Sky broadband review
Sky Broadband offers a wide range of packages, encompassing everything from cheap fibre, premium satellite TV and broadband bundles, and even ultrafast full-fibre services. It also has a good customer service record, and you get useful extras.
But some of its packages are expensive, the ultrafast services do not impress when it comes to uploading, and you cannot easily replace the Sky Broadband Hub with your own Wi-Fi router.
- Truly unlimited.
- Good customer service.
- Broadband and satellite TV bundles.
- Minimum speed guarantee.
- Ultrafast broadband is available.
We don’t like
- Expensive ADSL service.
- Upload speeds aren’t great.
- Sky Wi-Fi router can’t be easily replaced.
Sky broadband: in summary
- Download speeds (average): 11Mb (ADSL) / 59Mb (FTTC) / 145Mb (G.fast & FTTP) / 500Mb (FTTP) / 900Mb (FTTP)
- Upload speeds (average): 1Mb (ADSL) / 16Mb / 27Mb / 60Mb / 90Mb
- Data usage limit: Truly unlimited
- Type of broadband: ADSL & fibre optic (FTTC / G.fast / FTTP)
- Home phone line: Yes (required for ADSL, FTTC & G.fast)
- Inclusive phone calls: Optional extra
- Router: Sky Broadband Hub
You can find Sky's best broadband deals below:
Sky broadband speeds
Sky offers five different broadband speeds, with a variety of packages available for each, including broadband and TV bundles.
Sky Broadband Essential Plus
- Download speed: 11Mb
- Upload speed: 1Mb
This is a basic entry-level ADSL service, suitable for homes of no more than two people where the broadband is used occasionally. But it is slow by modern standards, and this package is quite expensive for what it offers.
Sky Broadband Superfast 80
- Download speed: 59Mb
- Upload speed: 16Mb
This is quick enough for many homes, capable of handling multiple concurrent users. It is much better value than Sky Essential, as it’s both faster and cheaper.
Sky Broadband Ultrafast
- Download speed: 145Mb
- Upload speed: 27Mb
Ultrafast provides a significant improvement in download speeds, good for larger homes with many devices all streaming and downloading at the same time.
It has a minimum guaranteed download speed of 100Mb.
Depending on availability at your home, this service may be delivered using either G.fast or FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) technology.
Sky Broadband Ultrafast Plus
- Download speed: 500Mb
- Upload speed: 60Mb
This option uses full-fibre (FTTP) to provide very quick download speeds averaging 500Mb, with a minimum guaranteed speed of 400Mb.
Sky Broadband Gigafast
- Download speed: 900Mb
- Upload speed: 90Mb
The quickest Sky package is Gigafast, a full-fibre service that provides an average download speed of 900Mb and a guaranteed speed of 600Mb.
Sky speed summary
Sky user Speed Satisfaction score: 3.67 / 5
The speed satisfaction score is taken from the feedback of Sky customers, who are asked to rate the performance of their Sky 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.
Ofcom average speed data: Sky 54Mb vs BT, EE, Plusnet, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media
Average broadband download speed recorded by Ofcom during a 24-hour period.
- Sky 59Mb average speed: 60.9Mb (103% of advertised rate)
- BT 67Mb average speed: 61.9Mb (92% of advertised rate)
- EE 67Mb average speed: 60.7Mb (91% of advertised rate)
- Plusnet 66Mb average speed: 59.6Mb (90% of advertised rate)
- TalkTalk 67Mb average speed: 61.3Mb (92% of advertised rate)
- Virgin 54Mb average speed: 51.7Mb (96% of advertised rate)
Ofcom speed data shows the average speed of Sky Broadband Superfast was 60.9Mb or 103% of its advertised speed.
That looks very impressive at a glance, but the difference between Sky and most other providers is that Sky’s advertising is a little more realistic.
Comparable services from other ISPs (Internet Service Providers) have slightly higher advertised rates but are delivering a similar performance.
So don’t be put off by the slightly slower speed for Sky Superfast compared to its closest competitors; Sky isn’t promising as much, but it’s delivering the same kind of experience.
However, our survey results suggest Sky customers have some issues with the service. Although not a terrible result, the speed satisfaction user score of 3.67 is slightly below the average of 3.77.
It’s also worth noting that Sky Ultrafast packages have disappointing upload rates in comparison to the upload speed. They’re still more than adequate for many homes, but if you have FTTP in your area and you want more upstream capability, there are far quicker alternatives.
Sky broadband value for money
Sky value for money user score: 3.39 / 5
The Sky user value for money score is the average rating from customers, who are asked to rank Sky for value between one (very poor value) to five (very good value).
The Sky user value score of 3.39 falls below the average of 3.47. It’s not catastrophic but does suggest that Sky customers are less happy with what they’re getting compared to some other providers.
Going by its pricing, Sky seems to offer competitive value for money...mostly.
Sky Broadband Superfast is well under £30 per month for a fast fibre service, while ultrafast deals start at just over £30 for a 145Mb average download speed.
However, we do not recommend Sky Broadband Essential Plus. It is the only ADSL package offered by Sky, and it's pretty expensive.
Sky Superfast is actually a few quid less and much quicker, so if you have fibre coverage there's no reason to choose Essential Plus. And if you can’t get fibre, there are many cheaper ADSL packages.
Essential Plus does include the Broadband Boost feature, which does include some potentially useful features (see the Extras section below). But there’s no option to remove it, and even if there was this package still costs more than many other ADSL deals.
Phone line rental is included in the monthly fee, but inclusive calls are extra. That’s ideal if you only need the phone for broadband. But take the time to compare options if it’s a feature you need, as there are broadband and phone deals with inclusive calls that could cost less.
Sky Ultrafast packages do include phone service but it’s an internet calls package — your phone plugs into the back of the router instead of the wall socket. Again, inclusive calls are extra. However, this may be unsuitable if you have emergency devices that need to use the phone line.
Sky Broadband is sometimes available with a free gift, usually a shopping voucher or pre-paid credit card. It’s not as frequent as some other providers and tends to only be available with one or two packages, but the value can be in the region of £100.
When rewards aren’t available, you’ll often find Sky offering some kind of discount on the monthly fee.
Sky customer service
Sky customer service user score: 3.84 / 5
Sky 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 for each provider.
Going by both our survey ratings and Ofcom reports, customer service is a strength for Sky Broadband.
In our survey, Sky subscribers rated it above average, with a score of 3.84 versus the average 3.69.
Sky is one of the providers studied in the Ofcom customer service report. It received the following scores in the most recent publication (7th May 2021):
- Overall satisfaction: 80% (average: 80%)
- Customers with a reason to complain: 24% (average: 26%)
- Overall complaint handling satisfaction: 59% (average: 52%)
- Complaints per 100,000 subscribers: 23 (average 50)
- Call waiting time: 3:21 (average 4:09)
Sky is rated above average in almost every category, except for overall satisfaction where it is merely average.
Overall, these are very positive stats and suggest you can be confident of receiving a good level of aftersales care from Sky.
See more: Sky customer service contact information
Sky Wi-Fi router
All new Sky broadband deals include a Sky Broadband Hub.
Sky Broadband Hub specifications
- Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) & 802.11ac (5Ghz)
- Dual-band Wi-Fi: Yes
- Tri-band Wi-Fi: No
- Ethernet: 4x gigabit LAN
- Extras: 8x aerials, telephone port
The Sky Broadband Hub replaces the old Sky Hub and Sky Q Hub. If you sign up for a new Sky broadband package now you’ll receive this hardware. Existing customers with an older router should contact Sky to find out about an upgrade.
This is a dual-band router, which means it can host two networks at the same time: a 2.4Ghz signal for older devices, and a 5Ghz 802.11ac network for newer hardware.
The previous Sky Q Hub was also capable of this but only had five Wi-Fi antennas while the new Broadband Hub has eight. That means it should provide better Wi-Fi coverage.
It also has gigabit network ports, providing fast connectivity for up to four wired devices.
The Hub doesn’t stand out from most other free Wi-Fi routers, but it is a decent upgrade on the older hardware and should be adequate for most homes.
But it should be noted that, unlike most other providers, Sky does not support the use of any Wi-Fi routers except its own. Replacing it with your own hardware is possible, but you’ll have to search the web for unofficial workarounds.
Sky broadband extras
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-priced packages do deliver more channels than the basic offerings from other TV providers, where you’ll only get Freeview.
But a satellite dish is still required (unless you shell out for the new Sky Glass streaming TV). 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.
See more: Sky TV deals
Sky Broadband Boost
Broadband Boost is a £5 add-on for Sky Superfast and Ultrafast packages (it is already included with Sky Broadband Essential Plus).
Broadband Boost offers the following features:
- Wi-Fi guarantee: Guaranteed Wi-Fi speeds of at least 3Mb in every room, or money back. You can also get free Sky Wi-Fi Boosters if required.
- Flexible engineer visits: Schedule evening or weekend engineer visits for no extra charge.
- Daily line checks: Sky will check your line daily and let you know if there’s a problem.
- Sky Broadband Buddy: Parental control app to help you manage access on smartphones and tablets in your home.
- 2GB mobile data boost: In the event of a broadband fault, Sky Mobile customers get an extra 2GB data.
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: our verdict
Broadband Genie 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 and minimum speed guarantees.
The TV and broadband bundles can get expensive, but then you do also have the option of standalone broadband service and most of those packages are reasonably priced.
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 the Ofcom customer service report and our home broadband survey.
The things we don’t like about Sky Broadband aren’t necessarily a huge issue, depending on your requirements.
For instance, not being able to easily replace its router could be frustrating if you prefer to use your own hardware. And while its Ultrafast packages can deliver very fast download speeds, the upload rates aren’t as impressive.
The Sky Broadband Essential ADSL package is also very expensive considering what it offers. But the fibre deals represent better value, and there are lots of alternative ADSL providers out there if you can’t get or don’t want a fibre optic service.
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:
Broadband Genie’s review policy
When you’re looking to switch broadband, we know how important unbiased, balanced, expert reviews can be. As a dedicated broadband comparison and switching site, we are in a unique position to give you expert insight into whether or not we think a provider is worth your money. Read on to find out a little more about our broadband provider review process.User ratings
We ask users to review providers on our site, as part of our ongoing Home Broadband Survey project. We gather these reviews by promoting our survey to a broad swathe of customers. In doing so, we aim to get the most accurate and balanced customer feedback as possible. We believe this is preferable to advertising ourselves as a review service, which tends to attract a higher number of frustrated customers, skewing the results.
We use these scores, in combination with other factors such as Ofcom research to inform our overall ratings (more on this below).
You can leave your own review on our broadband survey, which also includes a monthly £50 prize draw.Overall ratings
Our overall provider rating is decided upon by our editors, informed by the user feedback we have received, we will also take into account wider market research such as Ofcom’s speed and customer service research, along with other trusted review platforms such as Trustpilot, where appropriate.
This allows us to create an informed, well-balanced review of a provider that’s ultimately the most useful way to determine whether or not a provider is right for you.