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SSE Everyday broadband review

Wednesday, January 28th 2015

SSE, formerly Scottish and Southern Energy, is best known as an energy provider but also offers a range of standard and fibre optic broadband and phone packages. SSE Everyday Broadband and Talk Weekend is the standard broadband service on offer.

It is unlimited, meaning there are no restrictions on the amount of data you can use and comes with a download speed of up to 17Mbps, which should be enough for most small households.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
3

On the surface, SSE Everyday Broadband is a fairly cheap broadband and phone package with unlimited usage and UK-based customer support. Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll find that traffic management and a poor-quality router let the service down.

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Speed & usage

Rating

3

SSE Everyday is a standard broadband service, which means it uses copper telephone lines rather than fibre optic cables. The maximum speed is 17Mbps, which is on a par with other standard services from the likes of Sky, BT and TalkTalk. However, SSE is not included in Ofcom’s annual broadband speed tests so there is currently no record of the average speed that customers actually receive. Regardless, the up to 17Mbps advertised speed coupled with unlimited usage should be adequate for regular email, shopping, browsing and services like catch up TV and streaming HD movies. Larger households that multitask online and regularly stream or download movies and TV shows may benefit from opting for one of SSE’s two faster, fibre optic plans instead.

SSE Everyday is subject to a traffic management policy to control network congestion at peak times. It prioritises time-sensitive services such as video calling and online gaming over other activities like peer-to-peer file sharing that can clog the network and cause slowdown. The nature of traffic management means that it is welcomed by some users and snubbed by others.

Advertised download speed 17Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) Not available
Average downloads (peak) Not available
Advertised upload speed 1Mbps
Monthly usage limit Unlimited
Traffic management Yes
Static IP No
Minimum contract 18 months
Router Thomson Technicolour TG582N
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £26 per month
Info

Scroll horizontally for more information.

What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

‘Actual’ speeds for SSE are not yet available from Ofcom.

Call plan

Rating

3

SSE offers four choices of broadband and call packages, but you’ll need an active phone line whichever you choose. SSE builds the cost of broadband, weekend calls and line rental into one fee which does make things more straightforward than with most other providers. If you want Anytime Calls, you will either have to choose a Superfast (up to 38Mbps) or Ultrafast (up to 76Mbps) fibre package. Or, you can call SSE and it will tell you how much it will cost to add Anytime Calls or Anytime Calls Plus to the EveryDay Broadband package.

Extras

Rating

2

SSE comes up a little short on the extra perks you find with some of the mainstream providers but it offers a couple of useful features. First, you get a 12-month free subscription to the SSE Internet Security Suite (£2 per month thereafter), which provides antivirus and firewall protection along with parental control software both to keep your children safe online and to minimise potential distractions during homework time.

Secondly, SSE has a UK-based customer service centre and has introduced a ‘customer service guarantee’ to enable customers to hold the service to account. The provider outlines five commitments, which include ‘to make your life easier’, ‘to find ways to save you money’ and ‘to give help when you need it’, which come with a guarantee of £20 off your next bill if SSE fails to meet them.

SSE broadband offers some of the cheapest plans on the market, essentially offering free broadband – but you have to pay for the line rental and calls, which are included in the price. Also, the broadband service is unlimited, meaning you are free to download and stream as much as you like with no concern over being charged extra.

SSE is well known for its energy provision and has won several customer service awards but we’re in the dark about how its broadband and phone service performs. If SSE supplies your gas and electricity, it may be a comfortable move to switch your telecoms too, but it’s a leap into unknown territory for many.

  • Broadband
    Max download speed17Mb
    Max upload speed1Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls12.00ppm
    Evening calls12.00ppm
    Weekend calls12.00ppm
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£0
    Contract length1 month
    First year cost £252
    (if taken over 12 months)

    £21
    per month
    includes line rental

New SSE customers are supplied with a Thomson Technicolor TG582N router, which is a very basic wireless model. It just about does the job, but the experiences of reviewers suggest performance can be poor, particularly when used wirelessly, and it can hamper online activities that should be quick and easy with a 17Mbps broadband connection.

Installation is free. You’ll need a BT phone line to get SSE broadband and if you already have one, it usually takes at least three weeks to get set up, and longer if you need to get a landline installed. If you have any problems with your broadband, think before you call out an engineer and try to solve the issue remotely as you could face charges up to £169.20 if the fault is found to be with your own equipment.

SSE - Technicolor TG582n Router

Overall Rating

3

SSE Everyday broadband sits somewhere in the middle of standard broadband services in the UK; it’ll get you connected to the internet and provide a landline with inclusive calls, but don’t expect the kind of fast downloads offered by fibre, or any extra features of note. Unlimited downloads and UK customer support are two major advantages, but the substandard Thomson Technicolor router and unknown customer service record drag down what could be a sound broadband service.

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