Phil Wilkinson-Jones | February 3rd, 2022
Sky is a big player in the broadband market but are Sky's broadband packages any good and how do they stack up? We take a look at each broadband package Sky has to offer.
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 around 500Mbps. Not everyone needs those kinds of speeds of course, and so Sky’s other packages remain popular and useful options. Let’s take a look at them.
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.
|Essential Plus||Superfast 35||Superfast||Ultrafast||Ultrafast Plus|
|Contract length||18 months||18 months||18 months||18 months||18 months|
|Average download speed||11Mbps||36Mbps||59Mbps||145Mbps||500Mbps|
|Average upload speed||1Mbps||9Mbps||16Mbps||27Mbps||60Mbps|
|Router||Sky Broadband Hub||Sky Broadband Hub||Sky Broadband Hub||Sky Broadband Hub||Sky Broadband Hub|
Sky keeps things pretty simple when it comes to its broadband packages. There are currently five packages, each offering a significantly different download and upload speed.
Sky Broadband Essential Plus – While other providers, such as BT, specifically avoid offering potential customers basic ADSL broadband unless strictly necessary, Sky does continue to offer its Broadband Essential Plus which should provide average downloads of 11Mbps (which might be adequate), and upload speeds of around 1Mbps (which probably won't be). We wouldn't really expect take up of this package to be so great as pricing is usually higher than their other services. But it's still an option, and for some people it may be the only viable one.
Sky Broadband Superfast 35 – For some time now, Sky hasn't really offered an entry-level fibre broadband service. Well, they've recently rectfied that with the introduction of the Broadband Superfast 35 package. Using Openreach's fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, while faster fibre connections are certainly available, it's average speeds of 36Mbps are certainly adequate for many households, with useful 9Mbps uploads. So it offers a good compromise of speed vs price.
Sky Broadband Superfast – This is Sky’s next level fibre broadband package and it’s comparable to similar packages offered by rivals such as BT and TalkTalk. Superfast offers average download speeds of 59Mbps and average upload speeds of 16Mbps. That’s enough to stream TV and browse the internet for small to medium households with regular internet usage.
Sky Broadband Ultrafast – Now we're getting into the next-generation fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) services, and this is entry point into the world of ultra fast broadband, also often referred to as 'full fibre'. With average download speeds of 145Mbps and upload speeds of 27Mbps, it should be enough for most families with heavy internet usage and using multiple connected devices simultaneously.
Sky Broadband Ultrafast Plus – Sky’s top of the range broadband package promises average download speeds of up to 500Mbps and upload speeds of 60Mbps. These are tasty speeds but much more bandwidth than most households will need. At the time of writing this service is slightly limited in its availability, but that picture is improving all the time. Sky’s Ultrafast Plus is comparable to some of the higher-end packages on offer from likes of Virgin Media.
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 (aside from their remaining ADSL package), Sky Broadband Superfast 35, offers an average download speed of 36Mbps and an average upload speed of 9Mbps. Next up is Broadband Superfast, the mid-level package, which offers average speeds of 59Mbps. Next up is Ultrafast, which promises an average download speed of 145Mbps and an average upload speed of 27Mbps. Finally, Sky’s top broadband package, Sky Broadband Ultrafast Plus, offers an average download speed of 500Mbps and an average download speed of 60Mbps.
The word 'adequate' probably best sums up the kind of speeds you're likely to see from Broadband Superfast 35. On the face of it, the 36Mbps download speed and 9Mbps uploads don't look so impressive, but in the greater scheme of things it's not such a problem, especially for smaller households. You can, of course, spend more (much more) if you really need to move upto the kinds of speeds offered by the likes of Sky's Ultrafast or even Ultrafast Plus, but for a great many people 36Mbps is all they need, and maybe all they'll ever need. And, of course, that's reflected in the price.
Sky Broadband Superfast 35 comes with the high spec Sky Broadband Hub, replacing the previous Sky Hub and Sky Q Hub.
Offering average download speeds of 59Mbps, Sky Broadband Superfast should be more than enough speed for small to medium households with reasonable internet usage. 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 Ultrafast, meaning there’s often very little or no difference when it comes to price.
Sky Broadband Superfast also comes with the high spec Sky Broadband Hub.
This is the Sky broadband package that most people are going to end up going for. It offers a good average download speed of 145Mbps, 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, and just a little more per month than the entry level package.
As with the Sky Broadband Superfast package, Sky Broadband Ultrafast comes with the newer Sky Broadband Hub and you have the option to add Sky Broadband Boost to your package for a small additional monthly fee. Broadband Boost includes features like the WiFi Guarantee and the Sky Broadband Buddy app.
Sky’s top broadband package, Sky Broadband Ultrafast Plus, is the only one that competes with the mid-range 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 15.7% 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, 500Mbps, 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 60Mbps 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 Plus comes with the newer, updated router, the Sky Broadband Hub, and you have the option to add Sky Broadband Boost to your package for a small additional monthly fee. Broadband Boost includes features like the WiFi Guarantee and the Sky Broadband Buddy app.
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Yes, the Sky Broadband Hub comes as standard all current Sky Fibre Broadband packages.
Yes, like the vast majority of broadband packages now, Sky broadband has no download limits.
Sky uses the Openreach network to deliver all of its fibre 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 25% of UK homes, while the Sky Broadband Ultrafast Plus service is available in up to 15.7% of UK homes. If you’re unsure, use our Sky broadband postcode checker.
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.
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.