NOW Broadband - the Broadband Genie review
|We like||We don't like|
NOW Broadband speed
NOW average download speeds vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media
|Fibre optic||36Mb / 63Mb||36Mb / 50Mb / 67Mb||36Mb / 59Mb||38Mb / 67Mb||54Mb / 108Mb / 213Mb / 362Mb / 518Mb|
Average speeds are the download rates achieved by at least 50% of users.
NOW upload speeds vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media
|Fibre optic||9.5Mb / 19Mb||9.5Mb / 19.5Mb||9.5Mb / 19Mb||9.5Mb / 19Mb||3Mb / 6Mb / 12Mb / 21Mb|
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. There are slightly better speeds available with some other providers, but unless you choose Virgin Media it's not going to be a drastically different experience between NOW and any other Openreach network ISP.
NOW Broadband value for money
NOW Broadband cheapest package vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media
|NOW Brilliant Broadband||BT Broadband||Sky Broadband Essential||TalkTalk Fast Broadband||Virgin Media VIVID 50|
NOW Broadband fastest package vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media
|NOW Broadband Super Fibre||BT Superfast Fibre 2||Sky Broadband Superfast||TalkTalk Faster Fibre Large||Virgin Media VIVID 350|
Correct as of 05/19. Prices displayed above are the initial contract cost for new customers; price may increase after renewal. Cheapest price is the lowest monthly cost regardless of speed, fastest price is the fastest service available on Broadband Genie for the lowest cost. Does not include TV bundles or special offers.
NOW Broadband packages are generally good value, with reasonable pricing for both its ADSL and fibre optic deals. Though it is a little odd that Sky is able to undercut NOW on the fastest fibre package, as both are owned by the same company and use the same network.
NOW Broadband features and extras
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 router included free with NOW internet deals is the same hardware as the Sky Q Hub, just rebadged for NOW Broadband.
The Hub 2 is an 802.11ac Wi-Fi router which supports fast transfer speeds using the newest wireless protocol. It’s a dual band router, meaning you can operate a network on the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies (with the option to choose one, or run both at the same time). 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 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 to a contract for hundreds of channels, you can choose from a selection of passes for a monthly fee which can be added or 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, but if you’re mainly interested in checking out the latest movies and watching headline shows like Game of Thrones then NOW TV is a very easy 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.
NOW Broadband review conclusion
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 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 not find much to interest them.
WIthout the TV bundle NOW is slightly less compelling as a standalone broadband product. It can't compete on price against far cheaper budget ISPs 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.
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: