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SSE Simple broadband review

Monday, January 19th 2015

Note: SSE has withdrawn this package and replaced it with Everyday Broadband. SSE offers four broadband packages, of which Simple Broadband with weekend calls is the cheapest. It is also the only one to place limitations on downloads. With a standard charge of £5 per month – excluding line rental – SSE's prices are among the cheapest for broadband services on the market.

Simple Broadband lacks the speeds of its fibre optic cousins, because it is designed more for those whose time online is spent checking emails and casually browsing the web. However, it could be worth consideration if you’re just looking to establish a basic internet connection.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
2.5

Simple Broadband is a low-cost, entry-level internet package. While it doesn’t pack much of a punch in terms of speed, it’s worth a look if all you’re after is a basic internet connection for emails and general browsing. However, we recommend considering some of the finer details before signing up.

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Speed & usage

Rating

2.5

SSE Simple Broadband is a standard (non-fibre optic) broadband service advertising top download speeds of up to 17Mbps. This is the common maximum for the standard broadband market, but your actual speed will vary depending on things like your location and the time of day. SSE will give you an estimate of your achievable speed before you sign up, but there are no guarantees of what you’ll actually get day to day.

Simple Broadband is the only SSE home service that comes with download restrictions. It’s this monthly download limit of 50GB that gears the service more towards the occasional or casual internet user, as more demanding activities like video streaming, online gaming and downloading can consume data fairly quickly. A 50GB allowance is still fairly generous at this price but if you’re inclined to be a more active user, you may want to consider an unlimited package.

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 50GB
Traffic management Yes
Static IP No
Minimum contract 18 months
Router Technicolour TG582n
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £5 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

Simple Broadband is available either as a standalone service or with a home phone package. If you take it as a standalone service, you still need an active landline from another provider. However, doing that bumps up the monthly cost of your SSE broadband from £5 to £15, and SSE's £12 line rental is cheaper than most other providers, so you're unlikely to be saving money.

So if you do take up an SSE phone package, what do you get? A package with just weekend calls is free. If you want evening or anytime calls then you pay extra, starting from £2 per month, and line rental goes up by £3 per month.

One quirk to be aware of is that the broadband and phone contracts are different lengths. Your phone contract will end after 12 months, while the broadband contract runs for 18 months. After 12 months, the phone contract switches to a rolling monthly contract but the price won't change.

Extras

Rating

3

Simple Broadband comes with a free 18-month subscription to SSE’s Internet Security Suite. Once downloaded and installed, this includes antivirus and firewall software to help shield your computer from malicious activity, as well as parental controls for those who want to restrict their children’s internet access. If you want to continue using the suite after the free period, the standard subscription fee is £2 per month, but it can be cancelled at anytime.

If you choose a broadband deal with phone, there are over half a dozen add-on features available for your landline, including call barring, three-way calling and call diversion. These can be added for £3.25 each per month or you can combine four for £6.75 per month.

At £5 per month with a home phone package, SSE Simple broadband is competitively priced. While you don’t get unlimited downloads, the 50GB download limit is still more generous than what some other providers offer at this price point. Even when line rental is taken into account, the total monthly cost is still under £20, making it a reasonably low-cost internet and phone bundle. Some comparable services from other providers can cost up to twice as much, even before line rental is factored in, making SSE’s offering a worthwhile consideration if you’re seeking a budget broadband solution. That said, there is no Ofcom information for SSE’s phone and broadband services, so it’s difficult to determine its performance in terms of actual speeds and service satisfaction.

  • 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

  • Broadband
    Max download speed38Mb
    Max upload speed10Mb
    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 £288
    (if taken over 12 months)

    £24
    per month
    includes line rental

The SSE broadband router is the Technicolor TG582n. There is no connection charge if you’re buying a broadband and phone bundle, but for those wanting broadband on its own, there’s a £30 connection charge. The Technicolor TG582n is a fairly basic router and has received mixed reviews. The design alone gives away the fact that this is an outdated piece of kit and one that wouldn’t win any awards for its looks. However, for a standard broadband service like Simple Broadband, the technical specifications of the TG582n are sufficient.

If you do decide to sign up for Simple Broadband you’ll have to be patient, as it can take at least three weeks before your connection is up and running. If you’re also moving your phone line to SSE, it can take even longer. For those looking to get online for the first time, this may not be much of an issue, but if you’re switching from another service you may be left without a connection for some time.

SSE - Technicolor TG582n Router

Overall Rating

2.5

SSE Simple Broadband is a competitively priced standard broadband solution. While its maximum download speeds and restrictions might deter families and other demanding users, its modest specifications may be well suited to the casual or first-time internet user. However, if you’re looking for the assurance of a more tried and tested broadband package, you may want to consider one of the more major providers.

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