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The 2022 Editors Pick of the UK Best Broadband ISPs for Homes

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 38,400

As we always say, the trouble with choosing a cheap ISP (Page 1) is that you may have to tolerate congested networks (slower speeds), fewer advanced service features and customer support teams who treat you more like a number than a person.

Nevertheless, not all providers are built the same and some can deliver a much higher quality of service. The downside is that you often have to pay a higher price in order to receive such an improvement (i.e. a good ISP will put more of its profits back into their network, support and services). However, please remember, no service is perfect and even the best providers can suffer problems.

The last point above is particularly relevant for the many providers on Openreach’s network, where switching to another ISP on the same platform may not necessarily get any underlying infrastructure problems fixed at a faster rate – doing this may even be counter-productive to the fault resolution process.

Best UK Home Broadband ISPs for Quality

It’s perhaps no coincidence that the best providers also tend to be the smallest players, which is partly because they place a higher value on each user and can thus deliver a more personal customer relationship. The following page reflects a list of ISPs that generally appear to place quality and reliability above the mass market desire for lower pricing.

On these providers you may pay a bit more but you’re also far more likely to come across better trained UK support teams, advanced features (Static IP addresses etc.), shorter contracts, less filtering of your internet connection, faster fault resolution times and so forth. However, some smaller ISPs will expect you to use your own third-party router, which may come at an extra cost if you don’t have one.

All packages offer unlimited usage, unless otherwise stated.

NOTE: Most of these won’t support Ofcom’s various voluntary schemes (broadband speed code, automatic compensation etc.) due to the high cost of implementation, but on the flip side you may be less likely to need those. As on Page 1, we’ve now removed ISPs that don’t offer ultrafast (100Mbps+) packages.
Setup: £29.99 Network Type: OR ADSL, FTTC/P, G.fast + Cityfibre FTTP

Package Examples

Cheapest: 31Mbps DL (6Mbps UL) – £32.99 PM

Fastest: 900Mbps+ DL (100Mbps UL) – £40 [CF] to £64.99 [OR] PM

Supports 2019 Speed Code: Yes
Ofcom Automatic Compensation: Yes

Zen is still one of the best rated broadband ISPs in the UK (Zen’s Reviews) and they’re often seen hoovering up awards on other sites, which is impressive given that they’re also one of the market’s oldest providers.

The provider generally has a good balance of reasonably priced and good quality packages, as well as technically competent UK customer support. On top of that their packages come with a ‘Lifetime Price Guarantee‘, which they say guarantees no price rises on your current package for as long as you stay with them.

Zen also has a good selection of G.fast and FTTP based ultrafast broadband packages for home users (from Openreach), and they’ve launched even cheaper and faster services via CityFibre’s network too. All of their services include a Static IP address and, just for good measure, they even bundle in a very capable FRITZ!Box 7530 router from AVM, which tends to be popular with more advanced users due to its many features.

Pros:
• One of the only smaller ISPs to support Ofcom’s auto compensation and speed code
• Prices (lifetime price guarantee)
• Support
• Good router
• Static IPv4 and IPv6 addresses

Cons:
• No Pay TV or Mobile plans

Setup: £0 – £60 Network Type: OR ADSL, FTTC/P, G.fast + Cityfibre FTTP

Package Examples

Cheapest: 36Mbps DL (9Mbps UL) – £30 PM

Fastest: 900Mbps+ DL (115Mbps to 900Mbps UL) – £60 [CF] to £66 [OR] PM

Supports 2019 Speed Code: No
Ofcom Automatic Compensation: No

Much like Zen, iDNET also have a long history of providing good quality services and UK support, as well as being fairly affordable. Over the years they’ve built up an extremely strong reputation (IDNet Reviews), while pledging fast latency and strong reliability, which makes them attractive for online gamers. On top of all that you get a Static IP address.

The provider also offers get a good selection of G.fast and FTTP based ultrafast broadband packages via Openreach and they’ve also recently hopped on to CityFibre’s network for even faster symmetric speeds. However, they don’t provide the option of a “free” (bundled) broadband router with their packages, so keep in mind that you may need to spend on one of those.

Pros:
• Speed
• Support
• Static IP addresses (IPv6 support)
• Commitment to low latency and no contention

Cons:
• No bundled router
• Doesn’t support Ofcom’s speed code or auto compensation
• No Pay TV or Mobile plans

AAISP (Andrews & Arnold)
Setup: £0 – £104.99 Network Type: OR ADSL, FTTC/P, G.fast

Package Examples

Cheapest: 66Mbps DL (18Mbps UL) – £45 PM (500GB usage or £5 for 5TB)

Fastest: 145Mbps DL (29Mbps UL) – £50 PM (500GB usage or £60 for 5TB)

Supports 2019 Speed Code: No
Ofcom Automatic Compensation: No

Andrews and Arnold remain an extraordinarily brilliant ISP and one that is home to some of the most knowledgeable UK tech support in the business. But their decision to shun “unlimited” usage allowances in favour of monthly data caps (they offer allowances up to 5 TeraBytes) and focus on quality also makes them one of the more expensive options for ordinary home users.

Nevertheless, a glance at the recent AAISP Reviews from our readers should tell you all you need to know and, generally speaking, this provider will aim to give you the best possible service quality for your connection. One negative though is that their fastest FTTP tier on Openreach’s network is still just 160Mbps (145Mbps average), while others have long since adopted faster plans. We should add that they do also offer mobile SIMs, but these are more intended for business clients.

Pros:
• Support
• Quality / Speed
• Choice of 12 month or and shorter terms.
• Static IPv4 and block of IPv6 addresses

Cons:
• Price
• No unlimited usage plans
• FTTP packages limited to 160Mbps tier
• No Pay TV plans

CiX (formerly ICUK)
Setup: £0 Network Type: OR ADSL, FTTC/P, G.fast

Package Examples

Cheapest: 36Mbps DL (9Mbps UL) – £34.80 PM

Fastest: 300Mbps+ DL (49Mbps UL) – £42.00 PM

Supports 2019 Speed Code: No
Ofcom Automatic Compensation: No

CiX has a very long and well-established history of providing good quality web hosting services, as well as broadband and phone packages (CiX’s Reviews), albeit mostly established under their former brand of ICUK. In recent years they’ve also added an array of “ultrafast broadband” packages using G.fast and FTTP technology on Openreach’s network.

Pros:
• Support
• Reasonable pricing
• Service quality

Cons:
• No static IP addresses like others on this page
• No bundled router
• No pay TV or mobile plans

Freeola (GetDotted)
Setup: £0 – £48 Network Type: OR ADSL, FTTC/P, G.fast

Package Examples

Cheapest: 36Mbps DL (9Mbps UL) – £31.98 PM

Fastest: 900Mbps+ DL (100Mbps UL) – £69.98 PM

Supports 2019 Speed Code: No
Ofcom Automatic Compensation: No

Web host and internet provider Freeola is arguably one of those hidden gems that doesn’t get enough recognition, which is despite them receiving plenty of generally positive feedback from their small base of broadband customers and being quite reasonably priced.

Other highlights that customers can expect to receive are UK based support, DDoS protection, website hosting, email, a static IP address (IPv4) and a 1 or 12 month contract term.

Pros:
• Support
• Good set of extras
• Service quality

Cons:
• No bundled router (only discounts)
• No pay TV or mobile plans

Setup: £0 Network Type: OR ADSL, FTTC/P

Package Examples

Cheapest: 36Mbps DL (7.5Mbps UL) – £32 PM

Fastest: 900Mbps+ DL (100Mbps+ UL) – £65 PM

Supports 2019 Speed Code: No
Ofcom Automatic Compensation: No

Aquiss has a long history of being a broadly well rated provider on ISPreview (Aquiss Reviews), which is due to strong UK based customer support, reasonable prices and a good general level of service reliability. Subscribers will also receive a static IP address and you can optionally get phone line rental from £15 per month.

On top of that they also sell FTTP services across both “superfast” and “ultrafast” speeds and indeed their data-only FTTP packages are also much better value than their hybrid fibre FTTC options.

Pros:
• Speed
• Support
• Static IPv4 and IPv6 address

Cons:
• Price
• No bundled router
• No pay TV or mobile plans

Before moving on to the final page we would like to add that there were several other providers which caught our eye for the quality section this year – Pulse8 and No One (Leetline) – but we didn’t have enough feedback from different sources to include them. Sadly, this is one of the challenges with gauging smaller providers.

Please continue on Page 3 to view some of the best Alternative Network (AltNet) providers, which have built their own networks..

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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