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Post Office HomePhone and Broadband Premium review

Wednesday, November 4th 2015

If you’re looking for a new broadband deal, the Post Office might not be the first provider to spring to mind, but it does offer a simple, no-frills package at a reasonable price. Post Office HomePhone and Broadband Premium includes unlimited usage and a choice of three call options.

But can it match the fast modern deals from the competition on speed, or is it trundling along like Postman Pat and his black and white cat? We reveal all you need to know to decide if Post Office phone and broadband is right for you.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
2.4

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the big name providers and aren’t too fussed about speed, Post Office broadband could be the provider for you. You’ll get unlimited usage and some useful home phone options in this deal, but the fact that there are cheaper and faster truly unlimited deals on the market could send many customers looking elsewhere.

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Speed & usage

Rating

2

Post Office broadband is certainly not one of the best broadband deals around when it comes to speed, since it has the slowest advertised download rate on the market for fixed line broadband. Most standard broadband services from rival brands deliver increased download speeds of up to 17Mbps, but this isn’t the case at the Post Office, which offers up to just 8Mbps. While this is adequate for basic online activities (including watching Netflix and Now TV) and residents in rural locations might not be able to get much higher anyway, it will be woefully slow for households that like to multi-task online with different devices and download big files like HD movies.

This Post Office broadband deal is advertised as having unlimited usage although it isn’t strictly unlimited as there is a traffic management policy in the small print. This comes into effect at peak times (6pm–11pm, Monday to Sunday) and if your usage is identified as excessive, you’ll be asked to curb it or face restrictions (such as having your download speed slowed for a time).

Advertised download speed Up to 8Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) Not available *
Average downloads (peak) Not available *
Advertised upload speed 0.2Mbps
Monthly usage limit Unlimited
Traffic management Yes
Static IP No
Minimum contract 12 months
Router Unnamed wireless router
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £19 per month
Info

Scroll horizontally for more information.

What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

*Average speeds for Post Office broadband not available from Ofcom at this time.

Call plan

Rating

4

This Post Office broadband and phone plan includes free weekend calls as standard. Inclusive weekend calls are to UK landlines with area codes beginning 01, 02, or 03 and calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers, and the weekend hours are longer than with many other providers – from Friday 6pm to Monday 6am.

The next option is Evening and Weekend Calls, which also includes weekend calls to landlines in 40 international destinations and all UK mobile networks, which is super good value at an extra £2.50 per month.

With both options, calls are only free for the first 60 minutes, so you’ll have to hang up and redial to avoid incurring charges. If you call at any other time you’ll be charged a 15p connection charge plus standard landline and mobile call charges, or you can upgrade to the Anytime Calls package for an extra £5.75 per month.

Extras

Rating

2

Some of the valuable perks offered by the big telecoms players, like free public wi-fi, aren’t on offer at the Post Office, but there are few small extras as part of this package. First, you’ll get security software for your PC, which includes parental controls, anti-virus and firewall software. However, it doesn’t activate automatically and isn’t compatible with all devices, so you’ll have to download it yourself and call up to check that it will work on your computer.

The package also includes up to five Post Office email addresses for your family to use. We advise against using addresses linked to any provider because, if there’s ever a network outage (as with the Post Office in 2013), you’ll be unable to access your email. The best option is to sign up with an independent email provider, like Gmail or Yahoo, as it also means you don’t have to worry about losing or changing your address if you switch provider.

Determining value for money is tricky with this package. The evening and weekend phone plan is certainly a good deal with the perk of inclusive mobile and international calls to 40 countries. But the package does not offer the cheapest unlimited broadband around, since you can get cheaper, faster deals that are truly unlimited from the competition. So it really depends on what you’re looking for from a broadband and phone deal and which factors are most important to you.

We must add that the Post Office reports to be ready and waiting to deal with any problems with UK-based customer support seven days a week, but this wasn’t the case in 2013. During the switchover to TalkTalk's wholesale network, customers were unable to send or receive emails for several weeks, and unable to speak to agents to solve the issue.

  • Broadband
    Max download speed17Mb
    Max upload speed1Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls8.50ppm
    Evening calls1.00ppm
    Weekend callsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£7
    Contract length18 months
    First year cost £235

    £19
    per month
    includes line rental

It’s free to join Post Office broadband and you’ll get a free router when you sign up this package. The Post Office doesn’t reveal the make or any of the specifications, but our research suggests you’ll get a ZyXEL model, which is wireless-enabled with four Ethernet ports as well. There are no bells and whistles, but it’ll do the job.

The router will arrive through the post a few days after you’ve signed up online, together with a welcome pack, set-up instructions and two microfilters to connect your router to your phone lines. The Post Office states that it should take around 14 days for you to go live from the day of placing your order. If you decide to take the line rental saver plan, the £179.88 payment will be taken from your account when you sign up.

Post Office ZyXEL Router

Overall Rating

2.4

The Post Office broadband package is affordable and pretty generous with unlimited usage and some useful home phone options. But it doesn’t get us excited. The download speed is the slowest on the market for fixed line broadband and there are much faster and better value broadband choices around, which also have more positive feedback on service and customer satisfaction.

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