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Plusnet broadband review 2021

By Dan Howdle | Wednesday, March 31st 2021

4/5

Yorkshire-based Plusnet is constantly nipping at the heels of its better known rivals, with decent broadband speeds, great customer service and – most importantly – budget-friendly provision.

Plusnet was bought by BT in 2007, but is operated as a separate business, so its broadband deals are often quite different from those of its parent company.

This page will tell you everything you need to know about Plusnet broadband, including what deals are on offer, what to expect in terms of equipment, installation, customer service and special offers, and whether the provider is right for you.

We’ll also show you the best deals currently on offer from the brand, if you’re looking for a new broadband service.

Is Plusnet any good?

The good

  • Stellar customer service
  • Quick installation
  • Decent gift offers

The bad

  • First month payable upfront
  • Slower speeds than Virgin Media
  • Basic router with non-fibre deals

Compare Plusnet broadband deals

Plusnet offers many attractions, including consistently great customer service, competitive average download and upload speeds and quick installation that’s also free of charge (the brand doesn’t charge any upfront fees of getting you up and running).

While Plusnet can’t compete with the ultrafast speeds offered by Virgin Media, average download and upload speeds are in line with all other major UK providers, and the brand is known for its affordability – always a winner in our book!

As with all broadband providers, there are some negative aspects with Plusnet. The brand is pretty ‘no-frills’ and the standard ADSL broadband deal comes with a fairly basic router. However you will occasionally see a Reward Card, cashback or an Amazon gift card on offer.

That being said, if you don’t mind dispensing with the bells and whistles, Plusnet’s great customer service keeps its customers smiling and online – surely that’s a deal-breaker?

Overview of Plusnet broadband

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect to find in a Plusnet broadband deal:

Download speeds 10Mbps, 36Mbps, 66Mbps
Upload speeds 1Mbps, 9Mbps, 18Mbps
Broadband ADSL & Fibre
Home Phone Yes
Freebies to look for Reward cards, Free activation
Packages available Broadband, Broadband and phone, Broadband and TV
Router Hub Zero, Hub One
Contract lengths 12 months, 18 months
Prices from £18.99 per month

Compare Plusnet broadband deals

Average Plusnet speeds

Plusnet offers broadband with a choice of three speeds:

Unlimited Broadband: Plusnet’s standard / ADSL deal offers average download speeds of 10Mbps. This deal is great for everyday internet use on a couple of devices, but won’t meet your needs if you regularly stream content or play games online.

  • Plusnet Unlimited Broadband

    Plusnet
    • 10Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £70 Reward Card
    £18.99 p/m
    Zero one-off cost See Deal

Unlimited Fibre: The brand’s entry-level fibre offer has average download speeds of 36Mbps. The package is ideal for multitasking across multiple devices in an average sized household, where people watch TV and play games online regularly.

  • Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Broadband

    Plusnet
    • 36Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £50 Reward Card
    £22.99 p/m
    Zero one-off cost See Deal

Unlimited Fibre Extra: Customers on the brand’s top-level fibre deal can access average download speeds of 66Mbps. This is perfect for a larger household where members are vying for an internet connection, download large files, play games or stream content online on a daily basis.

  • Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra

    Plusnet
    • 66Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £50 Reward Card
    £24.99 p/m
    Zero one-off cost See Deal

Not sure which package to pick? Our guide to deciding what broadband speed you need has all the answers.

Upload speeds

Upload speeds tell you how fast you can copy or send data from your devices to the internet, cloud storage, or other devices. For most of us, upload speed is less important than download speed, as we stream more data than we send.

Those of us who work from home may take more of an interest in upload speeds, perhaps if you regularly store or share large documents online.

Unlimited Broadband from Plusnet has an average upload speed of 1Mbps.

Unlimited Fibre has an average upload speed of 9Mbps.

Unlimited Fibre Extra has an average upload speed of 18Mbps.

Compare Plusnet broadband deals

Plusnet packages

All deals also include a landline phone connection, with Pay As You Go (PAYG) calls included, as standard. You can also add a range of different call packages to your broadband deal if you’re a regular landline phone user, like free evening and weekend calls to UK landlines and mobiles or free weekend unlimited calls.

Line rental is included in your monthly payments, and you can spread your deal over 12 or 18 months.

Functions like 1571 Voicemail and Voicemail Extra can also be added to your package for an additional monthly charge.

Customers looking for a TV service can sign up for a YouView box with Plusnet. This gives access to 80 Freeview channels, along with BT Sport Lite, and the option to access streaming services such as Netflix, NOW TV and BBC iPlayer. Bear in mind that the TV service is only available to Plusnet Fibre broadband customers.

Plusnet broadband customers can add BT Sport or BT Sport HD to their existing broadband package for an additional monthly fee and then watch the channel through the BT Sport App on your phone or cast it to your TV if you’ve got a Google Chromecast or another bit of kit. The App is also available on your tablet, Xbox, PlayStation, Apple TV or Samsung TV.

All packages include Plusnet Safeguard, a free tool with lots of features to keep your family safe online.

Routers and installation

Routers

All Plusnet broadband customers are sent a router that can be self-installed quickly and easily. If you’re an Unlimited Broadband (standard / ADSL) customer, you’ll get a Hub Zero, a basic model suited to the lower speeds you’ll be receiving.

Fibre broadband customers will receive the Plusnet Hub One, which has four Ethernet ports and two wireless antennas for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi connections. The Hub One is a much more capable device than the Hub Zero, making it a much better choice for larger households due to its extra range.

You can always choose to use your own router, though Plusnet advises against this and won’t be able to help you with any technical issues if you’re using a model they haven’t supplied.

Plusnet broadband router

Installation

Plusnet customers must pay an activation fee to get their broadband up and running, which is occasionally waived as a special offer. Activation usually takes between 5-10 working days if you’re setting it up from scratch, and a minimum of 10 working days if you’re switching from another broadband provider.

In some cases, an engineer may need to install a new phone line at your property if you don’t already have one, or if you’re switching over from a cable service. Otherwise you will be sent a router close to your agreed activation date that can be easily self-installed.

Plusnet warns that you will probably see your broadband speed vary over the first 10 days as their system runs tests to find the best speed for your service. You may also experience sudden disconnections during this period.

To find out more about what to expect, read our guide on broadband installation.

Customer service

Plusnet always does exceptionally well in customer service surveys, and has won an array of awards for supporting its customers when things go wrong.

The brand’s UK-based contact centre is open via Live Chat or over the phone on 0800 432 0200, between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am and 7pm on Saturdays and 9am and 6pm on Sundays, 365 days a year.

It's free to call Plusnet's customer services, but with answers to many common questions listed on the website, you might discover you don't need to make the call at all.

The brand also came top for customer service in Ofcom’s latest report – 93% of their customers were satisfied with the services they get from Plusnet.

Deals and offers

Occasionally, Plusnet offers cashback or shopping vouchers as incentives for new customers, so look out for those. Generally, though, this is a no-frills brand that likes to keep its monthly prices as low as possible, including either small or non-existent set-up fees. For this reason, you’re unlikely to be offered high-value free gifts or impressive cashback offers.

Below is a sample of the top deals on offer.

Our verdict

With affordable deals at competitive speeds, and a reputation for customer service that’s second to none, Plusnet is a broadband provider with many attractive qualities.

Though it’s not a great choice for TV lovers, and doesn’t offer an exciting rage of freebies like some brands, the Yorkshire-based provider is a solid choice for no-nonsense broadband provision that’s reliable and budget friendly.

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