Plusnet broadband review
It’s hard to go wrong with a Plusnet broadband deal. Prices are fair and it enjoys a great reputation for customer service. However, there is currently no option for ultrafast FTTP broadband.
- Truly unlimited.
- Low setup costs.
- UK-based support.
- Reassuring customer service record.
- Choose between 12 or 18-month contracts
We don’t like
- Ultrafast broadband is not yet available.
Plusnet broadband: in summary
A summary of Plusnet services can be found below; check out our Plusnet broadband page for more details about its packages.
- Download speeds (average): 10Mb (ADSL) / 36Mb / 66Mb
- Upload speeds (average): 1Mb (ADSL) / 9Mb / 18Mb
- Data usage limit: Truly unlimited
- Type of broadband: ADSL & fibre optic (FTTC)
- Home phone line: Yes (required)
- Inclusive phone calls: Optional extra
- Router: Plusnet Hub Zero (ADSL) or Plusnet Hub One (fibre)
Plusnet broadband speeds
Plusnet offers a choice of three speeds across its range. There are various packages available within each speed tier, including bundles with inclusive calls.
Plusnet Unlimited Broadband
- Download speed: 10Mb
- Upload speed: 1Mb
This is suitable for one or two people in homes where the internet is used occasionally. But it is not the right choice for homes with more than a couple of occupants, or for anyone who wants to use the broadband for activities like gaming, video streaming, or frequent downloads.
- Download speed: 36Mb
- Upload speed: 9Mb
Suitable for a small to medium-size family home, or an individual who needs more bandwidth than Plusnet Unlimited Broadband can offer. For only a small additional cost, this offers a significant improvement in speed compared to ADSL.
Plusnet Fibre Extra
- Download speed: 66Mb
- Upload speed: 18Mb
Ideal for busy homes where multiple users may be streaming or gaming at the same time.
Plusnet broadband speed summary
Plusnet user Speed Satisfaction score: 3.79 / 5
The speed satisfaction score is taken from the feedback of Plusnet customers in our home broadband survey, who are asked to rate the performance of their Plusnet broadband service on a scale of one (very dissatisfied) to five (very satisfied). The score is an average of all results, updated on a monthly basis.
Plusnet customer feedback indicates that users are fairly happy with the performance of their broadband, with a speed satisfaction score that’s slightly higher than the overall average of 3.77.
Ofcom average speed data: Plusnet 36Mb vs BT, EE, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media
Average broadband download speed recorded by Ofcom during a 24-hour period.
- Plusnet 36Mb average speed: 28.8Mb (80% of advertised rate)
- BT 36Mb average speed: 25.9Mb (72% of advertised rate)
- EE 36Mb average speed: 31.6Mb (88% of advertised rate)
- Sky 59Mb average speed: 61Mb (103% of advertised rate)
- TalkTalk 38Mb average speed: 31.6Mb (83% of advertised rate)
- Virgin Media 54Mb average speed: 51.7Mb (96% of advertised rate)
According to data gathered by Ofcom, the average speed of Plusnet’s 38Mb fibre service was 28.8Mb, which is 80% of its advertised speed for this service.
It was slightly better than BT’s comparatively disappointing 72%, and only just behind TalkTalk. But EE and Virgin Media are delivering closer to the advertised rate than Plusnet, while Sky is exceeding its relatively modest advertised speed.
Plusnet’s advertised download speeds are typical for ISPs on the Openreach telephone network (which is shared by the majority of providers). Its fibre upload speeds are slightly quicker than some competitors, though only by a small margin.
However, it does not yet have the option for ultrafast broadband, so if you live in an area with Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) you will have to look to other providers if you need more than the 66Mb average offered by Plusnet’s fastest service.
Plusnet broadband value for money
Plusnet value for money user score: 3.98 / 5
The Plusnet user value for money score is the average rating from Plusnet customers, who are asked to rank Plusnet for value between one (very poor value) to five (very good value).
Given its competitive pricing, it’s not surprising to see that Plusnet is scored above average (3.47) for value by its customers.
While not the very cheapest on the market, Plusnet offers some attractive deals for those on a tight budget, and it does so without cutting back in crucial areas. You get unlimited data, optional extras and features for power users, and UK-based customer service.
It is also somewhat flexible when it comes to contract terms. Although Plusnet no longer offers rolling 30-day deals, it has a choice of either 12 or 18-month contracts.
The 18-month fibre optic deals are better value, with lower setup and running costs, while the 12-month ADSL package is cheaper than its 18-month equivalent.
The cheapest Plusnet packages are line rental only and calls are charged at the standard network rate; if you only have a phone line for broadband and don’t plan to make calls, choose one of these deals.
If you do plan to use the landline regularly, Plusnet offers a selection of inclusive call bundles that will save money compared to paying the per-minute fees. Like its broadband services, these are decent value, starting from under £10 for free evening and weekend calls to UK landlines and mobiles.
More often than not, Plusnet deals include a free gift, usually a Plusnet Reward Card (a credit card that comes pre-loaded with cash). Plusnet is also known to offer cashback in the form of a cheque, and sometimes shopping vouchers.
Typically, these rewards are worth around £50. Given Plusnet is already quite cheap, this is a generous extra that adds up to a pretty substantial saving over the length of the contract.
When comparing Plusnet deals on Broadband Genie, check the offer details for a price calculation that includes the value of free gifts.
However, it’s important to note that Plusnet rewards usually have to be claimed — forget to do this before the offer expiry date and you’ll miss out.
Plusnet customer service
Plusnet customer service user score: 4.10 / 5
Plusnet users were asked to rate their provider for customer service, on a scale of one (terrible) to five (excellent). The user score is the overall average.
Plusnet enjoys a strong reputation for customer service and going by customer feedback that reputation is not entirely undeserved. Our customer service user score of 4.10 is well above the average of 3.69.
However, it is a mixed bag when we delve into some detailed complaints data.
Plusnet is one of the providers studied in the Ofcom customer service report. It received the following scores in the most recent publication:
- Overall satisfaction: 81% (average 80%)
- Customers with a reason to complain: 24% (average 26%)
- Overall complaint handling satisfaction: 47% (average 52%)
- Complaints per 100,000 subscribers: 69 (average 50)
- Call waiting time: 4:52 (average 4:09)
While overall satisfaction is slightly above par and fewer customers than average have a reason to complain, it is below average in other areas, so there is some definite room for improvement here.
Plusnet does come out looking better than some other budget broadband providers. TalkTalk had significantly lower ratings in most categories, except for a strong performance in call handling times, while Vodafone had a significant number of customer complaints.
Plusnet Wi-Fi router
Plusnet offers two different home broadband routers to new customers, the Plusnet Hub One for fibre packages, or the Plusnet Hub Zero for ADSL.
Plusnet Hub One specifications
- Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n (2.4Ghz) & 802.11ac (5Ghz)
- Dual-band: Yes
- Tri-band: No
- Ethernet: 4x gigabit Ethernet
- Extras: USB port, smart power management
Anyone signing up for a Plusnet fibre connection will receive a Plusnet Hub One router. This provides dual-band Wi-Fi for operating both 802.11b/g/n and 802.11ac Wi-Fi networks at the same time.
That means it can deliver faster connectivity on newer devices that support the 5Ghz 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, while still offering backward compatibility with older hardware.
The Hub One is an all-in-one solution for fibre, so you don’t need a separate modem.
Plusnet Hub Zero specifications
- Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n (2.4Ghz)
- Dual-band: No
- Tri-band: No
- Ethernet: 4x 10/100 Ethernet
Plusnet ADSL customers will receive the Plusnet Hub Zero router. This is a fairly basic model which supports 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi only, meaning that you may not get the best data speeds on newer equipment. However, Plusnet does allow the use of third party routers so you can choose your own gear if you require something more powerful.
Plusnet broadband extras
Plusnet Mobile is an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) using the EE network. It offers a couple of SIM-only deals on 30-day contracts with unlimited minutes and texts, and a fixed data usage limit.
Plusnet broadband customers benefit from an extra 2GB of data each month.
Plusnet Protect is a Plusnet-branded McAfee Antivirus tool that will help to stop malware, warn about spam email, and block malicious websites on up to seven devices.
It is free for Plusnet Unlimited Broadband and Unlimited Fibre Extra customers, while Unlimited Fibre subscribers have to pay £2 per month after an initial three-month free trial.
It’s welcome as a free extra, but there’s no good reason to pay for this otherwise; free anti-virus tools (including the virus protection built into Windows) are adequate for most home users.
Plusnet used to offer a Freeview TV package as an addon to fibre broadband. However, it stopped selling this at the beginning of 2021 and cancelled the service for existing customers on the 1st of November 2021.
That means you’ll need to look elsewhere for a cheap broadband and TV bundle.
While it’s a shame to lose one of the few budget broadband and TV providers, we have plenty of alternatives.
TalkTalk and BT TV both offer a similar service to the old Plusnet TV, where you get a Freeview box and optional premium channel packages.
There’s also NOW Broadband, which offers easy access to popular Sky entertainment, movies, kids, and sports channels via flexible passes.
And of course, you can always make the switch to streaming from the likes of Netflix, Disney Plus, and Amazon Prime. All Plusnet broadband deals are capable of streaming, though you should pick a Plusnet Fibre package for the best experience.
Plusnet: our verdict
Broadband Genie rating: 4.5 / 5
Plusnet offers excellent value for money. Despite being at the budget end of the broadband market their service boasts well-regarded customer support, good performance, cheap installation, and a variety of flexible plans. Regular cashback and reward deals also add to the appeal.
It also provides features for more technical users, such as optional static IP and the ability to use your own Wi-Fi broadband router.
There aren’t too many downsides. It doesn’t yet have any ultrafast broadband, which is a shame if you live in an area with FTTP. And while subscribers generally seem to like its customer service, the Ofcom report indicates some problem areas. The defunct Plusnet TV service might also be missed by some, but there are so many options for TV now that we don't consider this a major drawback.
For more on this popular provider, including its latest deals, check out our Plusnet broadband page.
We love Plusnet, the public love Plusnet, but what about the competition? Check out more broadband reviews below:
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