BT broadband: The complete guide
When it comes to broadband providers, you won’t find bigger than BT. It has arguably the widest range of options - comprising home internet with tons of extras, such as TV and sports channels. It also does business broadband.
But is it right for you? In this guide we’ll take a look at the ins and outs of BT broadband, what we like and don’t like about it, and what actual BT customers have to say about it.
What broadband packages can I get from BT?
BT broadband packages fall into three basic camps - BT fibre optic broadband, standard broadband, and broadband and TV. Each package can be customised to your liking, so if, for example, you want more inclusive calls, you can upgrade the default call plan before you sign up.
All packages let you watch BT Sport for free online or via smartphone app. If you want to watch the channels on your TV though, you’ll need a broadband and TV bundle.
BT fibre optic broadband
If you want to get the most out of the internet, BT fibre optic broadband (formerly known as BT Infinity) is the way to go. It’s perfect for families and houseshares, and makes streaming movies, playing and downloading games, and surfing the web better.
All BT fibre packages include a BT Smart Hub wireless router, free access to the millions of public BT Wi-fi hotspots across the UK, the BT SmartTalk app, which lets you make mobile calls at your landline rate and BT Parental Controls.
Here are some options currently available:
- BT Superfast Fibre Essential - This gives you average download speeds of 36Mb and unlimited usage. This package is a good choice for individuals who want fast broadband for browsing, messaging and social media, as well as watching videos, using services like Skype or playing games online.
- Superfast Fibre + Weekend Calls - This gives you average download speeds of 50Mb, totally unlimited usage with no traffic management and BT NetProtect Plus security software. It’s perfect for streaming videos and music, and for playing games online. It’s a great choice for families or if you’re living in shared accommodation, as it means everyone can get online without your connection becoming unusably slow.
- Superfast Fibre 2 + Weekend Calls - This gives you average download speeds of 67Mb, totally unlimited usage, 500GB of online storage and BT NetProtect Plus security software. It’s perfect for large families or shared houses with lots of web-connected gadgets like phones, tablets, TV boxes and games consoles as its fast enough to support loads of people at once. It’s also excellent for heavy downloaders like gamers, and households where people regularly use streaming services like BBC iPlayer and Netflix at the same time.
Standard BT broadband - or BT Broadband, as BT calls it - packages give you an average download speed of 10Mb - although you may get more or less than that - see the FAQ section below for more details - a BT Home Hub wireless router, free access to millions of public BT Wi-fi hotspots, the BT SmartTalk app, which lets you make mobile calls at your landline rate, and BT Parental Controls.
- Broadband + Weekend Calls - This has totally unlimited downloads and includes weekend calls to UK landlines and 100GB of online storage. It’s a good choice if you share your connection with a couple of other people and want to be able to use the web willy-nilly, but don't need superfast speeds.
BT TV is based on YouView. You get a box which lets you watch, record, pause and rewind Freeview channels, easily catch-up on shows you missed and access a vast range of TV shows and movies on-demand. You can also add channels you can’t get on Freeview, like the three BT Sport channels, Comedy Central and Syfy.
You can only get BT TV with BT fibre or BT Broadband.
What’s good about BT broadband?
- Wide range of packages that will suit most people
- Widest availability of all providers in the UK
- Totally unlimited broadband with no traffic management - BT won’t slow down your connection any time
- Affordable TV bundles
- Online storage included with all packages
- SmartTalk app included with all packages - lets you make calls on your mobile at your landline call rates
- Free access to the huge network of public BT Wi-fI hotspots
- BT Home Hub ‘smart’ wireless router is one of the best provided by…providers
- BT Parental Controls included with all packages
- BT Sport free online and on your mobile with all packages
- Special offers often available - compare broadband to see what’s about now
What’s bad about BT broadband?
- More expensive than that of many providers
- BT fibre optic broadband still not available everywhere
- Not the fastest broadband available
- TV packages less expansive than that of Sky and Virgin Media
- Tight usage limits on cheapest packages
BT broadband customer reviews
So that’s what we think, but what about people who actually use it on a day to day basis?
BT broadband scored highly in our Customer Satisfaction Awards for its quality and reliability - arguably the most important aspect of any broadband package. It also earned kudos from customers for the router, activation speed, online security features and clarity of billing.
However, BT customers don’t think they get much in the way of extras from the provider. Opinions were mixed when it came to value for money and speed.
Here’s what BT customers have told us about BT broadband:
“First class broadband service.”
“Pretty good for a rural area.”
“BT is now overpriced compared to others!”
“Would like a faster broadband speed.”
More about BT
Take a look at what else BT has to offer: