John Lewis Broadband Review: Overview
When you think of John Lewis, you probably think of homeware, fashion, electrical equipment and their amazing advert at Christmas.
They actually sell Home Broadband too, and it’s pretty good too. John Lewis prides themselves on reliability and customer services.
In this John Lewis broadband review, we go over everything you need to know to make an informed decision on whether this could be the provider for you.
That’s not to say that John Lewis isn’t a viable option if you’re looking for a reliable consistent speed with no price hikes mid-contract.
John Lewis broadband promise that their will be no price increase during your contract, and if there is they will allow you to come out of contract with no charge.
They offer completely free setup, with no activation fee, meaning it won’t cost you a penny to switch from your current provider.
John Lewis offers broadband support and has UK based customer services, 12-month contracts and completely unlimited download on all of their packages.
One of the best things about their broadband service, is that offer the same price packages no matter where you live, you can expect the same price halfway up a mountain as you can in greater London.
Just like EE Home Broadband, John Lewis also offers you security for a laptop or computer for a whole year, it is ‘Basic BullGuard Security’, a nice added touch if you’re considering this provider.
Let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer…
John Lewis Broadband Review: Packages
John Lewis has 3 different Home Broadband packages to offer, each of them come with a free @johnlewis.com email address too, we know it’s free for the likes of Gmail too but its another added touch.
All packages are completely unlimited and give you 24/7 access to their customer services team, with them running from Plusnet’s infrastructure this is a great bonus, as getting problems sorted is very easy.
The packages John Lewis offers are as follows:
- John Lewis Unlimited Broadband – 10MB (12-month)
- John Lewis Fibre Broadband – 36MB (12-month)
- John Lewis Fibre Extra – 66MB (12-month)
So as you can see the packages what John Lewis have are all pretty basic, nothing too complicated which makes it easy to choose if you’re not a big broadband user.
This provider is aimed at those who want a reliable service with exceptional customer service, if its speed you’re after then you should check out our other home broadband reviews.
You will notice that all of their packages are only 12-month contracts, this is great as most providers are either 18 or 24-months, but beware they will put the price up after the contract ends.
We always recommend writing down your contract dates in a calendar and setting a reminder on your phone, so you can renegotiate a new deal and not be stung by the provider’s price hike.
John Lewis Broadband Review: Coverage
John Lewis has a widespread availability across the UK, this is because they run from BT’s infrastructure, giving them access to over 16 million homes throughout the UK.
We do recommend checking your availability either in our widget at the side of the screen, or from this AVAILABILITY CHECKER to ensure that they are available in your area.
If you are currently being provided by the likes of EE, BT or Plusnet, then you will definitely be able to switch to John Lewis completely free of charge.
If Virgin is supplying you, there is a £49.99 one off line activation fee for an engineer to come out and install a BT line into your property.
No matter where you live in the UK, the price will be exactly the same with John Lewis; we love this as we found in rural areas some providers would bump the price up purely for living in the sticks.
John Lewis Broadband Review: Performance
If you are considering taking broadband from John Lewis, then you should know that they do not offer a standalone service purely for broadband.
They require you to switch your landline over to them too, this is usually not a problem for most people in 2019, with almost everyone having unlimited minutes and texts on their mobile device.
The good thing is that they offer free inclusive evening & weekend calls as standard on their packages, meaning you won’t need an add-on if you are not a big user of your home phone.
John Lewis has a range of call features you can use too:
- 1471 – FREE
- 1471 Call Return – 10p & call charge
- Voicemail – FREE
- Caller Display – FREE
- Voicemail Extra – £3 per month
- Reminder Call £3 per month
- Call Waiting – £3 per month
- Call Divert – £3 per month
- Ring Back – £3 per month
- Anonymous Call Reject – £4 per month
- Call Barring Premium Rate – £3 per month
- Call Barring Premium Rate and International – £3 per month
Plenty of features to add-on to your home phone service if needed, they also offer a range of call plans:
- Evening and Weekend – This allows you to make calls to UK landlines beginning with 01, 02, 03, 0845 and 0870 made Monday – Friday between 19:00 and 7:00 and anytime Saturday or Sunday except for calls to indirect access numbers
- Anytime – This means calls to UK landlines beginning with 01,02,03, 0845 and 0870 at any time except calls to indirect access numbers, which includes calling cards, dial-up, Internet access and calls longer than 60 minutes.
- Anytime and International – This means calls to UK landlines beginning with 01,02,03, 0845 and 0870 at any time except calls to indirect access numbers, which includes calling cards, dial-up, internet access and calls longer than 60 minutes. Anytime International also provides up to 300 inclusive minutes per month to the top 35 international destinations and a 25% discount on any further calls made to those 35 destinations over this amount within the month.
We did find the John Lewis call add-ons to be rather expensive for what they are, that being said the fact they offer evening and weekend calls inclusive is great for most users who aren’t big on using their home phone.
Lets take a closer look at the plans which John Lewis offer..
John Lewis Unlimited Broadband
This package is the most basic that John Lewis provides; it gives users an average speed of 10MB/sec, with a completely free set up and 24/7 access to their customer services team.
Now, this speed isn’t going to blow your socks off and we certainly wouldn’t recommend this for those who have more than 2 connected devices in their home.
This package is aimed at the customer who doesn’t use their home broadband services too much and would just like to save on mobile data by connecting to Wi-Fi at home.
That being said, the package does have completely unlimited usage meaning you can download as much as you like, so Netflix and YouTube will all be fine on this plan, however, don’t expect the fastest load times.
Currently priced at £20 per month on a 12-month contract for new customers, this isn’t half bad, however, EE offers a similar package but give 10GB of free data to their mobile customers.
John Lewis Fibre Broadband
The Fibre package is for the customer who requires a little more speed, but still, want to benefit from John Lewis’s excellent UK based customer service team.
This package suits the needs of a customer who has 3 or 4 connected devices in their home, maybe the kids have PlayStations or Xbox’s that are always connected to the internet.
This plan gives you an average speed of 36MB/sec, priced at £26 per month on a 12-month term.
Again giving you completely unlimited usage with no activation fees or data caps, ideal for those looking for a reliable, speedy connection that you can depend on.
As previously mentioned all of the plans have Evening and Weekend calls inclusive, so keep that in mind when looking at the rather steep price and reading this John Lewis review.
As well as this they do include the PC security that is BullGuard for 1 year and won’t hike the price up mid-contract.
John Lewis Fibre Extra Broadband
Finally, the John Lewis Fibre Extra plan gives users an average speed of 66MB/sec, of course with completely unlimited download and no data caps.
This plan is priced at £31 per month with a free setup, providing you have a BT line installed.
Just like the previous plans, this package comes with a free router for new customers, 24/7 access to their customer services team and evening and weekend calls included.
This plan is designed for customer that has 5 or 6 connected devices in their home, however this still isn’t ridiculously fast speeds considering the price.
When compared to the main players in the broadband world, Sky, Virgin and BT, £31 still seems rather steep for 66MB.
The John Lewis broadband router is rather basic, for their ADSL package they offer the Netgear WNR100.
This is pretty outdated now but is extremely easy to set up and configure, it is literally a case of plugging it in and switching the device on.
Their fibre packages offer the ZyXEL VMG8924, this is a little bit better and offers dual-band, AC-standard wireless that gives you a better speed and a more reliable connection.
This router does have WPA2 security built-in, meaning you can restrict certain content over the web through your router, ideal for those with kids to stop them from viewing potentially harmful content.
The John Lewis broadband router is far from award-winning, they are nowhere near as good as the likes of EE’s Smart Hub and Sky’s Q Hub.
John Lewis Broadband Review: Data Caps
All of the home broadband packages with John Lewis have completely unlimited usage, giving you the freedom to download as much as you like whenever you like.
They do however have a traffic management policy; this means that at certain times of the day they will adjust the speeds for certain tasks at peak times during the day.
This ensures that everyone using the ISP has a stable connection, and keeps everyone running at the same speed, however most ISP’s have scrapped their traffic management policies now.
If you are a gamer or someone who downloads a lot in peak times, then you may want to opt for a truly unlimited provider instead.
John Lewis Broadband Review: Setup
Getting set up with John Lewis is extremely easy, you simply sign up through the website, they will write a letter to your current provider to let them know that you are switching.
You won’t even need to contact your current provider as long as you are out of contract and know that there will be no termination fee.
Providing you already have a BT line installed, the set up is completely free and painless.
However, if you do not, then there is a £49.99 line installation fee, which covers the cost of an engineer to come out and install a line for you.
John Lewis also offer a free home move, so if you know you’re going to be moving house soon, then don’t panic as John Lewis will take care of the move for you without any fees.
John Lewis Broadband Review: Customer Service
This is one of the strong points of being with John Lewis home broadband; they pride themselves on the levels of customer service they give.
John Lewis broadband support is based purely in the UK, they give you 24/7 access to their UK based call centres that are happy to help with all of your queries, no matter how big or small.
On their website, they also give you access to your own online portal, which allows you to view your bill and manage your whole service yourself.
We called John Lewis broadband support to have a chat and gather some information for this broadband review, they were delighted to speak to us and gave us lots of information without being pushy and trying to sign us up immediately.
Undoubtedly one of the strongest parts of John Lewis home broadband, the customer service they deliver is exceptional and one of the best we have seen from any ISP.
John Lewis Broadband Review: Summary
So how does John Lewis home broadband compare to some of the big dogs in the broadband world?
Well if you’re looking for fantastic customer service with a completely painless and free switch from your current provider, then this could be the one for you.
They are widespread across the UK so the chances of you being able to take up one of their packages are extremely high because they run from a BT line.
We did find that the prices are rather expensive for the speeds they delivery, however when you consider the inclusive call package and free PC security, its not so bad.
We would have loved if the John Lewis broadband router was a little better and had a better design, as it looks rather ugly.
We do recommend checking out our other home broadband reviews if you demand faster speeds and truly unlimited service, as John Lewis don’t offer truly unlimited and they do traffic manage at peak times.
As a whole John Lewis may be a viable option for those that are looking for painless, easy broadband service, however, the likes of EE do offer better value for money.
We hope you have enjoyed our John Lewis broadband review and feel free to leave a comment as we are always looking for more ways to improve our posts.
(If you consider signing up for John Lewis Home Broadband and could do so by following through on one of the links we provided. This may earn us a small commission to help Tech Blogs like us bring you more reviews weekly.)