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Best business broadband 2023: The top UK internet providers ranked on speed, reliability and value

Don’t let your business suffer from poor broadband – switch to an award-winning provider

Business owners don’t want to have to worry about their broadband. It should be fast and reliable, with fallbacks in place should the connection suffer a fault. If you follow our guide, that’s exactly what you’ll have.

For the first time ever, we’ve conducted extensive research of business broadband providers. We’ve asked more than a thousand professionals to rate their provider in terms of speed, reliability, customer service and value so that you can benefit from first-hand experience of what it’s like to be a customer of four of Britain’s biggest business broadband providers.

Below, you’ll find mini-reviews for each of the four major providers, with links to the full reviews for those who crave more detail. We’ve also created a buyer’s guide to give you expert advice on the factors you need to consider before choosing a business broadband provider and the features you should look for.

Business broadband is only a hassle when it goes wrong. Once you pick the right tariff, from the right provider, broadband should be just like any other business utility – there when you need it and something you don’t have to spend time thinking about. So let us help you get that big decision right.

Best business broadband: At a glance

Best overallVodafoneCompare prices
Best Vodafone alternativeBTCompare prices
Best for speedVirgin MediaCompare prices
Best for customer serviceSkyCompare prices

How to choose the best business broadband provider for you

Full-fibre vs fibre-to-the-cabinet

Unless you’re based in a remote area, or you’re just incredibly unfortunate, your choice of broadband will largely boil down to two technologies: full-fibre or fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC).

FTTC is by far the most commonly available technology, available to more than 95% of premises in the UK. This comprises a high-speed fibre connection to the local telephone cabinet (those big green boxes you see on pavements) and a slower, copper connection from the cabinet to your home or business premises. FTTC lines are slower, generally reaching a peak download speed of around 80Mbits/sec. 

Full-fibre, as the name suggests, is fibre all the way and it’s much faster. The top speed you can buy from the major providers on test here is currently 1Gbit/sec (1,000Mbits/sec), but you’re likely to see even faster speeds in the near future.

However, it’s easy to overestimate the speed you’ll need. Most full-fibre providers will supply from 100Mbits/sec to 1Gbit/sec, but most general office workers simply won’t need those top speeds. Our advice is to start on one of the lower tiers and work your way up if needed. No provider will stop you upgrading a connection, but some may impose penalty charges if you attempt to downgrade the speed of your connection mid-contract.

4G backup

Broadband connections will fail, sometimes through no fault of the providers – a JCB digging through cables has been known to take down an entire town’s internet connection for days at a time.

If your business is reliant on the internet – and whose isn’t these days? – you’re going to need a fallback option. All of the providers here offer tariffs that include 4G backup, where the connection switches to mobile broadband should the fixed line go down. This is unlikely to be as fast as your fixed-line connection, but it should be fast enough to let you keep working through such an emergency.

Here, network selection is everything. So check you can get a decent indoor reception on your chosen network before placing an order and don’t just rely on their notoriously unreliable coverage maps. Bring a phone connected to the network into your office/home office to see how good reception really is.

Phone lines

The old copper-based telephone network is being phased out and many business broadband providers now offer digital phone services – VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol – where the phone line(s) effectively operate over the broadband network.

These digital phone services can offer advanced features, such as diverting calls to mobiles if landlines aren’t picked up, internal call transfers and advanced call-waiting facilities. It’s worth talking to your broadband provider about digital phone lines, as it might save you money to buy them as a bundle rather than as separate telephone/broadband deals.

Other business essentials

There are other things you need to watch for when picking a tariff. For example, many cheaper business tariffs only have consumer-grade support, with fairly lengthy guaranteed repair times. If your business absolutely relies on internet access, you may want to consider opting for premium support, with same-day repairs, where available.

If you’re planning on getting remote access to data stored on office computers, it would be a distinct advantage to have static IP addresses. Again, talk to your provider, as some offer these as standard, while others only provide it for an extra charge. Finally, pay careful attention to the router equipment being offered, and particularly whether it includes the potential for mesh extenders to reach Wi-Fi dead spots in the far-flung corners of an office, or guest Wi-Fi options for visitors.

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The UK’s best business broadband providers in 2023

1. Vodafone Business: Best all-round provider

Price when reviewed: From £26 (Note: Price may rise during contract) | Find out more at VodafoneVodafone Business was the hands-down winner of the Expert Reviews Best Business Broadband Awards 2023, dominating every single category. Whether it was in speed, reliability, customer service or value for money, no other provider was able to outscore Vodafone Business in our survey.

Customer service in particular was a standout strength, with a not inconsiderable 92.5% of the Vodafone customers we surveyed saying they were satisfied with the customer service offered by the network. Not that things tend to go wrong all that often in the first place, as more than nine out of ten customers said they were happy with the network’s reliability.

If we have one criticism of Vodafone, it’s that it has too many tariffs. We’ve only shown a selection of the available tariffs below. For the full range of tariffs, click through to our full review.

Read our full Vodafone Business review for details

Pro Fibre 1Pro Fibre 2Pro Full Fibre 100Pro Full Fibre 200Pro Full Fibre 500Pro Full Fibre 900
Price per month (exc VAT)£26£29£30£42£46£50
Upfront costNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Stated speed35Mbits/sec73Mbits/sec100Mbits/sec200Mbits/sec500Mbits/sec910Mbits/sec
Usage allowanceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Contract length24 months24 months24 months24 months24 months24 months
The monthly price shown plus all out of bundle charges will increase each April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation plus 3.9%

Compare prices

2. BT Business: Best alternative to Vodafone Business

Price when reviewed: From £26 (Note: Price may rise during contract) | Find out more at BT

BT Business put up a very strong showing in this year’s awards. It was Highly Commended in no fewer than three of the four voting categories, and was pushing Vodafone Business hard in all of them.

BT could be a good choice for customers already on the EE network, who know they’ll get a good signal if their broadband connection drops and they need to fall back on 4G. It’s worth noting, though, that BT only offers 4G fallback on some of its more expensive tariffs.

However, if our survey is anything to go by, you shouldn’t need that 4G fallback option on a regular basis. Almost 90% of BT customers were satisfied with the reliability of their connection, and BT’s ever-expanding full-fibre network helped it score 89% satisfaction on speed, too.

More than three-quarters of BT Business customers said they would recommend the firm.

Read our full BT Business review for details

Broadband EssentialBroadband EnhancedBroadband Essential + Phone LineBroadband Enhanced + Phone Line
Price per month (exc VAT)From £26From £28From £28From £34
Upfront costNoneNoneNoneNone
Stated speed76-900Mbits/sec76-900Mbits/sec76-900Mbits/sec76-900Mbits/sec
Usage allowanceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Contract length24 months24 months24 months24 months
The monthly price shown will increase on 31 March 2024 by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation plus 3.9%

Compare prices

3. Virgin Media Business: Best for speed in some areas

Price when reviewed: From £25 (Note: Price may rise during contract) | Find out more at Virgin Media

Virgin Media was unique in our test, being the only provider with its own network rather than relying on that of Openreach or other wholesale providers.

That means it can deliver fast connections of up to 1Gbit/sec, often in areas where Openreach doesn’t yet have a full-fibre network. So, if fast broadband is critical to your business, that could tip the scales in favour of Virgin Media.

However, even though it offers the fastest headline speed of any of the four providers here, the customers we surveyed weren’t always over-enamoured with the speeds they received – while a healthy 88% were satisfied, that was only the third-highest score in our survey.

Its customer service is a bigger concern, though, as the disgruntled rump of 6.1% of their customers was by far the biggest proportion of any of the providers on test here.

Read our full Virgin Media Business review for details

Essential 100Voom 400Voom 600Voom Gig1
Price per month (exc VAT)£25£33£42£60
Upfront costNoneNoneNoneNone
Stated speed100Mbits/sec400Mbits/sec600Mbits/sec1Gbit/sec
Usage allowanceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Contract length24 months24 months24 months24 months
The monthly price shown will increase each April by the Retail Price Index rate of inflation plus 3.9%

Compare prices

4. Sky Business: Best for customer service after Vodafone

Price when reviewed: From £25 (Note: Prices may rise during contract) | Find out more at Sky

Sky is obviously doing something right in the customer service department as consistently tops the Ofcom league table as the provider with the fewest complaints, and in our awards it picks up a Highly Commended for customer service, with more than nine out of ten customers declaring themselves satisfied.

Yet, while the customer service team is doing sterling work, other areas appear to be letting the package down. Only 82% of Sky’s customers were satisfied with their speed, and almost one in ten said they weren’t happy with performance – the worst scores of any of the providers here.

That dissatisfaction with speed may well have dragged down customers’ opinions on value for money too, even though just over three-quarters still claimed to be satisfied.

On the plus side Sky has a very simple set of tariffs to pick from, with speed boosts on offer for those who really need the extra bandwidth.

Read our full Sky Business review for details

Price per month (exc VAT)£25£35£45
Upfront costNoneNoneNone
Stated speed76Mbits/sec150Mbits/sec*500Mbits/sec*
Usage allowanceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Contract length24 months24 months24 months
The monthly price shown may increase during the contract period

(* Can be boosted to up to 900Mbits/sec in full-fibre areas for an additional charge)

Compare prices

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