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PlusNet Broadband

Plusnet Broadband (2023) review: Unbeatable broadband

Barry Collins
1 Mar 2023
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
per month, incl. line rental & VAT

Plusnet is a strong all-round performer that’s now added ultrafast fibre to its range of tariffs

Industry-topping customer satisfaction
Good range of tariffs across all budgets
Great reliability
Doesn’t offer gigabit lines
Ofcom complaints trending upwards

Plusnet swept to victory in last year’s Expert Reviews Best Broadband Awards, and the BT-owned broadband provider has repeated the trick in 2023. As well as maintaining its position as our overall winner, it secured victory in the Best Customer Service, Best Contact Centre, and Most Reliable awards, cementing a very strong performance across the board. Indeed, 78% of customers said they would recommend Plusnet to someone else, outscoring all of the major broadband providers in our annual survey conducted in partnership with YouGov.

Plusnet brands itself as the plain-talking broadband provider from Yorkshire, and it does a good job of keeping its tariffs simple to understand. Since last year’s awards, it’s added full-fibre connections to its portfolio, meaning customers can now enjoy the ultrafast speeds that they would have had to look elsewhere for. Perhaps because it’s still fairly new to the full-fibre game, it’s not rated as highly for speed like rivals Virgin Media are, but that may change over time.

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Plusnet Broadband review: Unlimited Broadband

Unlimited Broadband is marginally the cheapest Plusnet package on offer, but by far the slowest. It’s based on the creaking old ADSL technology, and should really only be considered by those who are not within reach of a fibre network. If you can get fibre, only £2/mth extra will roughly quadruple your download speed and give you a much more satisfactory experience.

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Plusnet Broadband review: Unlimited Fibre Extra

If you’re in an FTTC area and want extra grunt, Unlimited Fibre Extra is the best option. It boosts the download speed to an average of around 70Mbits/sec, which should be enough for a family with lots of streaming and online gaming going on. Again, you get the best deal if you sign for 18 months, and it’s only £2/mth more than the Unlimited Fibre deal. The SmartHub 2 is thrown in as part of the package.

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Plusnet Broadband review: Full Fibre

If you’re one of the fortunate minority to be reached by Openreach’s full-fibre network, Plusnet offers three speed tiers to choose from: 74Mbits/sec (which is barely faster than FTTC), 145Mbits/sec, and 500Mbits/sec. Don’t only fixate on the download speeds. That top 500Mbits/sec package has an upload speed of 75Mbits/sec, although that still falls a long way short of many full-fibre rivals who offer the same speed up as they do down. The prices are keen, though, with the 145Mbits/sec lines hitting the sweet spot at £27.99/mth. Just be aware these are all 24-month deals, and it’s still using the Hub Two router, which might struggle to get those top-end speeds to all corners of your home.

 Unlimited Broadband (18 months)Unlimited FibreUnlimited Fibre ExtraUnlimited Fibre (18 months)Unlimited Fibre Extra (18 months)
Price per month (inc line rental)£23.99£25.99£27.99£21.99£23.99
Upfront costFree£10£10FreeFree
Stated speed10Mbits/sec38-40Mbits/sec67-72Mbits/sec38-40Mbits/sec67-72Mbits/sec
Usage allowanceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Contract length18 months12 months12 months18 months18 months

 Full Fibre 74Full Fibre 145Full Fibre 500
Price per month (inc line rental)£23.99£27.99£37.99
Upfront costFreeFreeFree
Stated speed74Mbits/sec145Mbits/sec500Mbits/sec
Usage allowanceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Contract length24 months24 months24 months

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Plusnet Broadband review: Coverage

As part of the BT empire, Plusnet is reliant on the Openreach network to reach customers, just like BT Broadband. Openreach claims its FTTC network already reaches 96% of households in the UK, so you can consider yourself unfortunate or in the Outer Hebrides if it doesn’t reach you. Full-fibre coverage is much lower, however, with only 8 million homes and businesses reached. Openreach has pledged to reach 25 million premises with full fibre by the end of 2026, and we’ve seen a recent surge in fibre installations, so things are looking up.

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Plusnet Broadband review: Performance and customer satisfaction

Plusnet has always proved reliable in Ofcom’s speed tests, and the latest set of figures (from March 2022) show you pretty much receive what you pay for on fibre connections. Ofcom measured a median average download speed of 63.2Mbits/sec on lines then advertised as 66Mbits/sec, so it’s not far short.

The Expert Reviews Best Broadband Awards survey makes very good reading for Plusnet. A healthy 83% of its customers were satisfied with Plusnet’s reliability, more than any other major broadband provider. Almost half (49%) of the customers who had been in touch with its contact centre left very satisfied, a far higher score than every other provider on test here, while a further 33% were fairly satisfied.

Overall customer service scores were healthy too, the only fly in the ointment being Ofcom’s report into broadband complaints. In the latest Ofcom figures for Q3 2022, Plusnet attracted 13 complaints per 100,000 customers, higher than the industry average of 11. More concerningly, that complaint figure has been gently climbing over the past few quarters.

Plusnet Broadband review: Verdict

Despite the odd gripe about customer service and speed, Plusnet put in the strongest performance of any major broadband provider in our survey and fully deserves to retain its crown as the Best Broadband provider.

The addition of full-fibre packages to its portfolio strikes off one of the major complaints we had about Plusnet last year, making it a good value, all-round broadband provider that’s easy to recommend.

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All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,664 adults, of which 242 are Plusnet users. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17 and 19 January 2023 and the survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

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