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Virgin Media vs Sky Broadband

Virgin_Vs_Sky_lead on a blue background

Which provider has the edge or is it just “the best of a bad bunch”?

Virgin Media and Sky are widely advertised and have enticing offers, but which of these service providers should get your money? We’ve done full reviews of both Virgin Media and Sky Broadband, but here we’ve pitted them against each other in four crucial areas to see which is the best broadband provider.

Virgin Media vs Sky Broadband: Pricing

Virgin Media wins

For many people, the price of a broadband connection is their main concern, and while there isn’t a huge difference in the cost between Virgin Media and Sky, it’s notable. On average you’ll have single-digit savings if you go with Virgin Media with roughly similar packages.

Both companies offer 18-month contracts, so over the course of a year and a half, the savings on each monthly payment start to add up.

That being said, we don’t think the small price difference between either provider will be a deciding factor for most people. You can also get far better deals elsewhere – both these providers are poor value for money, as you’ll discover below. For Virgin Media in particular, the company scored the worst in our survey when customers were asked about value for money. So being “technically cheaper” isn’t much of a win.

Check prices at Virgin Media

Virgin Media vs Sky: Customer Service

Sky wins

Customer service is like good security, you hope you never have to use it, but when you do, it needs to be up to scratch. We looked at data on customer satisfaction and tried to get a good overall picture of how each company treats its customers when things go wrong.

When we asked Virgin subscribers how they felt about customer service, the results weren’t great – and that’s an understatement. Only 40% of our respondents were happy with the customer service, and 27% were at the negative end of the scale when it came to satisfaction with how their issues were handled.

Sky Broadband, on the other hand, wins this round through sheer mediocrity. In our survey on customer satisfaction, Sky was in the middle of the pack, with about 56% of customers saying they were happy with customer service.

Check prices at Sky

Virgin Media vs Sky: Performance

Virgin Media wins

The whole point of getting a broadband connection is to enjoy a fast internet connection. Browsing, streaming video, downloads and more all benefit from having a snappy connection – especially when you have a whole house full of people who want to do these things at the same time.

It’s important to remember that the speed quoted in the advertisement for a broadband package is the theoretical maximum. In reality, you’ll get a lower number than that on average, and often the “minimum guaranteed speed” will be spelled out in your contract, which you should make sure you’re happy with before you sign.

Sky Broadband’s users in our survey absolutely trashed the company’s performance. Only 68% of Sky’s customers are happy with the speed, and among the ISPs we surveyed, this was by far the worst result.

Virgin Media, on the other hand, has made speed a central part of what it offers customers. In our survey, 79% of respondents were happy with the speeds provided and Virgin Media is the third-best ISP we surveyed for speed satisfaction.

Check prices at Virgin Media

Virgin Media vs Sky: Reliability

Virgin Media wins

Going fast is great, but getting derailed at any speed is a pain. It’s better to have slower, more reliable internet, than a fast unreliable service. This is particularly true because we rely so heavily on the web during our daily lives. If access goes down, everything grinds to a halt and using mobile phone data as a backup can be expensive and finicky.

Against that backdrop, Sky isn’t in good shape. Only 68% of respondents in our survey said that Sky was reliable, and 17% were actively disgruntled. This puts Sky at the bottom of our reviewed ISPs in yet another category.

By that logic, of course Virgin Media will beat Sky in this category, but the company is second-to-last in our reliability survey, barely edging out Sky. So neither of these providers are a good choice if you care about your internet staying on more often than not.

Check prices at Virgin Media

Virgin Media vs Sky: Our verdict

Choose absolutely anyone else. While either Virgin or Sky might come out on top in this head-to-head comparison, neither service has a glowing review from us at the time of writing. So we can’t in good conscience recommend that you choose either of these services, unless you really have no other choice, which is unlikely.

Instead, we invite you to have a look at our latest roundup of the best broadband when it comes to broadband ISPs in the UK – with Zen Internet rated our top pick as the best broadband provider in 2024. You’ll almost certainly find a better match for your needs and budget there.

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