Sky Broadband - the Broadband Genie review
|We like||We don't like|
Sky Broadband speed
Sky average speeds vs BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk and Virgin Media
|ADSL download speed||11Mb||10Mb||10Mb||11Mb||N/A|
|ADSL upload speed||1Mb||1Mb||1Mb||1Mb||N/A|
|Fibre download speed||59Mb||36Mb / 50Mb / 67Mb||36Mb / 66Mb||38Mb / 67Mb||54Mb / 108Mb / 213Mb / 362Mb / 516Mb|
|Fibre upload speed||19Mb||9.5Mb / 19.5Mb||9.5Mb / 19.5Mb||9.5Mb / 19Mb||5Mb / 10Mb / 20Mb / 36Mb|
Sky — as with most providers besides Virgin Media — uses the Openreach telephone network, so its broadband speeds are roughly similar to most other ISPs But, Sky fibre broadband does have a slower average speed than other Openreach providers, advertising 59Mb compared to the 63Mb-67Mb most other ISPs offer, though it is only a minor difference.
Sky Broadband value for money
Sky Broadband cheapest package vs BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media
|Sky Superfast (59Mb)||BT Fibre Essential (36Mb)||Plusnet Unlimited Broadband (10Mb)||TalkTalk Fibre 35 (11Mb)||Virgin Media M100 (108Mb)|
Sky Broadband fastest package vs BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media
|Sky Superfast (59Mb)||BT Fibre 2 (67Mb)||Plusnet Fibre Extra Line Only (66Mb)||TalkTalk Fibre 65 (67Mb)||Virgin Media M500 (516Mb)|
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.
Sky Broadband Essential Plus is the only ADSL package offered by Sky, and it's pretty expensive. Sky fibre is actually a few quid less than the much slower Essential Plus, so if you have fibre coverage there's no reason to choose Essential Plus.
At present Sky only has one fibre optic broadband package listed, and it represents good value. It's cheaper than many other fibre deals, and even looks pretty good up against some of the ADSL offerings when you take into account the speed.
Sky Broadband features and extras
Sky Hub and Sky Q Hub
Sky offers two Wi-Fi routers. The standard Sky Hub is what you’ll get for free if you sign up for a regular Sky broadband package without a TV bundle, while the Sky Q Hub is available for an additional fee or included with a Sky Q TV and broadband package.
Both Hubs offer a broadly similar set of features, with wired network sockets and some useful security features (parents will welcome the ability to block websites via the Hub’s security controls). However, when you delve into the technical specifications some important differences are apparent.
The Sky Hub supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, an older standard which means you won’t be able to enjoy the fastest speeds on newer devices. The network ports are also limited to 100Mb transfer speeds. Opt for the Sky Q Hub though and you’ll get the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, with dual-band capability for more flexibility when connecting multiple Wi-Fi devices. It also supports gigabit wired network speeds, though has only two ports compared to the four available on the Sky Hub.
The Sky Q Hub has another trick up its sleeve too: it can turn Sky Q TV boxes into Wi-Fi access points to help extend wireless signals around your home. This is potentially a really handy extra, though you’ll only see a real benefit from that feature if your Q box is either not installed right next to the Hub or you have multiple Q boxes.
If you have fibre broadband or lots of wireless devices It’s worth paying the extra for the Sky Q Hub to get the best Wi-Fi performance, otherwise, the free Sky Hub will suffice. But remember that Sky does not allow customers to use their own routers so if you need more out of your router later on you’ll have to pay for an upgrade.
Sky is, of course, best known for its satellite TV, which has been beaming channels into homes for decades. This is a mature service with a huge amount of content that’s available to view both live and on-demand. You can even watch on the move using the Sky Go app.
Sky TV is available as a standalone service, but the broadband and TV bundles offer the best value. It isn’t the cheapest option for TV but its lowest price packages do deliver more channels than the basic offerings from other TV providers where you’ll only get Freeview.
But a satellite dish is - for now - still required. That may be an issue, and it’s especially important for renters and anyone living in a block of flats to obtain permission before having one installed.
The Cloud Wi-Fi hotspots
All Sky broadband customers get free access to The Cloud Wi-Fi network as part of the package. This public Wi-Fi hotspot network has thousands of access points dotted around the country, and it means that you don’t need to use mobile data to get internet outside your home, potentially allowing you to save some money with a cheaper mobile deal.
Sky will occasionally offer vouchers with select broadband and/or TV deals. They are not as prolific as BT or Plusnet, or perhaps even TalkTalk, but are very welcome when they are running.
Sky Broadband review conclusion
Our Sky Broadband rating: 3.5 / 5
Perhaps Sky’s biggest strength is its ability to offer a complete home entertainment bundle under one roof. With TV, phone, broadband, and now mobile, you can get everything sorted for one monthly price, with one point of contact for support. And none of these services feels like a compromise — the TV service is exceptional, while broadband is on a par with competitors, and better than many. Sky deals include lots of extras too, such as free public Wi-Fi hotspots.
Sky has also done much to improve its reputation when it comes to after-sales support, and in recent years has been reasonably well-rated for tech support and customer service in our home broadband survey.
But there are some downsides to consider. It’s disappointing that the free Sky Hub router is so basic and that upgrading to the superior Sky Q Hub will cost extra. And you will need to be in a Sky network area to get the best deals, as otherwise, your only choice is Sky Broadband Connect at a comparatively sluggish maximum speed of 6Mb. Sky broadband packages are also not the cheapest available, though the extras (assuming you find them useful) do help to offset that.
More internet provider reviews
If you'd like to know what we think about all the other major providers we list, then have a look at our other review pages below: