Plusnet is one of the UK’s largest and most popular broadband providers. Its focus on simple and budget-friendly packages has proved very popular with millions of Brits. This has been proved through numerous awards and high ratings it’s received over the years.
Read on for our verdict on what Plusnet does very well, as well as which parts of its service would likely be better served by other providers.
A 2023 broadband customer survey run by Uswitch asked customers to rate a number of different aspects of their provider’s service. Plusnet performed really well in many categories — with customer service, value for money, installation and reliability all highly rated.
In fact, Plusnet performed better than the vast majority of broadband providers in the survey, showing just how good the quality of their service is in the eyes of customers.
Plusnet dates back to 1997 when it launched as a provider of dial-up internet. It proved to be so popular that its customer base had doubled by 2004, and it was acquired by BT in 2007.
With the development and rollout of fibre broadband, Plusnet was able to utilise BT’s Openreach network and launch its fibre service in 2012. This offered average speeds of up to 66Mbps, which at the time would have been a fast enough speed for almost every household in the country.
In 2022, Plusnet launched its first full fibre broadband deals, again using BT’s Openreach ultrafast network to offer speeds between 100Mbps and 500Mbps. These speeds are starting to be very appealing to larger households with lots of internet users — especially when multiple people are streaming in 4K, gaming online or working from home.
At the time of writing, I’m nearly 18 months into a contract with Plusnet on its Unlimited Fibre Extra service. And I’ve just renewed the contract on the same product for another 18 months.
While other products are on offer, including a small selection of faster full fibre packages, the 66Mbps internet speed I receive from this package works well for me as someone living alone. Since there isn’t huge pressure on my connection from multiple devices using the internet at once, I don’t feel the need to pay for a faster speed than I need.
But what’s it like to use on a daily basis? From customer service and coverage to internet speeds and value for money, our review will help you decide if Plusnet is the right broadband provider for you and your household.
Plusnet’s coverage via the Openreach network is, at 97%, practically nationwide. So customers should be able to get Plusnet unless they live in an extremely rural area.
Its full fibre products won’t be available to everyone across the UK yet. But you can check your address on our fibre broadband page to see if this type of connection is available to you already.
Since Plusnet uses the nationwide Openreach network, its coverage is relatively similar to many other providers available in the UK. This means that the strength of its connection will most often rely on the quality of the Openreach line, rather than Plusnet’s broadband infrastructure itself.
However, there are many parts of your connection that Plusnet is still responsible for, so you should always report any outages you have directly to it, so the provider can identify where the fault is.
Plusnet’s broadband speeds aren’t anywhere near the fastest on the market, especially compared to the likes of BT and Virgin Media. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, depending on your actual household needs.
If you’re in a small house without particularly heavy internet use, Plusnet will probably be fine. But if you’re in a large household where multiple people are likely to be using the internet for downloads and streaming at the same time, you may need to consider choosing an ultrafast deal. Plusnet does offer these, but their coverage across the UK is much more limited.
I tested the speed of my connection at various points throughout my review and received around 57-58Mbps on average. That’s plenty for me when I’m only running a laptop, phone and a TV or games console.
Since I live alone, I almost never see a sluggish connection because only a couple of devices are being used at any one time. But larger families would definitely need faster speeds if multiple people used the internet as much as I do.
Plusnet is mainly known for its superfast fibre speeds, which don’t usually go faster than 66Mbps. But it recently unveiled its first ultrafast full fibre packages, so its potential speeds are now a lot faster.
Plusnet’s range of broadband deals offers the following average download speeds:
The superfast broadband packages Plusnet offers - Unlimited Broadband, Unlimited Fibre and Unlimited Fibre Extra - definitely come under the no-frills banner. They all require line rental and come with a router and call options if you use a landline, but not much else.
But there are no comprehensive broadband and TV packages available from Plusnet. Even its recent BT Sport app add-on was removed just before it rebranded to TNT Sports.
The connection of any internet provider will vary for different customers. Depending on the type of broadband connection you choose and the area you live in, you could enjoy a very consistent internet connection or be plagued by outages.
While providers work their hardest to make sure connection faults are fixed as soon as they’re noticed, some take longer to resolve issues than others. However, since Plusnet is part of the well-established Openreach network, its outages are very few and far between.
It means I can trust Plusnet’s connection with everything I do online, especially on days when I work from home. Streaming is seamless, online gaming runs relatively flawlessly and downloads take just as long as I expect for the speed of my package.
I have no concerns about the reliability of Plusnet’s internet connection. I can trust it to work whenever I need it.
I’ve had to contact Plusnet’s customer service team on two separate occasions and both times they were as helpful as they could be, with any issues occurring with interactions with Openreach engineers.
My flat is a new build and had no connection to any broadband network when I joined Plusnet. This meant that an engineer had to access the flat as well as the cabinet on the street to connect it up. I wasn’t living in the flat at the time and unfortunately, engineer appointments are only available in two blocks, 8am to 1pm and 1pm to 6pm. And there’s no telling at what point they’ll actually arrive within that time.
Additionally, there was a mix-up as to when the engineer would arrive, which led to them arriving at a time when I wasn't in my flat. While the appointment was rearranged fairly smoothly, this led to a delay of about a month between signing up to Plusnet and actually being able to access the broadband. Unfortunately, at no point was I offered any compensation for the delayed start of my connection.
The issue seemed to be communication problems between Plusnet’s customer service system and the engineering appointment system. While it was eventually resolved, it did delay me moving into the flat because I couldn’t work from home without a broadband connection.
I had just renewed my contract with Plusnet and immediately had some short outages and connection problems, which I had not experienced at all over the previous 18 months. I booked an engineer appointment with Plusnet customer services, who arrived on time and diagnosed the problem (extra voltage on my line). The service has been completely fine since then.
Ultimately, Plusnet’s customer service has been efficient and as helpful as it can be. Judging by its great customer survey score, the majority of its customers are very happy with the support they get from the provider.
At the very least, it could work to improve its communication with the Openreach network that it relies on, so the provider can better monitor issues that its customers are facing.
In terms of equipment, Plusnet provides a simple-to-install broadband router to customers - the Plusnet Hub Two.
The Hub Two has four Gigabit cable ports in addition to two wireless antennas for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi connections. It also has a larger signal range, which makes it a better choice for larger households.
These routers aren’t as advanced as other routers, like the new Wi-Fi 6 router from Virgin Media that has a much wider signal and handles dozens of devices at the same time.
But at the speeds Plusnet offers, they’ll ensure a stable wireless connection. I haven’t had any router issues while I’ve had mine. The issues I’ve experienced have been more with the general connection rather than with the hardware itself. I live in a small flat so the signal comfortably reaches every room.
When it comes to installation and set-up, customers may need to pay an activation fee, which is sometimes waived as an introductory offer (it was for me). And there’s also an installation fee if you don’t have a phone line already up and running.
Plusnet also requires the first month to be paid upfront, so it can work out to a fairly expensive initial outlay - though of course, the prices throughout the contract will be lower than those offered by many other providers.
Activation generally takes about five days. But as mentioned above, it can sometimes take up to a month if you live in a new-build or hard-to-reach property.
Plusnet’s monthly price is definitely worth the service I receive from it. Since I’m not looking for a jam-packed service with lots of additional features, Plusnet is very well-priced for the needs I have.
It keeps its monthly prices lower than many other providers by focusing on offering a great experience rather than lots of bells and whistles. And since all I really wanted was a strong internet connection and occasional access to BT Sport, the relatively low monthly price was very convenient. But now BT Sport access has been removed for Plusnet customers, it's currently unclear if I can access TNT Sports with my Plusnet package anymore.
While I could enjoy a lot more from larger providers, such as BT or Sky, the difference in price isn’t really worth the additional cost those providers come with. So I find more value in Plusnet’s simplified offering.
Plusnet increased my broadband prices by a huge 14.4% in April 2023. That's a monthly increase of about £6 per month on my current contract.
This amount is in line with the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation, plus an extra 3.9%. It's a policy that Plusnet states in its T&Cs, and I was technically notified beforehand in a one-pager of costs when I signed up. But that doesn't stop the fact that I had no idea the inflation rate was going to be so high when I initially signed up.
As a result, I've found this to be quite a shocking price increase. And despite being provided with the information when I took out a new contract, I'm still disappointed that I wasn't told in actual numbers how much my prices would go up by.
You should certainly consider Plusnet if you mainly care about getting a strong, reliable, simple broadband connection for a good price.
But if you’re a heavy user of the internet, live in a big house with lots of devices on the go, or watch a lot of pay-TV, you might be better suited to a provider that offers a wider range of services.
While the provider isn’t well-known for its internet speed, its packages will still be plenty for many households. And, at a time when everything costs more than it used to, the value offered here could be too good to turn down.
Plusnet is a great option for people who:
Want to keep their monthly costs down
Would like a hassle-free, simple service with good customer support
Live in a small household with casual internet users
Enjoy streaming movies and shows but not paying for top-end TV packages
The straightforward, no-frills packages may not be to the taste of those who have grown used to expecting extras with their broadband. But for those that want a consistent, fast enough, good-value internet connection with excellent customer service, Plusnet is a fantastic option.
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