Onestream broadband review 2023
|Value for Money||3/5|
Onestream is a small, Hampshire-based internet service provider that offers a host of broadband packages, including full fibre deals. It uses the Openreach network, which makes it speed offerings similar to the bigger names, including Sky and TalkTalk. However, these are fairly bare-bones packages, there are no notable extras to stand it against the crowd. There are also no rolling monthly deals on offer here. Instead, you’ll need to commit to either 12, 18 or 24 months.
Unfortunately, Onestream doesn’t have a great reputation when it comes to customer service issues. Let’s take a closer look…
|We like||We don't like|
Onestream broadband: in summary
|Download Speeds (Average)||45Mb / 67Mb / 100Mb / 200Mb / 500Mb / 900Mb|
|Upload Speeds (Average)||8Mb / 17Mb / 26Mb / 35Mb / 66Mb / 97Mb|
|Data Usage Limit||Unlimited|
|Type of Broadband||Fibre / Full Fibre|
|Home Phone Line?||Onestream Line Rental - £22.50 per month|
|Inclusive phone calls?||Call bundles available as an add-on|
|Bundled Wi-Fi Router?||Yes (Essentials Router or Superstream Router upgrade available)|
Onestream Broadband Speed
Speed Score: 2.5 out of 5
There’s a wide range of products available from Onestream, including several full fibre options. Like many other broadband providers across the UK, Onestream Broadband uses the BT Openreach network. This means it’s likely you’ll be able to sign up for a package, and advertised speeds will be broadly in line with others.
What is Openreach?
Openreach is the company that maintains the former British Telecom Network used for the majority of broadband and phone services. If a repair or installation is required, it’s Openreach who will send an engineer, not your provider.
More than 650 service providers using the Openreach network. That’s the majority of the UK’s broadband providers. This includes Sky, TalkTalk and BT. The exception to this is Virgin Media - it uses its own, separate cable network.
The Supreme and Hyperstream full fibre packages may be more limited in availability. This is because full fibre still isn't available to everyone. You’ll be able to confirm which package is available to you by popping your postcode into Onestream’s availability checker.
Onestream estimates if you signed up to its Hyperstream Full Fibre 1000 package, you’d be able to download a HD game in 3 minutes, or an HD movie 34 seconds.
You can use a Download Time Calculator to test how quickly you’d be able to theoretically download a file, depending on the Onestream package chosen.
Some complaints on Onestream’s Trustpilot page have mentioned issues with speeds not performing as expected, though. Onestream’s performance on Fair Internet Report seems to back this up. As this provider is too small to be featured on Ofcom’s Home Broadband Performance Report, there’s very little data to prove how its broadband packages fare.
Onestream’s upload speeds are in line with most other providers on the Openreach network. Its faster products theoretically beat Virgin Media’s premium products. However, these speeds have a long way to go to match the likes of Hyperoptic, Gigaclear, YouFibre and BeFibre’s symmetrical packages (where download and upload speeds match).
Onestream Customer Service
|Customer Service Score: 3.5 out of 5|
There are a few ways you can get in touch with Onestream broadband support and customer service if you’re having technical or billing issues, including through phone or Live Chat. The call centre is only open between 9am-5pm on weekdays and 10am-4pm on Saturdays, which could make things tricky if you're working in the week. The Live Chat service is available on Saturdays, between 10am-4pm.
On Trustpilot, user reviews often refer to Onestream’s tardiness in replying to issues. In November 2023, it scored an average rating of 3.7 out of 5. Meanwhile, Broadband Genie’s survey found customers were reasonably happy, with a Customer Care score of 67.9%. This set it ahead of some of the bigger broadband providers, including Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk.
Premium support is available at a cost of £3.95 per month. This might resolve some of the issues.
For more information on the best way to get help, we have a dedicated Onestream customer service page.
Onestream Value for Money
|Value for Money Score: 3 out of 5|
Onestream’s prices are similar to other providers on the Openreach network. Compared to Virgin Media’s Broadband Only packages, you can achieve similar speeds (and faster upload speeds) for less money per month.
Oddly, when working through a checkout, there's not much discount for longer contract lengths. So, we would recommend opting for a 12-month contract.
If you’re looking to activate a full fibre product, you’ll need to pay a set-up fee of £15.
This is a fairly no-frills service, although, at the time of writing, you do get a couple of extras. This includes a one-month free trial of McAfee Multi Access virus software (be aware, you’ll be charged £34.95 after this unless you cancel). You’ll also receive two months free of ‘Onestream Assured’, its premium support service. This will be added onto your bill at £3.95 per month unless you cancel.
Call plans are available as add-ons. These are currently priced at:
- Voice 1000 - £15
- Voice 250 - £5
- Voice 500 - £10
- Voice Unlimited - £25
- International Plan 1 - £10
- International Plan 2 - £15
Unfortunately, prices don’t include line rental, which comes at an additional cost of £22.50 per month.
Mid-contract price rises
In 2023, many broadband providers stung their customers with mid-contract prices increases over the rate of inflation. Some smaller providers, including italk, Hyperoptic and YouFibre sweetened the deal and committed to a 0% increase mid-contract.
In its terms and conditions, Onestream confirms it withholds the right to increase the price of its products each year on 1st April. This means you could fall victim to a mid-contract price hike. For this reason, if there’s no difference in cost between contract lengths, it makes sense to opt for a shorter 12-month contract.
|Reliability Score: 2.5 out of 5|
It’s difficult to check the reliability of Onestream’s performance. The provider isn’t listed as a company tracked by Downdetector, and it’s too small to be included into Ofcom’s Home Broadband Performance Report.
As it runs on the Openreach network, this is the next best thing you can turn to when looking at how reliable it is as a service. Fresh statistics for Openreach’s quality of service are published every three months. Here you can check data such as how many faults were fixed within one working day, or how many first appointments were offered within 10 working days.
On a separate topic, Onestream was fined £35,000 in 2019 by Ofcom for aggressive mis-selling practices. Three quarters of these were deemed to be “elderly or vulnerable”.
In our 2023 Broadband Awards, Onestream sat at the bottom of the listings for ‘most reliable provider’ with a poor score of 57.4% satisfaction.
Onestream Bundled Router
|Router Score: 2.5 out of 5|
Onestream offers two different routers, depending on the package chosen. The first of these is simply known as the ‘Essentials Router’, which is sent out for Onestream Fibre 55 and Onestream Fibre 80 packages. If you’re signing up to a full fibre package you’ll be sent a Onestream Superstream Router. This is also available as an optional extra for a monthly fee of £3.95 per month.
The Superstream Router is a Technicolor TG588v2 single-band device which includes additional features such as parental controls, time limits and website blacklisting.
Although reliable, both these routers are pretty basic, but should be adequate for most users. Onestream must know this, as there’s a prominent guideline on what you should be looking out for if you want to use your own.
Broadband Genie has its own dedicated article to this - ‘how to buy your own Wi-Fi broadband router’.
Setting up your Onestream router shouldn't be difficult and, unless you need to have a line installed, you will be able to do this yourself. It should simply be a case of plugging your router into a power source and connecting it using the supplied cables. If you do need some practical advice, you'll be able to call up a member of the team, although again, call centre opening hours are limited.
If you're having problems getting a strong Wi-Fi signal around your home, extenders are available. But we think the price of £100 to get this ordered through Onestream direct is steep. You can pick up second hand or basic Wi-Fi boosters for a fraction of the cost if you source them yourself. You can read more on this topic in our guide to setting up Wi-Fi.
For the duration of your contract, the router remains the property of Onestream. You'll need to return this in good condition or pay a replacement cost of £50-£125.
Onestream Broadband: Expert Summary
|Onestream Overall Score: 2.8 out of 5|
If you’re looking to make the move up from a basic ADSL connection to fibre, then Onestream’s fairly no-frills packages could be a good option. This could be the ISP for you if you’re not interested in bundling TV packages or don’t necessarily need a landline to make calls.
Its speeds are in line with many other internet service providers on the Openreach network. It is cheaper than some of the bigger names such as BT or Virgin, but there aren’t many extras to write home about. The downside to this is that the included routers are pretty basic.
On the upside, there is dedicated UK-based support which you can access 6 days a week. Although, any negative feedback on Onestream’s customer service seems to nod to its slow response. We’d particular like to see these customer service call times extended to be more flexible for those in full-time work.
Find out how Onestream performed against other internet service providers in our 2023 Broadband Awards.
Switching broadband providers
You won’t find Onestream’s broadband products listed on Broadband Genie. However, you can pop your address into this checker to compare other packages currently available in your area. Don’t forget to use our filters, so you can compare these deals against Onestream packages. You can also sort by price, speed or contract length.
Broadband Genie deals checker
If you’re out of contract, switching between any provider is easy. You shouldn’t even need to speak to your current provider - your new one should do all the admin for you.
Check out our guide on ‘how to switch broadband and get an amazing deal’ for more hints and tricks, learn how to save money and upgrade your home's internet connection with little fuss.
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