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John Lewis Broadband Unlimited review

Friday, December 4th 2015

John Lewis is best known for its upmarket retail stores and ethical business practices, but it’s also a well-established broadband provider. Its John Lewis Broadband Unlimited package is designed to be simple to use and easy to understand, and it boasts a download speed of up to 17Mbps. It’s not a cheap option though.

The package starts at £22.50 per month, making this one of the most expensive standard broadband packages on the market. But if that’s not much of a concern, you’ll be wondering if the service is good as a whole. Here is everything you need to know.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
2.6

John Lewis Broadband Unlimited sits firmly at the more expensive end of the broadband market. It comes with free installation, a free router, and an exclusive John Lewis email address. The drawbacks include the low download and upload speeds, a strict traffic management policy, and the expensive monthly cost.

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Speed & usage

Rating

3

John Lewis unlimited broadband clocks an advertised download speed of up to 17Mbps. This is a fairly standard speed across standard broadband providers.

It’s unlikely that you’ll reach the advertised download speed at home. Many factors can dictate the speed you’ll actually get. These include distance from the nearest exchange, the quality of the wiring at your property, and the time of day you go online. The John Lewis website gives a more realistic estimate of the download speed you’re most likely to reach – around 5.6Mbps.

As a standard broadband package, you won’t see a very high upload speed. The advertised upload speed on this John Lewis broadband package is up to 1Mbps, which is a fairly average rate across other standard broadband providers.

One of the biggest draws for John Lewis Broadband Unlimited is the lack of a usage cap on how much you can download and upload over the course of a month.

It’s not a ‘truly’ unlimited broadband package however, as traffic management is in place to shape and control activity across the John Lewis internet network.

Advertised download speed Up to 17Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) Not available *
Average downloads (peak) Not available *
Advertised upload speed Up to 1Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management Yes
Static IP Optional
Minimum contract 12 months
Router Technicolor TG582
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £22.50 per month
Info

Scroll horizontally for more information.

What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

*Average speeds for John Lewis broadband unlimited are not available from Ofcom at this time.

Call plan

Rating

4

The advertised price of John Lewis broadband includes line rental, and comes with the Evenings and Weekends call plan as standard. You can make unlimited free calls to UK landlines any time during the weekend or after 7pm on weekdays with this plan.

Anytime calls can be added to your call plan for an extra £5 per month. This plan lets you make calls to UK landlines, for free, at any time during the week. These free calls only last for a maximum of 60 minutes but you can hang up and redial to avoid paying the standard call rates.

Your call plan can be further upgraded with the Anytime and International calls addition.

As well as everything included in the Anytime and International call plan, you also get 300 inclusive minutes for calls to landlines in 35 pre-selected international destinations. Plus, these 300 minutes can be used to call US and Canadian mobiles from the UK.

Calls to UK mobiles are cheaper in the evenings on all of these plans. Normal landlines to UK mobile rates are 12.5p per minute. The evening rates come in at 10p per minute.

Extras

Rating

2

You won’t get a huge amount of extras with John Lewis Broadband Unlimited, but those on offer will be useful for the majority of users.

When you sign up you can request a John Lewis email address. This address will consist of your username, followed by the John Lewis name (username@john-lewis.com) and comes with 1GB of online storage space for emails. If you exceed this 1GB limit, your emails may be deleted without notice. You are also unable to send emails with adult, confidential, or offensive content. If you do, you may be locked out of your email account.

Finally, you have to log in to your John Lewis broadband webmail account at least once every 90 days or risk having the account terminated.

John Lewis offers different security software deals for Mac and PC users. If you use a PC, John Lewis gives you BullGuard security.

This software gives you protection against viruses and malware, and automatically scans your computer for internet bad guys on a regular basis. Mac users don’t get security software for free, but rather get a discount off Intego software security.

All John Lewis phone and broadband packages reside at the expensive end of the broadband spectrum, and John Lewis Broadband Unlimited is no exception. The monthly cost of £22.50 for a basic standard broadband package easily makes this one of the most expensive standard broadband deals around, but there are often special deals running that make is considerably cheaper.

Really, you’re not just paying for broadband here; you’re paying for the John Lewis name. John Lewis is largely considered a ‘premium’ retailer, focusing on high quality products and a consistently high level of customer service. This focus on customer service carries through to its broadband provision, but the broadband package itself can’t really be considered high quality. With a slow download speed, a strict traffic management policy, and high monthly fee, it doesn’t pose the best value for money. There are broadband packages available from other providers offering much more for far less. If you don’t mind missing out on the John Lewis name, an alternative provider may be better for you.

Ironically, despite the high monthly price of its broadband package, John Lewis actually provides one of the cheapest line rental prices of any broadband provider in the UK.

  • Broadband
    Max download speed76Mb
    Max upload speed19.5Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls7.50ppm
    Evening callsInclusive
    Weekend callsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£0
    Contract length12 months
    First year cost £438

    £36.50
    per month
    includes line rental

  • Broadband
    Max download speed38Mb
    Max upload speed2Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls7.50ppm
    Evening callsInclusive
    Weekend callsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£0
    Contract length12 months
    First year cost £390

    £32.50
    per month
    includes line rental

The John Lewis broadband router comes free with John Lewis Broadband Unlimited. The Technicolor TG582 wireless device is the standard model used by many ‘budget’ broadband providers, like Fuel Broadband, so is basic in terms of performance.

The device features four 10/100Base-T ports on the back, capable of supporting physical Ethernet connections. If you prefer wireless, it features capacity for up to 15 wireless connections through its 2x2 antenna and 802.11n 2.4GHz single wireless band. Routers from many other providers have dual band wireless systems and at least one GigE port for future fibre upgrades. The Technicolor TG582 will get you online, but it won’t be much good for more technically-minded users.

Installation for the John Lewis Broadband Unlimited package is free, but if you need a new line at your property you will have to pay £49.99 and be at home for a visit from an engineer.

John Lewis Router

Overall Rating

2.6

John Lewis' responsible sourcing of products, ethical practices, and environmentally friendly conduct are all great reasons to join the broadband provider, and the addition of your own John Lewis email address could make this a tempting deal.

For everyone else, this broadband package is on the expensive side. You don’t really get much for what you’re paying, with limited extras and a low download speed.

Get John Lewis Broadband Unlimited

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