As one of the major broadband providers, Sky Broadband marries up some great speeds with a reliable broadband service that ticks the boxes for a range of households. Selecting the right package means you can also get a guaranteed Wi-Fi signal in every room of your house, as well as a host of parental controls using its Broadband Buddy app. Sky also has a good track record for customer service and its biggest strength is its home entertainment bundle offering a range of exclusive live sports and blockbuster movies. Both routers are also impressively fast with speeds up to 1GB and its Sky Q Hub router is one of the best around – it connects up to 64 internet-enabled devices at the same time. Its dedicated Sky Switch Squad will also make moving over to Sky a smoother process. You will need to watch the price rises of some packages, particularly when you come to the end of a contract, but similar practices are carried out by other providers, so Sky is not alone.
*Reviews on this page are randomly selected and sourced from an anonymous feedback survey of 7,681 broadband customers conducted by BroadbandDeals.com in July 2020.
Sky is a major player in the media and telecommunications world. While Sky is well known for its Sky TV subscription service, it also has a major impact on the Broadband marketplace. Its standard and fibre options are widely available across the UK, with its standard option available to 99% of the population. All Sky Broadband deals come with unlimited downloads, line rental, Sky Pay As You Talk and the latest Sky Hub.
Sky, like most providers, tries to keep your stress levels down to a minimum when switching from a provider. The Sky Switch Squad will manage the whole move for you if you are moving from any provider on the Openreach network. If it’s Virgin Media or a provider on another network then you will need to arrange the switch yourself. There is also good back-up support on the Sky website as well as an option to call Sky Help to discuss broadband on 0330 041 4376. On average, the process of switching to Sky takes about two weeks from start to finish, depending if installation is required or not.
Sky offers two Wi-Fi routers with its packages. You get a free Sky Hub when you sign up for a regular Sky Broadband package without a TV bundle, or you can get the Sky Q Hub for an extra fee or as part of the Sky Q TV and broadband package. Both of the Hubs offer similar features like security, that gives parents the option to block certain websites. However, there are some technical differences between the two Hubs. The Sky Hub supports 802.11n Wi-Fi, an older standard which could impact the fastest speeds on newest devices. The network ports are also limited to 100Mbps transfer speeds. With the Sky Q Hub you get the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, which has dual band capability allowing a greater flexibility when connecting multiple Wi-Fi devices. The Sky Q Hub also lets you connect up to 64 devices at once and uses its own Smart Signal Technology to give the greatest Wi-Fi connection and create hotspots around the home, which is handy. It is probably worth paying the extra for the Sky Q Hub to ensure best Wi-Fi performance. You cannot use your own router with Sky, so if you decide to upgrade routers later you will have to pay to do so.
Sky offers a range of broadband services – its standard ADSL Essential broadband, Superfast fibre broadband and Ultrafast.
All Sky Broadband deals come with a landline, as well as Pay As You Talk calls as standard. There is also an option to upgrade to Sky Talk Evenings and Weekends Extra, Anytime Extra, or International Extra. The deals also come with Sky Hub and Sky Broadband Shield.
Sky also offers a wide range of TV bundles, combining broadband with movie channels, Sky Sports channels or Netflix.
Ofcom's Comparing Service Quality Report states an average of 83% of Sky customers were satisfied with the overall performance of their home broadband, 84% were satisfied with its reliability and 81% with its speed of service.
The study also placed Sky slightly ahead of the competition on ADSL download speeds, with a 24hr average of 10.8-12.8Mbits/sec, matching Plusnet at 10.7-13Mbits/sec and beating both BT and TalkTalk.
However, the situation changes with Sky’s Superfast services, where Sky’s 24hr average speed (56.3-61Mbps) falls slightly behind BT and TalkTalk, at 62.4-64.6Mbits/sec and 61-64.5Mbits/sec respectively. It also falls behind Plusnet and EE.
Find out more about Sky Broadband deals here.
Sky’s entry-level package offers an 11Mbps average broadband speed with no download limit and is great for browsing, emails and social media. It includes Sky Pay As You Talk and you can add Sky’s Broadband Boost for its Wi-Fi guarantee. Set-up costs are £20 and deals can start from £22 a month for 18 months. The package includes a Sky Q Hub router and Sky Broadband Shield.
This is Sky’s most popular fibre broadband package with an average broadband speed of 59Mbps and unlimited monthly usage. This package is perfect for streaming video, music, gaming and homes with multiple people connected at the same time.
The package includes Sky Pay As You Talk and you can add Sky’s Broadband Boost for its Wi-Fi guarantee. You can also choose to add Sky TV and calls to Sky Broadband Superfast or keep it as a broadband only deal. Set-up costs are £20, with deals starting from £25 a month for 18 months. The package includes a Sky Q Hub router and Sky Broadband Shield.
This is Sky’s premium broadband service with average speeds of 145Mbps. This means you can stream, game and download faster and as often as you like. At the moment it is only available in limited areas of the UK.
Sky offers two packages, both with unlimited usage, so there are no restrictions on what you can stream or download. The only restrictions are the speed you choose.
The Essential package offers download speeds of 11Mbps, which is fast enough for smaller households who only use the internet to browse or email and stream or download movies one at a time. Its ‘Superfast’ offering averages 59Mbps and is ideal for multiple users who want to watch 4K movies and play online games at the same time – both the contracts last for 18 months.
It is also worth being aware of the upload speeds, as these give an idea of how long it will take to add attachments to emails or upload images and videos. You can get upload speeds of 1.3Mbps on the Essential package and 19Mbps on Sky Superfast. To compare this, BT, for example, offers 1Mbps upload with its standard broadband, 9.5Mbps on its Fibre 1 and 19Mbps on its Fibre 2 package. Virgin Media provides around 3Mbps with its 54Mbps service. If you want to hit 20Mbps upload speed with Virgin Media, you will need a package that offers 100Mbps or above.
Sky also offers a premium broadband service with average speeds of 145Mbps but is only available in limited areas of the UK.
Installation of Sky Broadband is a straightforward process and takes around two weeks from the time that you order. Sky confirms in writing your activation date and whether you have a suitable phone line, then an Openreach engineer will come and install a new one for you before your services are activated.
You can track the process of installation along the way online and Sky will send you your brand-new router in the post. Once the router arrives and your broadband is activated you will need to set it up yourself, although Sky provides step-by-step instructions on its website which details how to set up the Sky routers and connect your devices wirelessly or through a wired connection.
Sky does well when it comes to customer satisfaction and has been recognised by the likes of Ofcom for its customer service.
In the Comparing Service Quality Report cited above, the proportion of Sky customers with a reason to complain has decreased since 2017 (from 14%). In 2018, for the second successive year, Sky also generated the fewest complaints per 100,000 subscribers for both landline and broadband with only 20.
As a Sky customer, you can contact the customer service team seven days a week, with on live chat between 7am-11pm or through its telephone contact centre, which is open between 8am and 9pm.
Sky also receives favourable reviews when you are switching from an old provider. The Sky Switch Squad will manage the whole move for you within two weeks. The exception is if you are moving from Virgin Media, in which case you will need to make the cancellation yourself.
Phone plans are included with Sky’s broadband packages and you can keep your existing home phone number. They come in four different formats:
Pay As You Talk — Sky’s default plan charging you the standard rate for calls.
Talk Evenings & Weekends Extra — Inclusive calls to UK mobiles and landlines on evenings and weekends for £5 per month.
Talk Anytime Extra – Free calls at any time on any day for £10 per month.
Talk International Extra – Offers inclusive calls to around 50 international destinations for £12 per month.
Sky Talk customers also get the benefit of the Sky Talk Shield. It gives you greater control over blocking unwanted calls and numbers.
Here are a few additional things that make Sky stand out from the crowd:
Sky Q 'minis' extend the range of your broadband: If you get Sky TV with your broadband, and you get multiroom, you’ll be provided with additional Sky Mini Hubs. These can extend the range of your broadband as well as allow you to enjoy Sky TV in other rooms.
Sky Switch Squad: Sky's dedicated team ensures that the switching process goes smoothly and hassle-free, taking ownership of any problems, providing clear communication and managing things so there is no downtime when switching off your old services and switching on the new service.
You can add Sky TV: Although there are other providers with TV boxes that allow you to add some of Sky's services (Sky Cinema, Sky Sports), there are no others that allow you to add Sky TV to its fullest extent, including Sky Atlantic and so on.
The Cloud Wi-Fi hotspots: Sky Broadband subscribers can use the Sky Cloud Wi-Fi app which lets you manage your Wi-Fi use at thousands of hotspots across the UK.