BT v Sky v Virgin Media: Which broadband provider is REALLY best for you?

2 min

12 shares, 77 points

BT v Sky v Virgin Media: Which broadband provider is REALLY best for you?

Sky v BT v Virgin Media – which is best? (Image: PH)

In a bid to get consumers switching to its broadband, BT recently announced a price cut to one of its most popular internet packages. This drop means consumers can now get the firm’s Essential broadband for just £26.99 per month – that’s the lowest ever standard price for BT Fibre Broadband.

It all sounds pretty tempting but is it really the best deal and are there other broadband suppliers that offer something better?

Although £26.99 is pretty cheap it’s worth noting that BT’s basic fibre Essential broadband only offers speeds of around 36Mbps – this allows customers to download a full HD movie in around 15 minutes. That’s not terrible but if you live in a busy and tech-packed house it’s likely that you’ll something better.

For those that want faster speeds, BT offers its Fibre 1 (50Mbps) service for £27.99 or Fibre 2 (67Mbps) for £34.99.

So how does this compare with some of its biggest rivals?

Sky has two lower-cost options with its very basic Essential service (11Mbps) costing £22 and its improved Superfast option (56Mbps) costing £25 per month – that’s both faster and cheaper than BT.

If speed is all you care about then Virgin Media is a good choice with the company currently offering some big discounts on its full-fibre service.

For example, you can get Virgin’s M100 (100Mbps speeds) for £29 per month or M200 (200Mbps) for £34.

Virgin Media is more expensive than Sky and BT but you will get faster downloads as the firm offers a fibre connection right into your living room.

There is another rival to consider if you want the best overall experience.

Zen Internet continues to be voted the UK’s best internet supplier with the firm recently receiving a top accolade from consumer group Which?

Zen is pretty pricey with its basic service (10Mbps) costing £28 per month and its superfast fibre 1 (35Mbps) costing £29.99 per month.

Its most popular option called Unlimited Fibre 2 costs £34.99 and offers speeds of 66Mbps.

Speaking about its award, Richard Tang, Zen’s Founder and Chairman, said: “We’re thrilled to once again come out on top of Which?’s latest survey into the state of the UK’s broadband market scoring five stars in six categories. It is particularly pleasing that our reliability score continues to earn top marks especially as a reliable broadband connection is now more important than ever.


When shopping for your broadband supplier it’s worth taking into account what your usage will be.

For a little light web browsing and emailing anything under 20Mbps will be fine but start streaming Netflix shows or Disney+ and things will begin to struggle if your speeds aren’t up to scratch.

The more people using the web in your home will also impact things so if you have a busy household who all try and get online at the same time you’ll want to opt for faster speeds.

It’s also worth checking how many connected gadgets you have plugged in as each device will eat into your speeds. So if you have an Echo in every room, smart doorbells and Hue lights it might be worth getting a better broadband package.

Here’s a simple guide to how fast each speed will download a movie

15Mbps speeds – DOWNLOAD TIME = 38 minutes

30Mbps – DOWNLOAD TIME = 19 minutes

60Mbps – DOWNLOAD TIME = 9 minutes

100Mbps – DOWNLOAD TIME = 5 minutes

200Mbps – DOWNLOAD TIME = 3 minutes

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