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Broadband, Phone & TV

Eir vs Sky vs Virgin Media vs Vodafone – how do they compare?

Mark Whelan

Mark Whelan

Staff Writer

Broadband, TV and home phone bundles can be notoriously difficult to compare like-for-like. So, we've stripped away the small print, distracting details and creative pricing and taken a cold hard look at how Eir, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone really stack up.

Landline minutes, HD compatibility, TV channels, set-up fees and broadband speed. These are just some of the things to consider when comparing bundles! 

It's little wonder that with so many features and head-spinning marketing messages to wade through, it can be tough to find out who's offering the best deal.

So we've done the hard work for you and searched through all the details to find out how the main providers really stack up.

To create as level a playing field as possible, we’ll compare the entry-level tripleplay bundles (that’s home phone, broadband, and TV) from Eir, Sky, Virgin Media and Vodafone.

Eir

1. What do you get?

With Eir you get up to 100Mb unlimited broadband, a home phone plan with unlimited off-peak local and national calls, and around 60 digital TV channels.

2. What does it cost?

It’s a 12-month contract and costs €44.98 a month for the first 12 months and €74.98 a month thereafter, should you wish to stay with the provider once your contract comes to an end.  

There's also a one-off set-up/activation fee of €49.99 for all new customers, though for a limited time Eir is offering €50 cashback, thereby offsetting the fee. 

3. What's special about this plan? 

Here’s where it gets really good.

You get Eir Sport for free, which comes with seven premium sports channels, which would usually cost about €30 a month.

Additionally, as an Eir customer and a SuperValu Real Rewards member, you can collect points every time you pay your Eir bill, simply by linking your Eir account and your Real Rewards card. For every €2 that you pay on your bill, you'll get 1 Real Rewards point. You'll also receive bonus points (currently 250) when you first start.

You can also spend your Real Rewards points to save up to €60 every year on your Eir bill, with 250 points knocking €3 off your bill and 500 points knocking off €6. Not too shabby!

With such a long price discount and extras like those mentioned above, Eir will take some beating. And you can sign up to this Eir deal now.

Let’s see if Sky can take them on.

Sky

1. What do you get?

With Sky, you get up to 100Mb unlimited broadband, a home phone plan with off-peak local and national calls up to one hour, and around 53 digital TV channels. So, essentially the same as Eir.

Entertainment with Fibre Unlimited and Talk Freetime

Entertainment with Fibre Unlimited and Talk Freetime

  • 53 channels (see all channels)
  • Off-peak calls to Irish landlines
  • 12 month contract
100Mb/s
Unlimited data
€1,021
€772
First year cost
€41.50*
Monthly cost
Monthly cost
€41.50

2. What does it cost?

It’s a 12-month contract and the price is €41.50 per month for the first six months after which the price rises to €83 per month. 

There's also a one-off set-up/activation fee of €25 for all new customers.

This Sky bundle is available for sign up now.

3. What's special about this plan? 

With Sky you get access to the hugely popular Sky Atlantic TV channel as standard as well as Sky Q and Sky VIP (Sky's loyalty rewards programme). 

You also get access to Sky Go at no additional cost, which lets you watch Sky TV wherever you are in the UK and Ireland on any compatible mobile, tablet or laptop - wherever you have an internet connection basically!

Virgin Media

1. What do you get?

With Virgin Media you get up to 250Mb unlimited broadband, a home phone plan with unlimited calls to Irish landlines and mobiles and 400 landline minutes to 22 international countries, and around 66 digital TV channels. So, much faster broadband than Eir and Sky, a better phone package if you're still a fan of landlines, and a few more TV channels too.

2. What does it cost?

Virgin Media is offering €40 off its standard pricing for the first year, so you'll pay €54 per month for the first 12 months, after which the price will rise to €89 a month. Also, for a limited time you can add Sky Sports or Sky Cinema for an extra €1 a month for an entire year.

Again it's a 12-month contract, but you can switch providers once the year is up if you want. 

Unlike Eir and Sky, there's no set-up or activation fee for new customers although this means you'll have to install the service yourself. 

3. What's special about this plan? 

As a new Virgin Media customer, you’ll have access to its Red House Ninja service. A team of tech experts will visit your home and make sure that you’re getting the best out of your Virgin Media services. The team will install the best modem, check the Wi-Fi signal in every room, repair any old wiring issues, connect all home devices, give advice on how to maximise your in-home speed, as well as ensuring that you are getting the most out of your TV service. However there's a one-off charge of €50 for this.

You also get access to Virgin Media Sport, the football-focussed new sports channel at no additional cost. 

At present Virgin Media customers can also sign up to Virgin Mobile and get unlimited 4G data, calls and texts for just €5 per month for five months. After that it's just €25 a month on a rolling 30-day, SIM-only contract. 

With the Netflix app you can also easily access your favourite Netflix shows from your Horizon set-top box at the touch of a button.

Finally, you can stream your favourite TV shows while out and about with the Virgin TV Anywhere app. Just download the app and watch live TV on your iPad, iPhone or laptop! 

You can sign up for this Virgin Media deal right here, right now.

Vodafone

1. What do you get?

With Vodafone, you get up to 100Mb unlimited broadband, a home phone plan with unlimited anytime calls to Irish landlines, and around 55 digital TV channels. So, similar to Eir and Sky, but again the broadband ain’t as fast as Virgin Media’s.

2. What does it cost?

Vodafone's tripleplay deal costs €25 a month for the first six months, rising to €70 per month for the next six. It's a 12-month contract, after which the price rises to €75 a month.

As with Virgin Media, there's no set-up or activation fee, meaning the first six months of costs is super cheap. 

3. What's special about this plan? 

You can enjoy Netflix from your TV browser or simply at your fingertips with the dedicated Netflix button on your remote control. And with the Vodafone TV Anywhere App you can stream your favourite TV shows while out and about anywhere on your mobile or laptop.

As outlined above, unlike Sky and Eir, you get unlimited calls at any time to Irish landlines, not just off-peak and at weekends.

You can sign up for this Vodafone bundle right now on bonkers.ie.

Who wins?

Well, it's a close call but Virgin Media just about edges it because of its fast broadband we think, however Eir has some pretty good incentives too. However if money is tight and you're looking to pay as little as possible for the first few months, then Vodafone can't be beaten on price for the first six months.    

The key point here is that there are some genuinely fantastic tripleplay offers out there at the moment for people who are prepared to switch.

So if you're not happy with your current broadband speed or the price you’re paying, there’s no reason to settle. All of the deals we’ve covered are available for sign up on bonkers.ie right now.

Provider

Eir

Sky

Virgin Media

Vodafone

Core features

Up to 100Mb unlimited broadband

60+ TV channels

Home phone

Up to 100Mb unlimited broadband

50+ TV channels

Home phone

Up to 250Mb unlimited broadband

60+ TV channels

Home phone

Up to 100Mb unlimited broadband

50+ TV channels

Home phone

Set-up fee

€49.99

€25

Free

Free

Contract length

12 months

12 months

12 months

12 months

Introductory price

€44.98 for 6 months 

€41.50 for 6 months

€54 for 12 months

€25 for first 6 months, €70 for next 6

Follow-on price 

€74.98

€83

€89

€75 

Full year cost over 1 year

€719.75, including €50 cashback

€772

€648

€570

Extras

Free Eir Sport

Earn SuperValu Real Rewards points

Get up to €60 off your bill a year 

Sky Atlantic TV channel

Sky VIP loyalty programme

Sky Q

Sky Go

Red House Ninjas (€50 fee)

Free Virgin Media Sport 

Discounted Virgin Mobile plan  

Netflix app

Virgin TV Anywhere app

Dedicated Netflix button 

Vodafone TV Anywhere app

Moving into a new home? 

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