An energy company may not be the first place you’d go to for broadband but as one of the UK’s ‘big six’, SSE is a solid business. With regular discounts for existing energy customers and no long-term contracts, is SSE broadband any good?
|Average download speed||11Mbps, 35Mbps, 63Mbps|
|Average upload speed||1Mbps, 9Mbps, 19Mbps|
|Broadband||ADSL & Fibre|
|Prices from||£18 per month|
SSE offers three broadband speeds – an average of 11Mbps with its standard broadband, and two fibre speeds averaging 35Mbps and 63Mbps. All three packages are unlimited, so you won’t have to be concerned with hitting a limit and being charged. These speeds are typical of what's offered by most broadband providers.
An average standard broadband speed of 11Mbps is ideal for most small households that aren’t constantly online. However, if you have anyone at home who regularly streams from services such as Netflix, or is an impatient gamer, keen to get the latest game downloaded as fast as possible, you will need to get a fibre connection.
Even with an entry-level fibre speed averaging 35Mbps, everything happens more quickly. You won't have to see the spinning wheel of doom as your connection struggles to stream the latest episode of Game of Thrones. Just press and play. Equally, a fibre connection will comfortably support a home with several devices being used at once, whether that's a mobile, a laptop, a games console or any other internet-connected household appliance such as a smart meter.
Upload speeds determine how quickly you can send emails and upload files to the internet. SSE offers standard average speeds of 1Mbps with its basic broadband, and 9Mbps and 19Mbps respectively with its two fibre packages. This reflects what most other providers offer and these speeds are easily fast enough for sending photos by email or uploading images to social media.
When you sign up to SSE you will be sent a TG589 V2 Wi-Fi Technicolor router. The device offers dual-band technology so you will always get a good signal throughout your home. It also has four ethernet ports that can support up to 1,000Mbps.
If you want to leave before the 18-month contract is up you will have to return the router and you may have to pay a fee. On the other hand, SSE does offer a 60-day Happiness Guarantee. This means that if you are not happy with the service, you can leave within the first 60 days without penalty.
There is a one-off up-front fee of £30, which is waived if you are already an SSE energy customer. Your service should be up and running within 18 days.
If an engineer needs access to your home, SSE will let you know as an adult will need to be in at the time. If not, the switch will made made remotely. If you need a new phone line for any reason, you will be charged £60. This is the standard cost imposed by Openreach and passed on by all broadband providers.
SSE has a customer service helpline open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm Saturday and Sunday. Or you can send an email.
If you are an SSE energy customer, you get a monthly £5 discount on your bill, which makes SSE's good-value prices even better value. If you are not an SSE energy customer, you won't get the £5 discount. Worse, you will also have to pay a £9 monthly surcharge after 12 months.
SSE offers anti-virus security software and parental controls for £2 per month. It may not be free, but it's worth having. It will protect you from malware, viruses and phishing as well as anything you wouldn't want your kids to see.
If you’re looking for a no frills broadband provider and you aren’t bothered about all the extras on offer from the likes of BT and Sky, then SSE could be a good option. Especially if you’re already an energy customer and can enjoy the regular £5 off. Plus, if you decide it’s not for you, you can leave without penalty in the first 60 days.
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