EE is perhaps better known for its mobile phone contracts than its broadband deals, but it has become a significant player in the internet provider market. EE is owned by BT but regularly offers more budget-friendly packages than its parent company, with a focus on special offers and deals for its mobile customers. A lower price might suggest EE’s packages lack the extras offered by the big brands like BT, Virgin Media and Sky – but does a stripped-down deal work out better value for money overall? In this independent review, we take a look at the details of EE Broadband to help you decide if it might be the right option for your household.
We recommend that you read the review in full however you can jump to specific sections of the review using the following links:
- EE broadband key features
- EE broadband packages
- How much does EE broadband cost?
- EE broadband extras
- Does EE offer a social broadband tariff?
- Does EE have a good router?
- Do I need a phone line with EE broadband?
- EE broadband customer reviews
- EE broadband pros and cons
- How does EE broadband compare with other providers?
- How to compare EE broadband
- Is EE broadband any good?
EE Broadband key features
EE offers a wide range of broadband speeds across its six main deals. Unlike NOW Broadband, being the budget arm of a big-name provider has not left EE with a limited product list. When it comes to download speed, EE’s products line up closely with what is offered by BT. Both offer packages ranging from standard broadband to ultrafast fibre. Below we cover the main details of each EE deal.
|Product name||Average download Speed||Minimum contract length||TV package available||Phone line required||Setup cost||Standard price|
|Fibre Broadband||36Mbps||24 months||Yes||Yes||£0||£37|
|Fibre Plus||74Mbps||24 months||Yes||Yes||£0||£42|
|Full Fibre Max 100||100Mbps||24 months||Yes||No||£0||£49|
|Full Fibre Max 500||500Mbps||24 months||Yes||No||£0||£49|
|Full Fibre Max Gigabit||900Mbps||24 months||Yes||No||£0||£58|
EE has stated that the monthly advertised price, add-ons and out of bundle charges will all increase on or after 31st March every year by the CPI (Consumer Price Index) rate of inflation, plus 3.9%.
EE Broadband packages
The EE stable consists of six main broadband packages. These cover a wide range of speeds, so it is likely there will be one to meet the needs of most UK households. If you are unsure what speed your household needs, read our article ‘What broadband speed do I need?’. Here we cover the different speed packages offered by EE.
Download speed: 10Mbps
Standard broadband packages like this one from EE are aimed at households with light internet usage, like checking emails and occasional online streaming. Its download speed will struggle to cope with multiple HD videos, and downloading large files will involve a long wait.
The relatively slow speeds are down to the infrastructure used to connect your home to the internet. Standard broadband relies on the relatively inefficient copper wiring used for phone lines. If your area has a fibre network, you will be able to access much faster speeds with a different package. Find out more about the different types of home broadband in the UK by reading our article ‘Which broadband is best?’.
EE Fibre Broadband
Download speed: 36Mbps
This is EE’s basic level fibre service. Customers’ homes are connected to a communication cabinet in the street using copper phone lines, but the rest of the connection is through far more efficient fibre-optic cables. This dramatically increases the download speed compared with a standard broadband connection, but it is still slower than full fibre.
Download speeds of 36Mbps will be enough to stream TV shows in HD, but it might slow down if you try to download large files or connect too many devices.
EE Fibre Plus
Download speed: 74Mbps
The extra speed from this package will suit EE customers looking to stream a lot of HD content, or home workers wanting to stream music through smart speakers all day. If you have a big household with lots of users wanting to connect at once, you may find your speeds beginning to slow down.
EE Full Fibre Max 100
Download speed: 100Mbps
This is EE’s basic full fibre – or fibre to the premises (FTTP) – package. The whole connection is made up of fibre-optic cables, so there is none of the slowdown caused by using copper wiring.
EE customers choosing this package will find it can handle multiple devices and support smart homes. If you also need to download a lot of large files and play online games at the same time, you may want to consider the package a level up.
EE Full Fibre Max 500
Download speed: 500Mbps
This is a significant step up in speed from EE’s other packages but may be unavailable in some UK homes. The advertised average download speed is different to the minimum speed guaranteed by your provider, so make sure you are not paying for a product you cannot actually get.
A download speed of 500Mbps will suit households that rely on a lot of smart devices – like heating systems, doorbells and fridges – being connected to the internet at all times without slowing down the broadband for streaming or home working.
EE Full Fibre Max 900
Download speed: 900Mbps
This package is for very intensive internet users. That means households where everything is reliant on the internet – from the TV to the toaster – and everyone works from home, so the broadband will need to handle downloading large files and making multiple video calls.
If that doesn't sound like your home, you may be better suited to a lower-level deal.
How much does EE Broadband cost?
The standard pricing of EE Broadband is surprisingly high, especially compared to parent company BT. The key to EE’s value is the limited-time offers and rewards it puts out. EE offers the top speed, full fibre packages that customers can get from BT, but often at a knocked-down price below competitor deals, and with some high-value rewards thrown in too. You can also expect extra discounts if you are an EE phone contract customer. Make sure you compare what limited-time deals and rewards are available when you research who has the cheapest package for your household.
The downside of high standard pricing and heavy discounts is that you could be in for a steep price rise when your initial period runs out, though your provider will have to notify you that your contract is ending.
|Product name||Average download Speed||Minimum contract length||Setup cost||Standard price|
|Fibre Broadband||36Mbps||24 months||£0||£37|
|Fibre Plus||74Mbps||24 months||£0||£42|
|Full Fibre Max 100||100Mbps||24 months||£0||£49|
|Full Fibre Max 500||500Mbps||24 months||£0||£49|
|Full Fibre Max Gigabit||900Mbps||24 months||£0||£58|
Will EE Broadband prices increase in 2023?
EE broadband prices will rise by 14.4% in 2023. Customers who sign up to a broadband deal with EE will be agreeing to an annual increase of 3.9% plus the CPI (consumer price index) rate of inflation. Including details of the price increase in contracts means that EE customers cannot leave for free if their bill goes up. Therefore it is very important to take any expected increase into account when you choose which provider to go for. In 2023, EE customers can expect bills to go up by much more than UK broadband customers are used to due to inflation soaring in 2022.
EE uses the CPI rate for the December of the year prior to the scheduled price increase in its calculation. For 2023, that means adding the December 2022 CPI (10.5%) to 3.9% to work out the total increase, in this case 14.4%. The 2023 hike will come into effect on or after 31 March.
EE Broadband extras
EE Broadband customers can get bonus data of up to 20GB added to an EE mobile contract, as well as getting a discount on their broadband deal if they are already a mobile customer. At the time of writing EE also offers customers with mobile and selected full fibre broadband deals free access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which can otherwise cost up to £120.
EE offers up to £50 as an account credit if leaving your existing broadband provider incurs any cancellation fees. This means you may not have to wait until the end of your contract to switch if you are looking for a new broadband provider.
EE broadband packages come with one of four different types of call deals. You can opt for a pay-as-you-go landline package, no landline deal at all, unlimited anytime calls to UK landlines and 1,500 minutes to mobiles, or calls to landlines in 50 countries and a 30% discount on calls to other countries.
The TV package offered by EE is powered by an Apple TV 4K box. Available for £15 a month at the time of writing, this includes a three month Apple TV+ and BT Sport subscription. You can use the Apple TV 4K box to access other streaming apps like Netflix and NOW, though these will require a separate subscription. If you are looking for a way to watch 4K sport, this can work out much cheaper than BT, Sky or Virgin, though you will need a fast enough download speed to support your streaming.
Does EE offer social broadband?
At the time of writing EE does not offer any kind of discounted broadband package for low-income customers or people who receive benefits like Pension or Universal Credit.
Does EE have a good router?
The router you get from EE will depend on what type of broadband you have in your home and which package you subscribe to.
Standard broadband customers will get the Brightbox 2 router, while households with fibre connections will get an EE Smart Hub. The Smart Hub is – according to a Which? review – one of the best routers on the market. Which? commended its range of coverage, ability to handle multiple devices and excellent reliability.
The only challenger to the EE Smart Hub by Which? rating is the BT Smart Hub. Both scored 88%, marginally ahead of the Amazon Eero 6 (87%) provided by TalkTalk, but well ahead of the Virgin Media and Sky routers offerings.
Do I need a phone line with EE Broadband?
Some types of broadband connection require a phone line, even if you do not plan on using a landline phone as part of your package. You can find out more about phone lines and broadband by reading our article ‘Do you need a landline for broadband?’.
For EE customers, anyone with a standard Broadband, Fibre Broadband or Fibre Plus package will need a phone line.
EE Broadband customer reviews
EE Broadband currently has a rating of 1.6 out of 5.0 on Trustpilot, which is broadly on par with big name competitors like Sky (1.5) and BT (1.6). Most reviews on Trustpilot for broadband providers are negative, so EE’s low score is not surprising.
The negative reviewers commented on long waits for engineer visits, poor customer service and slow speeds. The positive reviews were about good customer service experiences and reliable connections.
There was better news for EE in Ofcom’s 2022 customer experience survey. It scored an excellent 85% for ‘satisfaction with overall service’, below BT’s 88% but ahead of Sky’s 84% and Virgin Media’s 78%. Ofcom also calculated an impressive average call response time of 53 seconds for EE, under half the average wait time faced by Sky customers.
EE Broadband pros
- Good range of speeds
- Discounts for mobile customers
- Bonus data for mobile customers
- Flexible 4K streaming bundle through Apple TV box
- Customer services quick to answer the phone, according to Ofcom
- Top Which? rating for router
- Bill credit to cover early contract cancellations when switching
- Good sign-up bonuses including Xbox Game Pass and Amazon vouchers
EE Broadband cons
- Long minimum contract term
- No social broadband package
- Annual price increase
- Standard prices more expensive than BT and Sky
How does EE Broadband compare with other providers?
|EE Broadband product name||Standard price||Competitor package offering same speed||Competitor price|
|Broadband||£32||NOW Broadband Brilliant Broadband||£25|
|Fibre Broadband||£37||TalkTalk Fibre 35||£29.95|
|Fibre Plus||£42||BT Fibre 2||£33.99|
|Full Fibre Max 100||£49||Virgin Media M100||£44|
|Full Fibre Max 500||£49||Virgin Media M500||£62|
|Full Fibre Max Gigabit||£58||Sky Gigafast||£60|
EE Broadband’s standard prices are surprisingly high, but are almost always discounted to some extent. You may find there are rewards like vouchers and bill credits available too. If you are an EE mobile customer, you can also get a discount on your broadband deal.
You can also save money with EE if you are a mobile customer by opting for a smaller data package, as you can get bonus data by signing up to broadband.
With all of those potential deductions taken into account, EE will often compete for the lowest prices. This is especially true for high speed, full fibre packages that are not offered by providers like NOW.
EE’s TV deal can be a great way to save money on sports as you can sign up to BT Sport without having to commit to a more expensive full TV package with BT or Sky. You can also access Sky Sports through the NOW app on the Apple TV 4K box. Piecing together a sports package this way can work out cheaper than buying a full bundle through BT, Sky or Virgin, depending on what limited time offers are currently on the table.
How to compare EE Broadband
One of the best ways to compare broadband packages is via a comparison site such as Uswitch*. Comparison sites allow you to compare the best deals from a number of broadband providers at once. We have partnered with Uswitch* so that our readers can source the best broadband deals; to get started, simply click on the link and enter your postcode. Results can be tailored based on your own personal preference allowing you to filter results based on factors such as price, speed, reliability, Wi-Fi coverage and customer service. According to the latest data, customers that chose a broadband package via Uswitch saved an average of £162 per year.
Is EE Broadband any good?
EE is a solid option for your home broadband, but it does not offer much to separate it from the competition. For customers of rival mobile providers just looking for the cheapest broadband, EE may be beaten for price by a rival like NOW or Vodafone. Many renters may also find that a 24-month contract is too long a commitment.
It is a different story if you are an EE broadband customer, or if any of the current sign up bonuses – like an Xbox Game Pass or extra mobile data – are valuable to you. These extras can make EE a great value option, especially when it comes to ultrafast packages. You also get one of the best routers on the market, which could be key to getting reliable Wi-Fi throughout your home.
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