With 15 percent of customers who answered our survey using Plusnet, we were able to find out quite a lot about this good-value ISP. A broadband-only provider with no add-on services to push, Plusnet focuses on raw connection speed, and this enables it to win our 2011 Recommended ISP award.

Most users pay £15 or £20 a month, with a landline carrier-preselect service provisioned via the ISP for a third of customers.

Slightly fewer leisure hours are spent online by Plusnet users than were cited by BT, Sky and O2 customers, with nearly a third of users enjoying 15 to 20 hours online per week. Aside from shopping, BBC iPlayer is easily the most popular activity for users, with 57.8 percent listing it. Social networking, web radio and music streaming are also popular.

See also: What's the best UK broadband ISP? PC Advisor's 2011 Broadband Survey report

Plusnet offers its predominantly Windows-based customers between 5 and 8Mbps broadband connections, with a further 20 percent signed up to 2 to 5Mbps connections. Off-peak unlimited downloads are enjoyed by more Plusnet users than other ISPs represented here, with the remainder signed up to 10GB or 60GB subscriptions.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Plusnet: Specs

  • Landline, Plusnet account
  • Landline, Plusnet account

OUR VERDICT

Perceived speeds are underwhelming, perhaps because Plusnet doesn’t offer the 10 or 20Mbps connections some ISPs do. But actual measured speeds tell a more impressive story. Plusnet users enjoy relatively fast connections with a 5.5Mbps average and are among the most content overall, with a 95.7 percent satisfaction rate and 95 percent for connection rates. Customer service gets a similarly good report, with 94 percent satisfaction. It’s really only the value and speed issues that hold Plusnet back from earning a Best Buy award.

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