Plusnet broadband features and review
Yorkshire-based “honest broadband” provider Plusnet has a long history. Starting out as Force9 Internet in 1997, the Plusnet we know today was launched as a dial-up ISP in June 2000, adding broadband later the same year.
The company was bought by BT early in 2007 but still operates under its own brand name. It offers a varied range of phone and broadband products at competitive prices and enjoys an excellent reputation for customer service and reliability.
What does Plusnet offer?
In common with most other ISPs, Plusnet uses the BT Openreach network to deliver its services. This means you have the option of two different types of home broadband service:
- ADSL up to 17Mb
This type of broadband is ideal for many homes. It provides sufficient speed at an affordable price and is widely available. However, ADSL can struggle to handle the requirements of a whole family or shared house, and heavy users will find the relatively low speed (especially for uploading) to be quite limiting.
- Fibre optic up to 38Mb or 76Mb
Superfast connectivity for those who need a speedier connection for transferring large files and handling the demands of a busy household. Fibre broadband benefits from a much faster upload rate too, which is useful for running home servers, hosting online games and operating a YouTube channel, amongst many other things.
When signing up for a Plusnet broadband package you’ll also get a phone line - the prices displayed on Broadband Genie are the cost of both the line rental and broadband. Some packages include inclusive calls, if not you’ll simply pay only for the calls you make.
Additionally, you can choose to pay the phone line rental in advance and receive a discount on the equivalent monthly cost.
Plusnet operates a TV service using YouView boxes to offer premium channels and on-demand content in addition to Freeview broadcasts. There’s a choice of a basic YouView box without recording, or a YouView+ box with a hard drive for up to 300 hours of TV.
At present this is not a widely publicised offering. To get Plusnet TV you must have a Plusnet Fibre connection and order it direct from Plusnet.
Plusnet broadband coverage and speed
Plusnet broadband availability
As a reseller of BT Openreach services Plusnet broadband is available to the vast majority of homes in the UK - you simply need to be within range of a BT telephone exchange. However, the exact type of broadband you can get will vary. In some areas there will be the choice of either regular Plusnet broadband using ADSL or Plusnet Fibre. But fibre optic connectivity is still limited in some locations so you might only be able to get ADSL.
When comparing broadband deals enter your postcode into our comparison table to filter the offers by availability. To find out more about broadband coverage visit our local broadband page, where you’ll find links to helpful resources and guides for specific towns and cities.
Plusnet broadband speed
Plusnet broadband deals are available with the following speeds:
- Plusnet Broadband - up to 17Mb download, 1Mb upload.
- Plusnet Fibre - up to 38Mb download, 1.9Mb upload.
- Plusnet Fibre Extra - up to 76Mb download, 19.5Mb upload.
The exact speed you receive will depend on your distance from the exchange and the quality of your phone line. The performance may also fluctuate at peak times.
For further help with this topic read our broadband speed guide.
Plusnet usage limits and traffic management
All Plusnet broadband deals come with unlimited usage. That means you can download and upload as much as you want and never be charged extra.
When it comes to traffic management, Plusnet do have a system for prioritising certain activities which is used to maintain performance for “high priority” tasks like VOIP calls, streaming and gaming, while low priority activities (such as file sharing) are slowed.
Plusnet broadband - the Broadband Genie review
- Unlimited usage
- Free setup on most packages
- UK based support
- Static IP available (one-off £5 fee applies)
- Free router included - but can use your own if preferred
- Monthly contracts available
We don’t like...
- Prices are higher in some areas
- Uses traffic management
- Upload speed limited on 38Mb fibre
Plusnet offers excellent value for money. Despite being at the budget end of the broadband market their service boasts strong customer support, a variety of flexible plans (including monthly “no contract” broadband) and features for more technical users, such as optional static IP and the ability to use your own router.
But Plusnet’s traffic management may not please those who want to take advantage of the full speed no matter what they’re doing online. And you should also be aware that Plusnet has different pricing depending on your location - if you’re in an area classed as “non-low cost” you’ll find it’s more expensive.
Broadband Genie Awards
Plusnet's winning streak in our annual home broadband survey continued in 2017, with the popular ISP being voted best broadband provider for the fith time.
Plusnet was the highest rated ISP for customer care and technical support, and second for reliability, while its users also gave it top rankings for value and trustworthiness. And it was also the most recommended provider. Overall it scored 74% to achieve pole position.