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NOW Broadband review 2021

By Cable.co.uk | Wednesday, March 31st 2021

4/5

NOW TV is a household name, but the brand has now established itself as a major player in the UK broadband market. With speeds to rival the likes of BT, Sky, TalkTalk and EE at more affordable prices, this no-frills brand is a rising star.

Here’s everything you need to know about the provider – what’s on offer, whether it’s right for you, and what to expect in terms of equipment, installation, customer service and more.

We’ll also show you the best deals currently on offer from the brand, if you’re looking to make a switch.

Our review: Is NOW Broadband any good?

The good

  • Great value for money
  • Option to add NOW TV membership
  • No credit checks

The not so good

  • Not the fastest provider
  • Can’t be bundled with Sky TV
  • Few free gifts or incentives

NOW Broadband is a sensible choice for a good-value broadband deal on a 12-month contract.

You can also bundle your broadband with the TV memberships that the provider is famous for, and the fact that the brand doesn’t do credit checks on new customers makes it the number one choice for those with a less-than-perfect credit rating.

All the packages come with unlimited usage, and there are also flexible no-contract deals on offer that will suit some customers better.

All in all, NOW Broadband is a real contender for a solid broadband package, with deals that challenge big players like Sky and BT.

As with all broadband providers, there are some downsides to signing up. The service is considered to be no-frills, so don’t expect amazing incentives or free gifts. The TV service will also never match up to what’s on offer from the likes of Sky and BT, though it’s important to remember it’s much cheaper.

Overview

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect to find:

Download speed 11Mbps, 36Mbps, 63Mbps
Upload speed 1Mbps, 10Mbps, 19Mbps
Broadband ADSL and fibre
Home phone Yes
Freebies to look for General discounts
Packages available Broadband, Broadband and phone, Broadband and TV, Broadband TV and phone
Router Hub Two
Contract lengths No contract, 12 months
Prices from £18 per month

Broadband speeds

The download speeds are comparable to what you’d get from the UK’s biggest broadband providers (the likes of Sky, BT and TalkTalk). The brand offer three different packages:

Brilliant Broadband

NOW Broadband has one standard / ADSL broadband plan, known as Brilliant Broadband, which offers an average download speed of 11Mbps. The plan is offered only a 12-month contract only.

Brilliant Broadband is fast enough to handle everyday online tasks like shopping, internet banking, browsing social media and streaming with ease. It’s suitable for people who live alone, couples, or smaller households who don’t use the internet heavily. If you have a lot of people vying for a connection at the same time, or if you download games or stream 4K content, you’re likely to need a fibre connection.

  • NOW Broadband Brilliant Broadband
    NOW Broadband
    • 11Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • Inclusive calls
    £18 p/m
    £5 one-off cost Buy Now

Fab Fibre

NOW Broadband’s Fab Fibre Package offers average download speeds of 36Mbps, and is suitable for the needs of most average sized households as long as nobody is a regular online gamer or streams 4K content.

With this speed of broadband, you can download an album in about 11 seconds.

  • NOW Broadband Fab Fibre Broadband
    NOW Broadband
    • 36Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • Inclusive calls
    £20 p/m
    £5 one-off cost Buy Now

Super Fibre

NOW Broadband’s Super Fibre package is even faster, with a pretty impressive average download speed of 63Mbps. That’s fast enough to download an album in just six seconds.

This plan doesn’t cost much more than Super Fibre, so it’s worth an upgrade for busier households where members enjoy ongoing gaming or regularly stream 4K content.

If you need faster broadband than this, Virgin Media is your only real solution, with speeds up to 1000Mbps on offer. While it’s not available in all areas of the UK, it is far more widely available than the ultrafast speeds now on offer from other providers such as BT.

If you’re struggling to decide which package to go for, read our guide on choosing broadband speed.

  • NOW Broadband Super Fibre Broadband
    NOW Broadband
    • 63Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • Inclusive calls
    £22 p/m
    £5 one-off cost Buy Now

Upload speeds

Whereas download speeds refer to how quickly information can be copied from the internet to your device (such as a video game, album or movie) upload speeds dictate how fast you can copy or send things from your device to the internet, cloud storage, or other devices.

Most of us receive more data than we send, making upload speed much less important than download speed. 

Brilliant Broadband has an average upload speed of 1Mbps, Fab Fibre comes with an upload speed of 10Mbps and Super Fibre has an upload speed of 19Mbps.

Pricing

NOW Broadband tends to attract new customers using incentives like discounts on monthly price or added extras like free anytime calls.

From time to time the brand also offers bundled deals combining broadband with a NOW TV membership. You should bear in mind that these can’t be combined with Sky TV provision.

You’re unlikely to receive flashy free gifts or money off vouchers and gifts cards with this no frills provider. Here are some of the best deals currently on offer from NOW Broadband.

Compare NOW Broadband deals

Packages

Like most of the UK’s major broadband providers, NOW Broadband offers broadband and phone bundles; broadband, TV and phone bundles; and broadband provision on its own. You can get these in rolling month-to-month contracts along with standard 12-month contracts, both with no credit check.

If you are looking for a broadband and TV bundle however, it’s worth noting that NOW TV is not comparable to the TV packages of BT, Virgin Media or Sky. It is purely a streaming service, so there is no access to the Freeview channels.

Compare NOW Broadband deals

Routers

All new customers are sent a Hub Two router that you can install easily yourself. If you get stuck, there’s a great router installation guide on the brand’s website.

You’ll get the best speed and stability if you connect your Hub Two to your master phone socket as this is where your broadband signal is strongest.

The Hub Two is very similar to the Sky Q Hub: a dual-band router with two gigabit ethernet ports so you can enjoy optimum speeds on two wired devices. It has five internal antennae – fewer than the routers on offer from the likes of Virgin Media and BT – meaning the signal around your home may not be as good as it could be.

Installation

To get up and running with NOW Broadband, you’ll only need to pay a postage charge for your router. However if you sign up for a no-contract deal there is a hefty upfront charge.

If you already have an active phone line and socket at your address, the ISP can usually switch your phone line remotely. If you don’t have a phone line at your property, or if you’re switching over from a cable service, the provider will send an engineer to install a line.

Most of the time it’ll be up to you to self-install. You will be sent your router in the post a few days before your phone line is switched on. Once your phone line is activated, you can set up your router and you’re away.

Don’t be surprised to see your broadband speeds going up and down during the first 10 days. This is because engineers will be testing and tweaking your line to give you the best speeds along with making the line as stable as possible.

To find out more about what to expect, read our guide on broadband installation.

Customer service

For customers with broadband issues, NOW Broadband offers a range of step-by-step online guides to resolve common problems. If this doesn’t help, you can contact the call centre for free on 0800 759 1213, send a web message. Alternatively, you can contact the provider via social media, including Twitter and Facebook.

In addition, the provider also has an online community of customers who can answer queries and provide advice.

The brand also boasts hassle-free switching and doesn’t run credit checks on new customers, so if you decide to switch, you should be up and running pretty quickly.

Our verdict

NOW Broadband is a great all rounder provider with affordable prices and no credit checks.

Though you won’t benefit from free gifts and vouchers, a good basic service is more valuable and the brand has multiple options for advice and support when you encounter problems.

All in all, a very solid provider and a serious contender for your next broadband deal, though the TV provision is limited to streaming options only.

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