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NOW Broadband review 2021

Is NOW Broadband any good?

Our NOW Broadband rating: 3.5/5

Now Broadband offers internet and TV bundles on a budget, with flexible TV passes that give you access to popular Sky channels without a satellite dish or long contract. Read our NOW Broadband review to find out what NOW offers, and if it’s right for you.

NOW Broadband - the Broadband Genie review

We like We don’t like
  • Flexible TV bundles.
  • Unlimited broadband.
  • No credit check.
  • Barebones broadband package.
  • NOW TV passes have fewer channels than Sky TV.

NOW Broadband speeds

NOW average speeds vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media

  NOW BT Sky TalkTalk Virgin Media
ADSL download speed 11Mb 10Mb 11Mb 11Mb N/A
ADSL upload speed 1Mb 1Mb 1Mb 1Mb N/A
Fibre download speed 36Mb / 63Mb 36Mb / 50Mb / 67Mb 59Mb 38Mb / 67Mb 54Mb / 108Mb / 213Mb / 362Mb / 516Mb / 630Mb
Fibre upload speed 9.5Mb / 19Mb 9.5Mb / 19.5Mb 19Mb 9.5Mb / 19Mb 5Mb / 10Mb / 20Mb / 36Mb

NOW Broadband is an Openreach network provider, which means there’s a similar choice of broadband services and speeds as most other ISPs, all delivered over a regular telephone line.

NOW offers cheap standard ADSL with an average speed of 11Mb, and two tiers of fibre optic internet with speeds of 36Mb or 63Mb. Some Openreach providers do quote a slightly faster average speed, but it’s only a small amount and you're not going get a drastically different experience between NOW and any other Openreach network ISP.

Is NOW Broadband good value for money?

NOW Broadband cheapest package vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

NOW Brilliant Broadband (11Mb) BT Broadband (11Mb) / BT Fibre Essential (36Mb) Sky Essential Plus (11Mb) TalkTalk Fast Broadband (11Mb) Virgin Media M50 (54Mb)
£18 £27.99 £30 £24.95 £28

NOW Broadband fastest package vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

NOW Broadband Super Fibre (63Mb) BT Fibre 2 (67Mb) Sky Superfast (59Mb) TalkTalk Fibre 65 (67Mb) Virgin Media M500 (516Mb)
£24 £30.99 £26 £25 £46

Last checked July 2021. The prices displayed above are the initial contract cost for new customers; charges may increase after renewal. The cheapest price is the lowest monthly cost regardless of speed. The fastest price is the fastest service available on Broadband Genie for the lowest monthly cost, excluding TV bundles.

NOW Broadband packages are generally good value, with reasonable pricing for both its ADSL and fibre optic deals. Though you can find that its parent company, Sky, sometimes undercuts NOW on the fastest fibre package.

What are NOW Broadband’s features and extras like

You get free anytime calling to UK landlines included at no extra charge with a NOW deal, which is a welcome bonus when most other providers charge for that feature. But besides that and a free Wi-Fi router NOW Broadband is not brimming with extras. That’s not necessarily an issue - it’s the broadband that’s the important bit after all - but sometimes freebies like Sky’s public Wi-Fi network or BT’s free sports TV can be useful.

NOW Hub 2 Wi-Fi router

The sleek NOW Hub 2 Wi-Fi routers included free with NOW internet deals are the same hardware as the Sky Q Hub, just rebadged for NOW Broadband. 

The Hub 2 is a dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi router. That you can get faster speeds on newer Wi-Fi devices using a 5Ghz 802.11ac Wi-Fi signal, alongside a 2.4Ghz 802.11b/g/n network to support older devices.

There are gigabit wired network connections on the rear, but only two of them; most routers offer four so you’ll need to invest in a network switch if you have more than a couple of devices connected at once.

NOW TV

NOW TV is an unusual alternative to other TV providers. While it can be used to watch Freeview channels (but only with the NOW TV Smart Box) the main draw is its flexible approach to premium TV. Instead of signing up for a contract that includes hundreds of channels - many of which you may never watch - you buy a monthly pass for specific types of channels, which can be cancelled at any time.

NOW TV offers Entertainment, Sky Sports, Kids and Sky Cinema passes, with channels such as Sky Atlantic, Cartoon Network, Sky Sports Main Event, and SYFY. With your pass in hand, you can view NOW TV via a NOW TV Smart Box or Smart Stick, or via smart TVs, games consoles, mobile devices and Windows and Apple Mac computers.

What it doesn’t offer is the same breadth of channels as Sky TV or Virgin Media TV. Still, if you’re mainly interested in checking out the latest movies and watching headline shows like Game of Thrones, NOW TV is a straightforward way to do that without worrying about lengthy contracts or bolting a dish to your house.

NOW Broadband phone packages

All NOW Broadband deals include phone line rental, and as an Openreach network provider, an active line is a requirement. But if you’re not planning on using the landline for calls, then you can simply opt for a pay as you use package. 

If inclusive calls would be useful then NOW offers an evening and weekend or anytime calls bundle which covers UK landline and mobiles. 

Review conclusion: How good is NOW Broadband?

Our NOW Broadband rating: 3.5 / 5

NOW Broadband and TV deals are good value, combining fast unlimited broadband and very flexible and affordable TV bundles. Its unique TV offering is especially attractive if you’re interested in premium Sky TV channels without the commitment (or satellite dish) of a full-blown Sky TV package.

But the TV package doesn’t provide the same dizzying choice of channels as Sky or Virgin Media TV, so those with interests outside mainstream entertainment and sports content might find it lacking.

Without the TV bundle, NOW is slightly less compelling as a standalone broadband product. It can’t compete on price against far cheaper budget providers and you don’t benefit from the free extras provided by some other ISPs. NOW also requires you to be within a NOW network area which — while it does encompass a majority of properties — does not cover quite as many homes as other providers.

If you like what you hear - then you can visit our NOW Broadband deals page.

All broadband provider reviews

In addition to NOW Broadband, we also have reviews for all providers in the UK. Check out the following pages for more information:

More about NOW Broadband