SSE Broadband Buyers Guide

Broadband and phone from a renewable electricity and gas supplier

  • Low priced phone and broadband services
  • Zero price hikes during the 18 month contract
  • Happiness guarantee - cancel without penalty in the first 60 days
  • Available outside of most providers' low cost areas
  • Same low prices wherever you live
  • No upfront costs in most cases

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SSE Unlimited Fibre Broadband with Line Rental
£23.00 for 18 months
£33.00 thereafter

£10.00 upfront cost

  • 18 months reduced fixed price
  • 35Mb average download speed
  • 9Mb average upload speed!
  • Unlimited monthly allowance
  • 60-Day Happiness Guarantee
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

SSE Unlimited Fibre Plus with Line Rental
£26.00 for 18 months
£38.00 thereafter

£10.00 upfront cost

  • 18 months reduced fixed price
  • 63Mb average download speed
  • 17Mb average upload speed!
  • Unlimited monthly allowance
  • 60-Day Happiness Guarantee
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

Please note, customers taking out phone & broadband with SSE may be charged an upfront cost for their phone line. If customers don't have a phone line they will need to pay a 'New line provision' charge of £60. If customers need a 'LLU line conversion' to take SSE's phone and broadband service there will be a charge of £36.91.

Reasons to choose SSE

  • Affordable - among the cheapest providers in the UK
  • Phone bundles - choose from a range of call plans, or just pay for what you use
  • High end router - all broadband users get a free Technicolor DWA0120 router with fast performance, strong signal and parental controls
  • Fixed price - SSE guarantees zero price hikes during the 18 month contract term
  • Happiness guarantee - you can cancel your SSE deal within 60 days without penalty if you aren't happy with it
  • No upfront costs - SSE broadband comes without any activation or shipping costs (as long as you've got an LLU phone line installed)
  • 18 months fixed price plans - only changes to VAT or a similar taxes can increase it

Possible downsides

  • No short contracts - all packages are on an 18 month contract
  • Limited extras - the free router is among a handful of free extras
  • Budget provider - may prioritise low price over other considerations

Features at a glance

  • Download speeds average at 35Mb for Fibre and 63Mb for Fibre Plus

  • 18 month contracts, with fixed price guarantee, barring changes to VAT or another relevant tax or levy

  • Unlimited monthly usage, traffic management and fair usage applies

  • Free activation; £60 for new line installation or a £36.91 LLU line conversion charge may apply

  • Customer support by local rate phone or email open 8am to 8pm on weekdays, 8am to 2pm on Saturday, closed Sundays

  • High-performance 802.11ac wireless router using dual 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies band steered together for greater stability

  • Only pay for the calls you use on standard bundles◊, Anytime available for an extra fee

  • SSE Broadband have published a Traffic Management Policy

2.9 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 448 customer ratings since 2019-07-10. See more SSE customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2020-06-30

Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for SSE.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    2.9 stars
  • Customer Service
    3.1 stars
  • Speed
    2.6 stars
  • Reliability
    2.7 stars

Based on 448 customer ratings since 2019-07-10

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of SSE

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
My first time with SSE was brought to and abrupt parting of the ways by a house move. Overall at the time I was pretty happy with them. The accounts system was one of the best I had come across, never as mistake, an overcharge, nothing. Support at that time was pretty brilliant if you could not get through the automated system asked if you wanted a call back and gave you an approximate lead time, and it worked, brilliant! The only downside I recall was the fair usage policy, which quite simply was not fair and caused a lot of frustration at times and up to the time of writing is still sadly in place. I tried to transfer my account to the new address but was informed they could not supply to that address at that time.

I tried 2 other broadband suppliers, neither one up to much. I won’t name them here.

(But they were Sky and Plusnet)

Later SSE became available. So this is my second time with them and my 18 month agreement has come to an end. I have sadly made the decision to move on. The systems and accounts department are still solid. As far as support goes the automated call back system is no longer there and your stuck with the endless wait times, though the staff have always been helpful. I have been on a supposed 35mb fibre connection which for the most part seems to operate between 8mb and 20 mb and the test were run in the main via ethernet cable. I understand that they are thinking about moving over from unlimited broadband to truly unlimited. I f anyone from SSE happens to read this I would like you to know how much you have got right and to thank you for it. What a shame!
  • Satisfaction
    4 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
Cumbria SSE  
SSE seem to think that Covid is a good excuse for no internet or very slow internet. Tried to phone may times no result tried customer service same result. I would advise you not buy if you do you will disappionted. It would be worth paying 120 pounds to leave
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Worcester SSE  
Exasperated . Accept Covid has caused service issues but SSE online information is poor, the accounts page is lacking clarity and there is no way to check what your current Broadband deal is and when it expires and if SSE have carried out a renewal.
Their packages have names but these are not named on the SSE Deals page . My latest Bill does not explain if my new deal has been activated.
They have not responded to my emails.
Very disappointed, they do not give enough info online for me to resolve my problem.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
croydon SSE  
Absolutely shocking. Was fine when 1st went in but a month later the blaming covid for slow speed. We pay for upto 70mbwe were averaging 34 mg and that was fine. Suddenly were on around 4mg bearing in mind we have 2 kids and out TVs are all internet service providers and rely on good speed. Have contacted sse and not a thing been done or said. Got to an escalation point yesterday and we have escalated it but they just dont give any cares at all. We will be leaving sse and not paying to do so as there not proving a service we pay for. Dont bother people its shocking
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
DAVENTRY SSE  
The service has been fine. But a fallen tree has severed my line. Openreach cant repair it until SSE contact them. I have been trying to get through to them for 2 days and have so far spent 4 hours waiting with no answer and no response to emails or anything. They are a disgrace.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
Gloucestershire SSE  
DO NOT USE SSE!!!!! after installing router we have had a few days of poor quality internet, then nothing. its been over a week with no internet, no customer service, you wait hours to speak to someone and then the line goes dead. no answer over and over again. Repeat DO NOT USE SSE
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Cornwall SSE  
I have been waiting to speak to engineer about my mobile Broad band I have been waiting for 1 hour to day to get through and one Hour yesterday.It is just disgusting I have No Internet on my Mobile Phone without which I cannot access My Train Card App.
65 Orchard House, Orchard Lane,Alton Hampshire SSE  
Cheap and nasty .you get what you pay for. We were with BT for 14 years with minimal issues. We switched over to SSE for price reasons and sure enough we have a never ending problems. It takes on average 40 minutes to reply any customer service phone lines. I would avoid this like the plague if you’re looking for a broadband provider
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Dundee SSE  
Our fibre broadband stopped working, so once I got through to an operator (20 minutes wait at peak time) she was very helpful, patient and being an English call centre, there was no issue with understanding each other. She talked me through making several address changes in my routers settings which took a while, but she waited until I had tested the fix and all is well again.
I've had 3 occasions now to contact sse broadband with issues over 3 years, and all 3 times their level of service is excellent. I left BT because I found their customer service non exsistant and they caused me a lot of stress, sse customer service is a credit to them and is why I'm writing this review.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
Stalbridge Dorset SSE  
We've had SSE fibre ultimate for around 4 years now. Compared to the virgin product we were on previously, it is flawless.

In 4 years we've experienced 2 drop outs that lastest all of 5 minutes each. We have never experienced any throttling or peak usage and during lockdown with heavy working from home (I work in IT and spend 10 hours a day working remotely and on video calls). When we were with virgin the service here was terrible, packets constantly being dropped and peak time usage really effecting video streaming and general browsing

A lot of reviews on here are from customers who probably do not have a decent BT line to their property or have localised issues with the BT network. No matter was provider you were with, you would have experienced the same issues.

Overall, SSE is cheap, reliable and quick.

(I'm also an ex SSE employee who hates this company with a passion)
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    4 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Portsmouth SSE  

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The reviews published on this page are those of the individual authors who have warrantied that they abide by our review guidelines. Reviews are not the opinion of Broadband.co.uk.

A family using the internet

Internet use is soaring - is your broadband good enough to keep up?

Posted on 2020-06-29 17:03 in News SSE Virgin Media Vodafone BT TalkTalk Plusnet

The average Brit is now spending over four hours a day online, according to a new Ofcom study.

The industry watchdog's latest Online Nation report shows that a combination of factors have caused internet use to surge to record levels, up by almost an hour a day in less than two years.

Inevitably, the coronavirus lockdown was part of the cause - the Zoom video conferencing app, for instance, has grown by nearly 2000%, from 659 thousand UK users to over 13 million in just four months. But it's not just that. The popularity of streaming services continues to grow, plus there's the emergence of video sharing sites like Twitch and TikTok. The latter has moved well beyond its initial teen user base, with 12.9 million UK adults now joining in.

Even as the lockdown begins to ease, it's unlikely that our online activity is going to decline. So the question is, is your broadband connection up to the demands of this "new normal"?

Signs that your service might be struggling include:

  • Downtime - we know that the internet infrastructure held up remarkably well during the lockdown, but if your connection keeps dropping, or you're being left without service for hours at a time, it's often a sign that it might be time to look elsewhere.
  • Slow downloads or uploads - your download and upload speeds will slow down when you've got more people sharing your connection at the same time. Speed problems can be especially noticeable when your usage patterns change - like when you're working from home and sharing large files or connecting to your office server.
  • Poor video performance - nothing ruins a boxset binge more than buffering, or even just seeing the picture quality plummet. Both are signs that your broadband can't keep up with the demands of your chosen streaming TV service.
  • Laggy gaming or video calls - speed problems can also ruin the picture or sound quality in your video calls, and render online games unplayable. Occasional lag is to be expected, but if you keep seeing it it might be time for an upgrade.

The best broadband upgrades

So what should you look for in an upgrade? Try and prioritise what you need. That could be a faster service generally, or more specifically faster uploads. Or perhaps a more reliable service, or better customer support.

The obvious upgrade, if you haven't already made it, is to go from standard broadband to fibre. An entry level fibre deal will triple your download speed and should only cost a few pounds extra each month. If you're upgrading to a new deal with your existing provider you might even be able to negotiate a better offer. Plusnet and SSE currently offer the cheapest fibre broadband deals.

The next step is from the basic fibre (around 36Mb) to the higher end fibre, with speeds around 63Mb. Vodafone and TalkTalk have the cheapest deals at this faster speed.

If even that isn't enough, you can get over 100Mb speeds from a number of ISPs. The most widely available are from Virgin Media, who offer speeds up to 516Mb on average. Other big name providers like Vodafone and BT also offer ultrafast packages, but only in certain areas. These faster speeds will give you much better upload speeds as well as downloads.

If reliability and customer service are a bigger priority, the best way to check what you can expect from each provider is to read their customer reviews. Dig into our thousands of reviews for help on deciding your next move.

Ready to start shopping for a new internet deal? Use our postcode checker to find the best broadband offers where you live.

Comments

SSE Broadband Buyers Guide - Is SSE right for you?

Can I get SSE?

SSE are best known as an energy provider but their broadband services are available to everyone. You don't need to be an energy customer, and you also don't need to be located in the regions covered by their energy services.

SSE broadband is available wherever there's a BT telephone exchange. In some areas SSE may make savings by using their own equipment installed in the BT telephone exchange, but these savings are shared with all customers. The same standard broadband prices and features are available wherever you live.

SSE Fibre to the cabinet services are also available, to get these both your exchange and street cabinet must have been upgraded to support fibre. This covers more than 95% of UK homes.

You can find out which SSE Broadband products are available where you live with our postcode checker.

What packages are available?

SSE offer standard ADSL and Fibre broadband packages:

  • SSE Unlmited Fibre - the entry level fibre deal with average speeds of 35Mb
  • SSE Fibre Plus - the fastest fibre broadband deal with average speeds of 63Mb

In all cases, the packages are on 18 month fixed price contracts and come with line rental. If you don't have an Openreach (BT exchange) telephone line already you'll need to pay to have one installed, this costs an additional £60 one off charge. In areas where SSE install their own equipment in telephone exchanges (LLU), you may be liable for a £36.91 one-off line conversion charge depending on the provider you're switching from.

Under the default package you pay only for landline phone calls that you make, but if you use your phone a lot you can add one of three calls packages◊. These are for Evening & Weekend Calls, Anytime Calls (calls to all UK landline and mobile numbers apart from 09 numbers), and Anytime Plus, which adds calls to 35 countries.

The deals offer unlimited usage rather than being 'truly unlimited'. This means that you can download and upload as much as you like. Although SSE have a traffic management policy in place to slow down connections making excessive use of the services, this is unlikely to affect most people. The policy primarily targets peer-to-peer file sharing traffic, and prioritises essential traffic like video calls, gaming and general browsing.

The speed available to you will vary based on various factors including the time of day (speeds are likely to be slower at peak times like evenings when lots of people are online), the wiring in your home, and the distance from your nearest telephone exchange or cabinet, with speeds decreasing the further away you are. You can find out how close you are to your nearest exchange by using our postcode checker.

Which package should I choose?

If you're interested in a budget provider like SSE, it's likely that cost effectiveness and value for money are important factors to you.

The SSE packages are largely no-frills offerings without much in the way of extras to entice you. This means that your main choice will be based on what speed of broadband you need.

Of the three packages that SSE offer, Unlimited Broadband is the slowest and most affordable. With an average speed of 11Mb it's good enough for casual use, preferably in smaller households. If your usage doesn't extend much beyond shopping, browsing and Facebooking then it should be plenty. It should also be able to handle streaming of services like Netflix or NOW TV on one device, but if you need more it may struggle.

That said, do remember that the quoted 11Mb speed is only an average, so there's no guarantee that's what you'll get. Make sure you get a speed estimate before you sign up (and if it's less than, say, 6Mb then streaming might be off the table).

If you have a larger or more demanding household, or if you'd just prefer a faster service, then you should go for one of the fibre options. The middle Ultimate Fibre deal should be fast enough to allow several people to stream TV, play online games, or download large files at the same time. The faster Plus plan is the best choice for the most demanding households who live their lives online.

Again, you should get a speed estimate before you make your choice. If you're looking at the top-end Ultimate Fibre Plus plan but your estimate shows you won't get speeds much better than you could get on the middle deal, it might not be worth paying the extra money.

In all cases, keep an eye on any upfront fees that might be added if you don't have a BT line or are in an area where SSE have installed their own equipment in the nearest telephone exchange.

For each plan there's the choice to add a calls package. Your decision here depends simply on whether you make many landline calls, and when you make them. If you prefer to use your mobile then you might be better off sticking with the default option of just paying for calls as and when you make them.

Points to consider before you choose

  • Is low price the most important factor for you?
  • Is having the best, reliable high-performance wireless router important to you?
  • How often do you use your landline to make calls and at what times of day?
  • Are you a heavy user of streaming video or a heavy downloader?
  • Would you prefer a provider that can offer extras like a premium TV service as part of the same bundle?
  • Do you need the higher speeds offered by a fibre connection and is your exchange and street cabinet set up to support this?

Compare all SSE deals

What do I get when I sign-up?

It's always good to know upfront what you'll get when signing up with an ISP so you know what you can enjoy for free, or to budget for any extras you may want.

  • Reliable wireless router - SSE Broadband customers receive a free, easy to set up, wireless router when they sign up to help manage their connection. The Technicolor DWA0120 high-performance router, with its strong signal, security and transfer speeds, uses both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency with band steering technology for optimal performance. You can even share media content with your connected devices via a USB drive.
  • SSE Rewards - Sign up to SSE broadband and you'll get access to their Rewards scheme. This gives you benefits for events at The SSE Arena, Wembley and The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, including access to tickets before they go on general sale, upgrades to SSE lounges, and competitions and prize draws.

What are the benefits of SSE?

The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.

  • Wide coverage - SSE broadband is available anywhere there's a BT telephone exchange. You don't need to be an SSE energy customer to sign up.
  • Fixed price promise - One of SSE’s best selling points is their fixed price guarantee. Only changes to VAT or another relevant tax or levy can increase the monthly cost within that period.
  • 60-day Happiness Guarantee - If you aren't happy with any part of your deal, and SSE have been unable to fix the problem, you can leave without penalty in your first 60 days.
  • Free connection - There are no connection charges or delivery fees for most customers. The exceptions are if you need to have a BT line installed, or if you're in one of SSE's LLU areas where you may be liable to pay a one-off conversion charge should you be switching from a non-LLU provider.

What are the drawbacks of SSE?

Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.

  • Few extras - SSE offer a free router and a Rewards scheme with their broadband packages, but lack the extra incentives many other providers offer. However, this more 'no frills' approach means they are able to concentrate more on the provision of your broadband and phone services.
  • No short contracts - All of SSE's packages are on 18 month contracts.
  • Limited information - There's very little detailed information on the SSE website about telephone support opening hours. We would usually recommend that customers research these before signing up to a provider, though SSE should provide you with information about what speeds your line can support during the sign-up process.

◊ Inclusive Talk calls are for (i) local and national numbers beginning 01, 02 and 03 and (ii) 0845 & 0870 numbers. Excludes indirect access numbers and dial-up internet access. Inclusive calls are free up to 70 minutes. Any call duration over 70 minutes will be charged. Redial before 70 minutes to avoid charges. Fair use policy applies - maximum 1,000 minutes or 150 calls a month; whichever you reach first. If either of these limits is exceeded SSE will charge for these calls at the equivalent rate for non-inclusive periods. Daytime calls mean from 7am to 7pm Monday to Friday; Evening calls before 7am and after 7pm Monday to Friday; Weekend calls midnight Friday to midnight Sunday. For more information about call charges, see the Call Charges and Tariff Information PDF available from SSE product pages.

Broadband.co.uk