Sky Broadband is available with or without Sky TV as long as you take a Sky Talk phone package and pay line rental of £12.25 a month. The broadband comes in two sizes: Broadband Everyday Lite, which is only available with Sky TV, and Broadband Unlimited. Both give you a download speed of up to 20Mb – Broadband Everyday Lite has a 2GB usage limit and, of course, Broadband Unlimited has no maximum download amount.
Broadband Everyday Lite
Customers taking Sky TV with Sky Talk Freetime and Sky Line Rental get Broadband Everyday Lite included free of charge, and the 2GB usage limit means it is fine for those who just want to email and do general web surfing without downloading lots of music, movies or other large files. The speed, at up to 20Mb downloading (where you are loading sites or taking files like photos from the web) and up to 1.3Mb uploading (where you are putting files like photos etc from your computer onto the web), is fine for most domestic use, although certainly not the fastest on the market, and it’s known as a reliable service. The average speed is harder to gauge than on cable broadband as it is affected by your distance from the local exchange.
Everyday Lite Features
- Up to 20Mb download speed
- 2GB of data per month
- Sky wireless ‘N’ router
- Free 3 month trial of McAfee Internet Security Suite
- 24 hour technical support
- Included evening and weekend calls with Sky Talk
With Sky TV, Talk and Line Rental there is no charge for Everyday Lite – it is not available without Sky TV. TV, Talk and line rental starts from £32.25 a month, which is made up of £20 a month for the package and £12.25 line rental.
The Unlimited service gives you the same features as Everyday Lite but the download allowance is truly unlimited, with no traffic management or fair use policy applied. This is ideal for a user who wants to buy a lot of music online or download lots of movies and equally so for a family or other household with multiple web users. Watching programmes or films on Sky Anytime+, the library of on-demand content, counts towards your monthly broadband usage so although Everyday Lite is advertised as “Ready for Sky Anytime+ TV on demand” if you watch any decent amount of it you’ll need to take the Unlimited package.
- Truly unlimited data per month
- Can be taken without Sky TV
- Free 12 month trial of McAfee Internet Security Suite
- All other features as Everyday Lite
With Sky TV, Talk and Line Rental Broadband Unlimited costs £7.50 a month. TV, Talk and line rental starts from £32.25 a month, which is made up of £20 a month for the package and £12.25 line rental – total with Unlimited £39.75. Without but with Talk and Line Rental the price is £10 a month plus £12.25 line rental, total £22.25. Offers such as 6 months half price are run on a regular basis – see our Sky deals page for details.
Sky Wireless Router
The wireless N router from Sky is made by Sagem and is the Sagemcom F@ST2504 – as you can see from the picture it’s designed to look very much like a Sky+HD box, although it comes with a stand so is generally kept in an upright position. It has four 100Mb ethernet ports which are coloured yellow and two other, one coloured green which is optimised for Sky Anytime+ and a blue one which is reserved for future developments in the firmware. Wireless N is the latest version of the IEEE standard wireless protocols, an update on wireless b and g that first appeared in 2009. The main difference in layman’s terms is an improved range – up to around 70m indoors against around 40 m on wireless b and g, although there are other important differences.
How Sky Broadband Works
Sky Broadband is delivered not by satellite like the TV service but via copper wire phone line, thanks to the policy of allowing telecoms providers other than BT to use the telephone exchange systems known as ‘local loop unbundling’. If you live in an area where this has not taken place you can get Sky Broadband Connect, which uses the slower BT Wholesale network of phone lines and gives a maximum speed of 8Mb. The Sky router connects to your phone socket – it can be sent to you in the post for easy self set-up – and then if you want to enable Sky Anytime+ on-demand content the router connects to the Sky+HD box.
How Sky Broadband Compares
On download speed Sky looks quite slow compared to Virgin Media and BT – here are the maximum speeds on each;
- Sky – 20Mb
- Virgin Media – 50Mb nationally and 100Mb in parts of the country
- BT – 40Mb with the Infinity service where available, otherwise 20Mb
When it comes to allowances Sky Broadband Unlimited is truly uncapped use. Virgin Media is advertised as unlimited but a traffic management system is operated whereby at peak times of the day anyone downloading excessively will have their speed reduced in order to maintain a good service for everyone else who shares their connection. This means the other 50 or so households who typically share one connection but should have no effect on the majority of customers – it also only affects broadband size L and XL, XXL and the 100Mb service are truly unlimited like Sky. BT also operate a fair use policy on all of their broadband services.
Sky TV Packages
Sky TV Starter Deal
Only £20 a month
Sky+ TV, broadband and calls £20 a month plus £12.25 line rental. Free Sky+ Box with free standard set-up, 2MB broadband, evening & weekend calls.
£30.25 a month
Get the HD box FREE with free set-up and have fantastic HD quality for £30.25 a month plus £12.25 line rental. Includes broadband and Sky Talk Freetime.
Sky+HD with Sky Movies
£46.25 a month
Movies in HD, 850 different movies a month, Free Sky+HD box, HD pack with wide choice of HD channels for £46.25 a month plus £12.25 line rental.
Sky+HD with Sky Sports
£50.25 a month
The fantastic Sky+HD Box, Sky Entertainment Pack plus Sky Sports! – over 100 sports with exclusive live coverage. £12.25 line rental payable