BT vs EE broadband - which is best?

ByKim Staples
BT and EE

They may come from the same company, but BT and EE broadband are quite different. BT focuses on quality and lots of top-notch features, while EE offers something a little more straightforward. So… which one should you get?

It's time to break the two providers down and put them head to head. Keep reading to find out how BT and EE broadband compare - and which one we think is best.

See also:

BT vs EE at a glance

  BT EE
Download speeds Up to 17Mb, up to 52Mb, up to 76Mb Up to 17Mb, up to 38Mb, up to 76Mb
Usage 25GB or totally unlimited Totally unlimited
Router BT Home Hub 4, BT Smart Hub EE Bright Box 1, EE Bright Box 2
Online security BT Web Protect, plus BT Virus Protect for £4 per month Free 12-month trial of Norton Security
Home phone Weekend calls, evening and weekend calls, anytime calls, cheap international rates, inclusive international calls Weekend calls, anytime calls and minutes to mobile numbers, International Extra add-on
TV Start (80 channels), Entertainment Plus (110 channels), Total Entertainment (140+ channels, 4K box) EE TV (80 channels, apps)
Minimum contract 12 months 18 months

Cost

EE broadband is usually lower in price than BT.

That said, both providers often have deals and special offers on, so it's always best to compare deals and see who's currently best.

Here's how much EE and BT cost right now:

Featured EE deals

EE
EE
EE
Unlimited Broadband & Weekend Calls Unlimited Superfast Fibre & Weekend Calls Unlimited Superfast Fibre Plus & Weekend Calls
£259.00 Total first year cost £374.00 Total first year cost £422.00 Total first year cost
£21.00 p/m for 18 months £7.00 setup costs 18 month contract £28.50 p/m for 18 months £32.00 setup costs 18 month contract £32.50 p/m for 18 months £32.00 setup costs 18 month contract
Up To 17 Mb Up To 38 Mb Up To 76 Mb
Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc.
£100 Amazon Voucher! Offer ends 27/07/17 £100 Amazon Voucher! Offer ends 27/07/17 £100 Amazon Voucher! Offer ends 27/07/17
Go
Call EE on 0800 079 0562
Go
Call EE on 0800 079 0562
Go
Call EE on 0800 079 0562

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 £394.87 Total first year cost £634.87 Total first year cost
£26.99 p/m for 12 months £9.99 setup costs 12 month contract £29.99 p/m for 12 months £34.99 setup costs 12 month contract £49.99 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.
Online exclusive - £75 BT Reward Card - see BT's website for further details Offer ends 27/07/17 £150 BT Reward Card - see BT's website for further details Offer ends 27/07/17 £150 BT Reward Card - see BT's website for further details Offer ends 27/07/17
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

Verdict: EE typically wins on price, but special offers can change that, so always check for deals.

Speed

With BT, you can get Unlimited Broadband with download speeds up to 17Mb, fibre optic BT Infinity 1 up to 52Mb, and Infinity 2 up to 76Mb.

EE, meanwhile, offers Broadband up to 17Mb, Fibre Broadband up to 38Mb, and Fibre Plus Broadband up to 76Mb.

So, the only real difference in speed comes from BT's basic fibre package - which gives you speeds up to 52Mb, unlike the up-to-38Mb you'll get with most other providers.

Verdict: BT wins for that up to 52Mb package, but for the other two, speeds are identical.

Download limits and traffic management

Both providers are exactly the same here. Unlimited packages are truly unlimited, with no download caps or fair usage clause. Neither practise web traffic management either, so your connection won't ever be artificially slowed down.

BT does offer a package with a download limit, which can help you save a bit of money if you're not a big internet user - though it gets pretty expensive if you hit the usage limit.

Verdict: It's a tie.

Equipment

The routers you'll get with each provider's standard ADSL broadband - the BT Home Hub 4 and EE Bright Box 1 - aren't much different. You'll get a similar router experience with either one.

The routers you get with fibre broadband, meanwhile, are a little different - and a little more impressive. Both the BT Smart Huband EE Bright Box 2 come with the latest 'ac' Wi-Fi standard, which means faster speeds on compatible devices, and 'smart' or 'intelligent' wireless to cut through interference. Onto that, the Smart Hub adds faster ethernet ports, more antennas, and Wave 2 ac Wi-Fi.

BT Smart Hub

Verdict: We'll have to give it to BT because the Smart Hub is so good.

Home phone

Both BT and EE broadband come with line rental, and in both cases you can add extras.

BT's standard line rental includes weekend calls to landlines, but you can upgrade that to include evening calls, anytime calls, or add cheaper international rates. There are loads of calling features you can add on too, via its more premium Line Rental Plus.

EE gives you weekend calls to landlines too, and again you can add anytime calls, calling minutes to mobile numbers, and 500 minutes to international numbers. There aren't as many features as there are with BT, though - you can't get things like call barring, three-way calling, and so on.

Verdict: There are more options available with BT, so it wins here. However… they're cheaper with EE.

TV

Both providers also let you sign up for their TV service alongside your broadband too.

From BT, this means a YouView box, with 80-140 channels depending on your package. You can add Bolt-ons for even more, including entertainment channels, kids' TV, Sky Sports 1 and 2, Sky Cinema, and so on. And you can get BT Sport either very cheaply or for free.

EE gives you an EE TV box, which only includes basic Freeview - around 80 channels. The thing about this box, however, is that it has absolutely loads of apps. It means you can subscribe to more stuff, such as NOW TV, Sky Sports, catch-up services, and so on.

EE TV

All those apps aren't really integrated with live telly, which is a tad annoying, but it's a good bit of tech if you want to turn your TV into a smart one. You can access it all from a number of devices too, including your smartphone and tablet.

Verdict: For live TV and channels, BT is best.

Mobile

Oh yes, that's right. Broadband from BT and EE gives you extra special deals on the companies' mobile plans too.

BT broadband customers get a £5 monthly discount on BT Mobile plans, whether you pick a SIM-only deal or a phone contract.

And EE broadband gives you an extra 5GB of monthly data on your EE mobile, so long as you're on a pay-monthly plan. Yeah, seriously. That's worth about a tenner by EE's estimates.

EE and BT Mobile are both pretty good for mobile plans - BT is straightforward and reasonably priced, while EE has absolutely tons of choice and the fastest 4G speeds around. EE mobile costs a little more though, so a free 5GB of data is very welcome.

Verdict: It does depend on how you use your mobile, but 5GB monthly data from EE is excellent value. EE wins.

What else?

  • BT Sport - With BT, you can get BT Sport for a much cheaper price than anywhere else, including BT Sport Ultra HD with the top-tier TV package.
  • Wi-Fi hotspots - BT customers also have access to its 5 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the country.
  • Security - EE comes with a 12-month free trial of Norton Security Premium, and BT comes with free BT Web Protect - plus you can add BT Virus Protect for a monthly fee.
  • Cancellation credit - If you're cutting your previous broadband contract short to switch to EE, you can claim up to £50 to help with the cancellation fee.

Final verdict

BT has won nearly every round here. Its broadband comes with more features, impressive extras (BT Sport, for instance), better tech, and its base fibre package is faster. We're going to have to give the crown to BT!

However, it's worth mentioning that it only just about pips EE in most rounds. A major advantage of EE is that it's generally cheaper - with a few more ways to keep your costs down too.

Get BT if… you want broadband speeds up to 52Mb, you want BT Sport, you prefer live TV over apps, or you want the best quality router in town.

Get EE if… you're on a budget, you're at the cutting edge of technology and want a smart TV, or if you could use an extra 5GB of EE mobile data each month.

 

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