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2024 Editors Pick of the UK Best Home Broadband ISPs

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2024 Editors Pick of the UK Best Home Broadband ISPs

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024 (9:00 am) - Score 90,448

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, restrictive routers 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). But 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: £0 – £15 Network Type: OR ADSL, FTTC/P, G.fast + Cityfibre FTTP

Package Examples

Cheapest: 31Mbps DL (9Mbps UL) – £32 PM

Fastest: 900Mbps+ DL (100Mbps UL) – £40 [CF] to £55 [OR] PM

Supports 2022 Speed Code: Yes
Ofcom Automatic Compensation: Yes

Despite a drop in service and support quality, Zen still remains a highly rated broadband ISP (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 internet providers. The provider is also a certified B Corp (i.e. they act in ways that benefit society as a whole).

Zen generally has a good balance of reasonably priced and good quality packages, as well as technically competent UK customer support. However, as they’ve grown, we have seen their quality decline a little over the past couple of years, although consumers are still a fair bit less likely to run into issues with Zen than with the biggest players.

The provider also has a good selection of FTTP based ultrafast broadband packages for home users from Openreach and they offer even cheaper and faster options via CityFibre’s network. All of their services include a Static IP address and they typically bundle in a FRITZ!Box router from AVM, which tends to be popular with more advanced users but the model they include (7530) is now getting a bit old.

Pros:
• One of the few medium-sized ISPs to support Ofcom’s compensation and speed codes
• Support
• Static IPv4 and IPv6 addresses

Cons:
• No Pay TV or Mobile plans
• Needs a WiFi 6 capable router to keep pace
• Support and service quality has declined a little
• No Social Tariff for broadband

Setup: £0 Network Type: OR FTTC/P + Cityfibre,  FullFibre Ltd FTTP

Package Examples

Cheapest: 36Mbps DL (9Mbps UL) – £33 PM

Fastest: 900Mbps+ DL (115Mbps to 900Mbps UL) – £48 to £57 PM

Supports 2022 Speed Code: No
Ofcom Automatic Compensation: No

Much like Zen, iDNET 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 a strong reputation (IDNet Reviews), while pledging fast latency and high 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 FTTP based ultrafast broadband packages via Openreach, CityFibre and FullFibre Limited’s networks. However, they don’t provide the option of a “free” (bundled) broadband router with their slower packages (you can buy one at extra cost), so keep that a mind if you aren’t going for the fastest tiers.

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

Cons:
• No bundled router on slower packages
• Doesn’t support Ofcom’s speed code or auto compensation
• No Pay TV or Mobile plans
• No Social Tariff for broadband

AAISP (Andrews & Arnold)
Setup: £0 – £100 Network Type: OR ADSL, FTTC/P + CityFibre FTTP

Package Examples

Cheapest: 66Mbps DL (18Mbps UL) – £45 PM (1000GB usage)

Fastest: 900Mbps+ DL (115 – 900Mbps+ UL) – £57 – £75 PM (1000GB usage)

Supports 2022 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, as well as their focus on quality, also makes them one of the more expensive options for ordinary home users. On the other hand, AAISP has arguably always been more of a premium business focused provider.

Nevertheless, the recent AAISP Reviews from our readers should tell you all you need to know and, generally speaking, they’ll aim to give you the best possible service quality for your connection. We should add that they do also offer mobile SIMs and some very affordable VoIP services, although the former is more intended for business clients.

Pros:
• Support
• Quality / Speed
• Contracts usually 12 months or shorter
• Static IPv4 and block of IPv6 addresses

Cons:
• Price
• No unlimited usage
• No Pay TV plans
• No Social Tariff for broadband

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

Package Examples

Cheapest: 36Mbps DL (9Mbps UL) – £32.40 PM

Fastest: 900Mbps+ DL (115Mbps UL) – £54 PM

Supports 2022 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 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
• No Social Tariff for broadband

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

Package Examples

Cheapest: 35Mbps DL (9Mbps UL) – £29.99 PM

Fastest: 900Mbps+ DL (100Mbps UL) – £58.99 PM

Supports 2022 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 short 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
• No Social Tariff for broadband

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

Package Examples

Cheapest: 74Mbps DL (17Mbps UL) – £36 PM

Fastest: 900Mbps+ DL (100Mbps+ UL) – £55 PM

Supports 2022 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 good UK based customer support, reasonable prices and a strong general level of service reliability. Subscribers will also receive a static IP address (IPv4 / IPv6)

On top of that they also sell full fibre services 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
• No Social Tariff for broadband

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, but we didn’t have enough feedback from different sources to include them – this is one of the challenges with trying to gauge 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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