BT broadband, phone, and TV review

ByKim Staples
BT logo

It’s the UK’s biggest broadband provider, but does that mean it’s worth getting? We’ve taken BT apart piece by piece and had a look at what it’s made of.

Here's what BT has to offer, what you can expect from your service, and how it compares to other providers on the market.

See also:

Cost

BT isn't the cheapest broadband provider - you'll get lower prices from guys like Plusnet and TalkTalk - but it's not the most expensive either. And although you'll definitely pay more for BT than you would for the afore-mentioned providers, you do get a bit more for your dosh.

Line rental on its own, on the other hand, is possibly the most expensive in the UK. Again, you do get more features - including inclusive calls, and suchlike if you need them - but you'll almost certainly find lower price tags elsewhere.

Look out for limited-time deals, though. When BT has a special offer on, it's almost always a doozy.

Featured BT deals

BT
BT
BT
Unlimited Broadband + weekend calls Unlimited Infinity 1 + Weekend Calls Unlimited Infinity 2 + Weekend Calls
£333.87 Total first year cost £418.87 Total first year cost £574.87 Total first year cost
£26.99 p/m for 12 months £9.99 setup costs 12 month contract £31.99 p/m for 12 months £34.99 setup costs 12 month contract £44.99 p/m for 12 months £34.99 setup costs 12 month contract
Up To 17 Mb Up To 52 Mb Up To 76 Mb
Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc.
£60 BT Reward Card - see BT's website for further details Offer ends 28/09/17 £120 BT Reward Card - see BT's website for further details Offer ends 28/09/17 £120 BT Reward Card - see BT's website for further details Offer ends 28/09/17
Go
Call BT on 0800 783 5390
Mon to Sun 8am-6.30pm
Go
Call BT on 0800 783 5390
Mon to Sun 8am-6.30pm
Go
Call BT on 0800 783 5390
Mon to Sun 8am-6.30pm

See all BT deals

Broadband

There are three kinds of BT broadband: Unlimited Broadband (ADSL) up to 17Mb, BT Infinity 1 (fibre) up to 52Mb, and Unlimited Infinity 2 (fibre) up to 76Mb.

Speed

The download speeds on offer are pretty much the same as what you'll get with most Openreach providers, like TalkTalk or EE, with one key difference: the basic fibre package has speeds up to 52Mb, while for most providers it's up to just 38Mb. Monthly costs aren't too much higher than 38Mb packages either, which is nice. See what we mean about getting a bit more with BT?

It's not the fastest broadband around though. For ultra speedy, mega fast internet, you'll want Virgin Media, which goes up to 300Mb.

As for the speeds your line will actually get on BT, it really depends where you are. Most users report that fibre speeds are pretty consistent in most areas, but ADSL (up to 17Mb) speeds can vary a lot. If you're out in the countryside, for instance, you'll almost certainly struggle to get 17Mb.

Download limits, fair usage, and traffic management

Most of BT's packages are unlimited, though you can also get ones with data caps if you really don't use the internet much.

When BT says unlimited, it means truly unlimited. There's no cap whatsoever, no fair usage clauses (besides the usual "don't use broadband for crime" stuff), and no traffic management either - so your speed won't be artificially slowed down.

Router

With BT Infinity, you get a BT Smart Hub - genuinely one of the best routers you can get with a broadband package right now. It's got the latest tech, like 'next generation' AC wireless, and smart Wi-Fi that can cut through interference. See our Smart Hub review here.

With ADSL broadband, you get a BT Home Hub 4. This one's fine. It's not nearly as impressive as the Smart Hub, but it'll do just fine for ADSL, and it's better than some that come with cheaper providers. Read more about the Home Hub 4.

BT Smart Hub

See BT broadband deals

Home phone

BT is still the king of landlines.

Standard, basic line rental comes with inclusive weekend calls to UK landlines, which is pretty decent. You can upgrade that to include weekend calls or anytime calls, and you can add on international calling minutes for phoning people abroad. That's as well as more general calling features like caller display and three-way calls.

It's one of the most comprehensive phone package out there, with more features than any other provider and excellent service. BT Call Protect is included free as well, which helps clamp down on nuisance calls.

One major caveat though: none of those home phone packages include calls to mobiles. If that's something you know you need in a landline, you may prefer a provider with more options there - like Plusnet or Virgin Media.

See BT phone deals

TV

BT YouView box

BT keeps it simple when it comes to telly. When you get broadband, you can add on:

  • Starter - basic Freeview (80 channels), plus some extras
  • Entertainment - extra channels (110 altogether) and a box that can record TV
  • Max- 140 channels, inclusive BT Sport, and a 4K-ready box

It's not the biggest pay-TV out there. You can't get as many channels as you can from most providers, particularly Sky or Virgin Media, but since it's very low-priced in comparison, it's a good way to get just a bit of extra TV.

BT TV is also the cheapest way to get BT Sport - that's a big bonus. With Max, it's free, including the BT Sport Ultra HD channel.

See BT TV deals

Extras

Here's the other stuff BT has to offer.

  • BT Mobile - BT's mobile plans aren't half bad, with a good range of contract phones and SIM-only deals, plus a £5 per month discount for broadband customers.
  • Wi-Fi hotspots - Being a customer also means you use BT's 5 million public Wi-Fi hotspots around the country.
  • Security - All its broadband comes with BT Virus Protect and BT Parental Controls.
  • Cloud storage - You can get up to 500GB free online storage for backing up your files.
  • BT Sport, Sky Sports Main Event and Extra, Sky Cinema - All are available to add on to BT TV for a monthly fee.

That's a lot of extras, and better yet, a lot of extras you can actually use.

Our verdict

In a nutshell, BT offers quality broadband. There's a good spread of options, service is decent, and the included routers have top-notch tech. Though it costs a bit more than some of its rivals, it gives you value for your money.

BT TV won't satisfy big telly fiends - but if all you want is a few extra channels or BT Sport, BT gives you a low cost way of getting them. 

 

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