Why choose NOW broadband?
NOW may have made its name selling TV passes, but how does its broadband products stack up? Let’s take a look.
- Broadband without a contract
- No credit checks
- NOW broadband is owned by Sky
- NOW TV passes offer good value and flexibility
- Unlimited broadband with no traffic management
- NOW Broadband Buddy protects your kids and your computer
Broadband without a contract
NOW Broadband offers broadband without the need to sign up for a 12-month (or longer) contract – you can just commit one month at a time. NOW also offers 12-month 'saver' contracts. These have the same monthly price as no-contract deals but cheaper set-up costs – you’ll typically pay an extra £50 upfront if you opt for a rolling one-month contract.
No-contract deals are ideal for people who simply don’t want to commit, for renters unsure about how long their tenancy agreement will last, and for students who don’t want to pay for broadband during the holidays.
No credit checks
Most broadband providers carry out credit checks before accepting you as a new customer – but not NOW Broadband.
To get NOW broadband, you need to set up a NOW TV account. When you do this, NOW checks your bank card is valid by taking 10p out of your account (you get this back). Once you’ve got a NOW TV account, it’s simple to add broadband.
So, that’s it: broadband without a credit check. It could be a good option for you if you’ve had credit problems in the past or simply have a slim credit file due to being young, or new to the country.
Decent upload speeds
NOW Broadband’s download speeds are the same as pretty much all other providers (10Mbps standard broadband, or 36Mbps or 58Mbps fibre). It will give you an estimate of the maximum speed your line will receive when you sign up.
But NOW’s upload speeds are above average. NOW Broadband’s 10Mbps Brilliant Broadband deal uploads at 1.3Mbps, the 36Mbps Fab Fibre deal at 10Mbps, and the 58Mbps Super Fibre package at 19Mpbs. To put this in context, Virgin Media’s upload speed on its 50Mbps Fibre Broadband is just 3Mbps.
The Hub Two is a decent router
All NOW Broadband customers get sent a Hub Two. This will be delivered by Royal Mail and you can install it yourself once your broadband is up and running. There’s a Hub Two set-up guide on the NOW Broadband website to help you out.
The Hub Two is very similar to Sky’s latest hub, the Sky Q. It’s a dual-band 802.11ac router with two 1GB LAN ports. Pretty good for a free router.
NOW broadband is owned by Sky
NOW broadband isn’t a small broadband company we know nothing about – it’s a subsidiary of telecoms giant Sky. The two brands operate completely separately and are noticeably different. Whereas Sky looks to tie customers into lengthy contracts, NOW has the opposite approach with no-contract broadband and monthly TV passes.
NOW TV passes offer good value and flexibility
It’s easy to add NOW TV passes to NOW broadband or vice versa. NOW TV allows you to watch Sky content without having a satellite dish installed (so 1990s – and your landlord won’t like it) or committing to a lengthy contract.
There are four NOW TV passes: Entertainment, Kids, Sky Cinema, and Sky Sports. Entertainment, Kids and Sky Cinema passes cost just a few quid a month and you’ll need to cancel if you don’t want them to automatically run on to the next month.
The Sky Sports pass works in a different way: you can buy a pass for a day, week or month. So if you just want to watch one crucial football match, you can just buy a day pass with no need to fork out for the whole month. Daily and weekly passes don’t need to be cancelled – they just end – but you’ll need to cancel the monthly pass.
Unlimited broadband with no traffic management
All NOW’s broadband products are unlimited and not subject to traffic management. This means NOW won't reduce your speed at any time, regardless of how much you upload or download.
NOW Broadband Buddy protects your kids and your computer
You can add NOW Broadband Buddy to your account by going to 'my account' and then 'parental controls'. You can then select an age rating and choose which websites can and can’t be viewed on your broadband network.
On top of that, Broadband Buddy guards your computer and other devices against malware-infected websites and sites that try to collect your private information without your knowledge.
NOW Broadband – how to get the best deal
NOW Broadband is a budget provider with some great perks plus the backing of Sky. Is it the right broadband provider for you? Follow these steps to figure it out.
1. Find out if you can get it
NOW Broadband is widely available across the UK, although some addresses will only be able to get standard broadband while others will be able to get fibre as well. The checker at the top of this page will tell you exactly what you can get once you put your postcode in.
2. Decide which speed is best for your household
NOW’s 10Mbps will be enough for browsing the internet, streaming TV, movies and music, watching Netflix, iPlayer or listening to Spotify, and connecting four to six devices. However, it won’t be enough for streaming multiple streams or UHD content, connecting a large number of devices or downloading large files quickly.
You can do a lot more on NOW’s fibre connection, such as streaming HD content, gaming and hosting games and connecting up to 10 devices. If you want to do more than that – such as running a home office or a games server – you should look at NOW's Broadband's top speed, averaging 58Mbps. For an average family of four with several devices, we would remcommend 36Mbps.
3. Do you want a contract or not?
You can get broadband on a 30-day rolling contract and no commitment with NOW Broadband – but should you? If you opt for no contract you’ll pay an extra £50 to set up your broadband, although the monthly cost of each package stays the same.
If money’s tight and you’re not sure you can afford broadband for the full 12 months, or you think you’ll be moving house, no-contract is a great option. If you reckon you’re staying put and can afford a year’s broadband, you’ll save money on the 'saver' option.
4. Do you want a calls package?
Think carefully before adding a NOW calls package. Most people can get by on their mobile call allowance and apps like Facebook Messenger and Skype to contact people overseas.
You get a phone line with NOW whatever you do – so incoming calls are no problem. You can also just pay for calls as you go (but check the rates first). Calls packages are either for evenings and weekends, or anytime, to UK landlines and mobiles. You can add 1471 last number recall or caller display but these both cost £1 a month.
5. Do you want to add NOW TV?
If you decide to purchase a NOW TV pass, you can watch it in numerous ways: on your PC, smart TV, iPad, smartphone or games console. If you want to watch it on your telly, you can use a NOW TV box or stick. Both of these turn your TV into a smart TV. You can register up to four devices for NOW TV, and watch on two at the same time.