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TenTel Hello Broadband Unlimited review

Tuesday, November 17th 2015

Tentel is no longer in operation. Existing customer contracts have been taken over by TalkTalk.

There’s no cancellation fee but expect to pay more than some comparable unlimited broadband plans for the increased flexibility of a contract-free service. But is it worth it? Here are the details to help you decide.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
3.2

A one-month rolling contract is the major selling point of TenTel broadband and phone, making it a big hit with anyone who can’t or simply doesn’t want to commit to a long-term plan. Tentel Hello Broadband Unlimited isn’t the cheapest on the market, but it has a lot to offer.

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Speed & usage

Rating

3

TenTel Hello Broadband Unlimited is a standard (non-fibre) broadband service that uses old copper telephone lines to connect your home to the internet. The 17Mbps download speed is on a par with the standard services of mainstream providers like BT and Sky, and will be adequate for most internet activities. However, if you live far away from your local broadband exchange or there are a few people in your household regularly online at the same time, you may find it becomes sluggish and should consider a faster fibre optic connection instead. Since TenTel is pretty new to the market, there is no official Ofcom data to report the average speed customers receive at home. However there is a speed checker at tentel.co.uk for a rough estimate before you join.

TenTel Hello Broadband Unlimited is just that, truly unlimited, so you can use it across several devices throughout the month without fear of hitting a usage cap or falling foul of a traffic management policy. However, some slowdown is inevitable at peak times (evenings and weekends) when network congestion commonly occurs.

Advertised download speed Up to 17Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) Not available*
Average downloads (peak) Not available*
Advertised upload speed 1Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management No
Static IP No
Minimum contract One month
Router Not specified
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £19
Info

Scroll horizontally for more information.

What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

*Average speeds for Tentel broadband are not available from Ofcom at this time.

Call plan

Rating

4

There’s no call plan included as standard with TenTel broadband so you can pay as you go or add a plan to your package. There are seven to choose from, ranging from 60 UK landline minutes (+£2.50 per month) to unlimited international landline minutes (+£10 per month). If you don’t add a plan, you’ll pay the standard call rate of 10p per minute to landlines and 15p per minute to mobiles. Call services such as divert and call waiting cost an extra £1.50 per month each.

Line rental is charged as part of your monthly bill. Alternatively, there’s Tentel Advance. For a one-off payment of £249.99, you get 12 months’ unlimited broadband, weekend calls and a free router.

Extras

Rating

3

TenTel has no extra features to talk of. You’ll need to arrange and pay separately for some of the services offered by other providers, such as security software, parental controls and public wi-fi. The short-term contracts are certainly worth noting however (30 days or six months). The flexible terms are a useful feature for students and tenants who don’t want the commitment of the lengthy 12 or 18-month contracts that are standard in the industry with penalties for leaving early. TenTel also has a customer service charter. It promises to provide simple communication products that offer value for money alongside transparent pricing and a price guarantee to beat the standard prices of the Big 4 (BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media), excluding special offers.

You can also add TV to your TenTel broadband package. It's a no-contract TV service that gives you access to hundreds of channels and streaming services, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Sky News and Channel 4 – some of which require a separate subscription fee. When you purchase TV with TenTel Broadband you will save up to 50% on the standard cost of a Roku TV streaming stick or box.

TenTel isn’t a budget provider and there are cheaper unlimited broadband plans around, especially with the discounted offers so common in this marketplace. However, it is competitively priced compared to the standard rates of the mainstream providers and even more so if you value the flexibility of a one-month rolling contract. Contract-free home broadband is very rare and where available, often costs much more than longer term deals, so TenTel offers good value in this respect. Despite a lack of extra features, the reassurance of the customer service charter does give added value. TenTel outlines all rates and charges clearly online, so it’s worth familiarising yourself with them before signing up.

Installation is free for TenTel Hello Broadband Unlimited on a six-month contract, or £35 with a 30-day plan. You’ll also receive a free router that can connect several devices simultaneously, either wirelessly or directly using an Ethernet cable. There are no details on what model the router is. If you cancel your service, you’ll need to send the router back or risk a non-return fee of £75.

There are several options to extend your home connection with wireless adapters for an extra one-off fee of £34.99 to £59.99. A premium router is also available for £99.99, which TenTel says will improve your wireless connection for streaming TV, online gaming and multi-device usage.

Overall Rating

3.2

TenTel will undoubtedly draw those looking for a short-term broadband plan, since the one-month rolling contract and no cancellation fees provide the ultimate flexibility. You’ll pay more than you would with some of the budget providers on the market, but it is pretty competitively priced compared to the main names in broadband. There’s a wide choice of call plans, including mobile and international options, and the ability to pay for 12 months upfront to save money long-term. TenTel is a relatively new provider so it is hard to judge it on average broadband speeds and customer service, but its customer service charter sets out good intentions.

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