About EE broadband deals
By | Friday, February 2nd 2018
In this guide
- What is EE Broadband?
- Why choose EE Broadband?
- What does EE Broadband offer?
- Alternative providers
- Frequently asked questions
Most are quite familiar with EE as a mobile provider. After all, it has ads on every other billboard, in every other TV ad break, has shops on every high street, and is recognised as the UK's fastest and largest mobile network. Many, though, are perhaps not as familiar with EE as a broadband provider.
In what follows we will aim to clarify exactly what EE offers as a broadband provider, how it compares to its competitors and answer some of the most common questions surrounding it.
What is EE Broadband?
EE was just a mobile provider up to 2015, at which point it inherited the Orange UK broadband service. EE itself was formed at the merger of two other formerly self-sufficient mobile network operators – Orange and T-Mobile. Unlike many new broadband providers, EE Broadband got a head-start with an inherited customer base.
Since then, EE – both as a mobile and broadband provider – has been bought by BT. That's not to say that if you buy an EE Broadband package, you're simply buying a BT Broadband package, though. There are significant differences in the range of packages each offers, though by all account the companies have decided to offer identically specced, albeit differently labelled, broadband routers, and of course both providers operate on the same network: Openreach.
Why choose EE Broadband?
There are a lot of similarities between EE Broadband and BT Broadband, as stated above. So what does EE claim it is doing to stand out from the crowd?
- Totally unlimited broadband – This claim is a bit of a duffer, truth be told. What EE is saying here is that there are no data caps, limits or restrictions in terms of how much you can download in any given month. However, literally no provider offers limited broadband anymore, it's standard, so hardly a feature worth crowing about
- 'We' never slow you down – Here, EE is referring to 'traffic management' – a system that slows down connections during peak hours when things get too busy for the system to cope. In reality only one or two providers use traffic management – Post Office Broadband and SSE last time we looked – so again, this hardly has EE standing out
- Superfast speeds – Again, everyone offers superfast speeds. Superfast has the official definition of any speed over 24Mbps
- Smart hub router – This is a very good router. One of the best you can get for free from a provider in fact. Of course there are better if you're willing to cough up for a router of your choice, but very few people do that. The Smart Hub is the same router offered by BT Broadband
- Reward your mobile – Finally, something more unique. If you're also an EE mobile customer, signing up for EE broadband will see you rewarded with 20GB of additional data. Mind you, imminently all mobile deals will be unlimited, and most of us already use the limited tariff that copes with our needs, so your mileage may vary as to how useful that actually is
- Stay connected while you move – When you move house, EE will supply you with 50GB of mobile data to see you through the period when you're waiting for your internet to be hooked up
- Easy to switch – The final claim made as a 'benefit' of joining EE Broadband. Let's be honest, though, no matter who your switch from or who you switch to, it's always easy
What does EE Broadband offer?
Every provider has its own particular mix of products and services. EE as a company offers a vast array of things you can buy, contracts you can sign up to, and methods by which you can receive those services. However, when it comes to what you can get from EE as a broadband provider, thankfully things do simplify somewhat.
- Broadband – No surprises here. As pretty much every other provider on the Openreach network (that's everyone but Virgin Media), EE offers one ADSL package and two fibre packages, averaging 10Mbps, 36Mbps and 67Mbps respectively. It also offers packages at 145Mbps and 300Mbps, but the likelihood you live somewhere you can get that right now is very slim indeed
- Home phone – EE offers the same range of basic packages most providers do. You can sign up with pay as you go, where you pay for each minute of each call you make, or you can add on free weekends, free evenings and weekends or free anytime calls to certain types of UK numbers
- TV – We would have been hesitant to recommend EE TV in the past, but now it offers what it offers on an Apple TV (not an actual TV but a streaming box), which is, frankly, the best video streaming device money can buy. On it, you'll be able to access apps from like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Prime Video and so on, though you will have to pay a separate subscription fee and/or TV license
- Mobile – What EE is primarily known for. There are some cross-benefits to be had if you're also an EE mobile customer when you sign up to EE Broadband – additional data, for example. Plus it does make life a bit easier when there are fewer bills
What are the alternatives?
EE Broadband is of course far from the only game in town. In fact, if we are brutally honest if you were to pick any particular aspect of the EE Broadband there's another provider out there who trounces it on that aspect. Such is the way of the world when it comes to competition in the marketplace, though, and to be fair you could say that about almost any provider.
Let's take a look at the other options on the table and see how they choose to focus their offerings.
- BT – BT Broadband is extremely similar to EE Broadband. The only real differences are to be found in the additional benefits outside of the broadband itself. With BT you can add BT TV – a more comprehensive service than EE TV. EE meanwhile offers additional mobile data. Apart from a few cherries like these, the cake is largely the same
- Direct Save Telecom – Does one thing particularly well: charging you as little as possible for your broadband service. It's not always the cheapest, depending on when you choose to look – prices change all the time – but it's always near the cheapest end of any comparison. Worth bearing in mind, though, that the EE Broadband router trounces Direct Save's mightily
- Hyperoptic – It's unlikely you can get Hyperoptic broadband. It operates on its own network, and as it stands the chances of you being somewhere near it are less than 100-1. However, if by some miracle you can get it, Hyperoptic offers pure fibre broadband with speeds up to 1000Mbps
- John Lewis Broadband – Is another Openreach provider, meaning it offers similar speeds and phone packages to everyone else. Most customers of John Lewis choose it for the brand if we're perfectly honest
- NOW Broadband – Confusingly, NOW Broadband is Sky Broadband in disguise. NOW TV is Sky's streaming service that allows people to watch Sky content without signing up to the full-fat TV packages. It then decided the 'NOW' brand should offer broadband in and of itself. It is also on the Openreach network and therefore offers the same speeds etc. as the majority.
- Plusnet – Like EE, Plusnet is also owned by BT. Ultimately then, you have three different providers here who are BT Broadband, two in all but name. Mind you, they are run as separate companies, and Plusnet particularly has an enviable customer service reputation
- Post Office Broadband – Is mainly aimed at older customers and offers the brand recognition/comfort of the Post Office name along with a simplified approach to setup and customer services. Beyond that you'll get similar speeds to all other providers on the Openreach network
- Sky – Is a giant when it comes to TV and owns a substantial slice of the broadband market too. It offers similar speeds to all the others here on the Openreach network, but that's not the reason you might consider Sky. Most people who choose Sky Broadband do so so they can bundle it with Sky TV, which is of course excellent
- Shell Energy Broadband – Was formerly called First Utility Broadband, but since First Utility has been bought by Shell, Shell opted to change the name. It also operates on Openreach
- SSE – Is another energy provider that now offers broadband. It is currently in the process of selling off its energy business. Where that will leave its broadband customers no one is entirely sure, which is why we currently can't entirely recommend SSE right now
- TalkTalk – Is one of the biggest providers in the UK. It is on Openreach, of course, and so offers the same speeds as most other providers. TalkTalk is quite often the cheapest broadband in the UK, and while it does compromise on its router a little – there are better routers – TalkTalk remains good choice for those on a budget who just want something that works
- Virgin Media – Is currently only available to around 60% of UK homes, as it operates its own network independently of Openreach. This does mean, though, that Virgin Media offers by far the fastest and most reliable broadband widely available in the country right now, with top speeds more than seven times its closest rival
- Vodafone Broadband – Like EE, Vodafone was primarily a mobile network provider, until a couple of years ago when it stepped in and decided to offer broadband. It too is on Openreach, so expect similar speeds, but it is also great value for money with a good router, and some of the lowest priced fibre broadband around
Frequently asked questions
Is EE any good for broadband?
While EE doesn't do an awful lot to stand out as a broadband provider, it is a safe pair of hands and a good choice if you're already a EE Mobile customer. You can read our full review of EE Broadband for our detailed opinion.
Does EE broadband include line rental?
As of a few years back now, all providers must advertise their prices with line rental included. EE Broadband is no exception and while it may separate out line rental on your bill, the prices advertised are the prices you will pay.
Is EE fibre broadband available in my area?
In all likelihood, yes. EE Broadband, as with all other broadband providers on the Openreach network, is available to around 97% of UK homes. Note, though, that if you can't get fibre from other providers, it is all but certain you can't get it from EE either.
What is EE Broadband?
It is the home broadband service offered by EE, the UK's largest mobile network provider.
Is EE Broadband better than BT?
Truth be told, you'd be hard pressed to pick between them. Both offer the same speeds and even the same router. Choice for most will come down to whether they are already with EE for their mobile (some benefits if they are), or if they are already with BT for their landline.