Is John Lewis Broadband any good?
John Lewis isn’t just a place to buy lamps any more. The fancy department store also offers basic, straightforward broadband and home phone packages at prices that aren’t half bad - no matter where in the UK you live.
Formerly known as Greenbee and Waitrose broadband, this provider gives you simple options that won’t send your head in a spin, but it does throw a couple of extras thrown in to sweeten the deal.
What can I get from John Lewis Broadband?
John Lewis offers broadband and home phone with a few options to pick and choose from.
Your broadband options are:
- Unlimited - standard ADSL broadband, with download speeds up to 17Mb
- Fibre - superfast fibre optic broadband, up to 38Mb
- Fibre Extra - even faster fibre optic broadband, up to 76Mb
All include unlimited downloads, so you never have to worry about hitting a usage cap, and a free email address. You’ll also get BullGuard - basic PC security that gives your computer a firewall, spam filter, antivirus software, and so on.
It's also worth noting that John Lewis doesn't change its prices for high-cost areas in the UK. Some unfortunate people typically pay more for broadband, as the infrastructure around their location is less developed than the rest of the country. But John Lewis is the same price regardless of where you live, making it a good choice for those in these typically very rural areas. You can find out more in our guide to rural pricing.
Bear in mind that John Lewis Broadband manages web traffic. That means you’ll always have a stable connection, and things like VoIP and gaming are prioritised, but you may see slower speeds for certain tasks at peak times. Read more about web traffic management.
Once you’ve picked your broadband, choose a call plan to go with it:
- Evening and Weekend - the standard line rental choice included in a John Lewis package, which gives you inclusive calls to UK landlines at evenings and weekends
- Anytime - includes anytime calls to UK landlines
- Anytime and International - includes anytime UK calls, along with 300 monthly minutes to 35 international destinations
- Mobile bolt-on - add this to an Anytime or Anytime and International package, and you’ll get inclusive anytime calls to mobile numbers too
‘Evening’ counts as 7pm-7am, and all those inclusive calls can only last 60 minutes - so remember so hang up when you reach the 59 minute mark and call back again.
International gives you calls to 35 top destinations worldwide, which includes the likes of Australia, Ireland, France, the USA, and, for some reason, Christmas Island.
All packages include some basic calling features (voicemail, caller display, and 1471) with the option to add more for an extra fee - including anonymous call reject, call waiting, call divert, and so on. You can even pick a few to bundle together and save a bit of dosh.
What’s good about John Lewis Broadband?
- Straightforward packages that won’t confuse you with too many options
- Line rental is excellent value, and cheaper than most other home phone providers
- Same price everywhere in the UK - no increased prices for super-rural areas
- Wide availability
- Superfast fibre optic broadband is available
- Unlimited downloads included as standard
- Evening and weekend calls included as standard too
- Basic security included, in the form of BullGuard for your PC
- Good reputation for customer service
What’s bad about John Lewis Broadband?
- Choices are limited compared with some providers
- Not the fastest broadband around - Virgin Media offers faster speeds, for example
- Only available as a broadband and phone combo - can’t get either of them just on their own
- Manages web traffic, so your speeds may slow for some tasks
- Not quite as cheap as some providers - TalkTalk or Plusnet, for instance, may offer better value
- Missing a lot of inclusives that other providers offer, such as Wi-Fi hotspot access and cloud storage