Best broadband for streaming 2023
Are you a regular Netflix binger? Do you want the best image quality from your 4K device? Do you want to avoid any nasty buffering issues? If the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes, then you’ll need the right broadband to match.
We’ve sifted through the major UK providers to find the best internet for streaming to get the best speeds, pictures and quality. If you want a more holistic view, we have a buying guide for choosing the right broadband for you, which takes into account other things like cost and different types of internet.
What internet speeds are needed for streaming?
The most basic streaming plans don’t necessarily require the fastest internet speeds. However, if you have many people in your household who will be streaming in 4K every night, fast broadband is a necessity to ensure there are no loading issues.
When it comes to the needs of each of the streaming providers, Netflix recommends a minimum speed of 25 Mbps for 4K content, as does Amazon Prime Video. The most demanding recommended download speeds come from YouTube and some live sports broadcasts on BBC iPlayer, both of which require at least 40Mbps to stream some stuff in 4K.
We’ve looked at all the speeds from the major UK providers and compared the best deals below. You can also find all the average download speeds of the major UK broadband providers in Broadband Genie’s survey.
What is the fastest broadband for streaming?
Virgin offers some of the fastest speeds at the most competitive prices. Plans vary depending on your location, but take a look at our picks of the best options below:
Virgin: 350 Mbps | £27 per month
If you share your home with a small family that tends to use the internet at the same time – and you’re looking to stream in 4K to multiple devices simultaneously – you might want to consider opting for this plan, which offers average download speeds of 362 Mbps.
At the time of writing, you can get this plan for £27 per month on an 18 month contact, or opt for a 24 month contract for just £15 per month for the first six months (this then rises to £30 per month). months for the rest of the contract).
Blank: 500 Mbps | £33 per month
If you have a larger household or need faster speeds for things like gaming or live streaming, Virgin’s next plan offers average speeds of 516Mbps, which should suffice. Plus its only £6 more per month than the 350mbps contract.
Best Alternatives to Virgin
If Virgin’s plans just aren’t for you, there are other decent fiber options you can consider.
TalkTalk | 150Mbps | £29.95 per month
TalkTalk has an excellent 18 month fiber contract available, with average speeds of around 152 Mbps. While it’s not as fast as Virgin, it should be enough for several people to watch Netflix around the house. If that’s not enough, you can also opt for the 500 Mbps plan.
Plusnet | 70Mbps | £23.99 per month
Plusnet offers some of the most competitive broadband prices, and its fiber plan with 70 Mbps download speeds is no different. You can get it for less than £24 on an 18 month contract, plus a £50 rewards card.
Vodafone: 68 Mbps | £22 per month
Vodafone’s package is a good price if you’re happy to be looking at a 24-month contract. 68 Mbps is more than enough to cover major streaming service requirements for all devices in the home, and you can get wired speeds of up to 900 Mbps.
Streaming Service Bundles
While speeds are important, you might be looking for an internet plan that also saves you money on a streaming subscription. Here are some good options that are currently on the market.
Sky: Sky Stream, TV and Broadband | £41 per month
Right now, you can sign up for an 18-month contract from Sky Stream and get a free Netflix Basic subscription, plus free accounts with Paramount+ and Discovery+. Plus, you get download speeds of 59 Mbps, which is more than enough for streaming across multiple devices.
Virgin: Ultimate Volt Pack | £79 per month
Virgin’s Ultimate Volt bundle includes Netflix Standard built-in, along with whopping 1130Mbps download speeds. On top of all that, you get over 230 TV channels and an O2 SIM card.
TalkTalk: Fiber 65 with Netflix | £34.95 per month
You can also purchase a Netflix Standard subscription with TalkTalk Fibre, which has average download speeds of 67 Mbps on an 18-month contract. There’s also a slightly cheaper plan, but you get half the download speeds.
BT: Big Entertainment add-on | £14 per month
Existing BT customers can request the Classic TV package, which includes Netflix and Now for 24 months, plus BT TV channels. This plan starts from £8 a month, but that’s on top of an existing BT internet contract, so it’s not the cheapest option around.
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