Sky broadband, phone, and TV review

Sky broadband logo

Sky’s one of the country’s go-to providers for TV, and it’s got decent broadband going on too - so is it worth getting?

We've had a good look at everything Sky offers to try and find out. Here's what you can get, how Sky compares to other providers, and our final verdict.

See also:

Cost

For just broadband and home phone, prices are reasonable from Sky - it's not a budget provider, but it shouldn't break the bank either.

For TV, meanwhile, it's definitely on the expensive side. That said, you do get a lot for your money.

Sky has deals and special offers going on pretty frequently, so do look out for those. Here's what prices look like right now:

Best buy deals
  • Broadband Unlimited
    £70 Voucher redeemable at Tesco
    • Exclusive
    • Average speed* 11Mbps
    • £9.95 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go phone
    • Offer ends
    • £18.00 per month
    18 month contract
  • Sky Entertainment + Broadband Unlimited
    Sky Q box
    • Average speed* 11Mbps
    • £39.95 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go phone
    • £33.00 per month
    18 month contract
  • Fibre Unlimited
    £70 Voucher redeemable at Tesco
    • Exclusive
    • Average speed* 36Mbps
    • £9.95 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go phone
    • Offer ends
    • £25.00 per month
    18 month contract
  • Sky Entertainment + Fibre Unlimited
    Sky Q box
    • Average speed* 36Mbps
    • £39.95 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go phone
    • £40.00 per month
    18 month contract
  • Sky Fibre Max
    £70 Voucher redeemable at Tesco
    • Exclusive
    • Average speed* 63Mbps
    • £9.95 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go phone
    • Offer ends
    • £30.00 per month
    18 month contract
  • Sky Entertainment + Fibre Max
    Sky Q box
    • Average speed* 63Mbps
    • £39.95 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go phone
    • £45.00 per month
    18 month contract

*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time (8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.

Broadband

Speed

Three Sky broadband packages are available: with average speeds of 11Mb (ADSL), 36Mb (fibre optic), and 63Mb (fibre optic). That's not half bad, especially for the fibre packages, though ADSL speeds can really vary quite a lot depending on where you live.

Those speeds are much the same as what you can expect from most broadband providers - though much faster lines are available from Virgin Media, which offers broadband packages that can exceed 350Mb.

Download limits, fair usage, traffic management

Sky's unlimited broadband is truly unlimited. That means no usage cap, no 'fair usage', and no traffic management to slow your speeds. That's ideal.

However, be careful if you choose broadband with a download limit. If you use more than 25GB twice in six months, Sky will automatically bump you up to an unlimited package - and yes, it'll cost you more.

TV

Using the Sky Q app at home

Here's where it gets good. Sky has some truly impressive telly going on.

Packages

There's only one TV package available from Sky: Sky Entertainment. It's very comprehensive, though - you get an awful lot, including around 300 channels. Onto that, you can grab some flexible add-ons too. They are:

  • Sky BoxSets, for on-demand TV series
  • Sky Sports
  • Sky Cinema
  • Sky Kids, for around 10 children's TV channels
  • Sky HD, for 40+ extra HD channels

You've also got the option to add BT Sport onto any of them, though not directly through Sky, as well as Sky Multiroom if you want Sky on more than one TV set. Multiroom can get a tad expensive though, especially as you need to buy another Sky box.

Channels

Absolutely tons of channels come with Sky TV. The base package alone has more than you can get with any other TV provider, and the Sky HD add-on gives you 50+ in HD - though it's a bit annoying to have to pay an extra monthly fee just to get HD channels.

On the plus side, every Sky customer gets favourites like the Sky entertainment suite (Sky 1, 2, Atlantic, Living, Arts), Discovery, MTV, Comedy Central, Gold, and more.

Overall, it's incredible. It makes Sky the most hardcore pay-TV out there in terms of channel numbers.

Sky Q

TV from Sky comes with the Sky Q system - some of the most innovative TV tech you can get right now, rivalled only by Virgin Media's TiVo.

It's incredibly easy to use, and integrates live TV with on-demand shows seamlessly. Its 'fluid viewing' lets you pause a programme in one room and pick it up where you left off in another, plus there's a voice-controlled touch remote. And the 2TB box is 4K-ready.

This is why Sky isn't cheap: because you're getting the best.

Sky Q system with remote

Home phone

The standard line rental you get with Sky - included with your broadband, or available on its own - is pay-as-you-talk. You can upgrade that to include evening and weekend calls, anytime calls, and international calls to 50 countries - so you've got a decent amount of choice here. And those inclusives cover calls to UK landlines and mobiles, which isn't the case with all providers.

BT landlines have more calling features available, and providers like Post Office have cheaper line rental - but if you talk on the phone a lot, Sky's home phone is a good shout.

Extras

Here's the rest of the stuff you can get from Sky that might sweeten the deal.

  • Sky Mobile - Sky has a decent set of mobile plans, including the slightly confusing Swap system that lets you upgrade your handset early. TV customers get a little more too, such as unlimited minutes and texts.
  • Sky Atlantic - There are only two ways to get Sky Atlantic, home of Game of Thrones and Twin Peaks, and Sky is one of them. It's included in every TV package.
  • Sky Go - Watch catch-up, box sets, recordings, and a bunch of live channels from anywhere - on your computer via a browser, or via the app on smartphones, tablets, and games consoles.
  • Security - All Sky broadband packages come with Sky Broadband Shield for parental controls, and a free trial of McAfee to protect your devices.
  • Sky Q Hub - Sky's router is among the best you can get with broadband. If you've got a Sky Q Hub and Sky TV, your set top boxes can function as Wi-Fi hotspots, to push your connection that bit further.

To put it simply: you get a lot with Sky.

Our verdict

Sky's a solid choice. You get a good product, with plenty of features and extras thrown in.

Its broadband doesn't have the low prices of TalkTalk, or the uber-fast speeds of Virgin Media, but it'll serve you well.

For TV, Sky is one of the best you can get. It certainly has the most channels, and its equipment is top quality too. It costs a fair bit more than BT TV, for instance, but what you get is quite amazing.

If it's within your budget and your household loves to watch telly, we'd say Sky's worth it.

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