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Gigaclear Home 200 unlimited broadband review

Thursday, November 5th 2015

Many people relocate to idyllic rural areas to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Unfortunately that can sometimes also mean moving away from fast broadband. But thanks to Gigaclear, old and new residents in rural communities may find a solution to their broadband worries.

Unlike most of the big-name fibre optic broadband suppliers, Gigaclear’s high speeds are symmetric; in other words, the download and upload speeds are identical. But does it live up to expectations? Here’s everything you need to know.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
4

Gigaclear offers fast and reliable broadband for rural communities with a competitive price tag. With unlimited usage, upload and download speeds of 200Mbps, Gigaclear makes everything faster, smoother and easier. But in order to get online, 30% of your community needs to sign up to get the service.

Get Gigaclear Home 200 unlimited broadband Compare all broadband deals

Speed & usage

Rating

5

When it comes to speed, Gigaclear is way ahead of its competitors. This package comes with a download speed of up to 200Mbps. That’s more than enough to stream an HD movie in just under four minutes, download an album in a few seconds and an online game in under half an hour. Equally, not that you would want to, but the speed offers the capacity to stream 35 HD movies all at the same time on different devices. That’s way more speed than most people need for their home broadband.

If you thought that was impressive, Gigaclear also provides a symmetric service, meaning that download and upload speeds are the same. With 200Mbps you can easily upload big files such as a video to YouTube in seconds. With the unlimited usage and no traffic management, you’ll be able to download and stream as much as you like without any disruption.

There's also a flexible option available for tenants. The Tenant Home 200 Unlimited package is ideal for those living in a rented home. Everything is the same as the Home 200 Unlimited broadband package, except the contract length and price. This package lasts for six months, giving you more flexibility however, it's more expensive than Home 200 unlimited broadband, costing £54.50 per month.

Advertised download speed Up to 200Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) N/A
Average downloads (peak) N/A
Advertised upload speed Up to 200Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management No
Static IP Yes
Minimum contract 15 months
Router Gigaclear router
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £52.45 per month
Info

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What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

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

Call plan

Rating

4

Gigaclear doesn’t come with a phone plan, so you won’t have to pay for line rental. Instead, the provider has teamed up with Vonage, an online Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, to offer online call plans for any interested customers. If you use your home phone a lot this is an option worth considering. The call plans range from £7 to £12 per month. For those who want to keep in touch with family and friends abroad, there’s the option to take out an international call plan, which gives you unlimited calls to 68 countries, including the United States and Australia. The call plans are available on a 30-day or 12-month contract, although the former will give you more flexibility.

Vonage is easy to set up. You can sign up online or by calling 0808 178 9620. All you need to do is connect your Vonage box to the Gigaclear router and then plug your phone into the Vonage box. It’s worth noting that Vonage comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you are unhappy for any reason, you will get a full refund, so it’s worth a try.

Extras

Rating

3

Gigaclear doesn’t offer many extras. The high speed internet service is their core selling point.

If you wish, you can add parental controls to your broadband. This will allow you to block unsuitable content and websites. Plus, with the Timed Access Control feature, you can block specific devices from accessing the internet at certain times – useful for getting the kids to get on with their homework. If you want to control online services such as file servers and home CCTV networks from a remote location, you can add an IP address from £2 per month.

There are also a number of free call features available if you choose to take out a call plan with Vonage. As well as caller display and caller block, you can receive voicemails as sound files via email.

This 15-month contract comes with a relatively high monthly cost of £52.45 per month. Although this may seem high, when you take into account that Gigaclear does not charge line rental and offers a faster speed than some of the top-end packages available from big-name providers, it offers pretty good value for money. The call plans with Vonage are also slightly cheaper than standard phone plans, with popular call features added free.

There is a £100 connection fee, but compared to some other rural broadband options, such as satellite broadband, this is quite reasonable. If you do still find this a little steep overall, you can drop to a 50Mbps or 100Mbps package, which offer cheaper monthly fees.

Once the cables are laid in your area, you’ll receive your own DIY installation kit. It comes with a smart 1Gbps Wireless-n router, which will allow you to connect multiple devices, including tablets, laptops and other mobile phones to your Wi-Fi connection.

To help you get started, you’ll receive a set of instructions with your installation kit. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of installing the cables, you can use a local engineer to do the work or call an engineer from Boxcom, Gigaclear’s approved installer. It will cost £95 to request installation from Boxcom, but may cost more depending on the distance from your property to the roadside. If you are renting, you may need to get permission from your landlord.

Gigaclear Router

Overall Rating

4

Rural communities are now able to enjoy the treats of fibre broadband with Gigaclear. It offers a fast and reliable internet connection, allowing you to stream and download content without disruption. However, your community must comprise a minimum of 400 properties and be within 3km of an existing UK fibre infrastructure before Gigaclear will establish a connection.

Get Gigaclear Home 200 unlimited broadband

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