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EE Unlimited broadband review

Thursday, November 12th 2015

You probably know EE best as a mobile provider, but it offers a solid range of home broadband deals too. EE unlimited broadband and calls is the entry-level package with a nice low price and some useful extra features.

EE broadband is available to existing EE mobile customers as well as new ones, but is it any good and the right choice for your household? Here’s a detailed review of this EE broadband deal to help you make up your mind.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
3.4

EE Unlimited Broadband delivers an impressive standard broadband speed with unlimited usage, free security and a decent router. It comes with an attractive low price tag but the questionable customer service record could put some people off.

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Speed & usage

Rating

3

EE emerged when it decided to rebrand Orange broadband in 2012, two years after the merger of Orange and T-Mobile. The entry-level plan is EE unlimited broadband. It is a standard broadband service with an advertised download speed of up to 17Mbps. This is one of the fastest non-fibre services around, averaging download speeds between 8.3Mbps and 10.8Mbps in Ofcom speed tests. That’s nowhere near the promised 17Mbps, but EE is still above the UK average standard broadband speed of 7.4Mbps.

Around 8-10Mbps is ample for most day-to-day internet activities, such as emailing, downloading small to medium size files and checking in on social media, as well as steaming videos and watching catch-up TV. More data-intensive activity, like downloading HD films or using more than one device on wi-fi at once, could cause buffering and long waiting times.

As the name suggests, there’s no usage cap on this service so you can download and upload as much as you like throughout the month. However, EE does operate a traffic management policy during busy periods (evenings and weekends). This means some customers may experience a slowdown so that more time-sensitive activities, like online gaming and internet video calling, can run without disruption.

Advertised download speed Up to 17Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) 8.9Mbps to 11.5Mbps
Average downloads (peak) 8.7Mbps to 11.3 Mbps
Advertised upload speed Up to 1Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management Yes
Static IP No
Minimum contract 12 months
Router EE Bright Box
Public wi-fi Yes (London Underground stations only)
Prices from £21 per month
Info

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What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

The ‘Actual’ speeds are those reported by Ofcom.

Call plan

Rating

4

There are two home phone options if you join EE broadband. First up is the weekend calls plan, which features free calls to UK landlines and 0870/0845 numbers (from midnight Friday to midnight Sunday), which is included at no extra cost with EE broadband. Calls are only free for up to 60 minutes at time, so you’ll need to hang up and redial to avoid being charged. Making a call at any other time call will incur an initial 15p fee plus the standard call rate of 9p and 12p per minute for landline and mobiles respectively.

If you talk more often, there’s the Anytime + Mobile Calls plan, which also includes 1000 minutes to UK mobiles and international calls to 30 countries landlines, including Australia, Canada and the USA. A bundle of extra calling features like call waiting and call divert can be added to either package for £3 per month. Like the vast majority of other broadband providers, there’s another cost on top of all this: monthly line rental. This will set you back an extra £18.50 per month at EE but if you can afford to stump up 12 months upfront (£299), it drops to £16.61.

Extras

Rating

3

EE offers a couple of extra features to help you save money. First up is 12 months' free security cover with Norton 360 (normally £59.95) then the next 12 months at half price. Once registered, you can download it onto three different devices. It provides protection from internet security threats like spam, hackers, spyware and unwanted monitoring software. It also includes parental controls so you can protect your children from unsavoury and potentially dangerous websites.

Next, EE broadband customers can add EE TV to their package. You’ll receive a small TV box, which turns a standard TV into a smart TV. It gives you over 70 Freeview channels, catch up and on demand programmes, plus pause, rewind and record functions. EE TV is currently only available in EE stores so you’ll need to visit one once your broadband is set-up.

Finally, you’ll have access to the EE Film Club for discounted movie rentals at £1 via wuaki.tv. The Film Club offer is only available between Monday and Wednesday. Once you have purchased a film you'll have 48 hours to watch it. The previous special offer of two-for-one cinema tickets and Pizza Express meals on Wednesdays ended in February 2015.

EE broadband is discounted for the first 12-month minimum contract period, before reverting to full price. The introductory price is very competitive and makes it a very cheap broadband deal for anyone after an unlimited package, but it becomes less attractive at full price. If budget is a concern, remember to cancel after 12 months to avoid the price rise, or choose another broadband deal that is cheap for the lifetime of the plan.

Another issue to consider is that if you’re not within EE’s home broadband network (which covers 85% of UK homes and businesses) the price jumps to £21 per month plus line rental, the usage limit drops to 20GB, and you’ll be charged £30 installation.

EE supplies broadband customers with its Bright Box router. It features wireless N technology that emits a powerful signal throughout the house up to a 250m radius and automatically avoids interference from other devices. It is delivered free, will fit through the letterbox and is simple enough to set up yourself. The router is supplied on loan, so if and when you cancel your EE contract you’ll have to return it to avoid being charged.

Broadband installation is free with this service, unless an engineer needs to install a new telephone line, which costs £60. If you decide to take the Line Rental Saver plan you’ll have to pay £299 upfront at the start of your contract.

EE Bright Box Router

Overall Rating

3.4

EE unlimited broadband gives you an impressive standard broadband speed with unlimited usage, free security and a decent router for a nice low price. If you’re after a speedier internet experience, one of EE’s fibre broadband services might be more suitable and they are also discounted for a limited time. However, the plans become less competitive on price when the discounts end and if customer service is important to you, EE broadband might disappoint.

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