BT Broadband user review
The following ratings from BT customers are taken from our annual home broadband survey. Customers were asked to rate their provider in each category; the score is the percentage of positive answers and the overall rating is the combined average score.
Customer care: 75.4%
Value for money: 63.2%
Would recommend?: 70.7%
Overall BT broadband customer rating: 71.1%
It wasn’t a spectacular showing from BT in our 2020 home broadband survey. It was near the bottom of the rankings in all categories with below-average scores across the board. Its best result was for speed, where BT came second for superfast download speeds, and fourth for superfast uploads.
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BT Broadband - the Broadband Genie review
|We like||We don't like|
BT Broadband speed
BT average download speeds vs Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media
|Fibre optic||36Mb / 50Mb / 67Mb||36Mb / 66Mb||36Mb / 59Mb||38Mb / 67Mb||54Mb / 108Mb / 213Mb / 362Mb / 518Mb|
BT upload speeds vs Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media
|Fibre optic||9.5Mb / 19.5Mb||9.5Mb / 19.5Mb||9.5Mb / 19Mb||9.5Mb / 19Mb||3Mb / 6Mb / 12Mb / 21Mb|
BT uses the Openreach network so its speeds are broadly similar to most other ISPs, with the exception of a BT-exclusive fibre optic package which 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 Broadband (10Mb)||Plusnet Unlimited Broadband (10Mb)||Sky Broadband Essential (11Mb)||TalkTalk Fast Broadband (11Mb)||Virgin Media M50 (54Mb)|
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 Superfast Fibre (67Mb)||Virgin Media M350 (362Mb)|
Last checked 03/20. Prices displayed above are the initial contract cost for new customers; price may increase after renewal. Cheapest price is the lowest monthly cost regardless of speed, fastest price is the fastest service available on Broadband Genie for the lowest cost. Does not include TV bundles or special offers.
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 more expensive once the first contract has expired.
But as we explained above, BT’s mid-tier fibre service does provide a faster 50Mb download speed for not much more than its cheapest fibre package. And you do get some nice extras (such as free public Wi-Fi and BT Sport 1). BT also frequently offers deals with rewards that can make them extremely good value when taken into account with the overall cost.
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 optic broadband package will receive the latest BT Smart Hub, while ADSL broadband customers receive the slightly older Home Hub 4.
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 standards so will work with older Wi-Fi devices, and offers the latest ‘Wave 2’ 802.11ac for great performance with newer hardware. You also get four gigabit network ports, seven antenna and various smart features that handle management of the Wi-Fi. The Smart Hub is also a pretty attractive gadget that won’t stick out like a sore thumb.
The Home Hub 4 has fewer bells and whistles, but you still get dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, four networks ports (one gigabit, three 100Mb) and a USB port. However the lack of 802.11ac support is a drawback, so you may need to purchase your own router to get the fastest Wi-Fi speeds or other advanced features.
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 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.
Free BT Sport 1
Free access to BT Sport 1 is included with all BT Broadband deals. However, it is online only which means you can only view through a web browser. The full BT Sport pack is included with BT Broadband and TV bundles.
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 and is not unique to BT.
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 performance on customer and tech support in our annual home broadband survey is less than stellar, though 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, the majority seem reasonably happy with the service).
For more on BT, including deals, check out our BT broadband page.
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