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

2.8 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 472 customer ratings since 2019-09-20. See more SSE customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2020-09-10

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
    2.8 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    2.5 stars
  • Reliability
    2.7 stars

Based on 471 customer ratings since 2019-09-20

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
Oddly after multiple attempts at calling and waiting, I got through to a perfect Customer Service rep
She explained my Billing
SSE being a big company has poor Front end IT and user interface (especially Utility firms)and leaves many confused about billing - the Online experience for SSE, once into ones account is very poor. Big companies suffer from this because of very poor and dogmatic myopic hiring protocol and not thinking outside of the box, thats why I stay small and nimble.
So SSE is not specifically different but could improve significantly.
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Essex SSE  
I am approaching the end of a two year contract. When I signed with SSE I was regularily achieving speeds of 74mb as I am very close to the cabinet. At the time SSE used Daisy to provide the internet to its customers and there was no issue and good overall speeds. However a good way through the contract SSE moved providers to vodafone and there was an instant reduction of speed down to around 22mb. I have a "fing box" connected to the router that does periodic automatic speed checks and records the speeds and the provider connected to, it showed a speed drop overnight that has never recovered. This was pre-covid and during the peak of that the speeds understandably, perhaps, dropped even further but reached the point where watching you tube required to reduce the quality to 360p if you were to watch videos at all. The speeds have recovered back to the 22mb or thereabouts but has never reached even close to the speeds that Daisy provided under the guise of SSE at the start. Definately time for me to move on
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    2 stars
Shetland SSE  
Broadband is ok they are a reseller of Vodafone broadband. So if your a Vodafone customer go direct for broadband as you will get a better discount.
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Essex SSE  
Absolutely conned by this company. Their broadband was probably the best I have ever had, but towards the end of my 12 month contract I got a letter to say that my contract would auto renew to the most expensive of 3 package options unless I phoned and asked for a different package. I phoned up with the intention of asking for the cheapest package (I don't use the internet a huge deal) but the number quoted multiple times was an invalid number. I made a complaint on their website and about a week later some fly by night bloke phoned me to apologise and chuckled to himself about how rubbish his own marketing team is. He said "I think based on your usage you should be on the cheapest package" and I agreed. I thought the problem was sorted, but a month or so later I looked at my bank statement and had been charged for the most expensive package they do, he hadn't changed a thing. I raised a complaint 2 weeks ago about this. Not heard anything. Considering whether I can recoup the money via the small claims court or some such avenue.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
Sussex SSE  
DO NOT GET SSE
Worst wifi ever goes off at least 5 hours a day cant get hold of them if It does go off still send me Bill's after no internet for 2 weeks
DO NOT GET YOU WILL PAY MONEY FOR THE WORST SERVICE I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE DISGRACEFUL
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Manchester SSE  
Upgraded to fibre19 from adsl only received for 48 hours can't get answer from customer service phone line after several 1 hour calls from my mobile sent complaint emails got no answer so can't report the fault 6 days later still no signal and no answer from sse I have walking difficulties and rely on the Internet I am at my wits end they have not held up there side of the contract
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Stranraer SSE  
I wanted to cancel my "no-fixed term" contract and was told I could get a discount. What I got instead is a new 18 month contract, but was only told I am getting a discount! Now I'm having to pay cancellation fees due to not being aware of the new contract.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Aberdeen SSE  
Worst service I have ever had the do not answer emails
Have had problems since 2018 broadband connections
Cutting off all the time very poor customer service
For disabled OAP
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Crieff SSE  
Absolute rubbish! Rubbish service. Pricey... never, ever again!!! Extra charged. DON"T EVEN THINK TO SWITCH TO SSE... you will REGRET! 100%
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Bristol SSE  
We've been with SSE for a couple of years and their broadband has been a little patchy with the router dropping out every now and then. However last Wednesday night it dropped out and has not been back since, apart from a brief period over the weekend. We phoned last Thursday to be told it would be referred to their technical desk, and they could give no timescale to be resolved. Phoned again this morning and I was told the same, and the reason they could not give a timescale is because they are just getting set up for people to work from home! Nearly four months since everybody else did so. Service from them is non-existent with no emails or calls replied to. Avoid at all costs!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Partridge Green 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.

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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