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Primus Saver Unlimited fibre broadband 38Mb review

Wednesday, November 4th 2015

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The broadband alchemists at Primus Saver have managed to combine the fast download speeds of fibre optic with the low price of budget broadband in this unlimited fibre broadband package. It’s an impressive feat, and with speeds of up to 38Mbps, it’s fast enough for heavy downloaders and big families alike. But how does it stand up overall?For an answer to that, here is all the information you could ever need about the package, from speed and usage to equipment and the price of installation.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
2.8

It's a great fibre package for those on a budget or looking for a place to start when it comes to superfast broadband. However, we can't and won't ignore the drawbacks. Primus's router does the job, but it's insubstantial and under-featured compared to its admittedly more pricey competitors. The service also lacks extras – that saying 'you get what you pay for' is especially apt.

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Speed & usage

Rating

4

Download speeds are of fundamental importance to a fibre broadband package. After all, this speed is what you’re paying for. While Primus Saver’s broadband speed of up to 38Mbps isn’t the fastest that fibre (or Primus Saver itself) has to offer, it’s still satisfactory, and will facilitate practically any online activity you care to name, from HD video streaming through to online gaming.

The upload speed on offer isn’t too bad either, and is actually higher than some of the more ‘upmarket’ broadband packages, such as those offered by Virgin Media. At up to 10Mbps, you can easily share and transfer photos, videos, and important documents across the net without having to stare at a buffering logo for hours on end.

As with all broadband products, the speed you get is unlikely to be the speed advertised by the provider, hence the ‘up to’ qualifier. There are all sorts of technical bugbears that can reduce your actual speed, such as the distance from the nearest exchange.

Downloads and uploads are not capped on this package. This unlimited usage policy means you can use the internet as much as you like, for whatever you like, without having your speeds artificially slowed or being charged for excess usage.

Advertised download speed Up to 38Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) Not available *
Average downloads (peak) Not available *
Advertised upload speed Up to 10Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management No
Static IP No
Minimum contract 18 months
Router Thomson TG582n
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £8 per month
Info

Scroll horizontally for more information.

What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

*Average speeds for Primus Saver Unlimited Fibre Broadband not available from Ofcom at this time.

Call plan

Rating

3

There are two call plans available for this package. The standard service has free evening and weekend calls bundled in, which allows you to ring UK landlines at specific times without a call charge. Weekends are self-explanatory, but evenings are considered to begin after 6pm, and not a minute earlier. All calls made on this plan must end before 90 minutes of call time, which is a generous half hour more than most providers allow. If you go over the 90 minutes you will be charged the standard rate of 7.4p per minute, or you can just hang up and re-dial.

You can take the Unlimited fibre broadband package with an anytime call plan. The anytime call plan costs £5 per month on top of your monthly broadband bill, and features free calls to UK landlines at any time or day of the week. Like with the standard call plan, you need to hang up before 90 minutes expire; but you can always ring back if you want to carry on your chat.

Calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers are charged on both of these plans, at 8p per minute. A couple of call features are thrown in for free too – Withhold Number and calls to 1471. Other features, including Call Barring, Caller Display and Call Divert are all charged at £2.50 for each addition to your call plan.

Extras

Rating

1

One of the core drawbacks of budget broadband deals is the lack of notable extras. While far from essential to your Primus phone and broadband performance, they can add an extra spoonful to an already sweet deal. Unfortunately, Primus Saver barely offers any extras at all on this package.

The Primus Saver router is provided for free, which is great, but you’ll have to pay £7.95 for delivery. Obviously, free would be preferable.

If you need a new line installed at your property, the first engineer visit will be free of charge. You may need a new line if you haven’t had broadband before, or if there’s a fault in the cabling which needs to be repaired for you to receive broadband at your property. Subsequent engineer visits aren’t free and will cost you £59 per visit. You’ll have to pay this fee even if you aren’t in on the day of the engineer’s visit, so make sure that you’re home to avoid incurring this charge.

Primus Saver is all about keeping costs low, and as a result boasts some of the cheapest broadband packages in the UK. Its Unlimited fibre broadband (up to 38Mbps) package is one of them – it cheerily sits on the cheap end of the broadband pricing seesaw, though the cost of £8 per month is a far cry from its cheapest broadband option, Primus Saver Phone and Broadband, weighing in at a minuscule £1.20 per month.

For those on a strict budget, this package presents an affordable solution to any problems with low broadband speeds and usage caps. However, if you want a bit more bite from fibre broadband, it’s going to leave you wanting and you may be better off with a more complete fibre package from a more established provider.

You are required to pay for Primus line rental in addition to the monthly fee for the broadband service. Line rental underpins your broadband provision and costs £15 per month. When deciding on a budget broadband provider, it’s always wise to take into account line rental, as it can often make up the majority of your monthly fee, as is the case here.

There are a few other additional costs that you need to take into account when signing up for Primus broadband. One is your payment method. If you choose to pay by any method other than Direct Debit, you’ll be hit with an additional monthly fee of £2.25. A fee of the same amount applies if you choose to receive paper bills, rather than bills received via email services.

Along with a dearth of extras, budget broadband often suffers from sub-par equipment. However, the router that comes bundled with Primus Saver’s Unlimited Fibre Broadband up to 38Mbps package is actually fairly standard across all low- to mid-range fibre broadband providers.

The router in question is the Thomson TG582n (aka Technicolor 582n), which, along with resembling your kitchen’s smoke alarm, has just enough technical oomph to get you online and keep you there. As a single band 802.11n 2.4GHz router with four 10/100 Ethernet ports, it isn’t going to win any awards amongst those who are looking for a powerful bit of kit capable of running complex home networks. But, if you’re just after fast and cheap broadband, it shouldn’t pose too many headaches, and the set-up process is clear and easy to follow.

Plusnet Thomson TG582n Router

Overall Rating

2.8

If your family’s internet usage is putting a strain on your broadband, or if you want a cheap starter-level fibre service, then this up to 38mbps Primus broadband deal is a great choice.

However, if you want a more performance-based fibre broadband service, you may be better off looking elsewhere.

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