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Plusnet broadband review

By Marc Shoffman
Thursday, January 17th 2019
4/5

Plusnet may not be the first name you think of when it comes to choosing broadband, but the Yorkshire-bred provider is constantly nipping at the heels of its more recognisable rivals – BT, Virgin and Sky – with its stellar customer service record. But it Plusnet broadband actually any good?

Overview

Average download speed 10Mbps, 36Mbps, 66Mbps
Average upload speed 1Mbps, 9.5Mbps, 19Mbps
Broadband ADSL & Fibre
Home Phone Yes
Prices from £18.99 per month

Broadband speeds

Plusnet offers a choice of three speeds. You can get download speeds averaging 10Mbps with Unlimited Broadband. This may sound low but it is actually pretty sufficient for most everyday web tasks such as sending emails, browsing the internet or doing online banking. Plusnet Unlimited Fibre customers get average speeds of 36Mbps, while those on Unlimited Fibre Extra receive an average of 66Mbps.

A 10Mbps is fine for a household of one or two people and will be enough for most tasks including streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. More people in the household doing these things at the same time, however and you're going to need at least the 36Mbps connection to keep things running smoothly, while very busy households shouldopt for the top speed, or consider an even faster service such as those offered by Virgin Media.

It is worth remembering that the speeds listed represent the average available to 50% of customers, so you may receive a faster or slower speed once connected.

Upload speeds

Plusnet has one of the fastest upload speeds on its 66Mbps Unlimited Fibre Extra broadband deal, at 19Mbps, while you can get 9.5Mbps upload speeds on 36Mbps Unlimited Fibre package. The 10Mbps standard broadband deal offers just a 1Mbps upload speed.

Compare Plusnet broadband deals

Deals and offers

Occasionally Plusnet will offer cashback or shopping vouchers to draw in new customers, so look out for those. Generally, though, Plusnet prefers to keep its prices as low as possible, including either very low or non-existent set-up fees. Below is a sample of deals Plusnet is currently offering.

Router and installation

Router

All Plusnet broadband customers get sent an easy set-up router. If you are an Unlimited Broadband customer you will get a basic Hub Zero. Fibre customers will receive the Plusnet Hub One, which has four Ethernet ports and two wireless antennas for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz wi-fi connections. Unlimited broadband customers can choose to use their own router if it's compatible

TalkTalk broadband router

Installation

You will need to pay an activation fee to get your broadband set up, but Plusnet says you should be up and running between five to 10 working days if this is the first time you are setting up broadband – or there is a minimum period of 10 days when switching from another 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 plug-and-play router close to your agreed activation date.

Plusnet also warns that you will probably see your speed vary over the first 10 days as the broadband system runs tests to find the best speed for your service. This can cause your speeds to go up and down and sometimes disconnect. To find out more about what to expect, read our guide on broadband installation.

Customer service

Plusnet’s service and reliability can’t be too bad though. It has a trophy cabinet bursting with customer service accolades.

It regularly has higher customer satisfaction ratings when compared with Sky, Virgin and TalkTalk in the monthly GfK consumer attitudes tracker, and has won awards for its customer service, including winning the Cable.co.uk awards for best customer service and for reliability.

Its customer contact centre is UK-based, is open on live chat or over the phone between 7.30am and 10pm 365 days a year, plus you can identify the best time to call by using live information online that shows how busy the phone lines are.

Our final verdict

The good

  • Non-existent or very low up-front costs
  • Spectacular customer service
  • Short installation time

The bad

  • Not as fast as Virgin Media
  • Few cashback and gift offers
  • Basic router with non-fibre deals

Plusnet may not have the mass market appeal of Sky or Virgin, but the Yorkshire-born provider punches way above its weight, particularly on its fibre speeds.

You can’t beat decent customer service and if you can couple that locally with a decent broadband download and upload speed from Plusnet’s fibre deals, then you may well be onto a winning combination.

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