SSE broadband - the Broadband Genie review
|We like||We don't like|
SSE broadband speed
SSE average download speeds vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media
|Fibre optic||35Mb / 63Mb||36Mb / 50Mb / 67Mb||36Mb / 59Mb||36Mb / 67Mb||54Mb / 108Mb / 213Mb / 362Mb / 518Mb|
Average speeds are the download rates achieved by at least 50% of users.
SSE upload speeds vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media
|Fibre optic||9Mb / 19Mb||9.5Mb / 19.5Mb||9.5Mb / 19Mb||9.5Mb / 19Mb||3Mb / 6Mb / 12Mb / 21Mb|
SSE broadband offers a standard choice of speeds with its home broadband packages. Like most other ISPs it’s using the Openreach (BT line) network so you have a choice of either ADSL averaging 11Mb or fibre optic with average speeds of 35Mb or 63Mb. Some ISPs quote slightly faster speeds, but as they’re using the same basic infrastructure you’re going to get similar performance no matter who you choose; only Virgin Media offers significantly quicker download speeds.
SSE broadband value for money
SSE broadband cheapest package vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media
|SSE Unlimited Broadband + Line Rental Only||BT Broadband||Sky Broadband Essential||TalkTalk Fast Broadband||Virgin Media VIVID 50|
SSE broadband fastest package vs Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media
|SSE Unlimited Fibre Plus + Line Rental Only||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.
SSE is not the cheapest provider you’ll find on Broadband Genie, but it’s far from the most expensive. SSE’s ADSL broadband is good value at just £18 for the first 18 months. The fibre optic packages are also reasonable, starting at £23 for 35Mb fibre and £28 for 63Mb. Also notable is the lack of upfront fees; assuming you already have an active telephone line there are no setup costs and no postage charges for the router. A fee of £60 will need to be paid if you require a new phone line, however.
SSE broadband features and extras
Budget ISPs don’t tend to offer lots of extra benefits but SSE does include a few freebies that are worth highlighting.
There’s an SSE Rewards program which offers customers exclusive tickets at SSE venues including the SSE Arena Wembley.
You also get a free subscription to the Netintelligence Internet Security Suite, which provides anti-virus and parental controls.
SSE also offers a 60 day “Happiness Guarantee” which allows you to cancel your SSE broadband package for free within 60 days if you’re unhappy with the service.
SSE Broadband router
SSE provides a Technicolor TG589vac Wi-Fi router with all packages. It’s a comparatively basic model but does provide the fundamentals and will be perfectly fine for most households.
You get gigabit wired networking alongside dual-band Wi-Fi with 802.11ac support, so as well as supporting legacy devices you can take advantage of the faster transfer speeds from newer hardware. It also includes a USB port for file and printer sharing, which is always welcome.
But it may not please power users who could demand more advanced features and superior performance. The latest models from other providers (such as the BT Smart Hub) provide a swathe of extra options and boast multiple antennas for improved signal strength and range. If such things are of interest you will need to purchase your own Wi-Fi router to replace the SSE freebie.
SSE home phone
SSE broadband packages are available with line rental only and pay-as-you-use calls, which is what you should choose if you don’t often make landline calls. If you do use the phone frequently it’s usually best to get an inclusive calling package as it will save money in the long run. SSE offers three bundles:
- Evening & Weekend. £4. Inclusive calls to local, national and UK mobile numbers in the evening and weekend.
- Anytime. £8. Inclusive calls to local, national and UK mobile numbers at any time.
- Anytime Plus. £12. As Anytime, plus international calls to 35 countries.
SSE broadband review conclusion
Our SSE broadband rating: 4 / 5
While it’s not the very cheapest provider out there, SSE broadband is good value for money when you consider the overall package. Its monthly prices are reasonable, there are no upfront fees, and it includes a couple of useful extras. It’s particularly reassuring to know that you have 60 days to cancel for free if you’re unhappy.
But it’s a pity that SSE has stopped offering the short term rolling monthly deals which were available until recently, as these types of packages are becoming increasingly hard to find. And the bundled router - while perfectly functional - is lacking some of the useful features you can find on more modern hardware. You should also be aware that SSE utilises traffic management to slow down certain activities. This won't be a problem for everyone but if it is going to affect you there are plenty of providers which offer completely unrestricted access.
SSE broadband is a good choice if you’re simply after decent broadband on a budget. But if you would benefit from the extra features (such as TV bundles) available with some other ISPs then you might find its range a little too limited.
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