Vodafone Pro Broadband Review
Vodafone believes it has solved a broadband customer’s biggest headache – losing their internet connection. The company’s new Pro Broadband service provides a fast connection to the Internet through your standard cable, but also adds a mobile Internet signal as a backup. This basically means that in the worst case, if your landline broadband fails in your area, you should never be without access to the Internet thanks to the 4G cellular signal that keeps the WiFi in your house running as usual.
It’s clearly a smart idea, but Vodafone charges a premium for this service – a whopping £ 15 a month to be precise – so is it worth the extra money? Express.co.uk put it to the test and here are our thoughts on Vodafone’s Pro Broadband.
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Let’s start with the setup. Getting started is so easy that anyone should install things hassle-free without an engineer showing up with a drill. As long as a standard broadband line leads to your home, simply connect the new Vodafone Wi-Fi hub and wait a few minutes for the connection to be established.
From the kit arriving in the mail to downloading our first movie, the whole process took just a few minutes, and the simplicity is continued through a very user-friendly smartphone app. This application is connected directly to the router and allows you to check the download speed, see what devices are connected and monitor the general health of your internet.
Vodafone Pro Broadband offers a constant connection even if the landline line fails
Another great feature is the ability to set up a guest connection which provides a unique password for visitors and a time limit. This is perfect when the neighbors drop by for the afternoon and need some internet. Once they leave, you can just start them up from your broadband and make sure they don’t lose your precious speeds next door.
Along with the main router, you also get a booster box that can be placed in another room to ensure the Wi-Fi signal reaches every corner of your home. Again, this is very easy to install as the app walks you through every step of the process. If everything goes well, you shouldn’t find any dead spots.
We tested Vodafone’s broadband in a four bedroom property spread over three floors and the signal stayed strong with that broadband during that time.
The 4G network is delivered to the hub via a dongle
The dongle fits into the hub and is a bit bulky
Another nice bonus that is part of the price is instant access to help. Vodafone’s Wi-Fi Xperts are a dedicated team of highly skilled broadband and Wi-Fi engineers who proactively monitor and troubleshoot customers’ problems. They’ll even get in touch with you for the first ten days to make sure you’re set up and your broadband is tailored for your home.
It’s a nice touch when someone asks you in a text if it’s okay to call, followed by a real and very knowledgeable person on the other end of the phone. Of course, one of the main reasons for choosing Pro Broadband is the promise that your internet will never go offline.
With more of us working from home than ever before, Vodafone’s new service should mean you’ll never miss a morning Zoom call with the team – even if there is an outage on your road and everyone else is offline.
All of this works via the router, which immediately switches to the 4G signal from Vodafone as soon as the landline line fails. It’s worth noting that the 4G is pumped into the router via a standard dongle that plugs into the back of the hub. It’s a bit clunky and it would be better if all of that tech was neatly wrapped in, but it’s still better than the headache of a failure.
Now you might be thinking what this is about as most networks offer a separate 4G dongle that you can use to quickly connect in case something should go wrong. That’s a fair point, but the advantage of Vodafone is that the main router always stays online no matter what happens on your street.
If, like most people, you have a variety of gadgets plugged into this hub, it means all devices will continue to work until the landline problem is fixed and you no longer have to go into the settings of every Echo, laptop, smart TV, and camera to get them keep online.
A comprehensive app offers a range of settings and options
Of course, 4G isn’t as fast as standard broadband, so you probably don’t want to try downloading a blockbuster PS5 game, but it’s easy enough for video calling and streaming music.
Vodafone supplies a SIM card with 50GB of data, but the company has confirmed to Express.co.uk that it will recharge if an outage lasts for an extended period of time. There’s clearly a lot to love about pro broadband, but we have a few little things.
Like most routers, the Vodafone Hub that comes with this plan is pretty clunky and the 4G dongle sticking out of the rear case isn’t the prettiest design we’ve seen.
Then there are the overall speeds. Vodafone relies on the Openreach network and not everyone is connected to their fast fiber optic downloads. We tested this service in the Greater London area but were only able to reach a maximum of 75Mbps, while Virgin Media offers next-generation 1Gbps speeds for the exact same address.
This is clearly not Vodafone’s fault – it’s Openreach’s! – However, it is worth checking the speed near you before signing up.
Finally, there is the price as it is quite expensive. The standard price for Vodafone’s Fiber 2 is currently £ 22 per month. When you add the Pro service you get a monthly bill of £ 37. It’s almost like paying for an insurance policy to make sure your home stays connected 24/7.
That’s fine, but during our months of testing the landline stayed fully functional and we never switched to 4G, so you might be wondering if it’s really worth paying the premium.
Vodafone Pro Broadband Review: Final Verdict
PROS – Broadband that never goes offline • Great app • Easy to set up • Instant access to help
disadvantage – Very expensive • 4G dongle design is clunky • Speeds are openreach dependent
Vodafone’s pro broadband service is definitely appealing. The fact that it will never go offline will be a relief for millions who can’t afford to be without a connection to the internet for work, study, or Netflix problems.
The router is easy to set up and having access to instant help and a comprehensive app make this a very good option. Also, you get this booster box to make sure that no family members moan, that they cannot connect well to their bedrooms.
Our only real problems with this new plan are speed and price. If you are lucky you may find that the latest openreach technology offers downloads at over 900Mbps. Unfortunately the best we were offered was only 75Mbps.
Of course, the download rate on your street isn’t Vodafone’s fault as it’s in the hands of Openreach, but it may not be fast enough for your everyday digital needs. Then there’s the price, as those 75Mbps downloads will cost you a pretty hefty £ 37 a month. If you get the same plan from Vodafone, but without these pro features, you only pay 22 euros per month. On a two year contract, this translates into a saving of around £ 350.
If you really can’t afford to go without the internet, it’s hard to fault Vodafone’s Pro broadband. However, as with any insurance policy, all you have to do is decide whether it is worth the high price.