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Gigaclear Home 100 unlimited broadband review

Thursday, November 5th 2015

If you live in a small village or hamlet, it’s quite possible that your internet connection is pretty poor. Rural areas are known to have patchy coverage and limited availability when it comes to fibre optic broadband. But thanks to Gigaclear, there is now a potential solution to the problem.

Gigaclear gives you enough speed to download an HD movie in just a few minutes, but is this broadband the best one on the market? Here’s all you need to know about Gigaclear Home 100 unlimited broadband.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
3.8

If you live in a rural area with limited, if any, broadband choices, then Gigaclear Home 100 unlimited broadband is a great option. With a fast and reliable fibre broadband connection, unlimited usage, and download and upload speeds of up to 100Mbps, you can enjoy a positive web experience. On the downside, only communities of 400 properties or more will be considered for connection.

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Speed & usage

Rating

5

Gigaclear is known to offer super-fast broadband to rural communities, and it doesn’t disappoint. Compared to average UK speeds, downloads are up to 100 times faster, and uploads are up to 250 times faster. Everything is faster, smoother, easier.

This package comes with a download speed of 100Mbps. In other words, 180 people could stream an HD movie all at the same – that’s enough to keep a whole village entertained. Equally, you could download the latest music album in three seconds and a game in just under an hour. But what’s more impressive is the upload speed. The fastest widely available upload speed is 19.5Mbps. But just imagine what you can do with 100Mbps. That’s enough to upload a YouTube video in a blink of an eye.

Gigaclear claims that the speed you subscribe to is the speed you will get. However, experience dictates that you don’t always get the exact advertised speed. Having said that, there shouldn’t be a huge drop, and a slight loss of speed at this level will be barely noticeable. Plus, there’s no traffic management or fair usage policy, so your online activity won’t be slowed down during peak times.

Advertised download speed Up to 100Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) N/A
Average downloads (peak) N/A
Advertised upload speed Up to 100Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management No
Static IP No
Minimum contract 15 months
Router Gigaclear router
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £46.85 per month
Info

Scroll horizontally for more information.

What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

‘Actual’ speeds for Gigaclear are are not available from Ofcom.

Call plan

Rating

4

Gigaclear is essentially a broadband-only provider, so you won’t have the financial burden of paying line rental. However, the provider has joined forces with Vonage, an online Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, giving you the option of an online call plan. Call plans start from £8 per month, which is far cheaper than the average line rental cost, and they all come with unlimited UK landline calls. Plus, you don’t need to hang up after an hour to avoid any incurring charges. It also sends voicemails as sound files via email – ideal for those on the go.

Vonage is very easy to set up and it will work on your existing home phone as well as through your computer. You can sign up online or by calling directly on 0808 178 9620. You’ll receive your own Vonage Box, which you’ll need to connect to your Gigaclear router. To get chatting, all you need to do is plug your phone into your Vonage Box. Contracts are either for 30 days or 12 months – although the latter is cheaper, the former will give you more flexibility, should you need it.

Extras

Rating

2

Gigaclear doesn’t offer many extras, but a high-speed connection alone is of great value in a rural location. That’s a big extra in itself. Plus it can also increase the value of your property too.

You do have the option to add parental controls – ideal for keeping your kids safe online. The software has various features, including Timed Access Control, which allows you to block specific devices from accessing the internet at certain times. So if want to prevent the kids from getting distracted whilst doing their homework, you can. You can also filter what content is visible in your home.

If you choose to take out a call plan with Vonage, you’ll get access to a number of free call features. These include call waiting, caller display and caller block for anonymous callers.

The 15-month contract comes with a cost of £46.85 per month. On the surface, it may seem expensive, but if you take a step back, you are actually getting fast broadband at a competitive price. You don’t need to pay line rental, which is a huge saving in itself. Taking into account that Gigaclear is the only provider available in rural areas, the price isn’t far off from other broadband providers, such as Virgin and Sky.

There is a £100 connection fee and the package comes with a free router. Plus, there are no installation fees. If you find that 100Mbps is too much to handle, you can step it down to 50Mbps. This shouldn’t make much of a difference to your online experience – you’ll still be able to download a music album in six seconds.

Once the cables are laid to your community, you will receive your own connection and installation kit. The kit includes a 1Gbps Wireless-n router with four Ethernet ports. With this, you’ll be able to connect multiple devices to your home broadband network.

You can install the fibre and router yourself. To help you get connected, you’ll get a full set of instructions with your self-installation kit. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of drilling and digging, you can either use a local electrician, or you can request a technician from Boxcom, Gigaclear’s approved installer. Installation by Boxcom will cost £95 and may cost more if your property is at a considerable distance from the road or if you need additional equipment.

Gigaclear Router

Overall Rating

3.8

Gigaclear offers a high quality, fibre broadband service that is good value for money. However, the provider will only install cables if your village is within 3km of an established fibre infrastructure, and if there is a minimum of 400 properties in your community.

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