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Zen Fibre 1 business broadband review

Zen is a popular telecoms provider that provides reliable and efficient broadband to homes and businesses across the UK. It has also received a number of consumer awards for its broadband service.

Zen business broadband has been in the telecoms market for nearly two decades, but is it the right package for your business? Here’s our expert advice to help you decide.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
2.8

Zen Business Fibre 1 broadband is ideal for a small-sized business. It comes with an optimum download speed of 38Mbps, a free static IP address and the option to add a call plan. However, there are some hidden costs in the small print, which may make you think twice before committing.

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Speed & usage

Rating

3

This broadband package comes with a download speed of up to 38Mbps. This is enough speed and bandwidth to comfortably meet the demands of multiple devices and users on a single internet connection. With this speed you can download and transfer big files, stream video content and make use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services such as Skype. The upload speed is more impressive, with speeds of up to 9.5Mbps. That’s enough to upload a 40MB file in just under 35 seconds.

The major benefit of Zen business broadband is that there is no fair usage policy or traffic shaping. In other words, your online activity won’t be slowed down during peak times, allowing you to make efficient use of your broadband.

This package comes with a usage limit of 50GB per month, which may be ideal for a small business, but larger companies will find it restrictive. If you exceed that usage limit, your internet connection will be stopped. However, once you exceed your limit, a link will appear on your screen giving you the option to purchase additional usage. Alternatively, you can call Customer Billing on 01706 902 001. If you find the limitation becomes an issue, it may be better to opt for an unlimited package.

Advertised download speed Up to 38Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak) Not available
Average downloads (peak) Not available
Advertised upload speed Up to 9.5Mbps
Monthly usage limit 50GB
Traffic management No
Static IP Yes
Minimum contract 12 months
Router Technicolor TG582n
Public wi-fi No
Prices from £16.25 per month
Info

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What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

‘Actual’ speeds for Zen are not available from Ofcom.

Technical support

Rating

3

As well as speed, technical support is vital when it comes to business broadband. Zen is known to offer great customer service. It offers 24/7 customer support, and ensures that a technician is always contactable. Zen will then respond and resolve the issue within 12 hours of a fault ticket number being assigned to the customer.

If Zen fails to meet this deadline, you will be credited with £25 per month until it is met. Bear in mind that there are a number of charges for repairs, such as repairing faults that are not covered in the agreement. These charges are stated in the terms and conditions, so make sure you read the small print.

Zen offers Manage Network Security, with FortiGate UTM firewalls from Fortinet. This is included in the package, removing the need to buy separate software and provides advanced network protection by integrating multiple security layers. It offers defence against spam, viruses, spyware and intrusion attempts. It blocks inappropriate material and filters website content, and offers secure virtual private networks (VPN), which allows communication between networks and remote workers.

Extras

Rating

3

Zen offers the option to add a phone line with pay-as-you-go minutes - so you won't get any inclusive minutes. However, you can opt for the Business Line Rental Plus plan which comes with 5000 inclusive UK minutes to 01, 02, 03, 0845 and 0870 numbers at a cost of £23.50 per month (including line rental). There is an option to buy the package without line rental, but you’ll have to pay an additional monthly fee for taking fibre only. If you change your mind and decide you need a phone line, you can add it on at a later stage.

Zen broadband offers a free static IP address, allowing you to host your own website or domain name server, connect to your computer via remote access and conduct VoIP calls. You will also get access to Zen webmail and 11 email addresses for your company.

It’s worth noting that this package comes with a 12-month contract. Other providers tend to offer business broadband on 18-month or 24-month contracts. So if you want to switch after a year, you can.

Value for money

Rating

2

Although the package comes with a monthly fee of £16.25, there are other costs to take into consideration. If you choose to have a phone line, you’ll have to pay £17 per month for line rental, which is quite high compared to other providers. There is also an upfront cost of £25.

Zen business fibre broadband packages come with a free router, however there is a charge of £6.95 for postage and packaging. Although the monthly price is attractive, and offers a variety of features, the additional costs can mount up and may seem a little steep for some.

Equipment & installation

Rating

3

All the Zen business fibre broadband packages come with a free router – Technicolor TG582n. It is able to connect up to 10 devices including smartphones, laptops and tablets. It is basic and comes with single band technology instead of dual band technology. In other words it comes with a weaker signal. But there is an option to purchase a more advanced router from Zen – at a cost. Prices range from £95 to £150, and there is no charge for delivery.

The installation process should be quite straightforward if you already have a broadband service that runs on a BT phone line. Zen will arrange a date and time for a BT engineer to come to your house. The engineer will need to fit a telephone face-plate and connect this to a VDSL modem, which is supplied on the day. Once you are connected, you can simply switch on your router. It will take up to nine working days for your broadband to be installed.

Zen - Technicolor Router

Overall Rating

2.8

Zen Business Fibre 1 broadband offers a good package for small businesses. The major drawbacks are the usage limit, which may restrict your online activity, and the extra fees, which can mount up. If you are looking to cut your company costs, you may want to shop around first.

Get Zen Business Fibre 1 broadband

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