What are the best alternatives to BT?
BT Broadband is one of the UK’s most popular providers. With everything from cheap internet to fast fibre optic broadband and TV bundles, there's a lot to offer.
But no internet provider is the perfect fit for everybody. If you’ve decided BT doesn't suit you, what are the options? This guide will explore some of the best alternative providers to BT Broadband and TV.
Alternatives to BT Broadband
BT is a premium provider, offering fast broadband with optional TV bundles. There's also a range of extras available, such as inclusive calling bundles, a good quality router, and free extras. When it comes to broadband with bundled TV channels, BT's main competitors are Sky and Virgin Media:
Sky offers a wide choice of broadband speeds. As both are on the Openreach network, the speed choices are identical. However, Sky's packages are slightly cheaper than BT.
Sky is available as a standalone broadband and phone package, or as a bundle with a Sky TV service.
You can sign up to very fast broadband with Virgin Media, with download speeds up to 1.1Gb. Even its cheaper deals offer a significantly quicker speed than many BT services.
There's lots of choice when it comes to bundle options. Opt for broadband without a phone, broadband and phone, or broadband and TV bundles with hundreds of channels.
Cheap alternatives to BT
Although BT broadband can come with lots of extras and frequently includes free gifts, it's also one of the more expensive options.
If your goal is to save money, you’ll find no shortage of great value deals at extremely competitive prices.
Many providers use the same network as BT but provide services at a significantly lower cost. Use our comparison tool to search for the latest cheap broadband deals, and you'll find packages on offer from as low as £20 per month.
Alternatives to BT with extras and free gifts
When it comes to the free Wi-Fi router, you’ll find that the hardware offered by the following ISPs is similar to the BT Smart Hub in terms of quality and features:
Remember, providers will often supply better routers for fibre optic packages or to customers who sign up for extra features. You might not get the very best hardware the ISP has to offer unless you’re willing to pay a bit more.
Smaller alternative network providers
Don't think you always have to go with the big names. There are plenty of smaller, alternative network providers (we call these 'altnets') that offer interesting deals. They normally offer fast, full fibre packages, come with perks such as satisfaction guarantees and pledges not to raise prices mid-contract (which unfortunately, BT doesn't have).
Find out more in our guide to altnets.
Alternatives to BT TV
BT TV and broadband deals can be excellent value. While BT TV doesn't offer quite as many channels as some premium services, there's still a lot of live and on-demand content people. TNT Sports is also a popular service that isn't available on alternative providers.
TalkTalk TV is a close competitor to BT TV. It uses the same type of box with similar features and can provide a roughly similar number of channels. Like BT, it has a flexible approach to premium channel bundles, so you don’t need to commit to paying a subscription for an extended time.
Another potential alternative is NOW TV, which takes a slightly different approach to other services. Instead of a Freeview box with optional premium extras, NOW offers monthly passes to popular Sky channels including Sky 1, Sky Atlantic. You’re not locked into a contract, you can add or remove channels whenever you want, and it works on a wide variety of devices, including mobile phones and smart TVs.
Sky TV and Virgin Media TV
If you’re looking for a service that offers more than BT TV, consider Sky TV and Virgin Media TV. Both have a massive range of channels and feature-packed TV boxes. Just be aware, you'll pay more for these services, and they’re not the best choice if you’re looking for a budget alternative to BT TV.
If you're looking for an alternative to TNT Sports (previously BT Sport), then you want to choose a package with Sky Sports. This provides a large selection of channels covering everything from live Premier League games to more specialist sports. As well as being available on Sky TV, Sky Sports can also be viewed using a Virgin Media TV package, or a NOW TV Sports pass.
Expert summary: top 3 alternatives to BT Broadband
These are our top three picks for the best alternative providers to BT.
Sky Broadband deals are often slightly cheaper than BT, but offer similar speeds. And when it comes to TV, Sky's one of the leading providers of premium broadband and TV deals.
Virgin Media will be the fastest broadband available for many of us, so it’s a top choice if you’re looking to upgrade your speed. Virgin can also offer premium TV and broadband bundles.
Great value broadband deals that offer similar speeds to BT at a lower cost, backed up by award-winning customer service.