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EE Broadband (2021) review: One of the best ISPs around, not just for EE mobile customers

Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
30
per month (36Mbits/sec)

Great, reliable broadband with attractive high-speed plans

Pros 
Good range of speeds and packages
Excellent router bundled in
High scores for reliability and customer satisfaction
Cons 
Comparatively expensive
Fastest G.Fast services have limited availability
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EE is always going to be seen as a mobile network first and foremost; all the stores and slick Kevin Bacon adverts have seen to that. Yet it’s also coming on as a broadband provider, doing well across all categories in last year's Expert Reviews Best Broadband Awards, including a win in the Customer Service category.

It’s done impressively in this year’s awards as well, even if it hasn’t walked away with anything for the trophy cupboard. Scores are consistently good across the board, and 85% of the customers we surveyed would recommend it to someone else. Only Zen Internet did better on this count.

EE also gives you options you won’t find with all other ISPs, particularly at the higher end. It goes beyond the standard superfast fibre packages with a couple that make use of higher-speed fibre technologies and even its FTTC-based options are some of the speediest around. You pay a premium for this kind of performance but, if you need bandwidth, it’s a price worth paying. What’s more, EE sweetens the deal for any mobile customers, bundling an extra 5GB on your monthly data allowance for free if you have a monthly plan.

Interestingly, EE has pulled out of the quad-play broadband/phone/mobile/TV market and has stopped selling its EE TV set-top-box. A number of providers have made the same move recently, suggesting that there’s no real money in flogging broadcast services when most people are happy with a smart TV or streaming stick and Now TV, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

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EE broadband review: Standard Broadband

EE’s cheapest internet service is called Standard Broadband and is your basic ADSL2+ connection, promising average speeds of 10Mbits/sec. That’s perfectly fast enough for web-browsing and downloading apps and games but it might start to lag if you want to do lots of things while watching high-definition video and it won’t cut it for 4K streaming (Netflix recommends at least 25Mbits/sec for that).

The service costs £21.50 per month on an 18-month contract, including line rental, which is cheaper than most equivalent packages, if a little more expensive than Plusnet. It also comes without any start-up costs.

EE broadband review: Fibre and Fibre Plus Broadband

EE’s basic fibre broadband service gives you 36Mbits/sec average download speeds for £30 a month over 18 months. That’s actually more expensive than the equivalent BT package, let alone cheaper alternatives from Sky, Vodafone and Plusnet, but at least there are no upfront setup fees to pay. The service also comes with EE’s Smart Hub router; a high-spec unit combining 802.11ac with 4x4 MU-MIMO and four Gigabit Ethernet sockets. It’s definitely a cut-above the routers you get with some basic broadband packages.

Meanwhile, you still get the 5GB of extra data if you’re an existing EE mobile subscriber, along with a year’s free subscription to Norton Security Premium. It’s also worth noting that, if you’re charged for leaving your existing supplier early, EE will throw in £50 of credit to help make things right.

If your line will handle it, EE can upgrade you to its Fibre Plus broadband package for the same monthly fee – and still without any setup costs. This takes average download speeds up to 67Mbits/sec, which should have most households covered, provided you’re not planning to watch multiple 4K streams or mix 4K Netflix binges with 4K game streaming at the same time.

READ NEXT: The best broadband providers in the UK

EE broadband review: Fibre Max Broadband

If that’s your bag or every Mbit/sec counts, then EE offers its Fibre Max Broadband 100 and 300 options in those areas where the G.fast infrastructure is in place to support it. At the moment that’s around 2.8 million UK premises and – thanks to a change in Openreach strategy – the number isn’t likely to rise in the near future. Still, that’s a lot of speed for even more demanding users, and the pricing, at £39 for 100Mbits/sec and £47 for 300Mbits/sec, aren’t exorbitant. BT’s equivalent packages are cheaper, though.

READ NEXT: The best broadband deals from EE, Sky, Virgin Media and more

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EE Broadband packages and prices

Standard BroadbandFibre BroadbandFibre Plus BroadbandFibre Max Broadband 100Fibre Max Broadband 300
Price per month (inc line rental)£21.50£30£30£39£47
Upfront costFreeFreeFreeFreeFree
Average speed10Mbps36Mbps67Mbps145Mbps300Mbps
Usage allowanceUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Contract length18 months18 months18 months18 months18 months

Compare the best EE deals in your area

EE broadband review: Coverage

Like most ISPs, EE leases its fibre-optic infrastructure from Openreach, so if you can get fibre broadband from BT, you have the option of getting it from EE.

If you want to check whether your home is within reach of the fibre network – or the faster G.fast fibre services – you can use the availability checker on the EE website to see what’s available in your area and get an estimated maximum speed.

EE broadband review: Performance and customer support

Performance has always been one of the strengths of EE’s mobile network but EE’s reliance on Openreach means that it can only do so much when it comes to broadband. All the same, EE performed pretty well in the Speed category of this year's Expert Reviews Broadband Awards Survey, with more Satisfied or Very Satisfied customers than competitors like Sky, Plusnet or BT, along with fewer Dissatisfied or Very Dissatisfied responses.

The latest speed research from Ofcom puts its average download speeds neck-and-neck with Vodafone and Plusnet and only slightly behind Sky and BT. Virgin, with its established high-speed cable network, is way out in front.

EE also fared well across our Broadband Awards Survey. While it pegged fewer Very Satisfied customers than Sky and Plusnet it had more satisfied customers and fewer dissatisfied customers overall. A solid 81% of EE customers were either Satisfied or Very Satisfied with their service’s reliability and 72% were Satisfied or Very Satisfied on Value for Money. Here, other providers had more Very Satisfied customers but also more Dissatisfied or Very Dissatisfied users. EE came away with Highly Commendeds for three of our awards.

Ofcom’s most recent survey results also put EE in a good place. Its overall satisfaction score of 88% beats every other major provider except for Plusnet and it had the best score (66%) for handling of complaints. EE also had the second-lowest number of complaints per 100,000 users, with just 22 against an industry average of 52. Only Sky did better and by just one point.

These same figures are now used in the scorecards issued by Ofcom in lockstep with other regulators from the water, energy and banking sectors. They’re designed to help customers choose the best providers based on metrics from the Institute of Customer Services and Net Promoter Scores, among others. You can see EE’s figures below – they’re well above the average results.

Overall averageEE
Satisfaction85%88%
NPS1217
Complaints to Ofcom per 1000 subscribers5222

EE broadband review: Verdict

If you’re looking for a new broadband provider, EE is right up there with the best. True, the prices are comparatively expensive, but performance and reliability are excellent, and levels of customer satisfaction high. You get a better router than is the norm with most ISPs, and EE provides some great high-speed services if you’re in an area that supports them.

On top of that, EE subscribers can benefit from some extra data allowance, gratis. If you’re happy to use EE for both your home and mobile broadband, that might be all the encouragement you need.

Browse EE Broadband packages now


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