Shell Energy broadband review 2024: Is it any good?

Dan Howdle | January 12th, 2024

Shell Energy broadband logo

Once known as First Utility, until it was acquired by the global energy giant Shell back in 2018, Shell Energy Broadband has only been around in its current form for around five years at the time of writing. And of course, it'd quite like to have you as an energy customer too, which to be fair, does keep things simple. The brand also took over Post Office Broadband and its customers when it folded a couple of years ago, and is establishing a reputation for offering a wide range of extremely competitive broadband deals, usually with an 18-month contract as standard. With us so far? Good, because it doesn't end there.

Announced in December of 2023, Shell Energy is exiting the UK market, and its 480,000 customers have been 'bought' by TalkTalk. Whether those customers will come unde the TalkTalk banner going forward or whether they will keep te Shell Energy branding remains to be seen here at the beginning of 2024. And we have to say, the incredibly turbulent history of Shell Energy Broadband does not make us particularly inclined to recommend it.

Our review of Shell Energy broadband

Ethical considerations aside – and we can certainly understand why some customers might shun Shell on that basis – Shell Energy Broadband does offer some great value, aligning with competitors like Plusnet more so than with the likes of giga-providers like Virgin Media and BT who also offer TV and a plethora of other services.

Reasons to buy

  • Not too expensive
  • Range of speeds to suit all
  • Discounts for energy customers

Reasons to avoid

  • Ethical/environmental considerations
  • Turbulent ownership and history
  • No TV bundles

If you like to keep things simple then, Shell Energy could be your ideal provider. The brand keeps things uncomplicated with low setup costs (router delivery only), and reasonable pricing with the occasional promotion or discount for new customers.

The downside to this ‘no frills’ provision is that you won’t be offered any fancy extras or incentives, all packages come with a fairly basic router and there’s no TV service whatsoever.

Customers who use Shell as their energy provider get a discount on broadband. While the promise of money off is tempting, this should be carefully weighed up against whether the provider is right for you in general. You may be able to access a better or more suitable deal by using a different provider for your broadband.

As with any broadband provider, there are some downsides to signing up for a deal with Shell Energy. The brand doesn’t have a long customer service history, which may be a concern – especially as you’ll be tied into a contract of at least 18 months.

Prices are on the cheaper end of the scale however, making Shell Energy Broadband an attractive proposition for those on a tight budget. In fact, it often offers the cheapest package in the UK. And you're not exactly spoilt for choice – it has what is probably the widest choice of broadband packages in the UK. Across the four main technical platforms (ADSL, FTTC, GFast and FTTP – in case you were wondering), Shell offers an almost bewildering ten speed options, with average speeds ranging from a humble 11Mbps all the way up to 944Mbps (for those lucky enough to live in an area that can get full fibre broadband, that is).

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Key features

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect to find in a Shell Energy Broadband deal.

Download speed 11Mbps–944Mbps Upload speed 1Mbps–112Mbps
Broadband ADSL, Fibre, Full fibre Home Phone Yes
Prices from £17.99 per month Contract length 18 months

Shell Energy Broadband speeds

Shell Energy offers ten different options for your broadband each with a different average download speed, and all with an 18-month contract. Although not all options are available everywhere.

Broadband Package Download Speed Upload Speed Cost
Fast Broadband 11Mbps 1Mbps £19.99 per month
Superfast Fibre 38Mbps 9.5Mbps £24.99 per month
Superfast Fibre Plus 67Mbps 19Mbps £28.99 per month
Ultrafast Fibre 145Mbps 25Mbps £41.99 per month
Ultrafast Fibre Plus 290Mbps 45Mbps £46.99 per month
Full Fibre 100 112Mbps 20Mbps £29.99 per month
Full Fibre 200 210Mbps 30Mbps £34.99 per month
Full Fibre 300 314Mbps 48Mbps £40.99 per month
Full Fibre 500 526Mbps 73Mbps £44.99 per month
Full Fibre 900 944Mbps 112Mbps £49.99 per month

Fast Broadband has an average download speed of 11Mbps, which is perfect for smaller households and those who only use the internet for light browsing or online shopping.

Superfast Fibre has an average download speed of 38Mbps, which is great for those who stream films and shows or have several devices connected at once.

Superfast Fibre Plus has an average download speed of 67Mbps – ideal for larger households with higher demands on your internet connection.

Ultrafast Fibre offers an average download speed of 145Mbps and should offer plenty of speed for busy households and those working from home.

Ultrafast Fibre Plus has an average download speed of 290Mbps – perfect if you regularly stream 4K content, have more than four users in the house, or download loads of games.

Full Fibre are Shell Energy’s high-end packages with fibre to the premises, offering average download speeds ranging from 112Mbps all the way up to 944Mbps – there are five different variations available. These speeds basically cover you for any eventuality from just having a busy household with lots of downloading and streaming, to practically being able to run a medium sized online business.

Across the board, Shell Energy’s download speeds measure up well against those offered by most UK providers sharing the Openreach network (the likes of BT, Sky and TalkTalk). The exception is Virgin Media, which has its own network and offers top speeds of 1130Mbps.

Not sure which package to pick? Our guide to deciding what broadband speed you need has all the answers.

Upload speeds

Whereas download speeds dictate how fast you can copy or send things from the internet to your devices, upload speeds determine how fast you can copy or send information from your devices to the internet, cloud storage or other devices.

Shell Energy Fast Broadband offers a maximum upload speed of 1Mbps, Superfast Fibre comes with a maximum upload speed of 9.5Mbps and Superfast Fibre Plus has a maximum upload speed of 19Mbps. The Ultrafast Fibre packages offer maximum speeds of 25Mbps and 45Mbps respectively, while the Full Fibre deals offer maximum upload speeds ranging from 20Mbps to 112Mbps.

All the brand’s broadband packages come with unlimited data, so you won’t ever have to worry about exceeding your allowance each month. The brand also doesn’t have a traffic management policy that reduces speeds during peak periods, so you won’t experience lags in service during busy times.

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Shell Energy broadband router

Routers and installation

Shell Energy Broadband's routers, in terms of which router comes with which package, are somewhat confusing. Where most providers off a couple of routers split into a lower spec router for slower speeds and a higher spec router for fast speeds, Shell Energy Broadband has three routers and they do tend to mingle. Why there's a lower spec router with a 290Mbps package than there is with a 100Mbps Full Fibre package for example, only Shell can tell.

To this end we've put together a table to show you what comes with what, after which we'll look into the specs of each router:

Package Speed Router
Fast Broadband 10Mbps Zyxel AMG1302
Fast Broadband Essentials 10Mbps Zyxel AMG1302
Superfast Fibre Essentials 38Mbps Technicolour DGA0122
Ultrafast Fibre 145Mbps Technicolour DGA0122
Ultrafast Fibre Plus 290Mbps Technicolour DGA0122
Superfast Fibre 38Mbps Wi-Fi 6 Hub
Superfast Fibre Plus 67Mbps Wi-Fi 6 Hub
Full Fibre 100 112Mbps Wi-Fi 6 Hub
Full Fibre 300 314Mbps Wi-Fi 6 Hub
Full Fibre 500 526Mbps Wi-Fi 6 Hub
Full Fibre 900 944Mbps Wi-Fi 6 Hub

Routers

Three routers then. Here are the specs:

Zyxel AMG1302

  • Capable wifi – 802.11 wifi standard standard offers wifi speeds of up to 300Mbps
  • Single band – 2.4Ghz only, no 5Ghz band
  • Four gigabit ethernet ports and one WAN port – Four gigabit ethernet ports for fast, wired network connections to your computers, plus an EWAN port

Technicolor DWA0122

  • Next generation wifi – Connect your wifi devices using older wifi standards or with the newer 802.11ac wifi standard
  • Smart channel selection – The Technicolor DWA0122 automatically connects your devices to the fastest wifi channel and frequency available
  • Dual band – Like many modern routers, the Technicolor DWA0122 uses both the 2.4Ghz and faster 5Ghz bands
  • Four gigabit ethernet ports and one WAN port – Four gigabit ethernet ports for fast, wired network connections to your computers, plus a WAN port if you need one

WiFi 6 Hub

  • Latest Wi-Fi 6 standard – Insanely fast wifi capability with latest 802.11ax protocol (Wi-Fi 6) available to devices that can use it
  • Dual band wifi – 2.4GHz (2x2), 5GHz (4x4), meaning two discreet networks in your home
  • Automatic band and channel switching – Your router will automatically switch your device or devices to the fastest available channel and band
  • Four ethernet ports – Four gigabit ethernet ports make this routers a suitable nerve centre for a wired home network

Installation

With Shell Energy broadband, there usually aren’t upfront costs or set-up fees besides a small fee to post you your router. The only exception is if your property doesn’t currently have a phone line. In this case, you’ll have to pay £67.50 to have one installed by an Openreach engineer. Luckily, this is rare, as most homes have had a broadband connection installed at some point, which is reliant on a landline connection.

Customer service

As Shell Energy’s broadband provision is a relatively new service, the brand is a bit of an unknown quantity when it comes to customer service.

Because Ofcom doesn't provider complaint statistics on providers with a very small market share (Shell Energy Broadband being one), Shell Energy Broadband is hard to pin down in terms of the quality of its own customer service. However, Cable.co.uk has carried out its own customer survey, with Shell Energy Broadband coming in a very respectable fourth place (of 18 providers) for customer service overall.

Contacting Shell Energy Broadband

If you experience a problem with your Shell Energy broadband, you can give the company a call on 0330 094 5801. Lines are open from 8am until 8pm, Monday to Saturday, and from 9am until 6pm on Sunday. There is also a Live Chat service available as well as an email address you can use if you want to get in touch.

You can also manage your broadband account using Shell Energy’s mobile app or reach out to them on social media for support – support is available 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays via Twitter or Facebook Messenger.

Our verdict: Good

Shell Energy is a solid budget broadband provider with some great selling points like affordable monthly payments, no installation costs and competitive fibre broadband speeds.

Where the brand falls down is perhaps with its bedazzling range of packages – it could really do with slimming down its offering – and the resultant multiple possible routers situation. It just means it can be a little more confusing than it needs to be understanding what you're getting. Hopefully we've cleared that up in this review, however.

But then there's the constant turbulence of the brand over the past several years. Customers being bought and sold to other providers, and that's about to happen again when TalkTalk takes over. Right now, here at the start of 2024, we recommend customers hold fire on Shell Energy Broadband. Its future is just too uncertain right now.

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