Hyperoptic vs Sky broadband

Last updated: 8 November 2021   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Hyperoptic and Sky broadband both offer superfast and ultrafast broadband to customers with high speeds available.

hyperoptic vs sky

At a glance

Hyperoptic Sky
Price From £20 From £25
Basic broadband N/A 11Mb
Superfast fibre broadband 50Mb 59Mb
Ultrafast fibre broadband 150Mb, 500Mb, 900Mb 145Mb, 500Mb
Inclusive calls None None
Anytime UK calls £5
Exc mobiles
£12
Inc mobiles
TV No Extra cost
Minimum term 1-month / 12 months / 18 months 18 months

Special offers

Before we look in detail at Hyperoptic vs Sky for broadband, here's a quick look at the special offers from both providers currently available to customers:

Offer Terms

Hyperoptic Broadband from just £17.99/mth

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

Offer Terms

Sky Stream Entertainment + Netflix just £19/mth with free setup (worth £39.95)

Hurry! Offer ends in 3 days!
23 May 2024

18 month minimum term. No setup fee. £28/mth after 18 months. Prices may change during the contract period.


Sky Glass with Sky Entertainment & Netflix free for 3 months from just £14 per month

Hurry! Offer ends in 3 days!
23 May 2024

48 month minimum term on Sky Glass. 18 month minimum term on Sky TV. Sky Entertainment & Netflix £26/mth after 3 months. £10 setup fee. Prices may change during the contract period.


Sky Broadband Ultrafast just £28/mth for 18 months

18 month minimum term. £5 setup fee.(Refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable). £46/mth after 18 months. Prices may change during the contract period.


Broadband deals

Winner: Hyperoptic deals are cheaper than Sky's and offer more customisation options.

Hyperoptic and Sky offer a range of superfast and ultrafast broadband deals starting from around 50Mb.

Here are their current deals side-by-side:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fast 50Mb (24 months) 57Mb average £27 £19 24 months
Superfast Broadband 61Mb average £27 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)
Superfast (24 months) 158Mb average £30 £19 24 months
Ultrafast (24 months) 522Mb average £33 £19 24 months
Ultrafast Broadband 145Mb average £28 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)
Hyperfast (24 months) 900Mb average £36 £19 24 months
Ultrafast Plus Broadband 500Mb average £33 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)

The first thing to note is that customers can often get much faster broadband from Hyperoptic for a lower monthly cost.

For example, it's usually cheaper to take Hyperoptic's 500Mb plan than it is to take Sky's 145Mb option.

It's important to point out that the Hyperoptic deals in the table above are broadband only, so customers won't get a landline included. If they want to add a landline, this costs £2 extra per month and comes with free evening and weekend calls (more on this below).

Also, the Hyperoptic prices listed in the table above are for 24-month contracts as those were introduced in August 2021 as a cheaper alternative to their 12-month deals.

Again, taking a shorter contract will add to the monthly cost (it's £5 more per month), but that still means Hyperoptic's deals compare favourably against Sky's.

Sky customers must take an 18-month contract and line rental only, meaning their broadband deals are more rigid than Hyperoptic's.

For more see our full review of Hyperoptic and Sky broadband is reviewed here.

Rolling broadband

Hyperoptic offer 1-month rolling broadband deals while Sky do not.

These packages can be taken with or without home phone just like the regular deals and customers will pay the same set-up fees, just higher monthly costs.

The option to take broadband on a rolling contract is something that sets Hyperoptic apart from Sky, and it puts them in a minority of providers offering broadband without a contract too.

Basic broadband

Sky offer a basic copper broadband service for customers who don't want faster speeds or are in the 3% of homes who can't sign up to superfast broadband yet.

This is their Essential Plus plan:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Broadband Essential Plus 11Mb average £33.25 £19.95 18 months

Most customers will want faster broadband than 11Mb, but it's worth knowing they offer basic broadband while Hyperoptic do not.


Price

Winner: It's cheaper per month to take Hyperoptic broadband over Sky, but set-up fees can be higher.

The monthly prices in the broadband deals table above show Hyperoptic is cheaper than Sky at every level and they're often one of the cheapest providers around for ultrafast broadband.

Even if customers decide to take Hyperoptic broadband on a shorter 12-month contract and add a landline, this still usually means they're cheaper.

Special offers change frequently, so it's important to check before signing up to see which provider has the best deals available.

Both Hyperoptic and Sky frequently drop their P&P and activation charges in special deals. However, when the set-up fees are at full price, Hyperoptic's standard is £29 upfront while Sky charge £9.95.

This means the upfront costs of signing up to Hyperoptic broadband are generally more expensive and some customers may be frustrated by this.


Speed

Winner: Hyperoptic's top speeds are faster than Sky broadband, and their connections are all full fibre.

Hyperoptic offer speeds starting from 50Mb while Sky speeds start from 11Mb for copper broadband and 59Mb for superfast.

The fastest speeds available on Hyperoptic are 900Mb while Sky's fastest ultrafast package offers top speeds averaging 500Mb.

Here's how their broadband speeds look in comparison:

Hyperoptic Sky
Basic broadband N/A 11Mb
Superfast broadband 50Mb 59Mb
Ultrafast broadband 150Mb, 500Mb, 900Mb 145Mb, 500Mb

So, on the face of it, Hyperoptic offer almost double the top speeds that Sky do, meaning customers searching for the fastest broadband will usually look to Hyperoptic.

We don't have any independent testing of Hyperoptic's broadband speeds to back up their claims, but we can how Sky's 59Mb package performs in the real-world thanks to Ofcom panellist testing:

Ofcom average speeds, published March 2023
Advertised average speed Over 24hrs Peak time
(8-10pm weekdays)
Sky 61Mb 64.30Mb 62.01Mb
Sky 145Mb 150.22Mb 150.46Mb

As the table demonstrates, Sky's speeds don't live up to their adverts, but that's true of most superfast providers who deliver services through fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology.

Let's take a closer look at broadband technology and why Sky's performance may be poorer than Hyperoptic's at superfast level.

Broadband technology

All Hyperoptic broadband is delivered by fibre to the premises (FTTP). This means that fibre runs all the way into a customer's home rather than stopping somewhere outside.

Sky's ultrafast broadband deals are FTTP too, although they run on the Openreach network while Hyperoptic operate their own full fibre network.

However, Sky's widely available superfast 59Mb broadband plan is delivered via fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology. As the name suggests, this takes fibre to the cabinet but the connection that goes from there into a customer's home is made from copper. This slows the connection down and explains why FTTC speeds rarely live up to expectation in real-world testing.

So, customers choosing between Hyperoptic's 50Mb and Sky's 59Mb deal will usually find Hyperoptic's advertised speeds are more accurate than Sky's.

Reliability

FTTP broadband has the edge on reliability too, so all Hyperoptic customers will benefit from lower latency and lower rates of disconnections.

Latency refers to the time between a customer making a request and the request being actioned by their internet service. It's measured in milliseconds (ms) and we want the figure to be as low as possible.

As this screenshot from Ofcom's November 2020 testing shows, the latency of Sky broadband's 59Mb package is broadly in line with similar packages from other providers:

ofcom broadband latency comparison

However, this screenshot also shows the lower latency of BT's FTTP broadband and this is a good demonstration of how the full fibre broadband of Hyperoptic will compare to Sky's FTTC connection.

Hyperoptic broadband will have lower latency than at the superfast level, although they will be more finely matched for ultrafast broadband.

Who is the UK's most reliable broadband provider? We find out.

Upload speeds

One final point on speed: Hyperoptic offer symmetrical upload speeds on most of their broadband packages while Sky's upload speeds are always lower than their download speeds.

Hyperoptic's full fibre technology allows them to offer the same speed downstream and upstream, although they restrict their entry-level package to 50Mb download and 5Mb upload.

For their 150Mb, 500Mb and 900Mb packages, though, the download speed and upload speed are the same.

When we look at Sky's upload speeds, this is far from the case:

Download speed Upload speed
Broadband Essential Plus 11Mb 0.8Mb
Broadband Superfast 59Mb 16Mb
Broadband Ultrafast 145Mb 27Mb
Broadband Ultrafast Plus 500Mb 60Mb

So, the fastest upload speeds Sky broadband customers can expect to receive are around 60Mb while Hyperoptic customers can access upload speeds of 900Mb on their fastest package.


Routers

Winner: The Sky Broadband Hub is a good router for all customers.

Hyperoptic supply one of two routers to their customers. Those on 50Mb or 150Mb plans receive the ZTE Hyperhub while those on 500Mb or 900Mb plans will receive the Nokia Hyperhub instead.

The Nokia Hyperhub is designed to handle the higher speeds offered by Hyperoptic's faster packages, so it includes 4 x Gigabit LAN ports and 4 wi-fi antennae along with automatic band steering and channel optimisation.

The ZTE Hyperhub looks a little dated in comparison with only 2 wi-fi antennae, so customers on Hyperoptic's slower plans may feel short-changed as far as equipment goes.

Meanwhile, Sky provides the latest Sky Broadband Hub to their new customers. It features 8 antennae and 4 x Gigabit LAN ports, claiming to be able to handle up to 64 devices in busy homes.

One thing that sets Sky apart from Hyperoptic is the option to add Sky Broadband Boost for £5 per month and improve broadband coverage around the home with wi-fi boosters.

While these do add to the overall cost of Sky broadband, it's a way for customers to upgrade and optimise their home broadband network if they want to.


Call plans

Winner: Hyperoptic include evening and weekend calls if a landline is taken, whereas Sky customers have to pay more.

Hyperoptic customers can choose to add a landline for £2 extra per month and this service comes complete with free evening and weekend calls to UK landlines.

Beyond this, there are three call plans available:

Call plan Includes 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

Two of these are discount plans rather than inclusive call options, so customers should watch out for that distinction and check whether the discounts are going to be deep enough.

On the other hand, Sky broadband comes with line rental only and no inclusive calls. Customers need to add one of the following for any inclusive calls:

Call plan Includes Monthly price
Talk Evenings & Weekends Extra Unlimited evening and weekend calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles £5
Talk Anytime Extra Unlimited anytime calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles £12
Talk International Extra Unlimited anytime calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles. Plus Unlimited geographic landline calls to 50 international countries £14

These are more expensive, but they are also more comprehensive and some customers who use their landline frequently may appreciate having more inclusive calls rather than simply discounts on making calls.

It all comes down to what a customer uses their landline for. Since many customers don't make many calls from their home phone these days, we've ranked Hyperoptic's inclusive evening and weekend calls above Sky's package options, but be sure to think about your household's needs.


Customer service

Winner: Tie - Hyperoptic have a good reputation while Sky perform well in independent surveys.

Although Hyperoptic are not covered in Ofcom research on broadband customer service, customers still have good things to say about them on Trustpilot.

They have an Excellent TrustScore of 4.7 from over 13,000 reviews at the time of writing, with 88% calling them an Excellent company and a further 5% labelling them as Great.

Industry professionals also praise Hyperoptic. They won an ISPA Award for customer service in 2019 then followed that up by being commended in the Best Consumer ISP category in 2020 and 2021.

So, while we don't have much information about their customer service, the picture that we do get is a positive one.

Conversely, Ofcom look closely at Sky broadband in their customer service reports and figures.

Sky is usually one of the least complained about broadband providers and their customer satisfaction is in line with the industry average as well.

In fact, Sky customers have less reason to complain, have more customers satisfied with their complaints handling and a greater proportion of complaints resolved completely on first contact than their major rivals.

With all this in mind, we're calling this one a tie and suggesting that customers will have a good customer experience with both providers.


Other

There are a couple of other things to highlight when looking at Hyperoptic vs Sky for broadband.

First, let's take a look at one area where Sky are ahead (their TV service) then we'll look at the thorny issue of availability.

TV

Sky offer one of the UK's most comprehensive TV services while Hyperoptic do not offer any sort of pay TV service.

This is Sky TV combined with Sky's superfast broadband:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Sky TV + Broadband Superfast 61Mb average £40 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee

While this is a default win for Sky, it's worth noting that Sky TV can be taken separately from Sky broadband, so Hyperoptic customers could still sign up to the service while enjoying the faster FTTP broadband speeds of Hyperoptic broadband.

Customers interested in that idea may want to consider the base package from Sky TV:

Package Channels Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Sky TV + Netflix 401 £23 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee

Availability

The problem with Hyperoptic is availability. They are only active in 43+ cities and towns across the UK with a focus on tower blocks and other big buildings where they can install their full fibre network and get a good return on their investment.

This means that Hyperoptic broadband won't be available to everyone and, in fact, their services are unlikely to even reach most places under the current business model.

Meanwhile, Sky's superfast broadband is nationwide, stretching to the 97% of homes able to get a superfast broadband connection on the Openreach network.

Their ultrafast services are more limited, but Broadband Ultrafast is available to 25% of UK homes and Ultrafast Plus is available to 15.7% at the time of writing.

For now, many customers may be disappointed to learn they can't get ultrafast broadband from either provider yet.


Verdict: Hyperoptic or Sky broadband?

Overall winner: Hyperoptic have better broadband deals and their network is full fibre all the way.

Hyperoptic is an emerging broadband provider while Sky is already a household name thanks to their long-standing broadband and TV services.

Yet Hyperoptic is the provider ahead on many points including their broadband deals with options to ditch the landline and take longer contracts for lower monthly fees. They even have a no-contract option for customers who don't want to commit for longer.

The top speed offered by Hyperoptic is almost double that of Sky's and their upload speeds are better across the board.

Sky do have their positive points such as their great everyday router, good call plans and option to bundle with TV services for a better deal.

In fact, Sky's services are great in many respects - they just can't beat Hyperoptic's for value and ultimate speed.

Since many customers will be unable to access Hyperoptic's broadband plans, we still think Sky broadband is an excellent choice, especially if their more reliable FTTP ultrafast plans are available in a customer's area.

Comments

Which broadband deals are available in your area?

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