There are currently 10 residential broadband providers in the Irish market. These providers often offer other services, such as TV plans or mobile deals. This leaves most people wondering: Who is the best broadband provider and which company offers the best broadband deals? We take a look at the more important factors you should consider when looking for the best broadband provider in Ireland.
Broadband Providers in Ireland
Despite the number of competitors in the Irish market, only a handful are widely-known. Here is the current market share breakdown amongst the largest broadband providers in Ireland:
- Eir (28.2%)
- Virgin Media (24.9%)
- Vodafone (20%)
- Sky Ireland (13.7%)
Amongst the smaller broadband providers, the following are the ones making the most headway on the Irish broadband market:
- Imagine (2.8%)
- Pure Telecom (2.3%)
Curiously enough, all of these six broadband providers can offer broadband deals that include either TV, mobile, or both to a broadband plan.
For some reason, the larger broadband providers seem to attract the most complaints and some of the poorest ratings on review sites. Perhaps most people go to these big-name providers simply because they don’t know the alternatives well enough.
As service and public opinion are important aspects when determining which is the best broadband provider in Ireland, we compare the latest customer reviews in the table below.
|Broadband Provider||Customer review score on Trustpilot*|
Customer reviews are just one aspect to consider when evaluating who is the best broadband provider in Ireland. The other main factors to consider include the following:
- Internet Speed
We look at both of these factors in further detail below.
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Broadband Speed in Ireland
We keep hearing broadband providers promising the fastest internet speeds on the market, but do you need such high-velocity broadband for your home?
There is a general misconception that faster broadband speed means a better product. If all you plan to do is send and receive emails, there is no need for you to pay these broadband providers top dollar for their fastest broadband speed plan.
To put it into perspective, should you watch a movie online in HD, you need approximately 5 Mbps available to watch without any delay.
The slowest broadband speed plans in Ireland today start at 100 Mbps! So why do broadband providers offer such high-speed plans then? There are two main reasons why:
- The number of users in the home
- Speeds listed are the maximum broadband speeds reached
Imagine the average family of four sharing, and using at the same time, their broadband connection at home. Two people could connect to do their homework, another one video-conferencing, and the fourth member watching a movie while keeping up on Facebook on their mobile.
Essentially, the more people in the home, the amount of speed required for everyone to browse at their leisure at the same time can add up very quickly.
The second factor we mentioned is that the speeds mentioned are the maximum broadband speeds reached. Much like electricity, whose voltage can have a surge or a lull at any given time, your broadband connection (speed) has the same surges throughout the day.
As such, the higher the broadband speed you purchase, your connections’ lulls will still be fast enough for a family of four users to comfortably navigate the web.
You can always complete a broadband speed test using online services like Speedtest.net.
We cover this topic more in-depth in our guide to broadband speeds.
What is the Most Reliable Broadband in Ireland?
To determine the most reliable broadband, we sum up the pros and cons of each connection type in the table below. To learn more about these different types of broadband connections, visit our broadband in Ireland page.
|Broadband Connection||Pros||Cons||Broadband Providers|
Fastest and most reliable
Can be costly
Good speeds and reliability
|FTTC||Most cost effective system for fibre||Line shared with multiple homes||Virgin Media|
|WTTx||No need for a physical cable to your home||Signal strength varies|
How Much Does Broadband Cost per Month in Ireland?
We have looked at customer reviews, broadband speeds, now let's examine one of the more influential factors: price!
Before we get into the different provider monthly costs, you will also want to verify the fine print for these broadband contracts. Low price plans may come with some slightly hidden fees such as:
- Installation fee
- Long-term contracts
- Cancelation fees
- Equipment rental fees
The list of potential extra fees is too long to enumerate here. Everyday broadband providers come up with new creative ways to ‘appear’ cheaper than the competition.
As such, to get further indication as to which is the best broadband provider in Ireland, we compare the different broadband deals in the table below. However, please keep in mind that we are only looking at each company’s cheapest available plan. For mobile broadband, check the respective Vodafone mobile broadband and Eir mobile broadband pages.
|Broadband Provider||Monthly Price*||Broadband Speed||Installation Fee|
|Magnet Networks||€28.49||24 Mbps||€25|
|Pure Telecom||€35||150 Mbps||Free|
|Sky Ireland||€35||100 Mbps||Free|
|Three||€40||10 Gbps (5G)||Not included|
|Virgin Media||€40||250 Mbps||€50|
As you can see the offers can vary tremendously depending on the type of speed you are looking for.
Glancing at this comparison table, it is fairly safe to say that average prices hover around €35 per month for speeds between 100-150 Mbps.
We recognise that you won’t simply be after the cheapest or most basic package available, but this should be a good basis to start from.
All you need to do is look at the customer reviews and see what extras are included in these broadband plans (landline, installation, contract duration, etc.). With this information, you will be able to determine which one can provide you with the best value for your broadband needs.
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What Should I Look For When Buying Broadband?
To get the best possible broadband deal for your home, you will first need to determine what your needs are, specifically:
- How many people will be connected to your broadband at the same time
- What kind of usage will all house dwellers be doing (email, stream, video games, etc)
- How long do you plan to live at the home
- Do you want to bundle other products like TV or mobile to find better broadband deals
- Does the provider have any customer loyalty schemes, such as Three Plus?
Knowing the answer to these questions will help you narrow down your broadband needs and focus on the best product for your home.
With that information to hand, you can then compare the different broadband providers who offer the product you need. As mentioned above, you will want to compare the following information when comparing broadband deals:
- Customer reviews
- Cost per month
- Additional fees
- Contract duration
- Broadband speed
- Broadband connection type
If you are still unsure, you can always contact one of our broadband experts here at Selectra. It’s a free service and they will be happy to examine the best broadband deals available to you. You can always browse through our various broadband guides as well.
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Verdict: Which is the Best Broadband Provider in Ireland?
As we have seen here, there is no one clear-cut answer to this question. Much of it will depend on your broadband needs.
If you are looking for the fastest and most reliable broadband in Ireland, then we would recommend a provider offering SIRO connections. Pure Telecom and Vodafone are good reputable choices in this area.
If good customer service is of the utmost importance to you, then the smaller providers of Digiweb and Imagine excel in this department.
If you are simply looking for the cheapest broadband cost per month, Magnet Networks is the current leader in this department. Although, you still need to add the installation cost and keep in mind that the broadband speeds offered are much lower than all the other providers.
Finally, in the overall value category, we would have to suggest providers like Pure Telecom, Vodafone, and Digiweb. All three companies seem to have a good balance between the three main factors (customer reviews, broadband speeds, and price) when determining which is the best broadband provider in Ireland.