Best broadband providers: 6 of the best suppliers in the UK

Use our guide to find the best broadband provider for you

Best broadband provider: person on phone next to Wi-Fi box
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Hoping to switch to the best broadband provider in the UK? With help from our guide, you can pick a supplier that suits your wants and needs. Whether it's high-speed internet paired with TV, or ASDL that you are after. We've done our research and paired it with our knowledge of broadband providers, and have rounded up the best ones in the UK at this moment.

We've ranked the broadband providers below by the speeds they offer and how good their customer service is rated. We've also been sure to consider whether they offer TV services, what their standard setup fee is and how long their contracts last. Also, we've listed each provider's highest speed available, so that if you need 500Mb, you know where you can get it from. Below each broadband provider, we've also popped their best broadband deal around at the moment, just to make life easier for you.

Head over to our broadband landing page for news, advice and more.

Who is the best broadband provider?

What speed do I need?

ADSL (24Mb and under) is great for small families who do a bit of web surfing and streaming HD video.

Fibre (around 38Mb) is a great option if there are two of you in your house who are reliant on the internet.

Faster fibre (50Mb+) is best if rapid, lag-free internet is a must in your home. Seamless 4K video streaming, lag-free social media scrolling, fast downloads and it can cope with several devices at once. In our opinion, this is the best broadband option out there. 

Across a number of factors, BT takes the number one position in our list of broadband suppliers. While it isn't as affordable as some other brands out there, it is the UK's most popular choice for a reason. It regularly exceeds its average speeds, it offers a host of add-ons including speed boosters and TV packages and gives you access to all of its Wi-Fi hotspots across the country. If you don't mind paying slightly more, BT will be the choice to pick.

Take our broadband speed test to check that your broadband is performing the way it should be. If you're happy with your connection and speeds, stick with the megabits per second you know work with your household.

The best broadband providers in the UK

Best all round supplier of internet: BT

(Image credit: BT)

1. BT

The very best broadband provider in the UK

TV available?: Yes
Sign up fee?: Yes
Contract lengths: 24 months
Highest speed available: 300Mb
Reasons to buy
+Strong average speeds+Large choice of packages and add-ons+Powerful security+Good customer service
Reasons to avoid
-More expensive than most

BT Fibre 1 | 50Mb | £27.99 £26.99 per month | FREE £50 Reward Card
This BT broadband deal is their most popular option and for good reason, too. Not only is it currently a cheap monthly price, but with it comes broadband speeds averaging 50Mb as well as a £50 BT Reward Card. The upfront fee is just £9.99, too. Line rental is pay as you go. Total price for the first 12 months: £323.88.View Deal

BT has a few features going for it. All of its plans come with smart hubs, high-end security and strong customer service. BT, like a few of the plans below, offers both regular broadband deals and upgraded broadband and TV deals.

One of the factors that really help BT stand out is the frequency that it offers gifts. Almost every week it offers an add-on to its promotions including smart speakers, TV and Mastercards (Mastercards being the most popular of the added gifts).

BT is by no means the cheapest provider out there. In fact, alongside the likes of Sky and Virgin, it is one of the pricier options available. But, that is mainly because it tends to have a lot on offer, with high-tech smart hubs, super fast speeds and other such features.

It is also frequently discounted through the Mastercards mentioned above, making the costs easier to digest. BT does, however, include set-up fees in its costs, a feature some other cheaper plans don't have.

BT has a number of plans available. It's most popular options are an ADSL package and two fibre plans – Superfast Fibre 1 and Superfast Fibre 2. These two fibre plans are slightly faster than most other deals at a similar cost.

BT also has some faster Ultrafast plans if you've got the budget to spend and is planning on introducing a Gigafast plan soon (1GB average speeds internet), making it one of the most diverse providers in terms of speeds.

Call 0800 783 5462 to buy a BT broadband deal over the phone, or head to the BT website.

Best provider for faster speeds: Virgin

(Image credit: Virgin)

2. Virgin

The best broadband provider for speeds

TV available?: Yes
Sign up fee?: Yes
Contract lengths: 1–12 months
Highest speed available: 516Mb
Reasons to buy
+Lots of very fast packages+A wide variety of TV add-ons+Smart TV box and router
Reasons to avoid
-Can quickly get expensive

M100 Fibre Broadband | 18 months | 108Mb | £24 per month | £0 upfront | FREE £50 e-gift card
This broadband deal is ideal for busy households with five to nine devices inside. It comes with fast broadband and a £50 Amazon voucher, all at a very cheap monthly price. It also has a £0 upfront fee. No phone line is included. Total price for first year: £288.View Deal

If you like to get as much into your package as possible, Virgin could be ideal. While you're able to just get internet alone, Virgin also offers a wide range of TV add-ons and even in some cases SIM-only deals.

Virgin frequently includes free gifts like consoles, cashback, smart speakers and even on the odd occasion, glasses of wine!

While it is one of the better providers out there for speeds, features and additions available on its plans, Virgin does come out as one of the more expensive options on the market, matching the likes of BT and Sky.

The lowest prices available will still find you placed in the mid-£20 a month mark and if you really kit our your package, you could see it rise as high as £70/£80 a month, once TV, SIM plans and additional gifts have been added.

This is where Virgin excels. It offers some of the fastest broadband speeds on the market, with options going well into the 400–500Mb mark. Even with its cheapest plans, you're still getting some faster fibre speeds, in the 60–70 and even 100Mb mark.

Head to the Virgin Media website to see deals and buy online.

Best broadband provider for affordability: Vodafone

(Image credit: Vodafone)

3. Vodafone

The best broadband provider for affordability

TV available?: No
Sign up fee?: No
Contract lengths: 18 months
Highest speed available: 900Mb
Reasons to buy
+Very affordable+Great collection of different speeds
Reasons to avoid
-Very basic service-Only TV add on is Apple TV

Vodafone Superfast 2 | 24 months | 63Mb | £25 per month | FREE £100 voucher
Superfast 2 is on a 24-month contract so that you pay a cheaper price for longer. This broadband package works at an average speed of 63 megabits per second and benefits from unlimited downloads. Setup is free meaning there are no hidden costs and line rental is included, but it's pay as you go. Total price for first 12 months: £300.View Deal

Vodafone doesn't tend to offer any additional features with its plans. While you can pay an additional fee to include 4K Apple TV with your plan, Vodafone tends to keep all of its internet options limited to just speeds and the ability to make calls.

Vodafone is frequently one of the cheapest options around when it comes to fibre internet. Its two cheapest plans can often come in below other popular cheap providers including Plusnet, Onestream and more.

If you happen to be an existing Vodafone customer, you can also cut your bills down by a further £2 a month, no matter which plan you choose.

Vodafone only offers fibre plans, with two options especially standing out. These are Vodafone's 'Superfast Fibre 1' and 'Superfast Fibre 2' options. One fits in at the average 30–40Mb, the faster option lands in between 60–70Mb.

If you don't mind paying a bit more, Vodafone can offer plans that go all the way up to 900Mb average speeds.

Head to the Vodafone website now to find a great deal.

Best internet provider for advanced TV and broadband: Sky

(Image credit: Sky)

4. Sky

The best broadband provider for advanced TV and broadband

TV available?: Yes
Sign up fee?: Yes
Contract lengths: 18 months
Highest speed available: 59Mb
Reasons to buy
+Loads of available add-ons+Best for TV
Reasons to avoid
-Not much choice for speeds-One of the most expensive options

Sky TV & Superfast Broadband | 18 months | 59Mb | £52 £39 per month | £39.95 setup fee
This Sky broadband and TV deal has £13 off its monthly price right now. It comes with 147 channels as well as Sky Q. It also includes a pay as you go phone line and broadband at 59 megabits per second. Total price for first 12 months: £497.95.View Deal

Sky is one of the most feature-packed internet service providers out there. Where its customisation is most prevalent is in its TV add-ons. HD channels, sports packages, movie bundles, options for kids - you can pick and mix exactly the kind of internet package you want. And, like most other providers out there, Sky offers both ADSL and fibre internet options allowing you to choose both the speeds and prices you're paying.

With so many features on-board, it is no surprise that Sky can very quickly rack up the bills. If you fill a package right out, you can easily pass the £100 mark. However, if you're just interested in internet, it will fall in place somewhere in the middle, cheaper than BT and Virgin but more expensive than TalkTalk, Vodafone and other more affordable providers.

Like a lot of other options out there, Sky offers both ADSL and fibre. depending on what exactly you want. However, unlike most other options, Sky only has one fibre package meaning you really only have two speed choices.

Head to Sky's website for info on broadband and TV deals.

Affordable broadband and TV plans: Talk Talk

(Image credit: TalkTalk)

5. TalkTalk

The best broadband provider for affordable broadband and TV plans

TV available?: Yes
Sign up fee?: No
Contract lengths: 18 months
Highest speed available: 67Mb
Reasons to buy
+Very affordable+TV plans not too expensive
Reasons to avoid
-No real impressive features-Router and TV box are basic

Talk Talk Superfast Fibre Broadband | 18 months | 67Mb | £25.95 per month | FREE £80 voucher
This TalkTalk fibre broadband deal is one of the best you can buy. You'll pay just £25.95 per month for quick download speeds averaging 67Mb. Line rental is included but it's pay as you go, as is a free £80 voucher. Total price for first 12 months: £311.40.View Deal

TalkTalk isn't a very flashy internet provider, it offers ADSL and fibre plans and the ability to throw TV in there as well. Even with its most decked-out TV bundle, you won't be getting anywhere near what Sky or Virgin can get you.

However, it is also far cheaper than both of those options and unlike some other providers out there, TalkTalk promises no price rises during your contract.

A lot like Vodafone, pricing is where TalkTalk shines the best. It often has some of the UK's cheapest prices across both its ADSL and fibre plans and often ends up discounting the costs.

Even when you start to include TV packages, call add-ons or speed boosts, TalkTalk is still one of the cheaper options out there, making it a great option for anyone needing broadband and TV deals on a budget.

TalkTalk offers three seperate speed options - ADSL, Faster Fibre and Superfast Fibre. These work up in small speed jumps with the first being around 10-15Mb, the second around 30–40Mb and the final jumping up to around the 60–70Mb mark.

Call 0808 108 0354 to speak to someone at Talk Talk. Alternatively, visit the Talk Talk website for more info on broadband packages.

John Lewis Broadband logo

(Image credit: John Lewis Broadband)

6. John Lewis Broadband

The best broadband provider for basic packages

TV available?: No
Sign up fee?: No
Contract lengths: : 12 months
Highest speed available: 66Mb
Reasons to buy
+Great line rental options+Reward cards often offered
Reasons to avoid
-No faster than 66Mb-Rarely have a sale on

John Lewis Unlimited Broadband & Evening and Weekend Calls | 10Mb | £19 per month | FREE £40 e-gift card
This is the best broadband offering from John Lewis at just £19 per month including a free £40 e-gift card. This includes average Wi-Fi speeds of 10Mb (not the best, but enough for those who aren't super reliant on the web). And it also comes with weekend and evening line rental. Total price for 12 months: £228.

Unlimited Broadband & Anytime Calls costs an extra £6 per month – click to see.View Deal

John Lewis Broadband, although a lesser-known provider than others, offers great basic broadband options. They have three packages up for grabs, all of which come with evening & weekend calls – or the option to upgrade to anytime calls or international calls – as well as £0 setup fees. More often than not, John Lewis broadband also gives away free reward cards that can be spent in John Lewis or Waitrose, too.

John Lewis' standard pricing starts from around £20 per month. You can pay more to upgrade your phone line. While these prices are cheap, it's worth noting that unlike other providers, John Lewis Broadband rarely have a sale on.

There are three speed options on offer from John Lewis broadband. Unlimited broadband is 10Mb average, Fibre broadband is 36Mb average and Fibre Extra Broadband 66Mb. Unfortunately, John Lewis Broadband does not offer anything faster than this.

To buy John Lewis Broadband or check out their packages, visit the John Lewis Broadband website.

How to choose the best broadband provider?

TV available?
If you're after a broadband-only deal you can skip this part, but if not, it's useful to narrow down broadband suppliers based on whether they offer TV services, too. Some do not while others offer several different package options. Also, consider how many channels they can provide.

Sign up fee
Something to bear in mind is that lots of broadband providers have a setup fee. This is for activating your services and sometimes even covers postage and packaging for your new broadband box. Sometimes, broadband providers have deals on, wiping their sign up fee while selected broadband providers – Vodafone, John Lewis Broadband, Talk Talk – have no fees.

Contract lengths
If you're living in a short term rental, be sure to consider the contract length of your new broadband deal. You don't want to end up paying for broadband you're not using. On the flip side, if you've managed to bag a cheap deal, try and get it on a very long contract – 24 months maybe – so that you pay a cheaper price for longer. Some broadband providers even offer a contract-free monthly rolling option.

Highest speed available
Depending on how many people and devices are in your household as well as how reliant on the internet you are, it's useful to know which providers offer the highest speeds. Vodafone offer a whopping 900Mb through one of their packages, while several other providers only offer up to around 60 megabits per second.

Which broadband providers are available in your area?

Type in your postcode below to see which broadband providers are currently serving your area.

What broadband speed do I need?

  • ADSL (24Mb and under): Great for small families who do a bit of web surfing and streaming HD video. Not so ideal if a lot of people try to use it at once though. 
  • Fibre (around 38Mb): A great option if there are two of you in your house who are reliant on the internet. Price-wise FIbre broadband is similar to that of Faster Fibre so it may just be worth the extra £1 to £2 per month to get Faster Fibre. 
  • Faster fibre (50Mb+): If rapid, lag-free internet is a must in your home this is the option for you. Seamless 4K video streaming, lag-free social media scrolling, fast downloads and it can cope with several devices at once. In our opinion, this is the best broadband option out there. 

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