Now that we're all spending more time indoors, broadband demands at home have undoubtedly shot through the roof. As online lifestyle demands combine multi-device streaming, smart home tech, gaming, social media and video calls, we need internet speeds that can keep up.
Here, we look at the fastest broadband providers in the UK along with their fastest plans.
Fastest broadband provider - Hyperoptic
Hyperoptic uses full fibre cables (also known as FTTP, or fibre to the premises) which deliver the connection directly to the household instead of relying on copper cables to connect your router to the street cabinet. Hyperoptic's FTTP service provides an average download speed of 211Mbps, while Virgin's average speeds run at 156.1Mbps. Vodafone came second place in Broadband Genie's survey, with speeds of 168.4Mbps.
FTTP connections aren't available everywhere though. Hyperoptic has its own coverage checker tool if you wanted to see if your area qualifies. Though Virgin's fibre options are no longer the fastest in the country, it does have extensive coverage. Type in your postcode in Virgin's coverage checker to see which of its services your area qualifies for.
You can also use our tool below to see which broadband offers your area would qualify for:
Broadband Genie surveys thousands of UK broadband users to identify which service excels in reliability, value for money, customer service and, of course, speed.
Fastest broadband packages in the UK
Below, we've rounded up the fastest broadband packages from the top five ultrafast broadband providers in the UK.
1. Hyperoptic | Top Speed: 1GBps, £60 per month now £45 per month
Hyperoptic sits at the top of the list with their highest speed at a whopping 1GBps, which translates to 900Mbps on average. We can't think of why anyone would need such head-spinning speeds, but hey, if you want the fastest speeds in the country, you can have it for £60 per month, though currently reduced to £45 per month. The term lasts for 12 months.
You will need a wired connection to reach the 900Mbps speeds though, according to the provider.
Hyperoptic's other plans offer incredible speeds too. It's Ultrafast option offers average speeds of 500Mbps, which is the fastest speed available to Virgin. See all Hyperoptic plans.
2. Vodafone | up to 900Mbps, £40 per month
If you want to pick up fibre broadband from the second fastest network in the UK, Vodafone promises a blistering average speeds of 900Mbps under its Gigafast plans. Like Hyperoptic you'll need a wired connection to get to 900Mpbs. It'll cost you £40 per month, but there aren't any upfront costs.
It's second fastest plan, offers average upload and download speeds of 500Mbps which should be more than enough for most households. This plan costs costs £30 per month for 18 months, with no upfront costs. Check out all Vodafone's Gigafast options.
3. Virgin | Top Speed: up to 500Mbps for £89
It's worth checking out Virgin's offers if Hyperoptic or Vodafone isn't available in your area. Virgin's fastest broadband only plan, the M350, gets you average download speeds of 362Mbps for £59 per month, but is currently reduced to £39 per month. See all Virgin broadband offers.
Virgins fastest connection requires bundling with TV and mobile via the Ultimate Oomph plan. This includes the provider's new M500 Fibre broadband option – which offers an average download speed of 516Mbps, along with Sky HD TV channels, phone and unlimited mobile SIM. The Ultimate Oomph bundle typically costs £89 per month for the first year but is currently reduced to £79 per month. There's a 35 setup fee and the contract is for 12 months.
A current offer also includes a free Lenovo Smart Display. Head to Virgin to see its broadband and TV offers now.
4. Gigaclear | 900Mbps for £79 per month
Gigaclear serves rural areas in the UK. Its fastest option provides average speeds of 900Mbps for £79 per month. Terms are on an 18-month contract with no price increases. There is a £30 activation fee. Head to Gigaclear to see this and other packages – its 300Mbps option is its most popular at £49 per month.
5. TalkTalk | 145Mbps for £28 per month
TalkTalk's plan may come fifth in speed in the UK, but is certain first in affordability at under £30 per month with no upfront costs.
Its 38MBps option at £25.50 per month now also comes with year of Amazon Prime for free. See all TalkTalk broadband deals.
A benefit to TalkTalk is that prices don't spike after the term ends. Retained customers are eligible for the same offers as new cusomters, or are offered even more competitive deals. Plus a price cap introduced in March 2020 means customers who don't change plans at the end of contract, won't ever have to pay more than £30 per month for broadband and line rental.
Beyond the top five listed above, these following networks were other top performing broadband providers in the UK;
Which broadband speed is right for me?
Remember, you may not actually need the fastest of speeds to effectively use the internet in your household. Your optimal speed should take into consideration the number of people online and how much is being used on daily.
Also see our dedicated guide that breaks down all the babble around broadband so you can choose the plan that's right for you.
Light to moderate usage: You're in a household of two people at most and casually browse the web, or check email. Streaming is usually from a single device. In this case, look for speeds in the 11Mbps range or above.
Moderate to high usage: You're in a shared household of 5 or more people and are fairly heavy users, with some streaming in 4K or streaming from smart TVs in different rooms. You might also browse and stream from your phones, tablets and laptops often. In this case, you will likely need a speed up to 60Mbps or more.
High usage: You're in a big household and its a connected one – think smart speakers, thermostats, lighting, alarm systems, the full works. Most of you stream films in 4K, game heavily, download films (legally, we hope), and livestream. You might also be running an at-home business that requires frequent video calls and uploading large files to the cloud. Such usage typically needs upwards of 200Mbps.