By Dan Howdle | Thursday, January 3rd 2019
In this guide
- Why choose Hyperoptic?
- What does Hyperoptic offer?
- What can you do with gigabit broadband?
- Alternative providers
- Frequently asked questions
There are two important things to know when it comes to Hyperoptic. If you you can get it, you will be receiving the fastest download and upload speeds in the UK. And, that it's extremely unlikely you can get it.
Although we will cover these things in detail further down, there's more to Hyperoptic than just those two important facets or caveats. In what follows, then, we will go into greater detail of what, provided you can get it, you can expect from this unusual full-fibre provider.
Why choose Hyperoptic broadband?
As outlined in the intro above, there's going to be one dominant reason why many hope to get Hyperoptic broadband, and that is the sheer speed, coupled with the fact your connection will be symmetrical (upload speeds and download speeds are the same, where with all other providers, upload speeds are much, much slower). Hyperoptic itself, though, offers a variety of reasons for signing up.
- Gigabit broadband – This is sometimes called 'ultrafast' broadband, but since that term describes any connection over 300Mbps, 'gigabit' is more apt. A gigabit is 1,000Mbps (1Gbps) – the top speed advertised by Hyperoptic, though Hyperoptic states users should expect an average speed of 900Mbps
- Symmetrical connection – All broadband providers except Hyperoptic offer upload speeds that are in some cases a mere fraction of their advertised upload speeds. Not so with Hyperoptic, where is doesn't matter what speed you choose, you will enjoy identical upload and download speeds. This can be very useful for cloud computing, hosting a server and many small business applications
- Annual contracts or rolling monthly – There are a number of providers that offer this. However, much to Hyperoptic's credit, unlike other providers, it is offering its 30-day contracts at the same price as it's yearly ones, though you will pay a small up-front cost for 30-day contracts on two out of three of its packages
- No landline necessary – If you're lucky enough to live somewhere you can get Hyperoptic, you can have the broadband without the landline (unlike most other providers), and you'll save a few quid a month doing it
- Excellent customer service reputation – Hyperoptic has the highest customer rating on Trustpilot of any other popular provider in the UK. That's pretty impressive. Hyperoptic customers clearly love being Hyperoptic customers
- 24/7 customer support – You'll get tech support any time of the day or week
What does Hyperoptic broadband offer?
Beyond its unusual ultrafast offerings and extremely small availability footprint, Hyperoptic isn't all that unusual in what it actually offers. You won't find any subscription TV services or mobile SIMs, nor any of the other accompanying paraphernalia giants like Virgin Media, Sky and BT have on offer. Here's what you can get.
- Superfast broadband – Both of Hyperoptic's 'slower' packages fit the description of 'superfast' – faster than 30Mbps, but slower than 300Mbps. Those packages clock in at 50Mbps and 150Mbps. In the grand scheme, compared to other providers, they should be categorised as fast and very fast respectively
- Gigabit (ultrafast) broadband – Ultrafast is defined as broadband over 300Mbps download/ Hyperoptic's advertised 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) clocks in at around 900Mbps on average in reality. Still, that is ludicrously quick and enough to fit the description of ultrafast three times over
- Home phone – You can choose to include a home phone or not with Hyperoptic, and you'll save a few quid a month if you opt out and rely instead on your mobile. If you do want a landline, though, Hyperoptic has you covered
What you can do with gigabit broadband
A lot of people are going to plump for the 1Gbps package if they can get Hyperoptic. But just how fast is that and do you really need it? Realistically, the answer is going to be no. No one needs broadband that quick. Do you want it, though? Well, that's another question entirely. Let's take a quick look at what you can do with 1,000Mbps.
- Download huge games in no time – Games these days come in huge sizes. A typical Xbox game of 50GB in size (not unusual – there are games three times this size) can be downloaded, in its entirety, in 6 minutes and 40 seconds
- Broadcast a stream at high resolutions – If you stream on Twitch or YouTube, Hyperoptic's symmetrical speeds mean you can do so in 4K with barely perceptible impact on your connection
- Stream 4K content to multiple screens – Streaming content like movies and TV series in 4K resolution (UHD) can take up to 50Mbps per TV. With 1,000Mbps at your disposal you could stream at this ultimate quality on 20 screens at once. You're a crazy person if you do, but it's nice to know you can. Sort of
- Literally not worry about it – Hyperoptic's top speed is so fast, so capacious, you could connect everyone in your street all at the same time, all their devices and still not see the buffering circle of doom. Note, this is not recommended – let them get their own!
What are the alternatives?
- BT – Perhaps the best-known telecoms brand in the UK, BT offers both old-fashioned ADSL broadband and fibre broadband with widely available speeds averaging 67Mbps
- EE Broadband – Is actually owned by B, EE Broadband offers identical speeds, with some perks to be had if you're also an EE mobile customer
- Direct Save Telecom – Is a budget broadband provider, offering a bare bones service. You'll get a functional router and broadband with speeds up to 63Mbps average
- John Lewis Broadband – Trades on its brand and as such is attractive to those who care about such things. It offers similar broadband speeds to all the others (except Virgin Media) in this line-up
- NOW Broadband – Part of the NOW TV brand owned and run by Sky, NOW broadband offers the the same sort of speeds as listed above. Like Direct Save Telecom, NOW Broadband won't do any credit checks, and you'll get discounted access to NOW TV with some bundles
- Plusnet – Is owned by BT, and very proud of its Yorkshire roots. It offers broadband and phone packages at the same speeds as its competitors. Its big selling point is the number of awards it frequently wins for its customer service. Plusnet customer love being Plusnet customers. You can also get Plusnet TV, a mainly Freeview affair, but with its own set-top box and access to some premium channels
- Post Office Broadband – Is aimed at older people, and those who want to keep things as straightforward as possible. That is the Post Office brand in a nutshell, after all. Its speeds are no different to others mentioned above and it's frequently among the cheapest providers in the UK
- Shell Energy Broadband (formerly First Utility) – Having bought First Utility as an energy provider, Shell (of petrol station fame) has rebranded it 'Shell Energy'. Puzzlingly, it has called its broadband offering Shell Energy Broadband, rather than just Shell Broadband. Anyhow, it offers the same speeds as EE (above), but does not offer TV or mobile
- Sky – Who hasn't heard of Sky? With Sky broadband you'll get the aforementioned ADSL and fibre speeds, as well as the potential to add on Sky's market-leading TV service. You can also add SIMs from Sky Mobile
- SSE – Formerly an energy provider, now also a broadband provider, again, speeds are the same as the majority, with SSE selling itself primarily on its low, low prices
- TalkTalk – Of the 'big four' (the four providers with the most customers, the others being Sky, Virgin Media and BT), TalkTalk is the one that claims to be a budget provider. And, fair enough, it is usually the cheapest of those providers. TalkTalk also offers a TV service, TalkTalk TV, which is mostly Freeview, but only to its broadband customers
- Virgin Media – With speeds of between 54Mbps and 362Mbps, Virgin Media offers the UK's fastest, and arguably best, widely available broadband. While not cheap, it is competitively priced, and you'll have the option to add on Virgin TV and/or Virgin Mobile SIMs
- Vodafone – Like EE, Vodafone is a mobile provider dipping its toe into the broadband market. And it's doing a great job. Vodafone broadband is keenly priced and comes with high-quality equipment and customer service
Frequently asked questions
What is Hyperoptic broadband?
Hyperoptic is a pure fibre (FTTP) broadband provider available to only a tiny fraction of homes and businesses around the UK. Since it runs its own network, and said network is 100% fibre, it offers speeds up to 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) – far in excess of its competitors.
Who owns Hyperoptic broadband?
On October 14, 2019, it was announced that investment firm KKR had bought a majority stake in Hyperoptic from funds managed by Newlight Partners LP and Mubadala Investment Company.
Is Hyperoptic the UK's fastest broadband?
There are other even smaller providers which offer speeds similar to Hyperoptic, but it's even less likely you'll be able to get it. If you're large business owner, a leased line may provide faster speeds, but otherwise, no. No one is really faster than Hyperoptic.
What is gigabit broadband from Hyperoptic?
Gigabit broadband is broadband of 1,000Mbps or thereabouts. To put that into some sort of perspective, the fastest widely available speed offered by BT Broadband is 67Mbps on average.