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John Lewis standard broadband review

Friday, December 4th 2015

John Lewis no longer offer limited broadband. John Lewis Unlimited standard broadband is the best alternative. John Lewis might be best known for its retail stores and haunting Christmas adverts, but it’s also a solid broadband provider. This is its starter-level package, which boasts download speeds of up to 17Mbps along with a 20GB usage limit. It might not be fibre fast, but it’s certainly quick enough for you to get online.

The John Lewis package is designed with light internet use in mind. Here is everything you need to know about the package, from speed and price to equipment and installation costs.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
2.8

Loyal John Lewis shoppers know the name stands for quality and great service. The same applies with its broadband, which is ideal for infrequent internet users who won’t be negatively affected by the 20GB usage limit or slow speeds. The BullGuard security extra keeps kids safe online, and unlimited overnight usage lets you download as much as you like after midnight. However, those looking for a fast or cheap broadband service may be better off looking elsewhere.

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Speed & usage

Rating

2

When it comes to broadband, performance is largely dictated by the speeds you can attain on your connection. Download speeds on this package are advertised as up to 17Mbps. This is consistent with the average entry-level copper cabled standard broadband download speeds offered by the majority of competing broadband suppliers.

Actual download speeds rarely match the advertised speed. You’re much more likely to receive a lower rate. John Lewis is fairly up-front about this general drop in download speed. On its website, it states that the average speed achieved by its customers is 5.6Mbps. While that might seem low, it’s still fast enough for the majority of online activities, including streaming HD videos and movies.

Unfortunately, upload speeds with John Lewis standard broadband aren’t much to email home about. The up to 1Mbps rate is just enough to upload small files, such as individual photographs, without having to wait around for the file transfer to complete. Larger files, such as videos, will take a while to complete, giving you plenty of time to make a cup of tea.

The 20GB usage limit is quite low, and will restrict what you can do online in any given month. This is just enough data allowance to download and watch two or three HD movies, send 200 emails, or browse 2,000 web pages. If you go over the limit, you’ll be charged £5 for every 5GB of data you use in excess of the 20GB cap.

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 20GB
Traffic management Yes
Static IP Optional
Minimum contract 12 months
Router Technicolor TG582n
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 standard broadband are not available from Ofcom at this time.

Call plan

Rating

4

Call plans are a pre-requisite for taking John Lewis broadband. Evening and Weekend Calls is the default call plan, and is included for free as part of the £15.50 line rental charge. This features inclusive phone calls to UK landlines and 0845 and 0870 numbers on weekends and between 7pm and 7am Monday to Friday.

Anytime calls can be added to your broadband package for an extra £5 per month. With this call plan, you can make free calls to UK landlines and 0845 and 0870 numbers any day of the week. It’s worth bearing in mind that you’ll have to hang up and redial before a full hour to avoid paying standard call rates. To help remember this, jot it down on your phone pad so you don’t accidentally go over the limit when you’re lost in conversation.

The third package is Anytime International Calls. As with the previous plan, you get free UK landline calls and connections to 0845 and 0870 numbers any day or time of the week. In addition, you also get 300 inclusive minutes to international destinations. These minutes can be used to call landlines or US and Canadian mobiles. The countries included in the international destinations preselected by John Lewis include Australia, Denmark and Germany.

Call features can be added to your plan for £3 per month. These include the Call Divert, Ring Back, and Call Barring features. If you take two or more call features at once you will only be charged a maximum of £6 per month, so its cheap to bundle up. Two call features, Voicemail and Caller Display, are included for free with all John Lewis broadband and phone packages.

Extras

Rating

3

John Lewis has a handful of extras to offer customers on the standard broadband package. For the security conscious, BullGuard can be installed to keep your personal information safe and secure. This piece of software is easy to setup, and comes with antivirus, email spam filters, identity protection and advanced firewall services to combat internet bad guys. It can also help keep kids safe online with its in-built parental control system and social media protection services, which notifies you of possible threats and inappropriate content on your children’s Facebook walls.

Every John Lewis customer is entitled to his or her own unique John Lewis email address. This address comes with 1GB of storage for emails and must be accessed at least once every 90 days or risk being shut down.

The best extra with John Lewis standard broadband is the unlimited overnight usage. Whatever you download or upload overnight – between the hours of midnight and 8am – won’t count towards your 20GB download limit. So, if you want to download some films to watch the next day, you can set them up to go to work while you’re sleeping.

A static IP address can be added to your broadband service for an extra £5 per month. This is for the more techy users, who may want a non-dynamic address to run a private server or remotely controlled home security system.

When you buy furniture and other products from John Lewis you generally pay a bit more than you would at a more ‘budget’ orientated retailer. The same applies for broadband. The John Lewis standard broadband package is one of the more expensive standard broadband plans available from the major providers. You can find cheaper deals elsewhere through our broadband comparison page, but if you do, you’ll be missing out on the John Lewis name.

Line rental is on the cheaper end of the spectrum, and is actually one of the lowest prices you’ll pay for line rental with any provider, at just £15.50 per month. This includes Evening and Weekend calls as default.

While slightly more expensive than the average broadband package, John Lewis standard broadband is perfect for light users. If you want a reliable broadband service from an established name, and if you just want to browse the odd webpage, send a few emails, and watch a few online videos, this package will tick all your broadband boxes.

The download cap means that this package is out of the question for heavy users (who love to download big files day and night), but moderate users may find solace in the unlimited overnight usage. This helps soften the blow of having your downloads and uploads capped, and opens up the package to a wider audience than if it was absent. Still, the majority of moderate and heavy users may find themselves better off with a truly unlimited broadband service.

  • 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

You might expect a high-quality router with your John Lewis broadband service. Unfortunately, you’ll be disappointed, as the router that’s included with this package is identical to those supplied with the more budget broadband options.

The Technicolor TG582n router sports the same off-white cream plastic as an old 1980’s office computer, and is hardly the most attractive bit of kit. It features four 10/100 Ethernet ports for wired connections; perfectly fast enough for basic broadband. Its wireless band is 802.11n 2.4GHz, and it only has a single wireless antenna built into the unit, meaning your home wi-fi connections may be a bit sluggish.

Installation with John Lewis standard broadband is free of charge. However, if you need a new phone line installed, you will have to pay a one-off fee of £49.99.

John Lewis Technicolor TG582 Router

Overall Rating

2.8

With John Lewis broadband, you’re signing up for more than a simple internet connection. You’re also signing up to the brand name and all it stands for, from its ethical work practices to its environmental conservationism. While it may not be the cheapest broadband product out there, it offers plenty of great points for those looking for a reliable broadband service from a recognised name, and is ideal for light internet use.

Get John Lewis standard broadband

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