Gigaclear Broadband review
Gigaclear can deliver rapid download and upload speeds using its own full-fibre network, and it focuses on neglected rural communities. Introductory prices are low, and the Wi-Fi router supports mesh networking. But the router does have a few limitations, and you need to watch out for costs more than doubling at the end of the initial contract term.
- Very fast download and upload speeds.
- Delivers next-gen broadband to rural areas.
- The initial contract price is good value.
- Some packages include a free Wi-Fi Mesh node.
- Does not require a phone line.
We don’t like…
- Sharp price increase after the initial contract term.
- The bundled Wi-Fi router could be better.
Gigaclear Broadband: in summary
- Download speeds (average): 200Mb / 300Mb / 500Mb / 830Mb
- Upload speeds: 200Mb / 300Mb / 500Mb / 830Mb
- Data usage limit: Unlimited
- Type of broadband: Fibre optic (FTTP)
- Home phone line: No
- Inclusive phone calls: No
- Wi-Fi Router: Linksys Velop
Gigaclear Broadband speeds
Gigaclear offers a choice of four different speeds using its very fast full-fibre network.
Gigaclear Superfast 200
- Download speed: 200Mb
- Upload speed: 200Mb
Gigaclear Ultrafast 300
- Download speed: 300Mb
- Upload speed: 300Mb
Gigaclear Ultrafast 500
- Download speed: 500Mb
- Upload speed: 500Mb
Gigaclear Hyperfast 900
- Download speed: 830Mb
- Upload speed: 830Mb
Not everyone will be able to get Gigaclear; you must be in range of its network and relatively few homes have access. But if it is available you’ll be able to choose any of the speeds above.
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Gigaclear broadband speed summary
Thanks to its Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) network. Gigaclear far outclasses many providers when it comes to speed.
Some other major ISPs do offer similar maximum speeds using their own FTTP networks, however, their upload rates are often far slower than Gigaclear.
That’s because Gigaclear offers symmetrical broadband, where upload and download speeds are the same. Most other providers are asymmetrical, with a priority on the download rate.
Gigaclear value for money
Looking at it on a pound-per-Mb basis, Gigaclear is solid value for money, being many times faster than similarly priced packages.
However, it’s important to note that the cost does increase significantly after the initial contract term. You will definitely need to make a note of the date the contract ends and contact Gigaclear to negotiate the price, or perhaps switch to a cheaper deal.
Gigaclear also does not include a home phone service or even offer the option to add one. If you only kept a phone line around for broadband, this is a good thing. But if you do need a landline, it will have to be purchased from a different provider to run alongside your Gigaclear fibre line.
Gigaclear Broadband customer service
Gigaclear has a UK-based support team with phone lines open seven days a week; 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 5pm on weekends. So not 24/7, but still available most of the time.
You’ll also find live chat and a comprehensive online support library on its website that will help answer common queries.
Gigaclear Wi-Fi router
All Gigaclear deals include a free Linksys Velop Wi-Fi router.
Gigaclear Linksys Velop Wi-Fi router specifications
- Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) & 802.11ac (5Ghz)
- Dual-band Wi-Fi: Yes
- Tri-band Wi-Fi: No
- Ethernet: 2x Gigabit LAN
The Linksys Velop bundled with every Gigaclear package provides fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi alongside support for older 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.
That means you can get the best wireless performance from newer devices that support the 802.11ac standard and still connect older hardware, too.
It also offers Mesh Wi-Fi network support, a feature that extends wireless coverage around the home far more effectively than regular wireless boosters.
Additional mesh ‘nodes’ are available from Gigaclear; you get one free with Ultrafast 500 and Hyperfast 900, but otherwise, this will cost extra.
However, there are some issues with the router which may be a problem depending on your broadband speed and intended usage.
One catch is that the Wi-Fi cannot support the full 900Mb speed of the Gigaclear Hyperfast package. That is a limitation of Wi-Fi technology, so blame can’t be laid at the feet of the provider, but it could somewhat alleviate the issue by supplying a router that supported the latest 802.11ax (aka Wi-Fi 6) standard.
To make full use of Hyperfast you will need to connect with an ethernet cable and ensure that your devices support gigabit wired networking.
However, only two network ports are available, while many other routers offer four.
If you plan to wire up more than two devices at a time, a network switch will be a necessary additional purchase. But this will share the bandwidth of a single network port on the router, which means you won’t get gigabit speeds when multiple devices are connected through the same switch.
Gigaclear: our verdict
Broadband Genie rating: 4 / 5
Gigaclear offers an exceptional, cutting-edge broadband experience with incredible speeds. And because it's symmetrical, you’re getting an upload speed that’s as rapid as the download rate.
It is also to be applauded for focusing on rural areas, which mainstream networks have traditionally underserved.
The cost is quite reasonable, too, starting from less than £20 per month. However, Gigaclear customers should watch out for the steep price rises which kick in once the initial contract term has ended.
One area we would flag for improvement is the bundled Wi-Fi router. While it will suffice for many homes, and mesh Wi-Fi support is welcome, it is lacking some more features that would help you take full advantage of this very fast broadband service.
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