1. Broadband
  2. Guides
  3. Sky Broadband

Your guide to Sky Broadband Essential, Superfast and Ultrafast

By Phil Wilkinson-Jones | Tuesday, January 26th 2021

Sky is one of the most well-known and trusted broadband providers in the UK – and with good reason. Sky has a reputation for providing reliable broadband and for giving excellent customer service, making it a solid option for anyone looking for a broadband deal, whether you want Sky TV to go alongside it or not.

The one thing that’s been missing from Sky’s broadband offering is an ultrafast package to compete with Virgin Media, but that is being rectified. It’s not available to everyone just yet, but Sky’s top package offers speeds above 100Mbps. Not everyone needs those kind of speeds of course, and so Sky’s other packages remain popular and useful options. Let’s take a look at them.

What’s the difference between Sky Broadband Essential, Sky Broadband Superfast and Sky Broadband Ultrafast?

Sky keeps things pretty simple when it comes to its broadband packages. There are three packages, each offering a significantly different download and upload speed.

Sky Broadband Essential: This is Sky’s entry-level broadband package and it’s comparable to the basic packages offered by rivals such as BT and TalkTalk. It offers average download speeds of 11Mbps and average upload speeds of 1Mbps. That’s enough to stream TV and browse the internet for smaller households where internet use is light.

  • Sky Broadband Essential

    Sky
    • 11Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £25 p/m
    £9.95 one-off cost See Deal

Sky Broadband Superfast: This is Sky’s mid-range package but for more than 80% of the country, it’s actually the fastest package you’ll be able to get from Sky. With average download speeds of 59Mbps and upload speeds of 16Mbps, it should be enough for most families using multiple connected devices simultaneously.

  • Sky Broadband Superfast

    Sky
    • 59Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £26 p/m
    £9.95 one-off cost See Deal

Sky Broadband Ultrafast: Sky’s top broadband package promises average download speeds of 145Mbps and upload speeds of 27Mbps. These are tasty speeds that will be enough for larger families with fairly heavy internet usage, but at the time of writing they are only available to 18.5% of UK homes. If you are not in that 18.5% and want these kind of speeds, try Virgin Media.

What speeds to expect from Sky Broadband

The average download speed you can expect to get from a broadband package is important – it refers to how fast you’ll be able to browse the web, whether you’ll be able to watch Netflix without it buffering and how quickly your devices will download apps and files.

If you upload a lot of videos or other large files to the internet, or if you’re a big gaming fan, then you’ll want to take a look at what upload speed to expect as well.

Sky’s entry-level broadband package, Sky Broadband Essential, offers an average download speed of 11Mbps and an average upload speed of 1Mbps. The mid-level package, which is actually the fastest that most of us can get, is called Sky Broadband Superfast. It promises an average download speed of 59Mbps and an average upload speed of 16Mbps. Sky’s top broadband package, Sky Broadband Ultrafast, offers an average download speed of 145Mbps and an average download speed of 27Mbps.

Sky Broadband packages, at a glance

We know what you’re thinking – ‘show me what I need to know about these Sky Broadband packages in an easy-to-compare table’. Your wish is our command.

Sky Broadband Essential Sky Broadband Superfast Sky Broadband Ultrafast
Contract length 18 months 18 months 18 months
Average download speed 11Mbps 59Mbps 145Mbps
Average upload speed 1Mbps 16Mbps 27Mbps
Router Sky Hub Sky Hub Sky Broadband Hub
Prices from £25 £25 £33
Includes speed guarantee? No Yes Yes

Compare all Sky broadband

Sky Broadband Essential

Offering average download speeds of 11Mbps, Sky Broadband Essential should be good enough for small households where internet usage isn’t going to be too heavy. We’d really only recommend it if you’ve checked and you just aren’t going to get faster speeds at your address, though. That’s because Sky often has good deals running on its mid-level package Sky Broadband Superfast, meaning there’s often very little or no difference when it comes to price.

Sky Broadband Essential comes with the Sky Hub – it’s not the newest router Sky has but it will do the job. To get the newer Sky Broadband Hub you have to add Sky Broadband Boost, which guarantees a wifi signal in every room of your home and gives you the option of downloading the Sky Broadband Buddy app.

  • Sky Broadband Essential

    Sky
    • 11Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £25 p/m
    £9.95 one-off cost See Deal

Sky Broadband Superfast

This is the Sky broadband package that most people are going to end up going for. It offers a good average download speed of 59Mbps, which is going to be more than enough for most households, including families, to do what they need to do online. That’s multiple devices using the internet, streaming, gaming, the works. There’s also that 16Mbps upload speed, which for many people is going to be more than enough to work from home. If you’re into online gaming or share a lot of large files or videos then this will also be the package for you.

As with the Sky Broadband Essential package, Sky Broadband Superfast comes with the older Sky Hub router as standard. In order to upgrade to the newer Sky Broadband Hub, you’ll need to add Sky Broadband Boost to your package. This costs an additional monthly fee and includes features like the Wifi Guarantee and the Sky Broadband Buddy app.

  • Sky Broadband Superfast

    Sky
    • 59Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £26 p/m
    £9.95 one-off cost See Deal

Sky Broadband Ultrafast

Sky’s top broadband package, Sky Broadband Ultrafast, is the only one that competes with the ultrafast speeds being offered by Virgin Media. Sky is still in the initial part of its rollout plans for this service so at the time of writing it is only available to 18.5% of UK homes, but remember that only about two thirds of the country can get Virgin Media still so we think it’s worth including it here.

That speed, 145Mbps, will futureproof most households as it allows you to have quite a few devices connected to the internet at any one time without anything going on the go-slow. There’s also the speedy 27Mbps upload speed, which is going to be important if you’re moving a lot of big files around when working from home or if you’re serious about your online gaming.

Sky Broadband Ultrafast comes with the newer, updated router, the Sky Broadband Hub, without the need to add Sky Broadband Boost to your package.

Thinking of switching to a Sky broadband deal?

If any of these deals has tickled your fancy but you’d like to know about Sky broadband, take a look at our review.

Not ready for a new broadband deal?

Use our switching reminder and we'll email you when your deal is coming to an end so you don't lose out!

Set reminder

Frequently asked questions

Do you get the new Sky Broadband Hub with all Sky broadband deals?

No, the Sky Broadband Hub only comes as standard with the Sky Broadband Ultrafast package. The Essential and Superfast packages come with the older Sky Hub unless you add Sky Broadband Boost.

Is Sky broadband unlimited?

Yes, like the vast majority of broadband packages now, Sky broadband has no download limits.

Is Sky broadband available in my area?

Sky uses the Openreach network to deliver its Essential and Superfast broadband packages. These are available to the vast majority of UK households. Its Sky Broadband Ultrafast package is delivered over Openreach’s FTTP (fibre to the premises) network, which at the moment reaches about 18.5% of UK homes. If you’re unsure, use our postcode checker.

Is Sky broadband any good?

Sky is a solid and reliable broadband provider. It will rarely compete with the likes of TalkTalk or Plusnet to have the very cheapest broadband deals available but tends to throw in plenty of extras and if you’re a Sky TV customer, or thinking about getting Sky TV, there are other benefits and savings to be had.

I want to switch to Sky, will they tell my old provider I’m leaving?

Yes, as long as your old provider uses the same Openreach broadband network (most providers do, including BT and TalkTalk, so you’re probably ok). If you’re leaving Virgin Media, you’ll have to tell them you’re leaving yourself.

Back to top