Hyperoptic broadband deals reviewed
HYPEROPTIC offer the UK's fastest fibre broadband service with speeds up to an outstanding 1Gb per second, but with one big caveat - availability.
Since starting out in 2011, Hyperoptic have rolled out their fibre-to-the-home service to 21 cities around the UK. Yet outside of these areas their coverage is virtually non-existent.
But for those who can receive it (check here) Hyperoptic offers well priced full-fibre broadband with speeds of 20Mb, 100Mb and 1Gb, as well as the option to sign up contract-free.
Here we take a closer look at Hyperoptic's deals to find out more.
Surprisingly, Hyperoptic broadband is actually very competitively priced compared to their big rivals and to further encourage potential customers, they usually have some kind of introductory deal available.
At the time of writing, those offers include the following:
Is Hyperoptic available in your area?
As we've mentioned Hyperoptic is now available in 21 cities across the UK including Greater London, Cardiff, Bristol, Brighton, Reading, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Watford, Leicester, Southampton, Slough, Edinburgh, Woking and most recently Croydon.
Because Hyperoptic rolls out its network building-by-building rather than by enabling larger areas, even if a city is listed there is no guarantee Hyperoptic will be available to all addresses.
It's worth checking then whether or not Hyperoptic is available at your specific postcode, you can quickly do that using the postcode checker below.
Enter your postcode above to check availability in your area.
If you are living within a Hyperoptic city, but not enabled for Hyperoptic broadband it may be worth registering your interest here.
Hyperoptic fibre broadband packages
As well as offering a seriously ultrafast 1Gb package, Hyperoptic also has a couple of slightly more affordable, "standard fibre" connections available, of up to 20Mb and up to 100Mb.
Here's a quick summary of their main broadband deals, including Hyperoptic's phone service with evening and weekends calls:
To see prices in full see our Hyperoptic broadband search here.
Note the price of the 20Mb deal. Just as the more widely available ISPs have taken to offering their standard broadband at a discount or even free to tempt new customers, so too do Hyperoptic.
Also, while the prices above include line rental, as the service is fibre-optic, going phone free is a real option.
There's no connection fee for people choosing to take Hyperoptic broadband with phone; anyone thinking of going phone-free should factor in a one-off £40 charge.
Bearing that in mind, here's how losing the phone affects prices:
Unusually for fibre broadband, the standard contract for all packages is just 12 months.
There is another option available for those who aren't sure which of the deals above is for them: a 30-day, "no contract", contract.
30-day rolling contract
Getting any kind of broadband without being tied into at least a year long contract is unusual enough - only a handful of providers do it and most only offer standard up to 17Mb broadband. For a list of providers offering shorter or no minimum term contracts head here or to see them reviewed in full visit our full guide.
But for Hyperoptic to offer ultrafast connections without the 12-month commitment makes sense in a way.
As with all their packages, it's only available to people in enabled buildings. The technology's already there - it just needs connecting.
Compare that to the likes of BT's (currently stalled) FTTP service, where each order is for an individual building, and the effort and cost involved tend to be greater.
Even so, we don't see this kind of thing being offered in the pockets of more rural FTTP provision being created under Broadband Delivery UK - and it's unlikely to happen in York where Sky and TalkTalk are selling their FTTP 1Gb services.
As with other ISPs offering a month by month service, Hyperoptic charge more for the privilege of having that flexibility, and it's often quite a lot more.
Whether choosing to have a phone or not, going contract free will incur a £40 connection fee.
Those prices then; first with a phone line:
...And here's what it'll cost to be both phone and contract free:
Hyperoptic vs Virgin Media
Although other providers may advertise fibre broadband services, often they are actually part copper cable, which limits overall speeds.
Nationally, there's only one other provider that offers anything like Hyperoptic - Virgin Media. Let's see how they stack up against each other. First, with the phone line included:
And then without the phone:
For the top speed packages it's a bit of a no-brainer, Hyperoptic offer much faster speeds than Virgin, 1Gb compared to 300Mb, yet it comes cheaper as part of their introductory offer.
While in the middle tier there's a bit more of a difference in price. Both providers offer 100Mb packages but Virgin's Vivid 100 is a fair bit more expensive than Hyperoptic's.
For a full comparison of these two providers see our Hyperoptic vs Virgin guide here.
Before we move on from the comparisons, there's one more service to look at.
Hyperoptic's 20Mb package is their cheapest package and the closest thing they offer to standard 'up to 17Mb' broadband.
That said, the fact that it comes via the fibre optic line straight into the building, it'll put even the best 'up to 17Mb' connections to shame.
Here's the package as it stands:
|Package||Broadband||Contract term||Upfront price||Monthly price|
|20Mb Fibre Broadband & Phone||Up to 20Mb
for 12 mths,
Compare those costs with those of the standard broadband packages offered by the four biggest providers:
Hyperoptic don't offer sweeteners like upfront line rental - possibly it's not quite as much of an issue for their target audience - but paying month by month it's still quite competitive.
Where their budget option does fall down is in the upload speed.
Hyperoptic customers with the faster packages will have matching headline upload and download speeds - that is the 100Mb customers will get uploads of 100Mb, and the 1Gb customers risk blinking and missing their 1Gb uploads.
But 20Mb Hyperoptic customers will find their uploads limited to 1Mb. That's not much faster than many ADSL broadband providers manage - Ofcom's November 2016 figures show 0.8Mb to 1.2Mb is pretty standard.
The Hyperoptic Hyperhub continues the trend for routers that wouldn't look out of place in an Ikea catalogue.
A sleek white box boasting 4 x 1Gb Ethernet connections, it only supports 2.5Ghz wireless connections - so devices like cordless phones, baby monitors and any other wireless AV equipment could interfere with the signal.
This seems a little odd given that the hubs offered by most other providers now have dual-band wireless capability, but it makes much more sense when we consider the speeds Hyperoptic offer.
They say their hub is theoretically capable of wireless speeds of up to 130Mb, but "current wireless technology will struggle to create a throughput of over 70Mb".
With a top speed of up to 76Mb, standard fibre providers don't really have to worry about the slight loss caused by going wireless - but they do need to think about the interference from other devices.
In contrast, anyone with Hyperoptic's 100Mb or 1Gb connections will only get the speeds they're paying for by using an Ethernet cable to connect directly to the hub - which instantly negates any issues about interference from other wireless devices.
Hyper limited: Register your interest
As mentioned, Hyperoptic is a "pure fibre" network and the only other provider offering similar technology is Virgin Media, although there are pockets of ultrafast broadband from other providers being trialled around the UK.
In York, CityFibre are building a 1Gb fibre network, which is being sold through Sky and TalkTalk, and have recently announced plans to extend their FTTP coverage further, to at least five other British cities, with the work scheduled to commence in 2018.
While BT plan to increase their fibre efforts via their G.fast broadband service, which is set to be rolled out to 10 million homes by 2020.
Virgin Media's network is much more widespread than Hyperoptic's. The main reason for this is that they service whole streets and cities with superfast broadband relatively cheaply and easily using short stretches of coaxial cable for the final few metres of the connection.
Hyperoptic and CityFibre take the fibre all the way into the building, however, and to individual flats and offices.
So rather than connecting whole streets, Hyperoptic have focused on connecting single buildings at a time - which is more likely to happen in blocks of flats or offices where there are lots of potential connections to balance the cost of installation. These properties are more likely to be found in larger cities and so for this reason Hyperoptic remains a strictly urban affair
Superfast branching out
Likewise, it's also possible to see online where Hyperoptic is available already, or where there's been a significant level of interest.
That said, they are expanding their scope - they've recently started working with housing developers to provide full fibre access to new single family housing developments as well as multiple dwelling buildings.
Notably, in February last year, they announced a partnership with the Hyde Group housing association, in which they're connecting six existing developments in south London to their network.
Social tenants will be given "basic" 2Mb broadband free of charge, as well as the option to sign up to Hyperoptic's 30-day contracts without facing a credit check.
We were so impressed with the details of the joint venture that we named them winner of the category for Inclusion and Accessibility in our ISP Awards last year.
Encouraged by the high level of interest this scheme has attracted, Hyperoptic have now set out plans for a similar project in the North, this time working with Nottingham City Homes to supply FTTP services to the area's council properties.
All in all: Our verdict
That's not just in comparison with their closest mainstream rival, Virgin. The 20Mb package stacks up fairly well against standard broadband deals, as long as users can live with the limited upload speed.
The fact that they also offer a no contract option is pretty noteworthy too.
Yet in spite of recent efforts to extend their network the main drawback remains availability. And even though a number of other expansion plans are in progress, the development-by-development approach means that for now at least, Hyperoptic is only for the lucky few.