Compare wireless broadband deals

No broadband deal is complete without Wi-Fi. While broadband deals don’t restrict their usage to purely wired connections, it’s important to ensure wireless broadband is available at no extra cost.

This table has been sorted to display the fastest average* speed deals first.

TalkTalk Unlimited Fibre 65 and Phone Line

£75 Voucher
TalkTalk
Contract length
18months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
67Mb
No setup cost
£22/month
£75 Voucher

BT Fibre 2 Broadband

£120 Reward Card
BT
Contract length
24months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
67Mb
£9.99 setup cost
£32.99/month
£120 Reward Card

BT Fibre 2 & Entertainment

£120 Reward Card
BT
Contract length
24months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
67Mb
£29.99 setup cost
£33.99/month
£120 Reward Card
Exclusive

Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra & Phone Line

18 months discounted Broadband
Plusnet
Contract length
18months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
66Mb
No setup cost
£23.95/month
18 months discounted Broadband

John Lewis Fibre Extra Broadband with Evening & Weekend Calls

12 months discounted Broadband
John Lewis Broadband
Contract length
12months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
66Mb
No setup cost
£27/month
12 months discounted Broadband

NOW Broadband: Super Fibre & Anytime Calls

12 months discounted Broadband
NOW Broadband
Contract length
12months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
63Mb
£5 setup cost
£23/month
12 months discounted Broadband

SSE Unlimited Fibre Plus and Line Rental Only

18 months line rental discount
SSE
Contract length
18months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
63Mb
No setup cost
£26/month
18 months line rental discount

Direct Save Telecom No Contract Unlimited Fibre Broadband 63Mb

£24.95 installation fee discount
Direct Save Telecom
Contract length
1months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
63Mb
No setup cost
£39.95/month
£24.95 installation fee discount
Exclusive

Vodafone Superfast 2

£70 Voucher
Vodafone
Contract length
24months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
63Mb
No setup cost
£22/month
£70 Voucher

BT Fibre 1 Broadband

24 months discounted Broadband
BT
Contract length
24months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
50Mb
£9.99 setup cost
£28.99/month
24 months discounted Broadband

TalkTalk Unlimited Fibre 65 and Phone Line

£75 Voucher
TalkTalk
Contract length
18months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
67Mb
No setup cost
£22/month
£75 Voucher

BT Fibre 2 Broadband

£120 Reward Card
BT
Contract length
24months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
67Mb
£9.99 setup cost
£32.99/month
£120 Reward Card

BT Fibre 2 & Entertainment

£120 Reward Card
BT
Contract length
24months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
67Mb
£29.99 setup cost
£33.99/month
£120 Reward Card
Exclusive

Plusnet Unlimited Fibre Extra & Phone Line

18 months discounted Broadband
Plusnet
Contract length
18months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
66Mb
No setup cost
£23.95/month
18 months discounted Broadband

John Lewis Fibre Extra Broadband with Evening & Weekend Calls

12 months discounted Broadband
John Lewis Broadband
Contract length
12months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
66Mb
No setup cost
£27/month
12 months discounted Broadband

NOW Broadband: Super Fibre & Anytime Calls

12 months discounted Broadband
NOW Broadband
Contract length
12months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
63Mb
£5 setup cost
£23/month
12 months discounted Broadband

SSE Unlimited Fibre Plus and Line Rental Only

18 months line rental discount
SSE
Contract length
18months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
63Mb
No setup cost
£26/month
18 months line rental discount

Direct Save Telecom No Contract Unlimited Fibre Broadband 63Mb

£24.95 installation fee discount
Direct Save Telecom
Contract length
1months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
63Mb
No setup cost
£39.95/month
£24.95 installation fee discount
Exclusive

Vodafone Superfast 2

£70 Voucher
Vodafone
Contract length
24months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
63Mb
No setup cost
£22/month
£70 Voucher

BT Fibre 1 Broadband

24 months discounted Broadband
BT
Contract length
24months
Download limit
Unlimited
*average speed
50Mb
£9.99 setup cost
£28.99/month
24 months discounted Broadband

This table has been limited to display a maximum of 10 deals, sorted by the highest download speed first.

*The average download speed displayed in Mb is the speed available to 50% of customers with this product during peak time (between 8pm and 10pm). The actual speed you will get depends on a variety of factors such as your cabling, your area, how far you are from the telephone exchange as well as time of day. The majority of providers will tell you the speed you will likely receive when you begin your online sign up — this may differ from the average speed displayed on our table.

The deals available at your postcode are subject to local availability. The provider will confirm availability for your line.

Money services are provided at no cost to you, but we may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to.

What is Wi-Fi broadband?

Wi-Fi is wireless broadband – an internet connection accessible without needing to physically plug an electronic device into a router or network. Also spelled wi-fi, WiFi or wifi, the name is described by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as an abbreviation of Wireless Fidelity. Other people claim it’s a meaningless riff on Hi-Fi, which was a commonly-used term in the 1980s and 1990s.

Does every broadband deal include wireless broadband?

They do, irrespective of which category a broadband contract falls into. All the options listed below include wireless broadband connectivity if you’re using a Wi-Fi-enabled router:

Standard broadband

Also known as ADSL, standard broadband uses traditional copper phone lines from the Openreach network to transmit data at speeds generally limited to 11Mbps.

Fibre to the Cabinet broadband 

Also known as FTTC, this broadband connection uses fibre optic cabling to your nearest street cabinet, before reverting to copper phone lines for the final leg of the journey to your home. Achievable speeds tend to be around 35 or 65Mbps.

Fibre to the Premises broadband

Also known as FTTP, FTTH (for Fibre to the Home) or simply Full Fibre, this fibre optic broadband extends modern fibre cables all the way to your home, making it the fastest hardwired connection. Speeds range from 100Mbps to 1Gbps on some modern cable networks.

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband originates from a SIM card and doesn’t require any wiring. Modern smartphones can support the creation of a mobile Wi-Fi network (called MiFi) to power other devices, while network operators also sell USB mobile broadband sticks and compact MiFi hubs which either plug in or wirelessly power electronic devices.

Satellite broadband

Distributed from a satellite to a floor- or wall-mounted dish outside your property, this has long been a favoured option for people in remote regions. However, it’s expensive, prone to interference from severe weather, and involves significant latency due to the time it takes to beam a data request into space and receive a response back.

What is wired broadband?

Wired broadband is essentially the opposite of Wi-Fi and requires your device to be directly connected to the router, or linked to it through plug sockets using a Powerline adaptor. You will need an Ethernet cable, which then becomes a Local Area Network (LAN) connection instead of Wi-Fi. 

Is Wi-Fi better than wired broadband?

The answer depends on its application. While it may seem like a more restrictive set up compared to Wi-Fi, wired broadband still has its merits:

TV and wireless broadband

If you use a set top box or own a smart TV, it’s likely to require a wired connection for full functionality. Some devices can work off Wi-Fi (even defaulting onto it if a hardwired connection is lost), but expect connections to experience more interference and buffering while wireless.

Gaming broadband

Any gamer knows the importance of a LAN connection for lag-free gaming over broadband. Games consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S all sport Ethernet ports for faster hardwired connections. 

Desktop PCs

If you have a desktop PC that doesn’t need to be moved around, a wired connection generally supports more reliable internet access. Laptops are designed for portability, but still achieve faster upload and download speeds while connected via Ethernet. 

Printers

Wi-Fi printers need to be connected to your router. This is usually done by USB cable, though they can sometimes run across Wi-Fi.

Does a Wi-Fi connection mean better broadband?

Accessing your broadband through Wi-Fi doesn’t mean your performance is better, and as we’ve established, it’s slower than a hardwired connection. However, it is far more convenient – devices like tablets, phones and certain laptops don’t have an Ethernet port which would support wired connections. 

Wireless routers

As mentioned, any broadband can offer Wi-Fi connectivity with a suitable router. A wireless router plugs into your internet connection at the wall socket, converting data streams into a LAN or Wi-Fi connection. There are routers which don’t offer Wi-Fi, but these tend to be either very cheap or quite specialised. Any hardware supplied by your internet service provider (ISP) will offer wireless connectivity.

Here are some elements to look out for when choosing an effective wireless broadband router:

LAN (Ethernet) ports

As mentioned, these support the creation of wired broadband connections. The average number of LAN ports for provider-specific routers is four, and many people experience better results hardwiring devices like streaming media hubs and smart speakers.

Wireless broadband network security

Routers will have their own password to stop other people accessing your connection. This is pretty much a given on any provided router, but security-conscious individuals may wish to look for extra security measures like management apps, parental controls or the ability to rename a network.

Antennae

Antennae help Wi-Fi routers create a strong and wide-reaching connection to wireless devices. External antennae perform better than integral ones, while dual-band routers can use 2.4GHz bandwidth to reach the garden while providing high-speed connectivity indoors across the faster 5GHz frequency.

MIMO/MU-MIMO

Most internet users will get by perfectly happily without needing to understand why MIMO (Multiple Input and Multiple Output) and MU-MIMO (Multiuser MIMO) offer different connection experiences. In essence, MU-MIMO allows a broadband connection to be simultaneously split across several devices – phones, laptops and consoles all enjoy a constant connection. Conversely, MIMO connects to one device at a time in quick succession, though few households would notice any lag or latency.

What provider has the best Wi-Fi router?

Below, we consider the offerings from the UK’s three largest broadband providers:

BT wireless router

Known as the BT Smart Hub, BT’s router claims to be the UK’s most powerful. It boasts seven antennae, and supports MU-MIMO even though BT isn’t utilising this technology as yet. Four Ethernet ports support hardwired devices, while parental controls and 100GB of free cloud storage are included. 

Sky wireless router

Dubbed the Sky Hub, Sky’s router can restrict access as part of its parental and security controls. It’s also a great energy-saving gadget, as it switches to low power mode when not in use. Sky claims its Hub can support over 50 separate connections, which is a huge improvement on previous-generation routers that struggled to get into double figures.

Virgin Media wireless router

Virgin’s top-performing router is called the Super Hub, and claims to create connections seven times faster than the UK average. Four Ethernet ports allow for wired connections. However, if you’re unhappy with your Super Hub, the unique way in which Virgin Media distribute data into your home mean you can’t replace it with a third-party router, as you could with any Openreach-powered ISP.

Wi-Fi extenders

Wi-Fi extenders are different to routers in that they don’t generate a separate connection, but they do help to broaden its reach. Providers like Sky add this to their set top boxes, improving Wi-Fi throughout your home as well as providing access to high-quality TV and streaming media content.

Other Wi-Fi routers

Honourably excepting Virgin Media, you don’t necessarily have to use the router provided by your ISP. Most companies will insist you take one as part of any new broadband contract, and a few may impose conditions that it must be used. In this scenario, you could simply plug your own router into the provided one and use it as a throughput to your preferred device, benefiting from the latter’s greater signal distribution or extra LAN ports. 

Your provider’s router does offer the benefit of being ready to use almost straight away. If that’s not appealing enough, shop around for features you consider important on an independently-manufactured router. Gaming routers allow for strong Wi-Fi connections that support lag-free gaming without a wired connection. Be aware that ISPs may curtail technical support if an unfamiliar router is being used, and it’s generally necessary to have prior experience of using wireless routers to benefit from the added software capabilities of third-party devices.

Why should I get Wi-Fi?

Wireless broadband has a variety of advantages, including the following scenarios:

Multi-device households

If your home features several users with their own assortment of electronic devices, then Wi-Fi is essential for being able to connect any devices that don’t support Ethernet connections. 

Shared households

Shared homes like HMOs or student digs need a router powerful enough to reach and service every room simultaneously.

Any household with a smartphone

As mentioned, phones can only get online via home broadband plans through Wi-Fi. Without it, they’ll burn through their monthly mobile data allowances surprisingly quickly unless you’ve chosen an unlimited mobile broadband package. 

Large households

Any wired broadband connection requires direct access to a router, and it isn’t always practical to have Ethernet cables snaking around a property into every main apartment.

Frequently asked questions

How far can Wi-Fi reach?

In the best possible environment, Wi-Fi should be able to cover a distance of about 40 metres. However, several things can deplete Wi-Fi’s reach:

  • A router being positioned too close to a wall or metallic surface

  • A router being hidden behind TVs, wooden cabinet doors and other obstacles

  • Interference from devices on the 2.4GHz spectrum, like baby monitors and radios

  • Physical barriers such as water-filled fish tanks.

Can my home get Wi-Fi?

All homes can get Wi-Fi, though as explained above, range may be limited by very thick walls or large rooms. If you struggle to get a decent Wi-Fi connection beyond the room hosting the router, consider using a Wi-Fi extender. If this also fails, mobile broadband may fill any gaps Powerline adaptors and Ethernet cabling can’t reach.

Do I need Wi-Fi to use broadband?

Broadband connections can be accessed with or without Wi-Fi, but only if the devices you need broadband for have a wired connection port. There’s usually an Ethernet port on TVs, games consoles and laptops, but not on phones, tablets or wearable tech.

Why can’t my PC receive Wi-Fi?

Some PCs don’t come with an inbuilt Wi-Fi adapter, which may necessitate purchasing one separately. These shouldn’t cost too much, and can be smaller than a USB flash drive.

Does Wi-Fi need a phone line?

Most broadband deals require a phone line, though there are exceptions for full fibre connections and unbundled services known as SOGEA. These were launched last year, and have already been adopted as broadband-only services by the likes of Sky. Using a Wi-Fi router has no impact on whether or not a phone line is required.

Why isn’t my Wi-Fi working?

Different things can interrupt Wi-Fi connections, including traffic management policies or interference from other devices and wireless networks. Quick remedies include rebooting your router, changing the frequency or channel it broadcasts on, turning your device’s Wi-Fi settings off and on again. Check around the home for other wireless hardware that may be causing interference, like microwave ovens or even car alarms.

Are Wi-Fi and broadband the same?

Wi-Fi is a method of delivering wireless broadband to electronic devices. Broadband itself is the internet connection, which can be accessed via a Wi-Fi network or along a fibre optic cable or phone line.

Last updated: 28 January 2021