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Tesco unlimited broadband review

Tuesday, November 3rd 2015

Update: Tesco broadband and phone services are no longer available. Tesco unlimited broadband is a cheap, cheerful broadband package with plenty of little bonuses for existing Tesco customers. Tesco broadband has recently been taken over by TalkTalk. Though there are no plans for changes to the service in the near future, be aware that if you sign up for Tesco broadband today, you're effectively joining TalkTalk.

So is it worth switching to? To help you make that all-important decision, here’s everything you need to know about Tesco unlimited broadband, from speed and usage through to the equipment that comes with the package.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
3.6

Tesco broadband is cheap, and will therefore be a draw for budget-conscious broadband customers. If you’re a Tesco Bank or Tesco Mobile customer, it's free for 12 months, making it an even better deal. Plus it comes with free installation. The drawbacks include a bare bones router, and traffic management on downloads.

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Speed & usage

Rating

3

Tesco unlimited broadband has an advertised download speed of up to 16Mbps. This might appear slow, and in many respects it is, but Tesco broadband’s speed will be sufficient for households of two or three regular internet users. If there are more broadband users in your home than this you may need to upgrade to fibre or switch provider. Most standard broadband connections have slow upload speeds, and Tesco broadband is no different. The up to 1Mbps upload speed will let you share photos and videos across the internet without much trouble, though you’ll have to wait a while for the files to transfer.

There are no usage caps on Tesco broadband packages. Unlimited usage means you can download (and upload) as much as you like without being charged for excess usage. It’s not ‘truly’ unlimited, however, as traffic management is in place to shape the network. In general, this will only affect bandwidth-intensive users (those who download a significant amount of information every day). Everyone else should be largely unaffected.

Advertised download speed Up to 16Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) Not available *
Average downloads (peak) Not available *
Advertised upload speed Up to 1Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management Yes
Static IP No
Minimum contract 12 months
Router Technicolor 582N Pro Wireless
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £2 per month
Info

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What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

*Average speeds for Tesco unlimited broadband not available from Ofcom at this time.

Call plan

Rating

4

All Tesco broadband packages come with one great phone extra – free calls to other Tesco phone and broadband customers. These free calls are separate to the main call plans. The free calls last for 70 minutes at a time, and you’ll have to hang up and redial to avoid incurring any charges.

Some call features are included in addition to free calls to other Tesco broadband and phone customers. Last caller ID (which shows you the number of the last person to ring you) and withhold number (which keeps your number secret from others) are both included at no extra charge with Tesco broadband. Additional call features can be added for a monthly fee. These include call forwarding at £2 per month, anonymous call reject at £4 per month, and voicemail basic at 50p per month.

The basic package can be upgraded with Anytime calls for an extra £5 per month. Anytime calls lets you ring standard UK landline numbers at any time, for free, for up to 70 minutes at a time. This includes 0845 and 0870 numbers. Customers on this plan also benefit from reduced UK mobile rates.

Extras

Rating

3

As a budget broadband option, Tesco broadband has limited extras. The main extra – and the one most Tesco shoppers will enjoy – are the bonus Clubcard points that come on your monthly bill. When you collect 150 Clubcard points you’ll start to receive vouchers that are tailored to your common purchases. These can then be spent in a Tesco store, or online. You can see your current Clubcard points on your Tesco account.

When you sign up for Tesco broadband you get Tesco Internet Security for free. This software helps keep your computer protected against online threats such as viruses and spyware, and comes with its own firewall to further defend your computer against outside attacks. Bear in mind that security software will have an impact on your computer’s performance, especially if it’s getting old.

While not so much an extra as a nice feature, all Tesco broadband customer support centres are located in the UK. You also get the Tesco router (Technicolor 582N Pro Wireless) for free, though you will have to pay for delivery.

Tesco broadband is a budget option, and has a low monthly price of £2 per month. While this seems remarkably cheap, it isn’t the cheapest budget broadband option out there, and many others, including EE and Fuel Broadband, can match Tesco on price. It’s also worth bearing in mind that £2 a month isn’t the price you’ll pay – you also need to pay line rental. Tesco broadband line rental costs £15.40 per month.

Tesco home broadband has an ace up its sleeve. If you’re an existing Tesco Mobile or Tesco Bank customer, you can get Tesco broadband for free for 12 months. As far as value for money goes, you can’t get much better than free broadband. You still need to pay line rental, however, and calls on the basic (non-Anytime) plan will still be charged.

The free call features and the free calls to other Tesco Homephone and broadband customers also boost Tesco in the value-for-money stakes. Overall, if you’re after a cheap broadband package that’s good value for money, Tesco broadband should be on your radar.

Tesco supplies the Technicolor 582N Pro Wireless router for free to all Tesco broadband customers. The Technicolor 582N Pro Wireless router is a fairly basic model. It has four ports (10/100Base-T) on the reverse for wired, physical connections, and offers wi-fi capability for up to 15 wireless connections. A basic firewall is built into the router to keep you safe against unauthorised intrusion.

Installation is free with Tesco broadband but there are a few small charges included when you sign up. The first involves your router. To have it delivered, you need to pay a delivery fee of £6. Next is new phone line activation. If you’ve not had broadband before, or there’s a fault with your current phone line, you’ll have to pay £35 to have an engineer fix or activate the line. Finally, there’s a charge for receiving paper bills – £1 per month.

Tesco Router

Overall Rating

3.6

Tesco broadband comes out as a great service for those looking for broadband on a budget. If you’re a regular Tesco shopper, the addition of extra Clubcard points makes this an even more tempting deal. The benefit for being an existing Tesco Bank or Tesco Mobile customer technically gives you free broadband for 12 months. Not bad at all.

If you want to give us your Tesco broadband feedback and let others know about the service, you can use our comments section below.

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