No contract - Standard and fibre broadband packages are all available without a contract. You'll need to pay a set up fee, but can cancel at any time. It's great for students or anyone with a short tenancy agreement.
Cheap TV bundles - NOW Broadband offers a range of TV packages including Sky Sports and Sky Cinema. You'll make a saving if you buy them in a bundle with NOW Broadband.
Fibre packages available - NOW Broadband has fibre packages with average speeds of 36Mb and 63Mb.
Truly unlimited broadband - All the broadband deals are unlimited, so you can download as much data per month as you like.
Free NOW Broadband Hub Two - Fast wireless router included free for all users. Get a cheap Smart TV Stick as part of a TV bundle, too.
Smartphone and tablet support - You can add up to four phones or tablets for your TV plan, and watch on two simultaneously.
Easy switching from other providers - If you're currently with BT, Plusnet, EE or TalkTalk, the NOW team will handle the whole switchover process for you.
Online tech support - NOW Broadband is predominantly an online service, so your options for customer support are more limited than other providers.
Connection fees apply - A one-off setup fee applies to new customers, and is higher on the no-contract option.
There may be cheaper options available - While the flexibility of no contracts is a big deal, it does come at a price. Both broadband and TV services from NOW Broadband are a little more expensive than you might pay if you're willing to enter into a contract with another provider.
Features at a glance
Average download speeds of 10Mb on standard broadband, 36Mb or 63Mb on fibre broadband
12 month contract, 1 month contract available
Truly unlimited on all packages
£9.99 delivery fee for all deals, £15 activation on a 12 month contract or £60 for 1 month rolling contracts
Online technical support between 7am and 11pm
Free Broadband Buddy internet protection with a site filter
Free N-rated NOW Broadband Hub will all deals
NOW memberships available
Only pay for the calls you use, inclusive call packages available
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 NOW Broadband.
Absolutely rubbish broadband tonight I have no internet I work from home. The past two months have been dire. When I rang for advice I was told 6 devices were too many. Two laptops two phonesNOT IN USE no apps open a smart tv on standby and a work mobile not using any internet. Really!? Want to charge me to leave and. The day they confirm my new provider has been in touch and confirming the change will take place in 3 weeks and they will charge me my internet starts playing up. The day after and the orange light meaning no internet has been on for over an hour. But they still want money. The clown on the phone told me that I couldn’t raise a complaint or a dissatisfaction with her as “we don’t have a complaints procedure’. Upload speed was so low my IT department at work laughed and said they were pretty sure now tv had no right charging for such poor service. And this was while word to the router. Can’t wait to get a decent connection. With someone else.
Seeing all the negative reviews almost put me off getting Now Broadband but my experience has been more positive. My circumstances meant that I was only interested in a non-contract agreement, i.e. leave whenever I wanted without exit fees. "Now" were one of the very few providers in my area that offered broadband without tying you down to 12/24 months so this was a great plus for me. The speed is not the best but I knew that before I signed up as they provide accurate estimated speeds, however the speed is fine for my uses.
The price is reasonable too for £18 I get broadband, line rental and unlimited local and mobile calls AND can cancel whenever I want with no costs being incurred.
Now also arranged for BT to connect my line to the phone network which was done quickly and the engineer came exactly when expected, so the setup was trouble-free. Getting the modem-router setup was simple too.
The biggest complaint I have is customer service since it's so difficult to connect to an advisor. On 3 or 4 occasions when I called, the call just disconnected. On the single occasion I did manage to get through, the advisor was helpful and was able to setup my account promptly.
I'm sure everyone that has complained about Now have legitimate qualms, but my experience has been mostly good and I have got everything I needed from them for a good price - something no other provider was able to offer.
Broadband not working, when phoned up got no help and still not working, told them that i wasn't happy and that i would be looking else where and they just said ok, i have to accounts with these one and i will be cancelling both of them
Absolutely shocking. Do not purchase broadband from this provider, I am paying £28.99 a month for fibre broadband and I am getting a download speed of 5mbs. It is supposed to be guaranteed 55mbs.
No one is interested in my concern, I am waiting for a phone call back from a manager. I was told A new router was on the way out to me only to find the customer service team did not order it. Stay away from NOWBROADBAND. They are a scam
I have been with these guys now broadband ( sky ) speed is a joke and so is the phone line no one has contacted me from when in contacted them regarding this . Also the no debit allowed needs to be paid once a month but phone or online also a joke I signed up to £28 per month I will be lucky if they have taking this payment more than once always more for some reason
Avoid like the plague. I didn't get beyond my first phone call. The guy I spoke with was useless. Didn't want to engage with me at all. He chose not to answer one question I asked. All he'd say was "Go to the website", "I'm not an engineer", "I'm not a salesman".
Basically, take it or leave it. That was his attitude. "I don't give a toss" was how he came across to me.
If he reflects his company's attitude, well, I don't give a toss either.
They'll never get my business and if you've any sense, don't risk giving them yours.
Worst level of service for new customers! signed up 2 times and they keep cancelling without any notification. Called about 4 times and every time staff are rude and unapologetic. Very disappointed but glad this happened now before I could join them.
I have been with Nowtv fir over 3 years. The speeds have been a bit dodgy the past 3 months but that it to do with the Open box by my house. Customer service always helpful and friendly. No issues whatsoever
Never paid the cashback and constantly being cut off from the web. Customer services a complete farce.
Ordered Nowtv broadband to replace Sky. Was not told it cannot replace Sky because Sky provide a 4 ethernet connection hub but Nowtv only provide a 2 ethernet connection hub. So broadband being cut off today, I have to choose to lose 2 devices, Digital TV, Nowtv, Sky or Computer. I really could have used a little information/warning before ordering, that their hub was a really basic model and not compatible with the service they are replacing
When you're shopping for a new broadband deal one of the main things you will need to decide is what length of contract you want to sign up for. In most cases this means a choice between a 12 month, 18 month or a maximum two year deal. But there is another option: the short-term plan.
Some broadband suppliers offer 30-day deals that come without a contract. They work more like a subscription service - it automatically renews each month, then when you no longer need it you just cancel and move on.
Not every provider offers these kinds of deals. In fact, most don't. But they aren't just limited to niche suppliers and you can find them at a whole range of speeds.
They aren't right for everyone, so let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of short-term and no-contract broadband.
Benefits of no-contract broadband
The main benefit to no-contract broadband is that it gives you the ultimate flexibility - no strings, no long-term commitment.
This makes it ideal for anyone who is not in a position to sign up for a long contract, such as those living in a short-term let or student housing. Students, for instance, will only be living in their digs for nine or ten months, so even a 12 month deal might not be ideal, let alone anything longer.
The same applies if you're planning to move house. While it's easy enough to take your broadband with you when you move, you do still have to move somewhere where your broadband provider is both available and delivers good performance. If either of those things aren't true, too bad. So if you're moving soon and your current broadband is coming to an end, you might be better off taking a 30-day deal for now, and then buying a new plan from scratch when you settle in to your new home.
Because there's no contract with a short-term broadband deal, there are no penalties when you decide to cancel and switch providers. You can do it any time you like.
No-contract deals also make it easier to upgrade if your needs change, or if better services become available in your area. While providers will be happy to let you upgrade to a faster plan before your contract is up - if you sign a new deal - you can't switch to a different provider without paying a penalty.
If you're waiting for faster technologies to be rolled out where you live, a short-term deal could be just the thing in the meantime. And to make sure you're fully up to date with what broadband services are available in your area, sign up to our free Broadband Autopilot service. It constantly scans for the best and fastest deals you can get, so you'll never miss out.
One final thing to note about short-term broadband is that even though the contracts are different, the performance isn't. Whether you're choosing a basic fibre-to-the-cabinet deal or a cutting edge full fibre service, the speed and everything else will be exactly the same as it would be if you'd signed up for two years.
Downsides to short-term broadband
There are some downsides to choosing broadband without a contract, the main one being that you will have to pay a little more than you would for a comparable long-term deal. Typically, you can expect to pay around £5 to £10 a month extra compared to the lowest price alternatives. And while this can add up over time, remember that most short-term deals aren't really intended for long-term use anyway.
You'll also have to pay a higher setup fee, sometimes as much as £60. This covers the activation fee and the router that you'll be sent to get online.
The best thing you can do before you sign up is to ignore the monthly price and calculate the total price you'll pay instead. So, if you want the service for nine months, work out how much that will cost, factoring in the monthly payments and the setup fees. Then compare it to the total price you'd pay on a 12-month contract. This can easily cancel out a lot of the price difference.
Other downsides to short-term broadband? You get less choice, inevitably, although there are some big name providers and even gigabit options that you can choose from. And you also miss out on any introductory offers like free gifts, bill credit, shopping vouchers and so on.
Fast, reliable broadband is a must-have for any student house. And given that it can take a couple of weeks to set up, it's one of the first things you'll want to get sorted when you move in for the new term.
If you haven't signed up for your own broadband package before, we'll tackle some of the questions you might have here.
It's all pretty straightforward, but as a student you won't have quite as many options as everyone else. Contract length is absolutely vital - you don't want to be saddled with a long term deal that you have to keep paying for during the summer holidays or beyond.
And with all the corona-driven uncertainty this year, flexibility is more important than ever. Let's take a look at some of the things you need to know.
What speed do you need?
Your usage is probably going to be pretty high, so the fibre deals in the 60-67Mb average speed range should be your starting point.
You might get away with one of the slower fibre packages if there's only two people in your house, but in most cases the extra speed will be worth more than the fiver or so difference in price.
Faster is always better, of course, and you might be lucky enough to be living in an area where you can get speeds over 100Mb - and sometimes quite a lot more. These might come from the normal fibre providers like BT or Sky, from Virgin Media, or in 5G areas through the likes of EE and Three. Just make sure you keep an eye on the contract length and any setup fees for these faster deals.
What length contract should you get?
Short contracts are key for student broadband, so don't even consider those that need an 18 or 24 month commitment.
12 months is the longest you should go for, but even then you'll end up with quite an overlap with the summer break where you're still paying for your internet while you're hitting the beaches in Spain. Don't rule these out entirely, though, as they might still work out cheaper than a shorter option.
BT offer a few nine month deals that align much better with your term time. Some broadband suppliers, including NOW Broadband and Virgin Media, also offer 30-day rolling contracts that you can cancel at any time. These are best for zero-commitment broadband, but they do often come with significant setup fees. Be sure to factor that in when you're comparing prices.
Do you need any extras?
If Netflix isn't enough and you want a bit of sports action or some more of the latest US shows, you can save some money by adding a pay TV plan to you broadband deal. You won't be able to do this through Sky, as they only offer TV on an 18 month contract, but you can get 30-day deals on NOW TV streaming with NOW Broadband.
For any overseas students in your house, consider adding a call plan with support for cheap international calls.
Who pays the bill?
Even though you'll be splitting the bill with all your housemates, one of you is going to have put their name on the contract. It will be their responsibility. This is one of the reasons why you don't want to sign up to anything longer than 12 months, tops. You don't want to be stuck paying your broadband bill long after your housemates have moved on.
It's a good idea to assign each one of your utilities to a different person in your household so you share the risk. To help manage bills you can also look into setting up a shared bank account across the household, or take a look at apps like Splitwise that make it easier to see who owes what.
Best broadband deals for students
So, what student broadband deal should you choose?
BT offer three plans specifically for students. They're nine month deals, with speeds ranging from 36Mb to 67Mb. You can add a Sports or Entertainment TV package, as well as call plans including cheap international calls to 236 countries.
For one month contracts, you've got two main choices:
NOW Broadband - speeds range from a sedate 11Mb (don't bother!) to a much more suitable 63Mb, with the option to add streaming TV plans as well. All of them come with a £65 upfront fee.
Virgin Media - speeds on the 30-day plans range from around 54Mb all the way up to over 500Mb. Many setup fees have been waived on the 1 month rolling contracts that are specifically for students, but bear in mind that installation takes longer if your house hasn't had Virgin before.
Your other options are for 12 month contracts. When you add in the setup fees and slightly higher prices for short deals, these year-long plans may still end up being competitive, even though you'll still be paying in July and August when you don't need it. Among your best options here are:
John Lewis Broadband - speeds go up to an average 66Mb, with no activation fee, and usually include an e-gift card as a bonus.
Plusnet - speeds up to 66Mb, with just a £10 activation fee. You also get the option to add BT Sport - with Premier League and Champions League football - after you've signed up.
And there's one last thing to consider - broadband over 4G or 5G. This won't be right for everyone: 4G speeds are better for one or two users rather than a large, heavy-use household, and though 5G is blazing fast it still has very patchy coverage. If you're in the right part of London, Three's 5G Home Unlimited plans look good, and include a 12 month option. Find more great mobile broadband deals here.
Ready to start shopping for student broadband? Use our postcode checker to compare the best broadband deals available in your area today.
NOW Broadband Buyers Guide - Is NOW Broadband right for you?
Can I get NOW Broadband?
NOW Broadband runs on Sky's own broadband network, which has very wide availability across the UK.
Sky's network region covers major cities, towns, and rural areas, and it's mostly only remote regions that aren't supported. In all, standard broadband is available to more than 90% of UK homes, and fibre to approaching 95%. You can use our postcode checker to find out if NOW Broadband is available where you are.
Even if you aren't within the network area you can still get TV memberships from NOW. You only need a fast broadband connection (from any provider) to use one of the NOW memberships.
What packages are available?
NOW Broadband is owned by Sky, and offers a similar range of standard and fibre broadband packages. You can also add calls and TV services to your deal.
The three main packages are:
Brilliant Broadband - a standard broadband service with average speeds of 11Mb
Fab Fibre - the entry-level fibre offering, with average speeds of 36Mb
Super Fibre - the fastest fibre package, delivering average speeds of 63Mb
The standout feature of all these deals is that you can get them on either a 12-month contract, or on a 30-day rolling deal with no long-term obligations. The monthly price is the same whichever length you choose, although you do have to pay a connection fee of £60 if you go for the shorter option.
If you choose the 30-day deal you're free to cancel at any time. Just give notice before your next payment is due. If you choose the 12-month deal - known as the Saver Plan - you will be committed to remaining on your plan for the full year (or pay a termination fee should you want to leave early).
The packages are all unlimited, meaning you can download as much as you like each month without any restrictions. Line rental is included, and there's no option to buy without a phone line.
You can add a range of call packages, including deals that give you weekend or Anytime calls. There's also options to take broadband and TV as part of a bundle, or you can sign up for your optional TV services separately.
What TV deals are available through NOW?
NOW is a streaming service that offers a near complete Sky TV package without contract or satellite dish.
As a full streaming service you need fast broadband to get the most out of NOW. You can get this as part of a NOW Broadband bundle, add it separately after you've signed up to NOW Broadband, or just sign up for it even if you use another provider.
To watch it you get a NOW Smart Stick or box to plug into your television, which you might get for free as part of a broadband bundle. They let you pause and rewind live TV shows, but not record them. The devices do support apps, which you can use for on demand viewing including on Netflix. You need to use your normal TV tuner to watch the Freeview channels.
Most importantly, NOW memberships do not come with a contract. You pay for one month at a time, and can cancel whenever you want. It also offers a free 7 day trial.
There are five NOW memberships to choose from, each offering a different set of channels:
Entertainment: 11 premium entertainment channels including Sky One and Fox. It's also the only way to get Sky Atlantic without a dish.
Sky Cinema: the full set of Sky Cinema channels along with 1000 movies on demand.
Kids: six extra channels and thousands of episodes of TV on demand.
Sky Sports: all the Sky Sports channels. You can sign up for day, week, month or mobile-only memberships. This is ideal if only want to watch specific events.
Hayu: a channel dedicated to US reality TV shows.
NOW is the best way to get the full set of Sky channels without a contract. It is more expensive than going with Sky, but you only pay for what you want when you want it. In particular, this means you can get the Sky Sports channels without signing up to an additional Entertainment bundle, which you have to do if you go with Sky. It also means you can cancel to save money when the football season ends, or when your favourite TV series finishes.
Which package should I choose?
With the similarities between all the packages, the main choice is what speed you need.
The Brilliant Broadband package is likely to be good enough for smaller households, or those with more modest requirements. It'll be fine for one user watching Netflix or making large downloads, but may be too slow for several users doing the same thing together.
For larger households, where someone is always streaming, downloading or gaming, the faster Fab Fibre or Super Fibre packages are better for making sure no-one experiences any slowdown.
The no-contract option makes NOW Broadband an ideal choice for students who might only need the service for nine or ten months in the year. If you do choose the 12 month contract instead it reduces the one-off set up fee significantly, but the monthly prices remain the same. In either case you can change or cancel your TV memberships whenever you like.
Points to consider before you choose
How many people will be using your broadband for streaming, downloading and gaming?
Are you a student, or do you live in short lease accommodation?
Do you want premium TV channels without a long-term commitment?
It's good to know what else is included in the deal, so you can budget for any extras you might need.
NOW Broadband Hub Two - Every broadband package comes with a free AC-rated wireless router.
NOW TV Smart Box - Choose a NOW membership and you'll also get a free or cheap Smart Box for streaming your new TV channels. It sits below your TV and comes with a remote control.
Broadband Buddy - This basic security package enables you to activate parental controls, and also helps protect against malware-infected sites (but is not a replacement for anti-virus software).
Customer support - NOW Broadband is an online-only service, so customer is available via the internet through live chat.
Mobile device access - You can register up to four other devices, including tablets and smartphones, to use for watching your NOW Membership. You can watch on two devices at the same time.
What are the benefits of NOW Broadband?
What are the main reasons you should consider buying broadband from NOW Broadband?
No contract - The one-month rolling deals make NOW Broadband ideal for students or anyone else who is either unwililng or unable to sign up to a long-term commitment with their broadband supplier.
Commitment-free TV - Want to watch Game of Thrones or live Premier League football? NOW lets you do that without being tied in for a year or more. NOW is also the only way to watch Sky Atlantic without a full Sky package (it isn't available through Virgin Media).
Unlimited usage - There are no download or speed limits on any of the NOW Broadband packages.
Fast uploads - Upload speeds on the fastest Super Fibre deal are 18Mb average speed, which is better than many rival providers.
What are the drawbacks to NOW Broadband?
What possible downsides should you be aware of before you sign up?
Set up fee - While it's great to be able to sign up to a no-contract deal, this does come with an activation fee of around £60. Make note of this, as it adds to your upfront cost.
TV can be more expensive - The biggest selling point of NOW is the lack of contracts. If you're happy to sign a contract you might find a Sky Broadband-with-TV bundle works out cheaper. There are also other ways to save money on pay TV.
Online tech support - The tech customer service options for NOW Broadband are limited. You'll mostly be required to go online for support.