Zen Broadband – Supplier Review
Zen Broadband are an award-winning Openreach supplier, offering home broadband and phone services, with UK-based customer service teams. Zen have won armfuls of awards including the PC Pro award for Best Broadband ISP, the “Which” Telecoms Services Provider of the Year and also featured in the Sunday Times ‘Best 100 Companies’ list.
Zen offers more or less the same product line-up as other Openreach providers, with ADSL broadband (referred to as ‘Fast Broadband’), FTTC fibre broadband (Superfast Broadband) and also FTTP fibre broadband (Ultrafast broadband – subject to availability). ADSL and Superfast fibre packages are offered with 12 month minimum term contracts, but Zen are unusual in also offering 1 month contracts for ADSL broadband – ideal for short-term use. Where Ultrafast FTTP fibre is available, these packages are currently offered with 18 month contracts.
Line rental is included with fast and superfast broadband packages, as is unlimited downloads, a free router and static IP address. Zen also promise there will be no price rises during your contract term.
Superfast Fibre FTTC
Unlimited Fibre 1: This is a 40-10 broadband package, offering max download speeds of 40Mbps and uploads of up to 10Mbps. The average download speed is said to be 35Mbps. A £19.99 activation charge is payable on all new orders but customers get a free router and static IP address. This package offers unlimited downloads but no inclusive calls. For a typical monthly fee of £29.99 on a 12 month minimim term, this deal will be the best choice for the majority of moderate users, provided firbe is available at the address.
Unlimited Fibre 2: This is a 80-20 broadband package, offering max download speeds of 80Mbps and uploads of up to 210Mbps. The average download speed is said to be 66Mbps. As with the lower package, a £19.99 activation charge is payable and customers get the same unlimited downloads, free router and static IP address. For a typical monthly fee of £34.99 on a 12 month minimim term, this deal will be a good choice for larger households and heavier users.
Ultrafast FTTP Fibre
Although Ultrafast is currently available only to a select few, Zen also offer four FTTP fibre packages, each with a £55 activation fee for new customers.
Unlimited Full Fibre 1: Monthly fee £34.99 for an average 38Mbps download speed
Unlimited Full Fibre 2: Monthly fee £38.99 for an average 76Mbps download speed
Unlimited Full Fibre 3: Monthly fee £49.99 for an average 150Mbps download speed
Unlimited Full Fibre 4: Monthly fee £59.99 for an average 300Mbps download speed
Installation and getting online
Zen Broadband provide all new customers with a free router, and it is currently specified as the AVM FRITZ!Box 7530, which has four Gigabit Ethernet ports, AC and N WiFi and dual wireless LAN, easy-to-use VPN functionality plus an integrated DECT phone system that’s compatible with analogue phones and IP phones. Compared to some other free routers, this is a highly specified router, typically selling at around £119.99 on Amazon.
There’s a 10-day cooling off period for new customers and Zen promises automatic compensation if things go wrong. It’s available to residential and small business customers and gives you recompense if your service stops working and the fault is not fixed within two working days, if an engineer doesn’t show up for a scheduled appointment or if your service isn’t activated on the ‘go live’ date you’ve been given.