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SSE broadband review 2020

Is SSE broadband any good?

Our SSE broadband rating: 4/5

Energy supplier SSE doesn’t just do gas and electricity, it also offers home broadband and phone packages. But what do you get with an SSE broadband deal, and is it any good? Read our comprehensive SSE broadband review to find out how this ISP stacks up.

SSE Broadband user review

The following ratings from SSE customers are taken from our annual home broadband survey. Customers were asked to rate their provider in each category; the score is the percentage of positive answers and the overall rating is the combined average score.

Customer care: 85.3%
(average: 80.8%)

Value for money: 69% 
(average: 69.6%)

Trust: 81%
(average: 79.9%)

Would recommend?: 74.1%
(average: 74.2%)

Overall SSE broadband customer rating: 77.5%
(average: 76.2%)

While SSE didn't win any awards in the 2020 survey, it's reassuring to see that its customer care score was better than most. Elsewhere, SSE was firmly in the middle of the pack, with average ratings in most categories.

SSE broadband - the Broadband Genie review

We like We don't like
  • Fixed price guarantee
  • Unlimited data
  • Cheap ADSL packages
  • Cancel for free within 60 days
  • Traffic management policy
  • Free router could be better

SSE broadband value for money

SSE broadband cheapest package vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

SSE Unlimited Fibre + Line Rental Only (35Mb) BT Broadband (10Mb) Sky Broadband Essential (11Mb) TalkTalk Fast Broadband (11Mb) Virgin Media M50 (54Mb)
£22 £24.99 £22 £21.50 £28

SSE broadband fastest package vs Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, and Virgin Media

SSE Unlimited Fibre Plus + Line Rental Only (63Mb) BT Fibre 2 (66Mb) Sky Broadband Superfast (59Mb) TalkTalk Superfast Fibre (67Mb) Virgin Media M350 (362Mb)
£26 £29.99 £27 £26 £52

Last checked 04/20. 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 only offers fibre optic packages, but these are good value, starting at £22 for 35Mb fibre and £26 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.

Ready to buy? Click the button to see the latest SSE offers:

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SSE broadband speed

SSE average download speeds vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media

  SSE BT Sky TalkTalk Virgin Media
ADSL N/A 10Mb 11Mb 11Mb N/A
Fibre optic 35Mb / 63Mb 36Mb / 50Mb / 67Mb 36Mb / 59Mb 36Mb / 67Mb 54Mb / 108Mb / 213Mb / 362Mb / 518Mb

SSE upload speeds vs BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media

  SSE BT Sky TalkTalk Virgin Media
ADSL N/A 1Mb 1Mb 1Mb N/A
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 35Mb or 63Mb fibre. 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 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 up-front 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. 

If you're looking to buy, head to our SSE broadband deals page for more.

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