NOW Broadband Review
NOW is widely known for its TV passes, but it has now established itself as a major broadband provider. NOW Broadband is now available in most homes, and is known as an affordable and competitive broadband provider.
What can you expect from NOW Broadband? How does NOW Broadband compare to its competitors?
Speed: How fast is NOW Broadband?
As an Openreach network provider, NOW Broadband offers similar speeds to all other Openreach network providers like Sky.
Their Brilliant Broadband ADSL package offers a broadband speed of 11Mbps. This should be sufficient if you are only one or two people using the internet, mainly for surfing websites and checking emails.
NOW's Fab Fibre package is fibre optic, and allows average download speeds of 36Mbps, with an average upload speed of 9Mbps.
The Super Fibre deal is NOW Broadband's fastest package, with an average download speed of 63Mbps and upload speed of 19Mbps. This connection should be sufficient for whatever you throw at it, including streaming some of NOW's streaming passes in high-definition (on multiple devices at once!).
Price: How much does NOW Broadband cost?
NOW Broadband's connections start at £18 per month, scaling up to £25 per month for its Super Fibre package (on 12-month commitments). These 12-month contracts come with a £5 set up fee as standard as well.
NOW are one of the only providers offering rolling monthly contracts so you can get broadband without tying yourself into a deal for a year (or longer). These monthly plans are great for students, or people with short-term tenancy agreements. Be aware though that the setup fee jumps to £65, so if you are going to stick around for a year, you'll be better off with the contract.
Exit fees are charged for each month remaining on your contract if you terminate early. For more details on this, read our guide on how to cancel NOW broadband.
What makes NOW Broadband stand out?
NOW Broadband comes with a limited number of additional perks.
- Home phone
- Phone line rental included
- Option for a pay as you use package for £0 – ideal if you don’t intend to use your home phone
- Evening and weekend call bundles £4
- Free anytime calls only an additional £8
- NOW TV
- Your NOW account lets you sign up for TV passes
- Access to Sky channels on flexible contracts
- No credit checks
- Truly unlimited broadband
NOW does not offer the same bonuses as some of its competitors. You won’t get access to Wi-Fi when you’re out and about and there’s no free storage. This may be a drawback for potential customers. What marks NOW apart from the competition though is its selection of TV membership passes.
NOW TV Membership Passes
Although their standalone broadband offering is similar to competitors in terms of speed and price, where NOW stand apart from the competition is their streaming services.
NOW, being part of Sky, offers many of the same channels and shows as Sky TV does, but through a streaming service. This means that its users are able to access premium TV channels and shows for a fraction of the price that Sky TV customers pay, as there are no costly satellite dish installation costs.
These passes start from as low as £3.99 per month for the Kids Pass, rising as high as £33.99 per month for the Sky Sports Pass, but there are quite a few different passes available and you can pick and choose as you please.
Don't think that because these are streaming services they are of a lower quality either; all TV memberships have available a Boost option that will provide you with Full HD streaming, surround sound, and the ability to stream on 3 devices at once (although this costs an extra £3 per month).
The range of TV shows available on the Entertainment Membership is extremely good; it might not have as many shows available as Netflix, but the content is of an extremely high calibre. You will find available a solid range of Sky original content, as well as HBO and FX shows - all three renowned for their quality TV.
With the NOW Cinema Membership, you will be able to watch films as soon as they appear on Sky Cinema. Most new films will appear here first before they launch on other streaming services, and they always have over 1,000 films on demand at any time. If you are a film buff, this pass is what you need.
Sports has always been a huge selling point for Sky TV. With NOW Sports Membership you will gain access to all 11 Sky Sports channels, both live and on-demand. You can also purchase daily membership, should you only want access to a game or two, which costs £9.99.
The Kids Membership comes with enough channels to keep your children entertained. Starting at £3.99 per month, you gain access to 6 live channels and over 1,000 children's TV shows on demand. The NOW Kids Membership interface is extremely simple to use, and separated from other NOW content (so there is little chance your child will inadvertently access non-child friendly content whilst switching between their favourite shows).
Watching NOW TV
To watch the channels and shows associated with each of these passes you will require one of the following devices:
- A smartphone
- A laptop
- A smart TV with the NOW TV app available
- A games console with the NOW TV app installed (Playstation, Xbox)
- A NOW TV Smart Stick (that you can plug into the HDMI port of your TV)
Although watching NOW on a smart TV is preferable, their mobile device apps are also very well optimised. Whether you are streaming to your android smartphone, or iPad tablet, NOW has available very stable and simple to use mobile applications.
For more details about all these NOW passes, their respective costs, and how to watch them, see our page on NOW TV deals.
Tech: Installation and equipment
Installing NOW Broadband takes around two weeks on average.
NOW Broadband comes with a NOW Hub 2 Wi-Fi router. It uses the same hardware as the Sky Q Hub. It is easy to set up yourself at home and you won’t usually need an engineer to visit.
If you are switching from a cable service like Virgin Media, or you do not have an active phone line, you will need an engineer to visit your address.
Installation means setting up your new router. You will need to pay a set-up fee and delivery charge of £5. Installation fees are much higher – £65 – for one-month contracts with NOW Broadband.
Customer Experience: How is NOW rated by customers?
NOW Broadband is rated highly by customers as being good value for money.
However overall, as of May 2020 its Trustpilot reviews are 27% “Excellent”, 21% “Great” and 28% “Bad”. That’s pretty good for a broadband provider.