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19 Mar 2022

Best and worst broadband providers for 2022 - big names come up short

Providers like Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media can't compete when it comes to service, support and value for money
Stressed by laptop speed

Our latest customer satisfaction survey shows that at a time when the increased cost of living and rising inflation is hitting consumers hard, some of the big broadband providers have been letting down their customers on connection reliability, internet speeds and value for money.

With many of us more reliant on home broadband connections than ever before, it's crucial that your provider is one you can rely on. But some of the UK's biggest are among the worst-rated in our latest customer satisfaction survey.

How the big broadband providers compare

Virgin Media was the lowest-rated of the 'big four' providers, falling second from bottom in our rankings. Virgin only managed a measly two stars for value for money - with a fifth of customers saying it performed poorly.

Sky was only slightly better. We found that Sky customers felt let down on the basics - the speed and reliability of its connections. It did better for customer service, but its customers were also some of the most likely to say the price of their deal had risen in the past year.

TalkTalk did not impress either. While the reliability of its connections was considered passable, customers said they were let down by slow speeds. Two in five customers who left TalkTalk said it was because of slow speeds or connection issues.

Of the big four providers, it was BT that did best. BT customers generally seemed satisfied - if not overly enthusiastic - and it managed to squeak into the top half of our table. However, it was considered middle of the road in most categories and was outclassed on speed, reliability and value by smaller providers.

For full results for each of these providers and to see how they stack up against 10 others, including Plusnet, Shell Energy Broadband and Vodafone, head to our broadband provider reviews.

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Family using laptop to switch energy supplier

It's easy to switch broadband provider

With many broadband providers raising prices it's more important than ever to ensure you're getting value for money from a connection you can rely on. Switching or haggling are the best ways to ensure providers work hard for your money, and could save you hundreds of pounds each year.

However, our survey also found that more than half of broadband customers have been with the same provider for more than two years. Some 46% have never switched - and BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have the customers most likely to say that they've never been with another provider. If you're in this boat it's worth weighing up a switch - the grass truly can be greener with other providers.

While the idea of switching can feel like a hassle, in the majority of cases it's straightforward. When we surveyed over 7,000 members of the public about their experiences with broadband providers, the majority of those who has switched said they found it easy. Get started using our guide onhow to switch broadband provider.

If you're switching between the many providers that use the Openreach network - such as BT, EE Broadband, Plusnet, Shell Energy Broadband, Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and Zen Internet - you only have to contact one provider. Long periods of downtime between connections is uncommon and you can often switch without requiring an engineer visit.

Switching broadband providers isn't only about getting better service, it can also result in big savings. Our research has shown that simply switching broadband provider could save you as much as £200 per year.

And switching is also an opportunity for an upgrade - as well as offering faster speeds, fibre is more reliable, and you could actually save money compared with a standard broadband connection - read our guide on the benefits of fibre broadband to learn more.

For more tips on saving money on your telecoms bills, read our guides on how to save on broadband, and how to save on mobile. You can also take advantage of a range of mobile provider perks that include things like cheap cinema tickets, free TV streaming, and discounted coffee.