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Broadband, Phone & TV

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

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

Daragh Cassidy

Head Writer

Broadband, TV and home phone bundles can be notoriously difficult to compare like-for-like. So, we've stripped away the distracting details, creative pricing and dubious marketing messages 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 100Mbps unlimited, part-fibre broadband
  • A home phone plan with unlimited off-peak local and national calls to landlines  
  • Over 70 TV channels.

2. What does it cost?

It’s a 12-month contract and costs €39.98 a month for the first six months, €49.98 for the next six months and €79.98 per month thereafter.

Eir currently doesn't charge an activation fee and for a limited time is even giving new customers who sign up €50 credit.

3. What's special about this plan? 

Eir recently teamed up with Apple to incorporate its TV service into Apple TV. This made Eir the first TV provider in the world to use the Apple TV 4K device as its sole set-top box, which you'll get for free when you sign up.

Apple TV is the media player from Apple that lets you stream content onto your own TV. It currently gives users access to iTunes films and TV shows, Apple TV channels, Apple Music, Apple Arcade and other apps such as Netflix and YouTube. It will also give users access to Apple TV+, the new on-demand streaming service from Apple that’ll compete with the likes of Netflix and boasts hit shows from the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.  

And now, after Eir and Apple have joined forces, it’ll also contain Eir’s TV service, which includes HD as standard and 76 live TV channels like RTE, BBC, Channel 4, and Virgin Media. Customers will also get a one-year free subscription to Apple TV+ as well as a one-year free subscription to Amazon Prime Video. 

You'll also get Eir Sport for free.  

Eir TV uses cloud recording which is a relatively new technology. It brings with it many benefits such as the ability to have multiple simultaneous recordings and it reduces the need for physical storage space. However, as your data is stored in 'the cloud' some of the more traditional content providers like RTE and BBC are not yet willing to grant rights for viewers to live record. However, this is changing all the time but for now, you won't be able to record on every channel you want. 

Through the Apple TV app store you can also easily download and view the RTE Player and All 4 Player and more (meaning you can catch up on some shows you couldn't record) while there's a handy seven-day catch-up feature.

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. But Eir and SuperValu often run 'bonus promotions' whereby 250 points will knock a fiver off your bill and 500 points a tenner. Not too shabby!

Sky

1. What do you get?

With Sky you get:

Sky Signature with Sky Broadband Superfast & Talk Freetime

Sky Signature with Sky Broadband Superfast & Talk Freetime

  • Sky broadband buddy
  • 53 channels (see all channels)
  • Off-peak calls to Irish landlines
  • 12 month contract
100Mbps
Unlimited data
€1,142
€830
First year cost
€65*
Monthly cost
Monthly cost
€65
  • Up to 100Mbps unlimited, part-fibre broadband
  • A home phone plan with unlimited off-peak local and national calls of up to one hour
  • Over 50 TV channels

2. What does it cost?

It’s a 12-month contract and the price is currently €65 per month for the first 12 months after which the price rises to €91 per month. 

There's also a one-off set-up/activation fee of €50 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!

Finally, there's the Sky Broadband Buddy, which lets you easily manage each screen in your home from an app on your phone or tablet. Think of it like a remote control for the internet on your smartphone to help control your kids' screen time. 

Virgin Media

1. What do you get?

With Virgin Media you get:

  • Up to 250Mbps unlimited, part-fibre broadband
  • A home phone plan with unlimited calls to Irish landlines AND mobiles
  • Around 66 TV channels.

So, much faster broadband than Eir and Sky, a few more TV channels than Sky, and a better phone package if you're still a fan of landlines. 

2. What does it cost?

This deal from Virgin Media will cost €69 per month for the first 12 months, after which the price will rise to €92 a month. 

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

Virgin Media currently charges a €50 activation fee for new customers.

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 the new Virgin 360 set-top box, which comes packed with a host of new features and replaces the older, oft maligned Horizon box. 

Customers of Virgin Media also get access to Virgin Media Sport, its football-focussed sports channel at no additional cost.  

With the Netflix app you can also easily access your favourite Netflix shows from your 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 100Mbps unlimited, part-fibre broadband
  • A home phone plan with unlimited anytime calls to Irish landlines
  • Over 80 TV channels

So, broadly 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 €45 a month for the first 12 months. It's a 12-month contract, after which the price rises to €85 a month.

Unlike some of the other providers, there's no set-up or activation fee, meaning over the course of the year this is the cheapest deal on the market.

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.

There's also a handy seven-day catch-up TV service. 

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 Eir just about edges it because of its tie-in with Apple TV in our opinion and competitive pricing. However, if speed is your thing, it's hard to look past Virgin Media

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 100Mbps unlimited broadband

70+ TV channels

Home phone

Up to 100Mbps unlimited broadband

50+ TV channels

Home phone

Up to 250Mbps unlimited broadband

60+ TV channels

Home phone

Up to 100Mbps unlimited broadband

80+ TV channels

Home phone

Set-up fee

Free

€50

€50

Free

Contract length

12 months

12 months

12 months

12 months

Introductory price

€39.98 for first 6 months, €49.98 for next 6 months 

€65 for 12 months

€69 for 12 months

€45 for 12 months

Follow-on price 

€79.98

€91

€92

€85 

Full-year cost over 1 year

€539.76

€830

€878

€540

Extras

Apple TV 4K box at no extra charge 

HD at no extra charge

7-day catch-up feature

Free Eir Sport & Virgin Media 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

Sky Broadband Buddy

Red House Ninjas (€50 fee)

Free Virgin Media Sport & Eir Sport

Discounted Virgin Mobile plan 

Anytime calls to mobiles & landlines 

Netflix app

Virgin TV Anywhere app

Dedicated Netflix button 

Vodafone TV Anywhere app

7-day catch-up feature

Moving into a new home? 

Here's how to get up and running with a new broadband provider:

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