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Direct Save Telecom Broadband Review 2020

Is DST Broadband any good?

Our Direct Save broadband rating: 3.5/5

Direct Save Telecom (DST to its friends) promises cheap broadband deals, discounted phone calls and the option for flexible rolling monthly contracts. But what does DST offer, and how does it compare to other broadband providers? Read our Direct Save Telecom broadband review to learn more.

Direct Save Telecom user review

The following ratings from Direct Save customers are taken from our annual home broadband survey. Customers were asked to rate their provider in each category, and the score is the percentage of positive answers. The overall rating is the combined average score.

Customer care: 91%
(average: 81%)

Value for money: 85%
(average: 70%)

Trust: 90%
(average: 80%)

Would recommend?: 82%
(average: 74%)

Overall DST broadband customer rating: 87%
(average: 76%)

2020 marks the first appearance for Direct Save Telecom in our broadband awards, and it was an incredible debut. DST won the awards for Best Value Provider and Best Customer Care, had above-average scores in every other category and was a very close runner-up for the overall best provider award.

Ready to buy? See some of Direct Save Telecom’s latest offers:

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Direct Save Telecom broadband - the Broadband Genie review

We like We don’t like
  • Unlimited data with no traffic management
  • Monthly contracts are available
  • UK-based customer support
  • Loyalty club discounts
  • No credit check
  • Data usage cap in some areas
  • The free router isn’t great
  • Limited choice of call plans
  • High cancellation charge

Direct Save broadband value for money

Direct Save broadband cheapest package vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

Direct Save Unlimited Broadband (11Mb) BT Broadband (10Mb) Sky Broadband Essential (11Mb) TalkTalk Fast Broadband (11Mb) Virgin Media M50 (54Mb)
£18.95 £26.99 £22 £22.95 £26

Direct Save broadband fastest package vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

Direct Save Superfast Fibre Broadband (63Mb) BT Fibre 2 (67Mb) Sky Broadband Superfast (59Mb) TalkTalk Superfast Fibre (67Mb) Virgin Media M500 (516Mb)
£27.95 £31.99 £25 £25.95 £52

Last checked September 2020. Prices displayed above are the initial contract cost for new customers. Prices may increase after renewal. Cheapest price is the lowest monthly cost regardless of speed; the fastest price is the fastest service available on Broadband Genie for the lowest cost. Does not include TV bundles or special offers.

Direct Save can be very affordable. Its 12-month ADSL package is under £20, making DST among the cheapest ADSL providers. The fastest 63Mb fibre deal is less competitive, but the 35Mb service is good value at under £25 per month. 

DST also offers rolling monthly deals as well as standard 12-month contracts. You will pay more for these (a monthly ADSL package is nearly double the annual contract cost), but it provides a lot more flexibility as you can cancel at any time without facing a huge penalty.

Direct Save broadband speed

Direct Save average download speeds vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

  Direct Save BT Sky TalkTalk Virgin Media
ADSL 11Mb 10Mb 11Mb 11Mb N/A
Fibre optic 35Mb / 63Mb 36Mb / 50Mb / 67Mb 36Mb / 59Mb 38Mb / 67Mb 54Mb / 108Mb / 213Mb / 362Mb / 518Mb

Direct Save upload speeds vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

  Direct Save BT Sky TalkTalk Virgin Media
ADSL 1Mb 1Mb 1Mb 1Mb N/A
Fibre optic 9Mb / 17Mb 9.5Mb / 19.5Mb 9.5Mb / 19Mb 9.5Mb / 19Mb 3Mb / 6Mb / 12Mb / 21Mb

As an Openreach (BT telephone line) network provider Direct Save offers a typical choice of broadband speeds. ADSL provides an average 11Mb, while for fibre optic you can choose a speed of either 35Mb or 63Mb. In this regard, DST does not differ much from other Openreach providers, although its fibre upload speed is a little slower than competitors.

Direct Save broadband features and extras

Direct Save broadband customers get access to Direct Save’s loyalty discount club, which provides savings worth up to 25% for shops, hotels, air travel, utilities and days out. This is potentially useful, but it will depend on whether you use any of the participating retailers. Other than that there isn’t anything else included with a DST package.

Direct Save broadband router

Unfortunately, the free Wi-Fi router provided by DST is a little disappointing. While it’s a trusted brand (TP-Link) the specifications lag behind the free routers supplied by other ISPs. The Wi-Fi standard is the older 802.11n, so you won’t be able to take advantage of the faster transfer rates possible with newer 802.11ac hardware. Its four wired network ports are also the older 100Mbps standard rather than the gigabit connections found on most new routers. It also lacks a USB port for file and printer sharing.

It does provide the fundamentals, and if the thought of missing out on faster Wi-Fi and more advanced networking features doesn’t bother you, then this freebie is perfectly acceptable.

Direct Save home phone line

All Direct Save broadband deals include phone line rental with pay per use calls at no extra charge, and with slightly cheaper rates than a standard BT call plan. 

If you regularly use the landline then DST offers two call plans for an additional fee: 

  • Option 2. £3.95. Free evening and weekend calls to UK landlines.
  • Option 3. £8.75. Free anytime calls to UK landlines. Cheaper rates to mobiles.

These plans are reasonable value if you mostly call landlines, but the lack of a free mobile calling option is notable by its absence. 

Direct Save Telecom broadband review conclusion

Our Direct Save broadband rating: 3.5 / 5

DST’s ADSL and 35Mb fibre deals are good value, so bargain seekers looking to reduce monthly outgoings will want to consider Direct Save when comparing broadband deals. DST is also one of the few providers which doesn’t use a credit check for new customers, but you are expected to pay for the first month upfront.

Rolling monthly contracts are available too, something which is becoming harder to find. But these are significantly pricier than the annual deals so we would not recommend them unless you’re certain that you need the service for less than 12 months.

You’re not getting loads of bonus features with a DST deal. That’s not unusual for a budget ISP, but it is worth checking what other providers have to offer in the way of extras as these may make up for the extra expense. It’s also important to note that if you’re not on an LLU exchange (known as “market A”) then DST deals are more expensive and include a 100GB data usage cap. Another negative point is DST’s unusually high early cancellation charges which include the remaining months of the contract, a per-line fee, the cost of the router and the setup charge. 

More broadband reviews

We review every provider we list on Broadband Genie. Check out the following reviews for our thoughts on other ISPs: