Why choose John Lewis broadband?
John Lewis is better known for fancy department stores than broadband. But its broadband deals are not to be sniffed at. Here’s what’s on offer:
- No set-up fees, no postage charges and a free router
- Evening and weekend call plan included
- Decent upload speeds
- PC security package included
- You can buy a static IP address
- Same price broadband wherever you live
No set-up fees, no postage charges and a free router
John Lewis broadband is completely free to set up. There are no installation or activation charges and no postage costs for your router (which is also free). The only time this isn’t the case is if you need a new phone line installed. This will cost you £49.99 (this is cheaper than BT which charges up to £140 for a new line).
Evening and weekend call plan included
All three of John Lewis’ broadband plans come with an evening and weekend calls package. This is pretty handy but it’s important to note it only includes calls to UK landlines, not mobiles. For a monthly fee, you can upgrade this to Anytime or Anytime and International and add a mobile bolt-on to one of these packages to call mobiles.
John Lewis’ phone services offer 1571 voicemail, 1471 last number and caller display free of charge.
24/7 Freephone UK customer support
John Lewis prides itself on its customer service and being approachable. Unlike some other broadband providers, its customer support is UK-based. It’s also available 24 hours a day seven days a week. Customers also have access to their own online portal which lets you manage your account yourself.
Decent upload speeds
John Lewis Broadband download speeds are pretty standard: Unlimited broadband (averaging 10Mbps), Fibre broadband (averaging 36Mbps), and Fibre Extra broadband (averaging 66Mbps).
But where it excels is upload speeds. You’ll get upload speeds up to 9.5Mbps on John Lewis’ 36Mbps Fibre deal and up to 19Mb on its 66Mpbs Fibre Extra package. These are above average so it’s a good option for vloggers, gamers and other people for whom uploads speeds are more important than normal.
PC security package included
John Lewis offers PC users BullGuard, a complete security package with anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, spam filter and online back-up protection. It's compatible with Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP (SP2 minimum). Once you’ve signed up, you need to login to your account, go to 'add ons', and then add Bullguard.
You can buy a static IP address
If you’re not sure why you might need a static internet protocol (IP) address, you probably don’t need one. Basically you normally get a dynamic IP address each time you access the internet. Your IP address identifies your computer to other computers and will be a random string of numbers, something like 192.168.0.255. A dynamic IP address will be different each time you go online.
But a static IP address doesn’t change – i.e. you’ll get the same one each time you connect. This might be necessary if you work remotely from a central office or if you play certain online games. A static IP address from John Lewis Broadband costs a one-off fee of £5 and can be ordered by logging in to 'My account'.
You get either a Netgear WNR1000 or ZyXEL VMG8924 router
John Lewis’ standard broadband package comes with a Netgear WNR1000 router. You can install it yourself and there are set-up instructions on the John Lewis website.
You’ll get a better router if you sign up to John Lewis Fibre or Fibre Extra broadband. The catchily-named ZyXEL VMG8924 offers dual-band wireless connectivity that provides a better wi-fi signal at your property, and has four gigabit ethernet ports to enable high-speed connections to any wired devices. It also includes a firewall, enhanced wireless security, and parental controls.
Same price wherever you live
John Lewis Broadband offers consistent pricing regardless of where you live in the country – even in remote rural areas. This is quite surprising as John Lewis Broadband is powered by Plusnet, which charges different prices depending on your location. Plusnet customers in 'non-low cost areas' pay more than other customers for broadband because it costs Plusnet more to provide broadband in these areas.
John Lewis Broadband – how to get the best deal
John Lewis’ big selling point has always been reliable customer service. It’s broadband is a mid-market offering – not cheap but not outrageous either – and you’ll partly be paying for the established brand name. Its three broadband products are pretty straightforward. But is John Lewis the right provider for you?
1. Find out if you can get it
John Lewis is powered by Plusnet, which in turn uses the Openreach network to provide phone and broadband services.
You’ll need to start an order on the John Lewis Broadband site (don’t worry, this doesn’t commit you to anything) to get to the page when you enter your phone number and postcode to check which services are available in your area.
2. What speed do you need?
John Lewis Broadband offers the same three speed options as the majority of broadband providers: 10Mbps standard broadband, 36Mbps fibre and 66Mbps fibre. So whether you’re just carrying out normal day-to-day activities such as emailing, surfing the net and streaming the occasional TV show, John Lewis offers sufficient speeds.
3. Do you want to add a calls package?
All John Lewis Broadband deals come with inclusive calls to UK landlines between 7pm and 7am during the week and 24 hours a day at weekends. This might be enough for many people, but there’s also the option to upgrade to Anytime calls for £5 a month, or Anytime and International for £7 a month. The latter gives you 300 minutes of calls to 35 international destinations. If you opt for Anytime or Anytime and International, you can also add a mobile bolt-on for £5 a month, giving you inclusive calls to UK mobiles.