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 Broadband with Line Rental
£18.00 for 18 months
£28.00 thereafter

No upfront cost

  • 18 months reduced fixed price
  • Unlimited monthly allowance
  • 60-Day Happiness Guarantee
  • 11Mb average download speed
  • 18 months free subscription to Internet Security Suite
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • No activation fee
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

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

No upfront cost

  • 18 months reduced fixed price
  • 35Mb average download speed
  • 9Mb average upload speed!
  • Unlimited monthly allowance
  • 60-Day Happiness Guarantee
  • 18 months Internet Security Suite
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • No activation fee
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

SSE Unlimited Fibre Plus with Line Rental
£28.00 for 18 months
£38.00 thereafter

No upfront cost

  • 18 months reduced fixed price
  • 63Mb average download speed
  • 17Mb average upload speed!
  • Unlimited monthly allowance
  • 60-Day Happiness Guarantee
  • 18 months Internet Security Suite
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • No activation fee
  • 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 and security suite are among a handful of free extras
  • Budget provider - may prioritise low price over other considerations

Features at a glance

  • Download speeds average at 11Mb for standard broadband, 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

  • SSE Internet Security Suite free for 18 months†

  • 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

3.1 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 422 customer ratings since 2018-10-16. See more SSE customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2019-10-15

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
    3.1 stars
  • Customer Service
    3.4 stars
  • Speed
    2.8 stars
  • Reliability
    2.9 stars

Based on 424 customer ratings since 2018-10-15

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
The worst customer service.

Even after getting the confirmation of closing my sse account, the sse company carry on taking money and stole money from my bank account which left me in big trouble.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Peterborough SSE  
Avoid!
I am still waiting to be connected over a week passsed my transfer date! Takes ages to get through to anyone in customer service and when I do there is no resolve. How can companies get away with this?! If you purchase a product then you expect it to be fit for purpose. In any other area of retail this would be addressed and sorted. Disgusting.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
Warwickshire SSE  
I do not think it is possible to put into words just how strongly I am urging the reader of this review to not sign up to a broadband contract with SSE. Find a different provider! My connection was due to go live 3 weeks ago now, and I still have no internet. I have spent hours over the last few weeks on the phone to the helpline, and most of that has been on hold. Be ready to be on hold for about 30 minutes before you get through to anyone. Then you will have to explain the problem again from scratch. Then you will be told to carry out some new check on the connection, probably one that you have already been asked to carry out several times before. Sometimes they will actually be proactive and phone you, but the person will have information about a week out of date and will be mystified at the fact that the thing they have called you about has now already been checked. The latest update is that they want to schedule their second engineer visit. Why this is required when the first engineer told me that they had tested everything at my end and found no problems, no one so far has been able to adequately explain. They want me to take another day off work. Should I change provider? There is apparently a chance there is a network problem which would go with me to a new provider, but I was still tempted to do so for the chance I got a more competent help service.

Fortunately I have now discovered that I can get fibre broadband installed in the property, so I will be doing that. I pity anyone in this position who does not have that option.

To sum up, sign up to a broadband contract with SSE at your own risk!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Sheffield SSE  
The slowest and most unreliable broadband ever! When contacting them they say it's fine their end and don't know why it's bad my end! Useless!!
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Northumberland SSE  
Internet outage is now a joke. 1 year ago, it was 1 a week, now it’s 5 times a day ranging from 5 minutes to many hours. Complained, and of course, no reply.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Horsham SSE  
This is the first time I’ve ever felt the need to leave a bad review but honestly this company is awful. The internet hasn’t got one day without at least one issue. Some days it would go off and not come back on for days. After repeatedly phoning customer services they had these two cracking bits of advice...1: take the fascia off the box and use the lead that way, we told them we have a crawling baby and that’s not a safe option and plus it’s a stupid option at that. 2: plug the laptop, PlayStation etc directly into the router with and Ethernet cable, which would mean us all huddled together in the hallway to be able to use our devices like the good old dial up days! Except this isn’t the good old dial up days it’s a time where you pay 28.99 a month for broadband and expect at least a half decent service. I’ve lost work, gone days without internet and still been charged on numerous occasions and at this current moment I’m trying to leave a bad review which took 20 minutes just to get on the page. Moving back to Now Broadband, they were brill. If you want a rubbish service that cannot go one single day without an issue and ridiculous customer service then SSE are the ones for you. If I could leave no stars I would have!
West Midlands SSE  
I had to ring twice before receiving my router. Then received router 3 days after my internet service started.
I then cancelled the contract having been advised by SSE Talk that no exit charges would be levied if I cancelled within my "happiness" period (60 days within service date). But they still tried to levy extra charges 1 month after my cancellation.
Also, after having called and emailed them several times, I am still waiting for the prepaid envelope they promised several times for returning the router for which they threatened a further charge. Talking to the complaints manager was equally useless.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London SSE  
Broadband intermittant.download speed 1.86.Try to call and hung up after 10 minutes on three occasions.Everything is just poor.Am trying to cancel.How do you do that when no-one will talk to you.Very disappointed.
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Perth SSE  
1st day broadband, had to call sse yesterday waited 25 mins to talk to someone. Had to call again today waited 25 minutes to be told i would have to wait in a q to talk to an engineer, after complaining i was told the engineer would call me back. Sure enough within an hour i got called back,I answered phone a robot voice told me what a valued customer I was then put me on the end of a q, waited a little while and gave up. I have just left post office, after 18 month cost went from £18 to £27.50 so changed but post office answered my calls within minutes i would recommend to anybody. Sse absolutely useless.
Rothesay SSE  
The whole service is crap.
Internet has to be the worst I have ever even seen
Customer service is rubbish as they just palm you off with excuses
Grantham 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.

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 Broadband - standard broadband with average speeds of 11Mb
  • 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.
  • SSE Security Suite† - The SSE Internet Security Suite includes antivirus, firewall and parental controls, free during the 18 months of your contract, then an extra £2 per month. Users must download the application to receive these benefits, the subscription may be cancelled at any time.

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, Internet security software 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 and the typical ADSL headline speeds. 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.

† Internet security suite includes antivirus, firewall and parental controls to restrict internet access to minors. Customers have to pro-actively download the application to benefit from these features. Subscription can be cancelled any time by contacting SSE's customer service line. After the 18 month initial term, the subscription price is £2 per month.

◊ 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