with over 5 million wi-fi hotspots across the UK. This lets you access the internet without the restrictions of mobile broadband from coffee shops, airports, high streets, stations, and many more places - including international hotspots.
  • Free technical support - BT Broadband provide many support options for when things go wrong. Customers can call their helpline for free from their landlines at any time of day, and access hundreds of free online guides complete with videos. BT Broadband also maintain a social media presence through forums, Twitter and YouTube, helping you solve any problems that may occur.
  • Available in rural areas - BT offer the same prices at all telephone exchanges, making BT a good choice for those living in rural and remote areas where choices may be limited. In areas where Virgin cable TV isn't available, BT TV may be a good alternative to Sky.
  • Super Hub for BT Superfast Fibre - Supercharged for fibre with the very latest 802.11ac advanced wireless networking technology, BT claims their smart techology makes the Smart Hub better than any major broadband provider's latest hub at getting faster connections into more rooms of your home.
  • BT Sport Pack - If you're a sports fan and intend to sign up for BT Sport in order to see UEFA Championship, Premiere League Football, FA Cup, Rugby etc matches, it can be very attractive to switch to BT TV and get these channels for free, or to switch to BT Broadband and get them through the app or your existing Sky TV package for only £6 per month.
  • No satellite dish needed for TV - If you don't want or aren't able to install a satellite dish for your home, BT TV is available using your standard Freeview aerial and BT broadband connection.

What are the drawbacks of BT Broadband?

Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.

  • Costs - BT Broadband is rarely the cheapest option for all the services they provide, however this is made up for by BT providing a wider range of included extras than many other providers.
  • Must take BT phone and line rental - BT Broadband is only offered bundled with BT phone services, you can't take your line rental or call plan from someone else, or sign up with broadband from BT without having a phoneline. BT line rental tends to be priced higher than many other providers.
  • No short contracts - BT’s contracts are for 18 months, which requires a greater degree of commitment and less flexibility than other providers that offer shorter contracts. Those looking for one month contracts may be better off looking elsewhere. However, as BT Broadband is available at all BT telephone exchanges, you're unlikely to find yourself moving home to an area with no BT Broadband service at all, which can happen with some providers.
  • Smart Hub only standard on Superfast Fibre - If you want the lastest and greatest router technology, capable of getting faster connections into the 'dead spots' in your home, you only get the BT Smart Hub inclusive with BT Superfast Fibre. If you're a standard broadband customer then you get the previous generation BT Home Hub 4 or you need to pay an extra £50 to get the Smart Hub.
  • Complaint levels - The communications regulator Ofcom keeps track of the customer complaint levels of for broadband and TV services. The Ofcom complaint figures for late 2015 show that while BT had the third lowest level of complaints among the major broadband provders, it was still well above the industry average. It also the highest level of complaints for pay TV, nearly four times the industry average.
Broadband.co.uk