Hyperoptic vs BT broadband: who's best?

Last updated: 24 October 2021   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

BT and Hyperoptic are major names in UK broadband, although they offer different experiences to customers.

bt or hyperoptic

At a glance

Hyperoptic BT
Price From £17.99/mth From £24.99/mth
Setup price £29 £9.99
Basic broadband None 10Mb
Superfast fibre broadband 30Mb, 50Mb 36Mb, 50Mb, 67Mb
Ultrafast fibre broadband 150Mb, 500Mb, 1Gb 100Mb, 500Mb, 900Mb
Inclusive calls Evenings & Weekends
Exc mobiles
None
Anytime UK calls £3
Exc mobiles
£15.67
Inc mobiles
TV None Extra cost
Minimum term 1 month / 12 months / 24 months 12 months / 24 months

Special offers

All broadband companies run special offers from time to time and these two competitors are no exception.

Here are the latest special deals from Hyperoptic and BT:

Offer Terms

Hyperoptic Broadband from just £17.99/mth

24 month minimum term. Up to £19 setup fee.

Offer Terms

£50 BT Reward card with BT Full Fibre 100 just £29.99 a month with free setup

Hurry! Offer ends 6 June 2024

24 month minimum term. No setup fee. From £34.99/mth after 24 months. BT offers are subject to price increases on the 31st March 2024 by CPI +3.9%.


£50 BT Reward card with BT Entertainment TV and BT Fibre 100 broadband, just £44.99/mth with free setup

Hurry! Offer ends 6 June 2024

24 month minimum term. No setup fee. From £54.99 a month after 24 months. BT offers are subject to price increases on the 31st March 2024 by CPI +3.9%.


Broadband deals

Winner: Hyperoptic broadband deals are not only cheaper, they also include free evening and weekend calls when a landline is taken.

Both Hyperoptic and BT offer a range of superfast and ultrafast broadband packages with speeds of up to 900Mb available.

Set-up fees are typical with both of these broadband companies, with Hyperoptic's generally more expensive at around £29. However, both providers frequently run offers reducing these fees or eliminating them entirely so keep an eye out for those special deals.

Both providers now allow customers to go landline free, or a landline can be taken with optional calling plans. Hyperoptic include free evening and weekend calls with their landline as standard, whereas BT don't include any free calls.

BT on the other hand offer premium extras with their broadband that Hyperoptic simply can't match. These include access to 5 million wi-fi hotspots across the UK and free anti-virus software alongside their broadband.

Although both providers offer their best deals on 24-month contracts, there are 12-month deals available across all packages too. Simply adjust preferences on the broadband comparison page to see how much these add to the overall cost each month.

One final point: Hyperoptic offer the option of signing up on a rolling 1-month deal across all their plans. BT don't offer anything comparable, so it's a long contract or nothing with them.

For more detail read our full reviews of Hyperoptic broadband and BT broadband.

Superfast broadband

Hyperoptic offer two superfast broadband packages with speeds of 30Mb and 50Mb, while BT have three on offer: 36Mb, 50Mb and 67Mb.

Here they are side by side:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Light 30Mb (24 months) 33Mb average £17.99 £10 24 months
Fast 50Mb (24 months) 57Mb average £27 £19 24 months
Fibre Essential 36Mb average £33.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: Reduced price for 24 months + (Ends 06/06/2024)
Fibre 1 50Mb average £29.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £5/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 06/06/2024)
Fibre 2 67Mb average £36.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Reduced price for 24 months + (Ends 06/06/2024)

The most direct comparison is between Hyperoptic's Fast plan and BT's Fibre 1, both of which offer average speeds of 50Mb.

In that contest, Hyperoptic are much cheaper per month, even though their set-up fees are bigger than BT's.

However, some customers may also prefer the choice offered by BT's three superfast packages compared to the single option offered by Hyperoptic. For households that don't need a lot of speed, 36Mb could be enough.

Learn more about broadband speeds and what they mean.

Ultrafast broadband

Ultrafast is the arena where Hyperoptic shine and they offer three full fibre ultrafast packages starting at 150Mb. BT offer three packages too, although their starting point is lower at 100Mb.

Here's how the deals look:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Superfast (24 months) 158Mb average £30 £19 24 months
Full Fibre 100 150Mb average £29.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £1/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 06/06/2024)
Ultrafast (24 months) 522Mb average £33 £19 24 months
Hyperfast (24 months) 900Mb average £36 £19 24 months
Full Fibre 500 500Mb average £34.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £15/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 06/06/2024)
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £59.99 £31.99 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Reduced price for 24 months (Ends 06/06/2024)

Again, Hyperoptic is the leader when it comes to price and BT's best deals are still far more expensive per month than Hyperoptic's.

Remember, it's possible to remove the landline from Hyperoptic's broadband deals and shave a couple of pounds off the monthly price.

BT do give customers on full fibre deals the option of getting rid of the landline, but they don't take any money off the bill if they choose to do that.


Price

Winner: Hyperoptic offer cheaper broadband at every level, although set-up fees are higher.

In a straight contest on monthly prices, Hyperoptic win easily. Their broadband deals are cheaper than BT's at every level and it's usually possible to get Hyperoptic's top tier 900Mb broadband for less than BT's second tier Full Fibre 500 package.

Yet monthly costs aren't everything and Hyperoptic's upfront costs are often triple those required by BT. For some customers who prefer cheaper upfront deals, this may be a deal breaker. However, as mentioned, Hyperoptic frequently run special offers removing their set-up costs, so watch out for those in our special offer tables above.

Since Hyperoptic also include free evening and weekend calls with their broadband deals (where a landline is taken) and offer money off the bill if customers choose not to take a landline, they easily beat BT on price.

Find out more about taking broadband without a home phone and which providers offer that option.


Speed

Winner: Hyperoptic's ultrafast download speeds are matched with symmetrical upload speeds.

Hyperoptic deliver all their broadband over their own fibre to the premises (FTTP) networks, and are one of the UK's fastest broadband providers as a result.

For customers, this means that fibre goes straight into the home rather than stopping at the street cabinet as we see with fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband. This is a more reliable way of delivering broadband and customers should receive speeds that are in line with those advertised by Hyperoptic.

BT do offer some full fibre deals on the Openreach FTTP broadband network, but that only covers around 5 million homes at the time of writing.

This means two things: firstly, most customers taking superfast deals from BT will be on FTTC connections and, secondly, only 5 million households will have the option of BT's faster deals. We look at that more closely later in this guide.

We don't have independent data about Hyperoptic's speed performance because they're a small provider, but we do have Ofcom data on BT's real-world speeds:

Ofcom average speeds, published March 2023
Advertised average speed Over 24hrs Peak time
(8-10pm weekdays)
BT 10Mb 12.92Mb 12.77Mb
BT 36Mb 32.36Mb 32.00Mb
BT 50Mb 43.79Mb 42.54Mb
BT 67Mb 63.76Mb 62.95Mb
BT 145Mb 148.72Mb 148.26Mb
BT 300Mb 302.34Mb 300.99Mb

As we can see, while BT's real-world speeds fall short on their FTTC superfast packages, they are much more reliable when it comes to ultrafast deals because these are delivered over FTTP broadband connections.

This demonstrates how much faster full fibre connections are - and how much more reliable too.

Upload speeds

Something else to note is that Hyperoptic offer symmetrical upload speeds on all but their slowest broadband package while BT cap the upload speeds on all their plans.

This is what that looks like in practice:

Average download speed Average upload speed
Hyperoptic 50Mb 5Mb
Hyperoptic 150Mb 150Mb
Hyperoptic 500Mb 500Mb
Hyperoptic 900Mb 900Mb
BT 36Mb 9.5Mb
BT 50Mb 9.5Mb
BT 67Mb 19Mb
BT 150Mb 30Mb
BT 500Mb 73Mb
BT 910Mb 110Mb

So, the maximum upload speeds customers with BT can expect to receive are 110Mb whereas Hyperoptic customers will get up to 900Mb on their Hyperfast plan.


Routers

Winner: BT's Smart Hub has more antennae for better coverage around the home.

Hyperoptic customers will receive either the Nokia Hyperhub or the ZTE Hyperhub depending on which broadband package they choose. Customers on faster deals will get the Nokia router while customers on Fast or Superfast plans will receive the ZTE router.

hyperoptic nokia hyperhub router

Hyperoptic's Nokia Hyperhub router

Both these routers work well with their speed packages, but the Nokia Hyperhub has 4 wi-fi antennae compared to the ZTE's 2 and the Nokia hub includes Gigabit capable LAN and WAN ports whereas the ZTE hub doesn't need to.

Meanwhile, BT supply their Smart Hub to most broadband customers, with those upgrading to Complete Wi-Fi or BT Halo 3+ receiving the Smart Hub 2.

These two routers are the same except for the fact the Smart Hub 2 is capable of working with the Complete Wi-Fi service while the first generation hub can't.

bt smart hub 2 with complete wi-fi booster

BT Smart Hub 2 with the Complete Wi-Fi disc and Hybrid Connect device

They have 7 antennae for better coverage around the home and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, although they lack a WAN port.

It's a close thing but the fact that the BT router has more antennae to improve coverage is the clincher for us, though the Nokia Hyperhub is still a great router.


Call plans

Winner: Hyperoptic offer some inclusive calls and competitive plans.

Customers who take Hyperoptic's home phone service will receive inclusive evening and weekend calls to UK landlines as standard.

If they want more calls, they can also add the following:

Call plan Features Monthly price
UK Mobile Plan 50% discount on all chargeable mobile calls £3
Anytime UK Landline Plan Free daytime UK landline calls £3
International Plan Half price calls to all international destinations at any time of day £5

These are competitive, especially when we look at BT's anytime call option listed in the table below.

Call plan Features Monthly price
400 minutes 400 minutes to be used any time for UK landlines or UK mobiles. £7.31
700 minutes 700 minutes to be used any time for UK landlines or UK mobiles. £7.31
Unlimited minutes Unlimited calls any time for UK landlines or UK mobiles. £15.67
Friends & Family International Lower call rates to 236 international destinations. £2.11
International Freedom Inclusive calls to landlines in 36 countries, and lower call rates to the rest of the world £8.99

While BT's call plans are good value when looked on their own, it's true that Hyperoptic's deals are simply better for low users.

Some customers may prefer the international plans BT offer, but that's unlikely to be a dealbreaker for many.


TV

Winner: BT offer a TV service while Hyperoptic don't.

TV is one area where BT excel because Hyperoptic don't offer a TV service.

BT TV is available alongside BT's broadband packages and must be taken on a 24-month contract.

However, the TV packages they offer can be downgraded and upgraded during the minimum term, allowing customers some flexibility.

We've got more detail on BT TV in our dedicated guide.


Customer service

Winner: Tie - Both have good service records in different ways.

Hyperoptic aren't covered in Ofcom's official customer service data because they're too small, but we can take a look at Trustpilot to understand what their customers think of them.

At the time of writing, they had a TrustScore of 4.7 from almost 13,000 reviews, marking them as Excellent and putting them among the top UK broadband providers. 88% of their reviews were marked as Excellent while 5% were marked as Bad.

Hyperoptic has also had award success in the past being named as the best for customer service for the sixth year running the ISPA awards.

Conversely, we do have Ofcom data for BT and it puts them in the middle of the pack for broadband customer service.

They scored 80% for overall customer satisfaction and had 50 complaints per 100,000 customers during 2020 (both figures in line with the industry average). They also had fewer customers than average with a reason to complain and slightly more with complaints resolved on first contact.

Overall, we wouldn't like to pick a winner in this category since Hyperoptic have a good reputation with their own customers and BT perform well in official data.


Availability

Winner: BT have better availability on their broadband plans.

The major drawback with Hyperoptic remains their availability. Because they expand on a building-by-building basis, many customers will find their miss out because Hyperoptic haven't expanded to their building or street yet and it's uneconomical for them to do so.

Hyperoptic's services are concentrated in busy urban area and they have active connections in at least 43 cities and towns including London, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Brighton and Swansea. But their network only covers in excess of 400,000 homes and businesses across the UK, so they have some way to go to be a major broadband provider.

On the other hand, BT's superfast deals are available to around 97% of the UK thanks to the Openreach superfast network. This means far more people will be able to get BT's slower packages.

However, their ultrafast deals suffer from availability problems too with only 5 million homes currently connected to the Openreach FTTP network.

In practice, then, customers may struggle to get access to BT's ultrafast plans for the time being and could be stuck with superfast until a rollout takes place.

For more information about other ultrafast providers, visit our ultrafast broadband guide.


Verdict: Hyperoptic or BT?

Overall winner: Hyperoptic offers cheaper deals to customers, although BT is a great choice too.

Hyperoptic broadband deals are cheaper than BT's, especially if customers want to cut out the landline and if they're willing to commit to a 24-month deal.

We like Hyperoptic because they offer:

  • Cheap broadband deals
  • Free evening and weekend calls to landlines
  • Cheap call plans
  • Option to ditch the landline for a discount
  • Symmetrical download and upload speeds
  • 1-month broadband options

With customers able to get faster broadband from Hyperoptic for lower prices and add cheaper call plans too, it's difficult to see on the surface why they would opt for BT instead.

Yet BT has plenty going for them too:

  • Great router
  • Option to add TV services
  • Premium features like wi-fi hotspot access

Ultimately, while we've chosen Hyperoptic as the winner in this contest, they're both excellent broadband providers offering a lot to customers in different ways.

It may come down to availability in the end, particularly if customers are looking for ultrafast services.

Comments

Which broadband deals are available in your area?

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