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Sky Broadband review 2020

Is Sky Broadband any good?

Our Sky Broadband rating: 4/5

Sky offers a wide range of action-packed broadband and TV bundles, with hundreds of channels available from its satellite TV service. In our Sky broadband review we’ll look at the packages, prices, and speeds available from Sky and discover whether a Sky deal is the right choice for you.

Sky Broadband user review

The following ratings from Sky 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: 81%
(average: 80.8%)

Value for money: 66.9% 
(average: 69.6%)

Trust: 78.7%
(average: 79.9%)

Would recommend?: 74.4%
(average: 74.2%)

Overall Sky broadband customer rating: 75.3%
(average: 76.2%)

Much like last year, Sky’s performance in our 2020 broadband survey is average in most respects. Value for money was its weakest area, but customer care is a positive at 81% approval. It did also win an award for Fastest Superfast Broadband Provider.

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Sky Broadband - the Broadband Genie review

We like We don't like
  • Truly unlimited
  • Triple play and quad play bundles
  • Lots of extras
  • Slower average fibre speed than competitors
  • Limited speeds outside the Sky network area
  • Sky Hub router is basic and can't be easily replaced

Sky Broadband speed

Sky average download speeds vs BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk and Virgin Media

  Sky BT Plusnet TalkTalk Virgin Media
ADSL 11Mb 10Mb 10Mb 11Mb N/A
Fibre optic 36Mb / 59Mb 36Mb / 50Mb / 67Mb 36Mb / 66Mb 38Mb / 67Mb 54Mb / 108Mb / 213Mb / 362Mb / 518Mb

Sky Broadband upload speeds vs BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

  Sky BT Plusnet TalkTalk Virgin Media
ADSL 1Mb 1Mb 1Mb 1Mb N/A
Fibre optic 9.5Mb / 19Mb 9.5Mb / 19.5Mb 9.5Mb / 19.5Mb 9.5Mb / 19Mb 3Mb / 6Mb / 12Mb / 21Mb

Sky - as with most providers besides Virgin Media - uses the Openreach telephone network, so its broadband speeds are roughly similar to most other ISPs. However, Sky has taken the unusual step of eliminating its entry level 36Mb fibre service for new customers, so now there is only the option of either the cheap 11Mb ADSL, or one Sky Superfast fibre broadband package.

Sky fibre broadband does have a slower average speed than other Openreach providers, advertising 59Mb compared to the 63Mb-67Mb most other ISPs offer.

Sky Broadband value for money

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

Sky Broadband Essential (11Mb) BT Broadband (10Mb) Plusnet Unlimited Broadband (10Mb) TalkTalk Fast Broadband (11Mb) Virgin Media M50 (54Mb)
£22 £24.99 £19.99 £21.50 £28

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

Sky Broadband Superfast (59Mb) BT Fibre 2 (67Mb) Plusnet Fibre Extra Line Only (66Mb) TalkTalk Superfast Fibre (67Mb) Virgin Media M350 (362Mb)
£27 £29.99 £26.99 £26 £52

Last checked 04/20. 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.

Sky Broadband Essential starts from £22 which - while not the cheapest you can find - is still not a bad price. Though if you can get it, you might just want to pay the small extra charge for Sky fibre. 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 too when you take into account the speed. Sky does quote a slightly lower average speed, but it's not a huge difference.

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 TV

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 Vouchers

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 feel compromised - the broadband is on a par with competitors, and better than many. The 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 - though it does now offer unlimited usage. 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: