What Sky Broadband Speed, Boost & Shield Option Is Best?
Sky broadband is a popular option for those looking to have their TV and internet services all under one roof. However, it's worth taking a look at whether Sky broadband speed options stand up to scrutiny. Aside from internet connections, it's also important to see what customers think of the service in their Sky broadband reviews. All in all, is Sky good for broadband? Let's find out.
Sky Broadband Speed
Sky Broadband speed options come in three flavours: Essential, Superfast and Ultrafast. The table below shows the latest Sky broadband speed details in terms of upload and download speeds as well as current pricing.
|Sky Broadband Speed Option||Upload speed||Download speed||Current Monthly Price|
|Essential||11 Mbps||1 Mbps||£25|
|Superfast||59 Mbps||16 Mbps||£26|
|Ultrafast||145 Mbps||27 Mbps||£35|
If you are unsure about the Sky broadband speed that is right for your household, take a look at our guide to broadband speeds.
Sky broadband speed price tiers are based on an 18 month contract. However, that doesn't mean that is the set monthly price during your contract. Sky states that "Prices may go up during your subscription", although they do not specify how that applies to Sky broadband specifically.
Sky Broadband Speed Value For Money
What is clear is that after the 18 months are over, Sky Broadband prices increases to higher monthly out of contract rates:
- Sky Broadband Essential: From £25 to £27
- Sky Broadband Superfast: From £26 to £32
- Sky Broadband Ultrafast: From £35 to £44
Something worth noting is how slow the upload Sky broadband speed is across the board. Even for basic broadband, where upload speeds tend to come in under 5 Mbps, 1 Mbps is sluggish under the best of circumstances. For an idea of why this is important, you can check out our download, upload and ping speed guide, but essentially if you want to send files or make video calls this is going to affect you.
In addition to the monthly price, Sky also charges one-off set up and router costs to get the service started. While the Sky broadband setup costs aren't going to break the bank, it’s important to note as well that there are plenty of providers that don’t charge a setup fee at all. As with all Sky broadband deals, however, whether you want it or not line rental is included in your deal. The default Sky Talk package you receive is Sky Pay as you Talk, which will cost you nothing, but you can find out more about upgrading in our main Sky page.
How Fast is Sky Superfast Broadband?
The medium tier in the Sky Broadband speed options is called Superfast. With a download speed just shy of 60Mbps and 16 Mbps for upload speeds, Sky Superfast is definitely not the fastest out there and far from super. For broadband speed to be considered fast, you really need to be seeing 100 Mbps or more with the connection speeds being advertised.
Right now, it's the Sky Ultrafast broadband speed option which exceeds the 100 Mbps threshold to qualify as fast broadband. However, that extra speed comes at a premium with promotional monthly pricing starting at £35 a month. Once the Sky broadband 18 month contract ends, the monthly price does increase to £44.
The Sky Ultrafast broadband speed is on par with what other providers class as an intermediate broadband speed. Some providers offering fibre to the premises (FTTP) broadband can get you much faster speeds, but these are not necessarily available to everyone across the UK. Superfast and Ultrafast are the two Sky broadband speed options that meet the needs of the average UK household.
It's worth noting that Sky broadband does go one better than many providers with their Speed Guarantee, but only for the two higher Sky broadband speed tiers.
Sky Broadband Speed GuaranteeSky guarantees that the throughput speed to your hub won't dip below the guaranteed minimum download speed within the first 30 days of your service - if it does, Sky will give you your money back.
With another provider, you might be paying for a speed that you might not consistently be getting, so Sky does well to ensure customers good service in this way.
Again, however, it’s important to remember that line rental (and the £20 added to your monthly bill) comes as part of this package. If you don’t want it or want a provider that includes it for free, we can give you a decent option.
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Sky Broadband Shield
An important feature of Sky broadband is the Sky Broadband Shield, an online tool that comes included in Sky broadband packages and gives customers control over their online experience.
The shield can help provide protection against phishing, malware-infected sites, and comes with a Safe Search function to help block explicit content from search engine results.
The Sky Broadband Shield option has three distinguishing features:
- Simple to customise: Choose the kind of content that gets through to your home is made easy with its clear age categories.
- Works on all devices: Include smartphones, tablets, and games consoles that are connected to your broadband.
- Makes browsing safer: Gives protection to all devices in your household that are connected to Sky broadband.
Sky Broadband Boost
Sky Broadband Boost is a bit of a misnomer to be completely honest. You could be forgiven for thinking you get faster Sky broadband speeds if you sign up for it but that isn't its purpose.
Sky Broadband Boost is little more than glorified premium customer service and a couple of extra features for £5 a month on top of the monthly Sky broadband price and set up fees.
This is what Sky Broadband Boost gets you:
- Engineer visits at no cost
- Sky Broadband Buddy parental controls
- Sky Hub router upgrades
- 2GB of free mobile data
Let's dig into the supposed advantages of Sky Broadband Boost. The only feature that has any real value is the Sky Broadband Buddy app. This Sky app allows parents to set content filters and timers for their household's screen time.
Extending the Sky Broadband Shield feature set could be seen as valuable to some. However, with most smart devices already providing parental locks and controls, it's hard to see much added value here.
With the broadband speed guarantee being already included in your Sky broadband deal, paying a monthly extra for free engineer visits to fix one off broadband issues seems a bit pointless. This is especially the case with the Sky Hub router upgrade offered as part of the Sky Broadband Boost. Many homes that have broadband connectivity issues that aren't necessarily solved with a new broadband router. The solution is often to add WiFi extenders to make sure the whole home gets broadband coverage.
Finally, the 2GB free mobile data allowance only applies to customers who also pay for Sky Mobile in addition to Sky Broadband. If your household has a different mobile provider then you're paying for someone else's 2GB of free data and you'll never see a single kilobyte.
Sky Q Booster
Sky Q is mainly associated with TV packages, but there is some crossover into broadband. If you’ve got a TV package with the Sky Q experience along with Sky broadband, you could benefit from Sky Q Mini boxes’ extra function as WiFi boosters - extending your router’s range around your home. Unfortunately, these are only available to Sky TV customers in yet another snub to Sky Broadband only customers.
If there are parts of your home that aren’t within your main hub, the Sky Q Booster is designed to extend your WiFi signal from your main hub to these neglected areas. It’s entirely wireless and connects to your Sky Hub at the touch of a button with WiFi Protected Setup (WPS).
To get it working, you need to:
- Plug the booster into a power socket closest to the area where the signal is weakest.
- Press and hold the WPS button on your nearest Sky Q product for three seconds. The button will flash amber.
- After two minutes, press and hold WPS on your booster for three seconds.
- Within about two minutes the booster’s connected light will turn green and the WPS button will go green and then off. At this point, you’re connected.
If this doesn’t improve your connection, Sky recommends you check your device’s WiFi is enabled and that you’ve picked the right network.
Sky Broadband Reviews
You’ve heard all about the Sky broadband only options, but what are customers actually saying about them? The independent review site Trustpilot scores Sky 1.4 out of 5 stars, with 79% of its 3,913 reviewers giving it the worst possible score of Bad.
Is Sky Good for broadband?
Sky doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to broadband. Many Sky Broadband customers cite the lack of value for money as their main gripe. Sky has always had a reputation as a pricey TV provider and, with Sky broadband, it’s more or less the same. Sky is quick to put prices up and prone to “mistakenly” take money from your account, and often hits customers with hidden charges. Many reviewers complain about unsuspected line rental charges, but it’s not only this:
They levy £10 'late payment' fees for those people who don't pay by monthly direct debit … Getting through to them on the phone is impossible and resolving your query over SMS or Facebook Messenger… well, that could take weeks.
Not only does Sky regularly help itself to your money, but, as the above reviewer mentions, getting through to Sky can be more difficult than it needs to be. More than this; they’re unlikely to be particularly helpful if you do. Apart from it being tricky to get through, Sky’s agents are not renowned for great customer service:
After combing through these reviews, the tone is more or less the same throughout, and we would think twice about signing up to Sky broadband as a result. To find a more reliable provider, give us a free call to find a better option.
Can you have Sky Broadband without a landline?
All Sky broadband speed options require a landline as well as a default Sky Pay As You Talk £0 option in order to sign up for the service. Sky Broadband does not have any deals that are exempt from the landline requirement.
Sky Broadband Down?
If you're wondering if your Sky broadband is down, there are many ways to check whether the problem is limited to your home or if there is a general broadband outage. Let's see what the Sky broadband troubleshooting options are.
Sky Broadband Not Working
If your Sky broadband is not working, you should follow these troubleshooting steps.
- Check that your computer or device is connected to your Sky broadband WiFi network
- Use a network troubleshooting tool on your device if available to get initial information
- Check the status lights on your Sky broadband hub router and refer to its instructions
- Turn your Sky broadband hub router off and wait 15 seconds before turning back on
- If none of the steps above restore your connection, use the Sky Broadband Status Checker
Sky Broadband Status Checker
Sky broadband customers have access to a Sky broadband status checker which will tell you about any known issues with your broadband or any of the apps. This way, you can avoid the hassle of calling and waiting to speak to someone and get an explanation as well as an estimate of how long to wait until the issue is fixed.
You log in to the status checker with your username and password, or alternatively you can access it with your Sky Talk phone number. If there’s no issue that Sky knows of you will see a green dot, but if something is wrong and it’s being resolved it will show up red - it couldn’t really be any simpler.
Cancel Sky Broadband
To cancel Sky broadband, you’ll have to give them 14 days’ notice - unless, that is, you’re in what they call a ‘cooling off period’. The cooling off period is a period of 31 days after i) delivery of your wireless router; ii) activation; or iii) the receipt of terms and conditions for your product/service. During this period you can cancel at any time at no charge.
If you’re switching to another provider, you may not need to contact them at all and can leave it all up to your new provider to take care of the details. If, however, you’re switching to Virgin, BT’s Ultrafast Fibre, or fibre to the premises from another provider, you’ll need to contact an agent via live chat on Sky’s website or call them on 03337 590 209.
There’s a multitude of ways in which to contact Sky depending on your issue. You can find out all about the best way to contact Sky for whatever reason via our contact page.