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BT Broadband Review 2021

Is BT Broadband any good?

Our BT Broadband rating: 3.5 / 5

Read our comprehensive BT home broadband review to learn about the services offered by BT, how fast it is and how much it costs, and whether a BT broadband deal is right for you.

BT Broadband - the Broadband Genie review

We like We don’t like
  • Truly unlimited broadband.
  • Good value TV bundles.
  • Unique and affordable 50Mb fibre package.
  • No traffic management or fair use policy.
  • Expensive after the first year.
  • Customer service needs improvement.

BT Broadband speed

BT Broadband average speed vs Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

  BT Plusnet Sky TalkTalk Virgin Media
ADSL download speed 10Mb 10Mb 11Mb 11Mb N/A
ADSL upload speed 1Mb 1Mb 1Mb 1Mb N/A
Fibre download speed 36Mb / 50Mb / 67Mb 36Mb / 66Mb 59Mb 38Mb / 67Mb 54Mb / 108Mb / 213Mb / 362Mb / 516Mb / 630Mb
Fibre upload speed 9.5Mb / 19.5Mb 9.5Mb / 19.5Mb 19Mb 9.5Mb / 19Mb 5Mb / 10Mb / 20Mb / 36Mb

BT uses the Openreach network, so its speeds are broadly similar to most other ISPs. But there is a BT-exclusive fibre optic package that offers 50Mb; that’s a reasonable amount of extra broadband muscle for not much more than the entry-level 36Mb deal.

BT Broadband value for money

BT broadband cheapest package vs Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

BT Fibre Essential (36Mb) Plusnet Unlimited Broadband (10Mb) Sky Broadband Superfast (59Mb) TalkTalk Fibre 35 (38Mb) Virgin Media M100 (108Mb)
£25.99 £18.99 £28 £23 £27

BT broadband fastest package vs Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

BT Fibre 2 (67Mb) Plusnet Fibre Extra Line Only (66Mb) Sky Broadband Superfast (59Mb) TalkTalk Fibre  65 (67Mb) Virgin Media M500 (516Mb)
£29.99 £24.99 £28 £24 £45

Last checked September 2021. The prices displayed above are the initial contract cost for new customers; charges may increase after renewal. The cheapest price is the lowest monthly cost regardless of speed. The fastest price is the fastest service available on Broadband Genie for the lowest monthly cost, excluding TV bundles.

Of the five biggest ISPs, BT’s standard pricing makes it among the most expensive on the Openreach network. And remember that the prices shown above are the cost for the initial contract term — it gets even costlier once the contract has expired.

But as we explained above, BT’s mid-tier Fibre 1 service does provide a faster 50Mb download speed for not much more than its cheapest fibre package. And you do get some nice extras, plus BT frequently offers deals with rewards that can make them excellent value when taken into account with the overall cost of a package.

It's also worth noting that BT Broadband Essential (11Mb average speed) and BT Fibre Essential (36Mb average speed) are the same price, so if you can get fibre there is no reason not to go for the faster option.

BT Broadband features and extras

BT broadband packages include a generous helping of free extras and benefits. BT is also not shy about special offers, and it’s rare for there not to be some kind of reward - such as shopping vouchers or pre-paid credit cards - included with a BT deal.

BT Smart Hub and Home Hub router

Anyone choosing a BT Fibre 1 or Fibre 2 broadband package will receive the latest BT Smart Hub 2, while ADSL and Fibre Essential broadband customers receive the slightly older Smart Hub.

The Smart Hub is one of the best bundled routers you’ll find from any broadband provider. It supports both the 802.11b/g/n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi standards, so will work with older Wi-Fi devices and give you great performance with newer hardware. You also get 4x gigabit network ports, seven antennas, and various smart features that handle the management of the Wi-Fi. The Smart Hub is also a pretty attractive gadget that won’t stick out like a sore thumb.

BT home phone

Most BT broadband and phone bundles come with an inclusive weekend calling package for free calls to UK landlines. You can choose to add unlimited evening calls or unlimited anytime calls for an extra fee. Free international calls to 36 countries are available with the International Freedom package.

Free BT Wi-Fi

BT has a public Wi-Fi hotspot network that has thousands of access points around the country, and as a BT Broadband customer, you benefit from free access to this network. This is a nice bonus that can provide broadband access outside the home and save on mobile data.

BT Broadband review conclusion

Our BT broadband rating: 3.5 / 5

BT offers broadband deals with excellent speeds and some tempting and useful extras. Its TV service is affordable with lots of features and additional channel packs, so it’s a great option for a broadband and TV bundle that’s cheaper than the premium cable and satellite services.

We especially like the 50Mb fibre package, which provides a nice boost over the 35-37Mb average of other entry-level fibre deals without a huge additional cost.

But BT is not exactly cheap, especially once the initial contract term ends. While it can have very competitive introductory deals thanks to frequent special offers, the price may increase sharply after 18 months. It’s worth making a note of the contract end date to negotiate or switch at that point, though that’s generally good advice for any provider.

Also, if you’re looking for broadband with no setup fee, you won’t find many such offers from BT. And short-term broadband contracts aren’t an option, except for the seasonal BT student broadband deals.

It also has to be said that BT’s past performance on customer and tech support in our annual home broadband survey has been less than stellar. However, this is likely due in part to the sheer number of subscribers it has (and going by the fact that it is the single most popular ISP in the country, many seem reasonably happy with the service).

For more on BT, including deals, check out our BT broadband page.

More broadband reviews

We review every provider we list on Broadband Genie. Check out the following reviews for our thoughts on other ISPs:

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