Post Office broadband review 2016
The Post Office isn’t just for your stamps and letters; these days you can get broadband deals too. Everyone knows the Post Office; that’s an established reputation few competitors can match.
But just because we all know the Post Office, that doesn’t automatically make it a good choice for your broadband. We take you through the pros and cons of snapping up a Post Office broadband deal.
Pros and cons
- Cheap line rental
- Unlimited usage
- Free internet security
- Fair use policy
- No stated speeds
- Customer service issues
What we like
Cheap line rental
Line rental is usually a necessary evil of fixed-line broadband, regardless of whether you’re taking a standard or fibre optic service. You have to pay line rental with the Post Office, but you’ll pay a lot less per month than with some competing broadband providers.
Line rental fees are set at £16 per month, which is a bit below the industry average. You can make it even cheaper if you take advantage of the Post Office’s line rental saver scheme, an upfront annual payment which equates to just £14 per month overall.
The Post Office offers just one broadband package - Broadband Premium - but it comes with unlimited usage. That means you don’t have to worry about how much you’re going online month-to-month or fear excess usage charges on your next bill.
Be aware, however, that the Post Office’s offer of unlimited usage is subject to fair use policy. This isn’t an issue for most users, but we’ll discuss what it does affect shortly.
Free internet security
As a Post Office broadband customer you’ll get free access to Post Office SafeGuard, an easy-to-manage online tool to help block harmful and inappropriate material online, plus manage internet access for young family members.
Post Office SafeGuard boasts three key features: Kids Guard, which blocks websites and other online material that’s inappropriate for children; Homework Guard, which blocks access to social media and gaming sites during set hours of the day; and Virus Guard, which identifies and blocks websites that may harm your computer and other connected devices.
Compare Post Office broadband deals
You can check the availability of Post Office broadband in your area by entering your postcode below.
What we don’t like
Fair use policy
Despite the suggested unlimited nature of Broadband Premium, you’ll find that it’s actually controlled by a fair usage policy.
With Broadband Premium you can download and upload as much as you like, but your internet access may be slowed down if the network detects that you’re download or uploading large amounts on date within a short space of time. This is only likely to be be an issue if you use peer-to-peer file sharing platforms – the majority of customers won’t be affected.
No stated download or upload speeds
Broadband providers usually tell you the maximum upload and download speeds you’ll get with their broadband services before you sign up. Not so with the Post Office. The provider doesn’t reveal its broadband speeds at all, only going as far as to vaguely claim that you’ll receive “speeds as fast as your phone line can support”.
That said, Post Office has told us that most customers can expect a download speed of up to 8Mbps – slower than practically every rival out there. Nevertheless, your speed will depend very much on where you live, so you’ll get a personalised speed estimate before you commit to signing up.
Past customer service issues
In the September of 2013, many Post Office broadband customers became frustrated when they could no longer access their Post Office email accounts.
This was in part due to the company moving its mail services to TalkTalk, which left many customers unable to access their emails for over a week. When customers called to complain, very few were able to get through to a customer service representative, and found themselves sitting on hold for hours on end.
The Post Office doesn’t offer the best broadband service, and its coy avoidance of giving a definitive broadband speed seems suspect. Despite this, its line rental is one of the cheapest on the market, and its familiar reputation may be of comfort to some.