Zen Broadband Buyers Guide

Multi-award winning broadband with outstanding reliability and support

  • Award-winning customer service, based in the UK
  • Ultrafast speeds up to 300Mb available in some areas
  • Standalone broadband available
  • Rated the most reliable of all suppliers on Broadband.co.uk

01706 902 950   Go to site

Zen Unlimited Broadband with Line Rental
£28.00 per month
12 month contract

£19.99 upfront cost

  • AC-rated Wireless Router
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • N-rated Wireless Router
  • Static IP address
  • UK-based technical support
  • Top rated for reliability and service
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • 12 month contract

01706 902 950   Buy now

Zen Unlimited Fibre 1 with Line Rental
£29.99 per month
12 month contract

£19.99 upfront cost

  • AC-rated Wireless Router
  • 35Mb average download speed
  • 6Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • Only pay for the calls you use
  • 12 month contract

01706 902 950   Buy now

Zen Unlimited Fibre 2 with Line Rental
£34.99 per month
12 month contract

£19.99 upfront cost

  • AC-rated Wireless Router
  • 66Mb average download speed
  • 17Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • Static IP address
  • UK-based technical support
  • Zen line rental and calls
  • 12 month contract

01706 902 950   Buy now

Reasons to choose

  • Reliable - Zen rank highly for customer reliability and customer satisfaction
  • Excellent support - the UK-based tech support is award-winning
  • Ultrafast broadband available - in select areas you can get a service with speeds up to 300Mb
  • Short contracts on standard broadband - if you only need a basic internet service you can sign up for the 10Mb package on a one month rolling contract
  • Lifetime fixed price guarantee - no price rises for as long as you stay with Zen
  • Deals without a phone line are available if you'd rather get it from a different provider
  • Static IP address included as standard

Downsides

  • No short contracts on fibre - 12 months is the minimum period on all faster deals
  • No bundles - you can't add a calls package, TV or mobile with your broadband
  • No online signup - you can only sign up to some of the ultrafast plans by phone, which doesn't suit everyone
  • Premium service - Zen put performance and user experience ahead of competitive pricing

Features at a glance

  • Speeds range from 10Mb on Unlimited Broadband, up to an average of 300Mb on Unlimited Fibre 4

  • 1 month contracts on ADSL, 12 month on fibre

  • Download allowances truly unlimited on all packages

  • Set up fees are £19.99 for super fast fibre packages, or £55 for ultrafast fibre (plus £48 for new connections)

  • UK based customer and technical support

  • Free FRITZ!Box 7530 router worth £130 on all contracts of 12 months or more

  • Only pay for the calls you use with basic line rental, or opt for an Anytime package

  • Zen Broadband have published a Traffic Management Policy

4.3 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 309 customer ratings since 2019-08-15. See more Zen customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2020-08-03

Customer Reviews

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 Zen.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    4.3 stars
  • Customer Service
    4.5 stars
  • Speed
    3.9 stars
  • Reliability
    4.2 stars

Based on 309 customer ratings since 2019-08-15

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of Zen

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
I was with Zen internet for a couple of years after hearing they were really good (and reading many good reviews. Unfortunately their so called great customer service was a real let down. A few years ago some work was badly done where the phone/internet lines come into the house and we started having problems with the internet. No matter how many times I called and explained this to Zen they refused to contact BT to send an engineer. So I changed to Virgin. We also had similar problems so I call then and they sent an engineer and a network team to the street two days later. It got fixed! I highly recommend Virgin, they actually give a damn about their customers. P.S: I pay a lot less now with Virgin too and my wifi now is constantly at 80+mbps
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Oxford Zen  
After using other ISPs I have now been with Zen for a few years and have no intention of switching. I have always found them reliable, easy to contact, helpful and with very professional customer support. They are now very competitively priced.

Just as an example, I wanted to introduce a wireless mesh network into my old rambling house. The Fritz!box routers supplied by Zen are already mesh enabled and they offer an "EveryRoom" mesh service for a small extra cost each month with a 2-year contract period. This includes supply of a Fritz! Repeater 3000. At the same time I decided to upgrade to their newer and more capable Fritz!Box 7530 router at a much discounted price. This then allowed me to use the old Fritz!Box 3490 as a further mesh repeater.

Notwithstanding the Cov19 lockdown, I received both new items the next morning and very quickly had the new mesh network up and running using the Fritz! WLAN App. I have a FTTC landline, and with the new Fritz!Box router and repeaters have a consistent 15% increase in download speed with greatly extended range including a garden studio 25 metres from the house and in a garage 40 metres from the nearest repeater. Nor have I experienced any service interruptions over the month since installation.

I rate Zen as excellent and by far the best service provider I have used. The new Fritz!Box mesh network is a doddle to set up, very capable and delivers top-notch performance.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Bath Zen  
Customer service is worse than useless.
They don’t call back when they say they will.
When you talk to technical support you get someone different each time, and they go through the same routine as the previous call, so there is no progression on rectifying the defect.
Very poor service and not worth the money.
Chertsey Zen  
Overall it is average. Never got the advertised broadband speed. Usually fluctuates between 25-30mbps, while my neighbors are getting at least 48-50mbps.

The router is not the best. In a small 2 bed flat, even when the router is right in the middle, still does not provide good coverage to the edges of the flat.

Customer service was subpar. People are great and very helpful but the waiting time is horrible. I called them once and had to wait for hours to reach out to someone. I think they have only a handful of people.

To be fair, never lost connection. It was always there, even through the pandemic. That's a plus.
  • Satisfaction
    3 stars
  • Customer Service
    3 stars
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
Greenwich Zen  
Overall satisfied over the span of a year or so, reliability good, speed was probably at 40% compared to advertised(probably due to a poor infrastructure etc.), v. expensive but that was something i was welling to live with as i needed the reliability and that was absolutely fine. Where all came down to an end, in my case, was the customer service/support where i've raised a ticket for the fact that once i've moved home after 4days or so they were telling me a third company(Openreach) needs to be involved to be able to decommission the existing line here etc. After 12 days of chasing them i got pretty much the same answers when i've just decided to leave them as i can nit keep spending a fortune on mobile data for work and keep telling the bosses that "next day they'll fix it".
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
Leamington Spa Zen  
Excellent service from an ISP that allows extra functionality.
Great that you can use your own router.

Reliability has been very good, and speeds are consistently the maximum my line allows.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Caerphilly Zen  
Ben with Zen for years and I will never leave them as long as they carry on as they are. Great and personal service
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    4 stars
Woking Zen  
Since we hired this account around 2 months ago Internet never works properly experiencing up and downs or not Internet at all. We hired this company because the good reviews but I don't know they got so many reviews when customer service do nothing to help us with our issue. We are paying a bit more to get a good adsl but seems not worth the money.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London Zen  
Absolutely godawful. Don't believe what they say about their customer service - we've been treated like mugs, told off for complaining about glacially awful (and very expensive) service (upload speeds are such that it takes an entire day to send a 30MB file). Avoid.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London Zen  
Have been with Zen for well over 10 years now and have never had a problem, their service is faultless.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Barnsley Zen  

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The reviews published on this page are those of the individual authors who have warrantied that they abide by our review guidelines. Reviews are not the opinion of Broadband.co.uk.

Elderly gentleman on a laptop

Over 55s most likely to be hit by broadband price hikes

Posted on 2020-07-07 16:46 in Features Zen

If there's one thing we recommend above everything else it's that you should never stay on your old broadband deal once your contract has ended.

Now a new study from Zen Broadband has shown that people over 55 are the most likely to do exactly that - and they're leaving themselves open to being hit with massive price hikes.

The survey shows that 83% of over-55s haven't switched broadband providers in the last year, and in some cases have never switched at all. This contrasts to the under-24s who are much happier to shop around for a better deal - over half have moved to a new provider in the last 12 months alone.

Data from industry watchdog Ofcom shows that some 25 thousand people come to the end of their broadband deal every day. Anyone who remains on that same deal will be hit by an immediate price rise of as much as 60% as the introductory price they were offered comes to an end. And that's followed by further annual - and sometimes even mid-year - increases.

If you don't take action when your contract ends you can easily wind up wasting hundreds of pounds a year. It's estimated that as many as nine million of us are paying too much.

Ofcom changed the rules earlier this year to try and address the problem. Your broadband provider now has to contact you when your contract is coming to an end to let you know how much the price is about to go up, and to show you what better deals they've got to offer. The changes came into force in February, so it's still too early to know what impact they've had.

So why aren't people switching? The Zen survey shows that apathy plays a part for around a third of people. But the biggest worry for non-switchers - 43% of the over 55 group - is that they'll end up with a worse service if they move to another provider.

If you share this concern, it's worth remembering that you don't actually have to change ISPs to get a cheaper deal. At the very least you should give your existing provider a call to negotiate a better price. Have a look at what other providers are offering first, so you know the going rate, and you'll find that they'll be more than happy to give you something better in return for you committing yourself to them for another year or two.

You can also check out our customer reviews to get an idea of the kind of service you'll receive from all the main broadband suppliers.

You'll get the best deals if you're willing to change broadband suppliers, and switching is a lot easier than you might think. In most cases (the main exception being if you're moving from or to Virgin Media) your new provider will handle the entire process for you. The survey revealed that nearly half of those asked found the process easier than expected, and a huge 89% believed they had benefited from making the switch.

Are you coming to the end of your contract soon? Why not use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deals available in your area today. In just a few minutes you could easily save yourself £150 or more this year.

Comments

The best broadband for older people

The best broadband for older users

Posted on 2020-05-12 16:56 in Features EE Sky BT Zen

For lots of us, the internet is a major source of entertainment, or a tool that enables us to work from home. For millions of older people it's a lifeline, the main way to keep in touch with the family, and interact with the outside world at a time when this is otherwise not possible. A good broadband service is vital.

So whether you're shopping for yourself, or seeking out broadband for an elderly parent, what are the priorities you need to look out for?

Reliability and support

We're all a lot more reliant on online shopping at the moment, especially snagging those all too scarce supermarket delivery slots. For a lot of older people renewing prescriptions, managing state pensions, paying the TV license, and lots of other things are important online activities, too.

For this reason, reliability is perhaps the most important point to consider. You need a broadband service that works whenever you need it, and also one that won't cut you off when you hit a data limit. These limits are fortunately quite scarce now, though if you're shopping at the budget end of the market you might still encounter them.

Customer service is also important. If you do experience any problems you need to be confident that your provider will fix them as quickly as possible.

Our Customer Reviews page contains feedback and ratings from thousands of broadband users. It's an ideal way to find out what kind of service each provider offers, and what problems you might face with them. Right now, Zen Broadband top the list for customer satisfaction, although if you'd be more comfortable with a mainstream brand EE rate well, gaining the lowest level of complaints according to a recent Ofcom study.

Speed

Speed might be less important for a lot of older users, but it really depends on what they want to do online.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution. For every older person who is a reluctant technology user, you'll find others who are enthusiastic online shoppers and Facebook posters, alongside those happily working their way through the Netflix catalogue.

There are options for all groups. Anyone who receives pension credit and has minimal internet needs can apply for the BT Basic + Broadband plan. It's cheap, but comes with a very low data allowance so isn't suitable for anything more than the absolute basics.

Beyond that, a basic standard broadband package - which uses a BT phone line - will usually work out the cheapest. It's fine for simple things like email, browsing and shopping, as well as for video calls with the family. It's worth considering if you're in a one computer household. A basic fibre deal, which is faster and allows for a wider range of uses including watching TV, as well as more simultaneous users, typically starts at around £5 a month extra.

Phone calls and TV

The extras you can take with a broadband deal are also important to consider. Most broadband services need a phone line - with line rental included in the price - and many providers give the option to buy a call plan as part of the deal. The plans on offer usually allow a choice of either unlimited calls during evenings and weekends, or unlimited calls anytime.

These can be tempting during a time when staying in touch with family is so important, but don't assume it's a must-have. If you don't take a call plan you'll still be able to make calls. You just pay for them at a rate of a few pence per minute, just like we always used to.

Some providers, especially Sky, also offer pay TV as well, include sports and movie channels. In some cases, though you might be able to get these channels cheaper elsewhere.

Price and contract length

And then there's the price and contract length, and the two often go hand in hand: sign up to a longer deal and you can shave a few pounds off your monthly bill. Anything shorter than 12 months is likely to cost you quite a bit more, while longer than that leaves you at risk of being stuck with a service you're not totally happy with.

Our price comparison guide will help you find the best broadband prices, and identify those deals that are within your budget. Make sure you check the 1st Year Cost column to see how much you'll pay in the initial 12 months - this includes those easy to overlook extras like postage or a setup fee.

Ready to start shopping for broadband? Use our postcode checker to find the best broadband deals available in your area today.

Comments

Zen Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Zen right for you?

Can I get Zen Broadband?

Zen Broadband runs on the Openreach network, so their superfast fibre plans are available to over 95% of the UK population. If you can get the internet from providers like BT and Sky, then you'll be able to get Zen.

Use our postcode checker to make sure Zen is available where you are. You'll need a working phone line to sign up, and Zen are quite unusual in that they'll allow you to keep your line with a different provider (although this is likely to be more expensive). Should you only have basic internet needs, Zen also still offer a slower and cheaper standard broadband package.

For their ultrafast services, Zen use a combination of full fibre (also known as fibre-to-the-home or fibre-to-the-premises) and G.fast, both of which go up to a top speed of 300Mb on average. G.fast is available in upgraded street cabinets, while full fibre requires an extra installation step as the fibre cables need to run right up to the outside of your house.

Both are only available in select areas, although the latter is the focus of the Government's planned infrastructure investment - and should mean Zen will be able to offer much faster speeds in future.

What packages are available?

Zen Broadband offer one standard broadband plan, two superfast plans and two ultrafast plans. Your options may be limited depending on where you live.

For most users, the main packages to choose from will deliver superfast internet. These are:

  • Unlimited Fibre 1 - unlimited internet with average download speeds of 35Mb and average upload speeds of 6Mb. Includes a £19.99 set up fee.
  • Unlimited Fibre 2 - unlimited internet with average download speeds of 66Mb and average upload speeds of 17Mb. Comes with a £19.99 set up fee.

The two ultrafast packages are:

  • Unlimited Fibre 3 - average download speeds of 145Mb and uploads of 30Mb, with fully unlimited usage. The setup fee is £55. There's a 10-day cooling off period.
  • Unlimited Fibre 4 - the average speed is 300Mb for downloads and 50Mb for uploads, and includes a £55 set up fee. There's a 10-day cooling off period.

All four of these plans are fully unlimited and come on a 12 month contract. You can choose to take the plans with or without a phone line from Zen. If you choose to go without, you'll still need a phone line from another provider and the combined price is likely to work out more than getting it all from the same company.

You get a free router when you sign up, as well as a free static IP address. If Wi-Fi coverage is a problem in your house you can add the EveryRoom plan for an extra £7.99 a month, which includes a Wi-Fi extender to help make your signal reach further.

If you're happy to go with something more basic you can opt for the standard broadband package instead:

  • Unlimited Broadband - an average download speed of 10Mb and upload speed of 1Mb.

This plan is fully unlimited and, as with the other deals, you can get it without or without a phone line from Zen. You can get the package on a 12 month deal, with a £19.99 set up fee and a free router, or on a rolling one month contract. This has a £78 set up fee, and you have to supply your own Wi-Fi router.

Which package should I choose?

Zen have a range of broadband packages catering to their users' different needs. Given that all the plans come with the same length contracts and benefits, speed, price and availability will be the main factors in your decision.

The Unlimited Fibre 3 and 4 plans are ideal for more demanding households, with lots of people streaming 4K video, downloading large files, and maybe uploading large files, too. If you work from home, especially, this may be what you're looking for, although the speeds don't reach the lightning fast rates you can get from the likes of Virgin Media or the full fibre providers. Availability is also limited, so use our postcode checker to see what speeds you can get where you live.

Away from that, you've got a choice of which fibre speed you prefer. Larger, busier households (especially with kids) are likely to benefit more from the faster service, while those with only one or two people might be happy with the slower plan.

If you aren't a heavy internet user and only need a basic service, then you might be tempted to consider the slower Unlimited Broadband plan. However, it's hard to recommend over the Unlimited Fibre 1 deal given that the price difference between the two is so low.

Unlimited Broadband does come with the added option of a one month rolling contract if you aren't able to commit for a longer spell. Just make sure you factor in the high set up fee when you're deciding if it will actually save you any money.

On the question of whether to take Zen with or without a phone line, the only issue is whether you've got a phone deal elsewhere that's still mid-contract. If you haven't, you will almost certainly save money by switching your phone line to Zen when you sign up.

Points to consider

  • Do you need speeds beyond what you can get with a normal fibre deal?
  • Do live in a Zen ultrafast area?
  • How many internet users are there in your house, and what do they use it for?
  • Do you need a short term contract?

What do I get when I sign up?

Zen offer a range of interesting features when you choose one of their broadband packages.

  • FRITZ!Box 7530 router - a wireless AC-rated router worth £130, and comes as standard with all 12 and 18 month contracts. It includes Guest Access, parental controls, and even telephony features.
  • Static IP address - all Zen deals include a free static IP address. This won't mean much to most people, but for those who work from home and need to remotely access their computer or host a website it's a welcome extra that you'd normally have to pay for.
  • Award winning customer service - available over the phone or online between 8am and 6pm on weekdays, and 9am to 5pm on weekends.
  • Auto compensation - if you have faults that aren't fixed within two days you receive £8 a day in compensation; you'll get £25 if an engineer misses an appointment or cancels less than 24 hours before its scheduled time; and if your service doesn't go live on the agreed date you'll get £5 a day for each day it's late.

Benefits

The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.

  • Ultrafast packages available in some areas - you can get speeds up to an average of 300Mb in some postcode areas.
  • High level of satisfaction - Zen sit at the top of our customer satisfaction charts.
  • UK-based customer service - if you need help you can get it over the phone or via the website seven days a week. It's based in the UK, too.
  • Free static IP address - Need a static IP address for your home business? You get one included for free with Zen Broadband.
  • Truly unlimited service - there are no limits to how much data you can download, so it's ideal to keep the whole family up online.

Drawbacks

Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.

  • Not the cheapest - Zen prioritise things like stability, performance and support over cheap prices. If cost is your main consideration you might want to look elsewhere.
  • Short contracts only on slowest plan - all deals require a 12 month contract. The only short contract available is on their 10Mb standard broadband package.
  • Some deals only available over the phone - if you want one of the full fibre options you might have to give them a call instead of signing up online.
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