Plusnet broadband review 2015
Plusnet plays on its Yorkshire roots as a friendly internet provider. It offers fibre and standard broadband, with good customer service and free installation.
However, the pricing structure means people in rural areas will likely pay more than those in urban locations – not a great move for a company that prides itself on its rural Yorkshire persona...
Pros and cons
- Home broadband plans are unlimited
- Fastest UK upload speeds
- Free activation for broadband and phone
- Customer service is available seven days
- A line rental saver is available
- Price depends on location
- Traffic management applies
- Broadband-only plans need line rental
- Broadband-only plans need activation fee
- Charges apply for house moves
What we like
All home broadband plans are unlimited
Plusnet home broadband is unlimited. This means there are no restrictions to how often you can browse the internet. If you want to spend all day in bed, streaming videos and films, you can – Plusnet won’t impose any charges for heavy internet use. Unfortunately, while it won’t cost you extra, it’s not ‘truly’ unlimited, and a traffic management policy does apply.
Fastest UK upload speeds
Your upload speed determines how quickly you can send photos, videos and other files from your computer to the web. Plusnet offers one of the fastest average upload speeds of any mainstream UK broadband provider on its up to 76Mbps package (as determined by Ofcom). You have to choose Unlimited Fibre Extra to get these high upload speeds.
Free activation with broadband and phone
Your internet is activated for free when you take a phone plan with Plusnet broadband. You also receive a free broadband router, making the whole installation process a low-price affair.
Customer service is available seven days a week
Plusnet’s customer service helpline is based in the UK and is active seven days a week, between 7.30am and 10pm. It’s free too, and it’s included with all Plusnet broadband plans.
A line rental saver is available
Plusnet offers the option of a line rental saver to help save you money. This scheme lets you pay for 12 months' line rental upfront, at a reduced cost. It’s available to both new and existing customers. Once the 12 months are up, Plusnet will send you a gentle reminder that you can renew your line rental saver for a further 12 months, if you wish.
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What we don’t like
Price depends on location
Plusnet has a bit of an identity problem. It purports a strong rural image, but implements a low-cost/high-cost system that means many people in less-urbanised areas will have to pay more for broadband. It determines these areas by competition.
People in areas with high competition (essentially towns and cities) pay the advertised price for broadband. People in areas with low competition (villages and rural areas) have to pay more.
Traffic management applies
While Plusnet broadband is unlimited, it isn’t ‘truly’ unlimited due to its traffic management system. Unlike many traffic management policies, Plusnet doesn’t slow your broadband down at busy times of the day; instead, it slows down certain online activities.
Activities given high priority include gaming, film streaming, and video chats. Low priority activities include peer-to-peer sharing and anything classed as ‘unidentified’ traffic. For no restrictions on your broadband, see truly unlimited broadband.
Broadband-only plans require line rental
If you don't use your landline, Plusnet’s broadband-only plans might seem like a good idea. However, these plans won’t save you any money – in fact, they're liable to cost you more. This is because you still have to pay line rental, and the monthly cost for the broadband itself is raised.
Activation fee required on broadband-only plans
Not only is broadband-only a more expensive option, you have to pay activation fees too. All in all, broadband-only from Plusnet isn’t a great choice, and is only worth considering if you currently have an exceptional call plan from another provider.
Charges apply for house moves
Moving home can be stressful, and Plusnet doesn’t make things any easier by charging you extra to move your broadband from your old house to your new. This applies to all Plusnet's packages.