Best broadband for gaming

  • Compare the best gaming broadband deals and offers
  • Best providers for gaming – Sky, BT and Virgin Media
  • October 2019 deals start from just £27 per month
24 deals at
  • Compare the best gaming broadband deals and offers
  • Best providers for gaming – Sky, BT and Virgin Media
  • October 2019 deals start from just £27 per month
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Recommended deal Virgin Broadband
Broadband speed 362Mbps
Upload speed 21Mbps
Contract length 12 months
Monthly price £43 per month

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Best broadband for gaming

PackageBroadband SpeedMonthly UsageSet-up CostContract LengthMonthly Price
BT Superfast Fibre + Weekend Calls50Mb averageUnlimited£9.9918 months£28.99 per month
Virgin Media M100 Fibre Broadband + Weekend Calls108Mb averageUnlimited£3512 months£33 per month
Sky Broadband Superfast + Anytime Calls59Mb averageUnlimited£9.9518 months£37 per month
Virgin Media M350 Fibre Broadband + Weekend Calls362Mb averageUnlimited£3512 months£43 per month
BT Superfast Fibre 2 + Weekend Calls67Mb averageUnlimited£9.9918 months£39.99 per month
Sky Broadband Superfast59Mb averageUnlimited£9.9518 months£27 per month
Virgin Media M50 Fibre Broadband + Weekend Calls54Mb averageUnlimited£3512 months£28 per month
Virgin Media M50 Fibre Broadband54Mb averageUnlimited£3512 months£30 per month
Virgin Media M200 Fibre Broadband + Calls213Mb averageUnlimited£3512 months£38 per month
Virgin Media M200 Fibre Broadband213Mb averageUnlimited£3512 months£40 per month
Virgin Media M100 Fibre Broadband108Mb averageUnlimited£801 month£42 per month
BT Superfast Fibre + Weekend Calls + BT Sport On Sky50Mb averageUnlimited£9.9918 months£44.99 per month
Virgin Media M350 Fibre Broadband362Mb averageUnlimited£3512 months£45 per month
BT Superfast Fibre 2 + Calls + BT Sport App67Mb averageUnlimited£9.9918 months£49.99 per month
Virgin Media M350 Fibre Broadband362Mb averageUnlimited£801 month£52 per month
Loading...Loading...
PackageProviderOfferAverage SpeedMonthly UsageSet-up CostContract LengthFirst Year CostMonthly Price

Superfast Fibre + Weekend Calls

  • New customers only
  • No broadband price rises in 2019
  • BT Virus Protect on 2 devices and Parental controls
BT
  • £30 Gift Card
  • Ends soon
Broadband
Download speed (average)50Mb
Upload speed (average)9.5Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Home phone
Daytime calls (per min)10.24p
Evening calls (per min)10.24p
Weekend calls (per min)included
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£28.99
Set-up cost£9.99
First year cost£357.87
Average cost per month£29.55
Minimum contract length18 months
Terms and conditions
The Gift Card is preloaded with funds you can spend at most merchants that display the Mastercard®. Only avaliable to new BT customers ordering BT Broadband/BT Superfast Fibre on bt.com. Avaliable with or without TV. Claim once your broadband is up and running. T&Cs apply.
50Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£9.99
Set-up
cost
18
Month
Contract
£30
Gift Card

M100 Fibre Broadband + Weekend Calls

  • New customers only
  • For busy households with 5-9 devices
  • Average upload speeds of 6Mbps
Virgin Media
order by phone
0808 168 4947
  • £50 bill credit
  • Ends soon
Broadband
Download speed (average)108Mb
Upload speed (average)6Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Home phone
Daytime calls (per min)9.94p
Evening calls (per min)9.94p
Weekend calls (per min)included
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£33.00
Set-up cost£35.00
First year cost£431.00
Average cost per month£35.92
Minimum contract length12 months
Terms and conditions
£50 bill credit: New customers taking the Broadband and phone packages, and the Big bundle online only during the offer period between 30th September 2019 and 11.59pm on 3rd October 2019: 12-month minimum term contract applies. May not be used in conjunction with any other offer unless stated by Virgin Media. Availability subject to stock and colour of the device may vary. One reward per household. We reserve the right to withdraw the offer at any time. Prices are subject to change. You must provide an email address when you sign-up. If your email address is not provided or is not valid you will not receive the reward. You will not be entitled to your reward if you cancel your services or downgrade to a bundle lower than Broadband and phone prior to installation or before the end of your 14-day Customer Satisfaction Guarantee period. No cash or other alternative.
108Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£35.00
Set-up
cost
12
Month
Contract
£50
bill credit

Broadband Superfast + Anytime Calls

  • New customers only
  • Ideal for movie streaming and gaming in busy homes
Sky
order by phone
0800 840 5394
Broadband
Download speed (average)59Mb
Upload speed (average)9Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Home phone
Daytime calls (per min)included
Evening calls (per min)included
Weekend calls (per min)included
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£37.00
Set-up cost£9.95
First year cost£453.95
Average cost per month£37.55
Minimum contract length18 months
59Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£9.95
Set-up
cost
18
Month
Contract

M350 Fibre Broadband + Weekend Calls

  • New customers only
  • The UK's fastest widely available broadband
  • Average upload speeds of 21Mbps
Virgin Media
order by phone
0808 168 4947
  • £50 bill credit
  • Ends soon
Broadband
Download speed (average)362Mb
Upload speed (average)21Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Home phone
Daytime calls (per min)9.94p
Evening calls (per min)9.94p
Weekend calls (per min)included
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£43.00
Set-up cost£35.00
First year cost£551.00
Average cost per month£45.92
Minimum contract length12 months
Terms and conditions
£50 bill credit: New customers taking the Broadband and phone packages, and the Big bundle online only during the offer period between 30th September 2019 and 11.59pm on 3rd October 2019: 12-month minimum term contract applies. May not be used in conjunction with any other offer unless stated by Virgin Media. Availability subject to stock and colour of the device may vary. One reward per household. We reserve the right to withdraw the offer at any time. Prices are subject to change. You must provide an email address when you sign-up. If your email address is not provided or is not valid you will not receive the reward. You will not be entitled to your reward if you cancel your services or downgrade to a bundle lower than Broadband and phone prior to installation or before the end of your 14-day Customer Satisfaction Guarantee period. No cash or other alternative.
362Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£35.00
Set-up
cost
12
Month
Contract
£50
bill credit

Superfast Fibre 2 + Weekend Calls

  • New customers only
  • Stay Fast Guarantee or £20 back
  • Perfect for streaming, gaming, downloading in HD
BT
  • £60 Gift Card
  • Ends soon
Broadband
Download speed (average)67Mb
Upload speed (average)19Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Home phone
Daytime calls (per min)10.24p
Evening calls (per min)10.24p
Weekend calls (per min)included
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£39.99
Set-up cost£9.99
First year cost£489.87
Average cost per month£40.55
Minimum contract length18 months
Terms and conditions
The Gift Card is preloaded with funds you can spend at most merchants that display the Mastercard®. Only avaliable to new BT custmers ordering BT Broadband/BT Superfast Fibre on bt.com. Avaliable with or without TV. Claim once your broadband is up and running. T&Cs apply.
67Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£9.99
Set-up
cost
18
Month
Contract
£60
Gift Card

Broadband Superfast

  • New customers only
  • Ideal for movie streaming and gaming in busy homes
Sky
Broadband
Download speed (average)59Mb
Upload speed (average)9Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Home phone
Daytime calls (per min)9.50p
Evening calls (per min)9.50p
Weekend calls (per min)9.50p
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£27.00
Set-up cost£9.95
First year cost£333.95
Average cost per month£27.55
Minimum contract length18 months
59Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£9.95
Set-up
cost
18
Month
Contract

M50 Fibre Broadband + Weekend Calls

  • New customers only
  • For small households with up to 4 devices
  • Average upload speeds of 3Mbps
Virgin Media
order by phone
0808 168 4947
  • £50 bill credit
  • Ends soon
Broadband
Download speed (average)54Mb
Upload speed (average)3Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Home phone
Daytime calls (per min)9.94p
Evening calls (per min)9.94p
Weekend calls (per min)included
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£28.00
Set-up cost£35.00
First year cost£371.00
Average cost per month£30.92
Minimum contract length12 months
54Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£35.00
Set-up
cost
12
Month
Contract
£50
bill credit

M50 Fibre Broadband

  • New customers only
  • For small households with up to 4 devices
  • Average upload speeds of 3Mbps
Virgin Media
order by phone
0808 168 4947
  • Save £84
Broadband
Download speed (average)54Mb
Upload speed (average)3Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£30.00
Set-up cost£35.00
First year cost£395.00
Average cost per month£32.92
Minimum contract length12 months
54Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£35.00
Set-up
cost
12
Month
Contract
Save
£84

M200 Fibre Broadband + Calls

  • New customers only
  • For busy households with 10+ devices
  • Average upload speeds of 12Mbps
Virgin Media
order by phone
0808 168 4947
  • £50 bill credit
  • Ends soon
Broadband
Download speed (average)213Mb
Upload speed (average)12Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Home phone
Daytime calls (per min)9.94p
Evening calls (per min)9.94p
Weekend calls (per min)included
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£38.00
Set-up cost£35.00
First year cost£491.00
Average cost per month£40.92
Minimum contract length12 months
Terms and conditions
£50 bill credit: New customers taking the Broadband and phone packages, and the Big bundle online only during the offer period between 30th September 2019 and 11.59pm on 3rd October 2019: 12-month minimum term contract applies. May not be used in conjunction with any other offer unless stated by Virgin Media. Availability subject to stock and colour of the device may vary. One reward per household. We reserve the right to withdraw the offer at any time. Prices are subject to change. You must provide an email address when you sign-up. If your email address is not provided or is not valid you will not receive the reward. You will not be entitled to your reward if you cancel your services or downgrade to a bundle lower than Broadband and phone prior to installation or before the end of your 14-day Customer Satisfaction Guarantee period. No cash or other alternative.
213Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£35.00
Set-up
cost
12
Month
Contract
£50
bill credit

M200 Fibre Broadband

  • New customers only
  • For busy households with 10+ devices
  • Average upload speeds of 12Mbps
Virgin Media
order by phone
0808 168 4947
  • Save £84
Broadband
Download speed (average)213Mb
Upload speed (average)12Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£40.00
Set-up cost£35.00
First year cost£515.00
Average cost per month£42.92
Minimum contract length12 months
213Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£35.00
Set-up
cost
12
Month
Contract
Save
£84

M100 Fibre Broadband

  • New customers only
  • 30 day rolling contract
Virgin Media
order by phone
0808 168 4947
Broadband
Download speed (average)108Mb
Upload speed (average)6Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£42.00
Set-up cost£80.00
First year cost (if taken over 12 months)£584.00
Average cost per monthNot applicable
Minimum contract length1 month
108Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£80.00
Set-up
cost
1
Month
Contract

Superfast Fibre + Weekend Calls + BT Sport On Sky

  • New customers only
  • Watch on Sky, online and on the BT Sport app
  • Everything BT Sport has to offer, on your Sky box
BT
  • £30 Gift Card
  • Ends soon
Broadband
Download speed (average)50Mb
Upload speed (average)9.5Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Home phone
Daytime calls (per min)10.24p
Evening calls (per min)10.24p
Weekend calls (per min)included
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£44.99
Set-up cost£9.99
First year cost£549.87
Average cost per month£45.55
Minimum contract length18 months
Terms and conditions
The Gift Card is preloaded with funds you can spend at most merchants that display the Mastercard®. Only avaliable to new BT custmers ordering BT Broadband/BT Superfast Fibre on bt.com. Avaliable with or without TV. Claim once your broadband is up and running. T&Cs apply.
50Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£9.99
Set-up
cost
18
Month
Contract
£30
Gift Card

M350 Fibre Broadband

  • New customers only
  • The UK's fastest widely available broadband
  • Average upload speeds of 21Mbps
Virgin Media
order by phone
0808 168 4947
  • Save £84
Broadband
Download speed (average)362Mb
Upload speed (average)21Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£45.00
Set-up cost£35.00
First year cost£575.00
Average cost per month£47.92
Minimum contract length12 months
362Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£35.00
Set-up
cost
12
Month
Contract
Save
£84

Superfast Fibre 2 + Calls + BT Sport App

  • New customers only
  • Perfect for streaming, gaming, downloading in HD
  • Top sports events with the BT Sport app & online player
  • No broadband price rises in 2019
BT
  • £60 Gift Card
  • Ends soon
Broadband
Download speed (average)67Mb
Upload speed (average)19Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Home phone
Daytime calls (per min)10.24p
Evening calls (per min)10.24p
Weekend calls (per min)included
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£49.99
Set-up cost£9.99
First year cost£609.87
Average cost per month£50.55
Minimum contract length18 months
Terms and conditions
The Gift Card is preloaded with funds you can spend at most merchants that display the Mastercard®. Only available to new BT customers ordering BT Broadband/BT Superfast Fibre on bt.com. Available with or without TV. Claim once your broadband is up and running. T&Cs apply.
67Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£9.99
Set-up
cost
18
Month
Contract
£60
Gift Card

M350 Fibre Broadband

  • New customers only
  • The UK's fastest widely available broadband
  • Average upload speeds of 21Mbps
Virgin Media
order by phone
0808 168 4947
Broadband
Download speed (average)362Mb
Upload speed (average)21Mb
Monthly usageUnlimited
Fair usage policyNo
Price breakdown
Monthly cost£52.00
Set-up cost£80.00
First year cost (if taken over 12 months)£704.00
Average cost per monthNot applicable
Minimum contract length1 month
362Mb
Average
Speed
Unlimited
Monthly
Downloads
£80.00
Set-up
cost
1
Month
Contract
24
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What you need to know

  • Broadband speeds may vary
  • Monthly costs include line rental
  • All prices are inclusive of VAT except business packages
  • Contract lengths vary. Prices may change during this period unless otherwise stated
  • You should have the right to cancel without penalty if your provider increases charges during the minimum term of your contract

Broadband for gaming explained

By Luke Albiges | Friday, June 14th 2019

In this guide

Broadband for online multiplayer gaming

From teaming up with friends to take on all manner of challenges to facing down random players from around the world in competitive modes, online play is a massive part of the gaming experience for many people. Speed isn't actually as important as you might think – as anyone who played the likes of Quake, Counter-Strike and Phantasy Star Online on dial-up connections back in the day will know, online gaming can work perfectly fine on a relatively modest data budget.

There are advantages to having faster speeds, but you're unlikely to notice much practical difference between, say, a 50Mbps connection and a 350Mbps one, especially when everyone else's speeds will affect overall performance as well.

More important things to look at are details that aren't typically so widely advertised as general speeds, such as packet loss, latency, and jitter. Ofcom reported almost universally low latency levels from all major providers tested, with all providers coming in around the 20 milliseconds mark, with Sky and Virgin just edging it by dropping below 15 milliseconds.

Packet loss – where some data may not reach its destination, possibly manifesting in lag or other glitchy movement – is a somewhat different story, with much more variable results across the board and notable differences between general and peak time performance. BT comes out slightly in front here, with an impressively low packet loss rate of just 0.05%.

player unknown's battlegrounds

Virgin's faster packages come in at the weaker end of the spectrum and rising as high as just shy of 0.2% – still not terrible, but statistically 3-4 times more likely than the stablest competitors to suffer data hiccups. Jitter too sees Virgin come out in last place, although there's little to choose from between the rest as they're all reassuringly low.

Conclusion

While superfast options like Virgin's VIVID bundles might seem like the best match for online gaming on paper, they actually came out among the weakest in tests across fields more important than pure speed. More casual players might not notice much practical difference, but enthusiast users will likely see slightly >better overall performance from BT and Sky.

Broadband for growing and maintaining a digital library

Games are getting bigger all the time. Massive patches are commonplace, while games themselves have even started to break the 100GB mark. If getting digital games downloaded to your device or seeing them updated as promptly as possible is your main gaming concern, then download speed will be more or less the only factor that really matters.

buying games online at the Playstation store

With this in mind, the clear front runners are Virgin and BT, whose high speed packages outspeed the competition several times over. A file download of around 10GB would take over three hours on the quickest standard broadband lines, compared to around 20 minutes on 67Mbps fibre and under five minutes on Virgin's fastest 350Mbps.

You're unlikely to ever really get those top advertised speeds based on both provider traffic and that of services like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, but faster options will typically still outperform others. You'll also need an unlimited package to accommodate all those huge downloads – most services now offer uncapped data as standard.

Conclusion

If you're mainly concerned about getting your games fast, the best logical choice is an ultrafast line, so that means going with either BT or Virgin – the former appears to perform slightly better in other aspects of gaming while the latter offers faster raw speeds for quicker downloads, so weigh up the two based on your own needs.

If those options aren't available to you, most top-end fibre options will offer roughly comparable speeds to help keep you in your favourite games, with that same Ofcom report suggesting that BT and Sky are most likely to provide maximum speeds closest to those advertised.

Compare gaming broadband

Broadband for live-streaming your gameplay on Twitch etc.

Letting game fans around the globe watch you play has become popular to the point where the biggest names can make a great living from streaming, so naturally a whole generation of aspiring streamers wants a piece of that pie. If you're into live-streaming your gameplay, good upload speeds will be your main requirement – the faster the better, as you'll want to prevent your stream stuttering or struggling when speeds inevitably dip a little.

a player streaming fortnite on twitch

A stable 1080p broadcast requires a rough upload speed of 6Mbps or so, so you'll want to come in a fair bit higher than that. Bear in mind that using any online gaming functionality will also require some of your available bandwidth, so it's a good idea to give yourself as much headroom as possible.

Most entry-level fibre packages on the market offer upload speeds of 9-10Mbps, so any of those should meet the bare minimum requirements for streaming. Step up to the top-end fibre packages and those upload speeds double to 20Mbps, making these top-end options the best for budding streamers. Virgin loses another life here, as only its top-end options can match those kinds of upload speeds – you need VIVID 200 (12Mbps upload) or VIVID 350 (20Mbps upload).

Conclusion

Upload speeds across providers using the Openreach network are pretty uniform, so there's not a lot to choose between the various top-end fibre options available – all major operators offer upload speeds here that comfortably offer the bandwidth necessary for streaming with plenty of room to spare. Note, however, that Virgin's upload-to-download speed ratio is significantly lower than other providers, meaning you'll need to take its most expensive packages to see the same kind of upload speeds as 76Mbps packages.

Broadband for cloud gaming, game down-streaming, games on demand

This emerging sector of gaming is only likely to grow as digital infrastructures improve, and it's a real test of both upload and download performance. At its simplest, this uses remote hardware to run gaming content, sending pictures and audio to the user while relaying their inputs back to the host machine in order to action their commands. Sony's PlayStation Now service is a good example of this kind of streaming, with a stated minimum requirement of 5Mbps meaning that it's really only viable on a fibre line if you're looking for half-decent performance.

snoy's playstation now streaming service

Once again, the majority of major providers using the Openreach network means there's little in the way of difference between them for this kind of gaming usage – in fact, latency becomes a more important thing to factor in as there's an inherent latency to this kind of remote gaming solution, so layering too much extra on top of that can make some games pretty much unplayable. And so we refer back to those factors covered in the online gaming section earlier, as these will all affect the quality of streamed play.

Conclusion

Once again, it's BT and Sky who top the leaderboards here, although not by much over the rest in terms of practical usage. And again, Virgin turns in a weaker performance than its peers.

Best general online broadband performance

Another factor to consider when picking a provider for gaming is the quality of the router provided. BT's Smart Hub is regarded as one of the best out there in terms of wireless performance, but it has been known to not play nice with some gaming devices – including the Xbox One – without some fiddling. It's also worth noting that gamers looking to use their own hardware might not be able to do so with all providers – they each provide compatible hardware to new users, but not all existing routers will be compatible with all services, so do your research beforehand.

Reliability is also important, as there's little more frustrating than losing connection mid-game, especially since some competitive games will treat this as an early disconnection and punish it accordingly. In a recent Ofcom report Sky took the lead in terms of avoiding interruptions and disconnections, with Plusnet and Virgin at the bottom end.

Every individual case will be different, based on the quality of your line, the distance from your local cabinet and numerous other small factors. As a result, it's impossible to draw a full conclusion as to which will be best for you and your individual gaming needs, so you'll also need to do a little research of your own if you're after something specific.

Overall

Strong performance in most fields means that BT and Sky come out as the best overall providers for general gaming purposes. If, however, quick access to content is most important to you, Virgin's faster speeds will get you your games faster than any other provider, but bear in mind that its performance for most other aspects of gaming tracks weaker than its competitors.

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