Claire Nottage | October 18th, 2022
You’ve no doubt heard about it – on the TV or on the radio – but maybe you’re wondering what exactly Sky Broadband Boost is, whether you need it and most importantly, how much it costs.
All the major providers are constantly vying with one another and claiming to offer the best home broadband experience – whether that is the best speed, the best router, the best coverage or the most reliable wifi. The broadband market is fiercely competitive and hence the likes of BT, Sky and Virgin Media are constantly battling to gain the upper ground when it comes to offering something better than their competitors.
Sky Broadband Boost is Sky’s latest offering in this never-ending competition. So does it actually boost your broadband? We take a look at the details here and help you decide whether it’s something worthwhile adding to your home broadband set-up.
If you were hoping that something called Broadband Boost would actually boost your broadband, you’re in for a disappointment. It is more of a package boost, rather than a speed boost, giving you some nice extras to help you manage your home broadband service – for an extra fiver a month. So what are these extras?
Sky Broadband Boost comes with the promise that your home wifi should never drop lower than 3Mbps in any room in your home (although this does not apply to garages or outbuildings). If it does, you will be provided with the latest Sky Broadband Hub (unless you already have one). If this does not solve the problem, you will receive your £5 Sky Broadband Boost monthly fee back, but continue to receive the service for free until your contract runs out, unless you decide to cancel it anyway.
After the initial two weeks of your contract, Sky will start to run a daily background check on your broadband line to see if there are any problems outside your home. If there are, it will run a test on your line between 12am and 5am so as not to cause you any disruption. If a problem is caught, Sky will text you to tell you an engineer is being sent to deal with the problem. The engineer will not need to get into your home, and Sky will text you again when the problem is resolved.
Should you have a problem and need to call out a Sky engineer, you can book online at a time that suits you, and if you need an evening or weekend appointment, you will not be charged the usual £15 extra.
If you are an existing Sky Mobile customer, Sky will add 2GB into your Sky Piggybank for free to keep you online if you experience any unexpected broadband outages. However, this only applies if the outage lasts more than half an hour or occurs between 7am and 11pm. Sky also limits any of these data credits to no more than three a month or 18 in 18 months.
This app is only available with Sky Broadband Boost and is a handy tool to help parents manage their children’s broadband usage both at home and when they are online whilst out and about. You can set time limits and age-range content filters to ensure they don’t spend excessive amounts of time online and aren’t accessing unsuitable content. You can also see what sites they are visiting and what they are doing online via the history section of the Broadband Buddy app.
In return, children can use their profile to monitor how much time they spend online and benefit from rewards for good behaviour – from getting homework done on time or helping with chores around the house for example. Rewards could involve additional time on their favourite social media app or favourite game, for example.
This largely depends on what sort of household you live in and the pre-existing quality of your broadband service. If you are a family and like the idea of being able to control your children’s access to the internet, then the Sky Broadband Buddy is a very handy tool, that not only enables you to keep an eye on what your kids are doing online, but also teaches them to monitor their own internet consumption too – which is no bad thing.
When it comes to the speed guarantee aspect of Sky Broadband Boost, 3Mbps is pretty paltry by today’s standards. For example, Sky’s average download speed for its supefast fibre packages is 61Mbps. Bear in mind that these are the average speeds provided at the point of entry to your home – any devices connected to wifi via your router are likely to drop below that. Still, if you would like the reassurance of a minimum 3Mbps in the rooms of your home, then paying up could be worthwhile.
Most people are unlikely to suffer lower speeds than 3Mbps on a regular basis, so you have to ask yourself if it’s worth forking out an extra fiver a month to cover this unlikely eventuality. Equally, the promise of an extra 2GB of data to keep you online in the event of an unexpected outage seems like a good deal, but unless you are a pre-existing Sky Mobile customer, this is of no benefit at all.
A daily check of your service is a nice thing to have, but again, most broadband connections function pretty smoothly most of the time, and on those odd occasions where you may have a problem, you can just make the call to Sky yourself and an engineer will come out.
In our opinion, the biggest benefit to Sky Broadband Boost is the Sky Broadband Buddy. It is ideal for families, and the other benefits are then a nice bonus on top.
For families seeking parental controls, it’s worth remembering that Sky automatically includes Sky Broadband Shield with all its broadband packages at no extra cost. Although you cannot tailor the content to individual devices as you can with Broadband Buddy, you can still filter out any unsuitable content and protect your children from accessing certain websites.
If you want the reassurance of a parental control app without any extra cost, then there are several available on the market. Some of the most popular include Qustodio, Kaspersky Safe Kids and OpenDNS Family Shield. They each have pros and cons so you would have to decide which one is best for your family situation.
Yes, Sky Broadband Boost is available with both fibre packages and Sky’s standard broadband service, Sky Broadband Essential.
Yes, you can choose to add Sky Broadband Boost either at the beginning of your contract or part way through.
Yes, you can choose to cancel Sky Broadband Boost at any point – there is no long-term commitment required.
If you are frustrated by slow broadband speed, there are a number of things you can do to improve it. Visit our guide on how to boost your broadband speed for ideas and suggestions