NOW Brilliant Broadband: Brilliant or just basic?

Claire Nottage | March 14th, 2023

NOW Broadband logo

The NOW TV streaming service was launched by Sky several years ago as an alternative way to watch Sky TV. It was later joined by NOW broadband, offering customers a cheap way to get online, with the option to add any NOW TV Memberships to create an affordable and flexible home entertainment bundle.

NOW Broadband offers three speeds, of which NOW Brilliant Broadband is the entry-level offering, averaging speeds of 10Mbps, ideal for small households who don’t put heavy demands on their broadband service.

Key features

Here’s a quick summary of what you can expect to find with NOW Brilliant Broadband.

Price £20 per month
Download speed 11Mbps
Upload speed 1Mbps
Broadband ADSL
Home phone Pay as you go, Evenings and Weekends, Anytime
Parental controls Yes
Router NOW Broadband Hub 2
Packages available Broadband only, Broadband & phone, Broadband and TV
Contract length 1 month, 12 months

Who is NOW Brilliant Broadband for?

NOW Brilliant Broadband is an ADSL service ideal for small households or anyone that puts minimal pressure on their broadband connection. It is sufficient for browsing, downloading and even streaming, but will not be able to support numerous devices or more than one person streaming Netflix at once.

It is also handy if you just need a cheap connection to tide you over for a short period, since, like all NOW Broadband packages, it is available on a one-month contract (albeit with a £60 upfront fee) as well as a 12-month contract.

Here’s who we think NOW Brilliant Broadband is best suited to, and what benefits you can expect:

  • Households with 1-2 occupants – For single-person homes or for couples that do not use their broadband intensively, a standard connection like Brilliant Broadband is sufficient.
  • Up to five devices – Keep your phone, tablet and smart TV or games console connected without any problem
  • Stream TV shows or films – Although a standard broadband connection will not support streaming in 4K, it will support high definition, so you can enjoy watching films or TV with a pin sharp picture.
  • Use Skype or Zoom – A standard broadband connection is enough to use video calling software, with only 1-2Mbps required.
  • Gamers – Surprisingly, only 3-5Mbps download speed is necessary to play games online, although downloading a new game will take a very long time with a standard broadband connection.

How does NOW Brilliant Broadband compare?

Broadband Package Download Speed Upload Speed Price
NOW Brilliant Broadband 11Mbps 1.3Mbps £20 per month
NOW Fab Fibre Broadband 36Mbps 10Mbps £21 per month
NOW Super Fibre Broadband 63Mbps 19Mbps £21 per month
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What's included with NOW Brilliant Broadband?

NOW broadband packages are all truly unlimited, with no restrictions at any time of day. When you sign up, you will be given a guaranteed minimum speed, which is the slowest speed you should ever get on your line. It is likely that you receive better speeds most of the time, but if the speed does drop below your minimum guaranteed speed, you can complain to NOW and potentially have the right to cancel your contract should you wish.

NOW Brilliant Broadband customers receive the NOW Broadband Hub 2 router to connect all their devices at no extra charge. Modelled on the Sky Hub router, this is a capable piece of hardware that will easily keep all your devices connected, either via wifi, or via a cabled connection (there are two ethernet ports on the router for this purpose).

NOW does not charge for installation (although there is a £5 router delivery charge), but customers wanting the one-month, no contract option will have to pay an upfront cost of £60. Customers will receive a working landline with a pay-as-you-go calls option, but you can choose to bolt on additional call packages if you like to use your landline phone a lot.

NOW Broadband Hub 2 router

NOW broadband Hub 2 router specification

  • Reliable wifi – The NOW Broadband Hub 2 is a solid router that will keep you connected without issue.
  • Two gigabit ethernet ports – Some routers have up to four ethernet ports, enabling you to have a stable, wired connection on up to four devices, but the two ports on a NOW Hub 2 are likely to be sufficient for most people, especially on a standard broadband connection like Brilliant Broadband.
  • Dual band – The NOW Hub 2 operates over two frequencies: 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. The 2.4Ghz frequency is faster but doesn’t reach so far, whereas the 5Ghz is slower but reaches further. This is a common standard amongst home routers.
  • Intelligent channel selection – The router uses the two frequencies “intelligently”, ensuring all your devices stay connected.
  • Five antennae – Some top-end routers now have seven antennae, but five is still plenty to ensure you get the best possible wifi coverage around your home.


With NOW Broadband essentially being a budget broadband offering, there aren’t as many bells and whistles on offer as you would expect with a premium provider such as BT or Virgin Media. In general terms, you get what you pay for with NOW Brilliant Broadband – a straightforward, cheap, standard broadband service. However, there are a few things thrown in worth having.

All NOW broadband customers can take advantage of the NOW Broadband Buddy app at no extra cost. This includes protection against virus and malware for all your devices, along with parental controls that allow you to limit both what your children can access online and how long they can be online for.

If you like to still use a landline, NOW broadband customers all have access to a landline with pay-as-you-go calls as standard, which means no calls are included, so every time you pick up the phone, you will be charged extra. However, there is the option to bolt on one of two call packages – Evenings and Weekends or Anytime – so depending on when you tend to use your landline, you can save money by paying upfront for a calls package of your choice.

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What we think

If you just want an affordable, basic broadband connection to give you online access when you need it, NOW Brilliant Broadband is a good option. It won’t cope if you have huge numbers of devices to keep connected or have a large household with several people streaming at once, but for small, low-usage households, it is ideal, and since it runs on the Openreach network, it is also available to pretty much everyone.

You can choose to take it on a one-month or 12-month contract (albeit with an upfront charge of £60 for the one-month contract), which offers a degree of flexibility rare amongst other providers, and if you’re after Sky Sports or any other premium Sky channels you can easily sign up for one or more NOW TV Memberships too.

However, with most households having far more than five devices, many people will be better off with one of NOW Broadband’s two fibre packages – Fab Fibre or Super Fibre – which will far more comfortably support the increasingly heavy, online demands of a modern household.

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