Vodafone Pro Broadband review: Is unbreakable internet worth the cost?
Vodafone Pro Broadband: 60-Second Review
Vodafone Pro Broadband guarantees something that few broadband firms dare promise – you will never be disconnected from the internet. Plug in this nifty box and you can be 100% confident that you will not lose Wi-Fi around your home. Seriously. Vodafone pledges that you’ll never miss an important Zoom meeting, never lose access to your security cameras or other smart home gadgets, and never miss the tense ending of your latest Netflix boxset binge.
If you need a cast-iron guarantee that you’ll never be disconnected by a broadband outage in your area …you’ll be incredibly happy with Vodafone Pro Broadband.
The Wi-Fi router is simple to set up, thanks to the help from the companion app for your iPhone or Android smartphone. This handy app also provides one-tap access to help 24/7 with a dedicated team of experts – perfect if you come across any issues with your new broadband kit (and something regular ol’ broadband customers can only dream of).
For everyone else, Vodafone Pro Broadband commands a much higher price tag than some of the best UK broadband deals around …so you’ll need to be sure that you really want that outage insurance policy. Does your current broadband package really go dark that often? For our money, we’d rather spend the money on speedier download speeds to stream blockbusters and boxsets a little sooner, and ensure we’re never stuttering on our next work video call. Even if that means the occasional outage cutting us off in the middle of our–
Vodafone Pro Broadband review
Vodafone thinks it has solved the biggest headache of any broadband customer – losing internet!
The internet supplier’s all-new Pro Broadband combines your standard fixed-line connection with a mobile internet signal as a back-up. This basically means that, if the worst happens and the broadband in your area suffers an outage, you will never be without access to the web thanks to the 4G mobile signal keeping the Wi-Fi in your home running as normal. Of course, 4G connections aren’t as fast as the latest full-fibre home broadband cabling, so you might notice that some webpages are a little slower to load …but that’s a small price to pay compared to losing all unsaved data, vanishing from an important Zoom video call during work hours without warning, or being unable to talk to smart home assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant to adjust your thermostat or turn on connected lightbulbs.
It’s clearly a clever idea, but Vodafone does charge a premium for this service – a whole £15 extra a month, during our testing – so is it worth that extra money? Express.co.uk has been putting it to the test and here are our thoughts on Vodafone’s Pro Broadband.
Vodafone Pro Broadband offers an always-on connection even if the fixed-line goes down
How Much Is Peace Of Mind Worth To You?
Let’s start with the setup. Getting things up and running is so simple, anyone should easily install things without an engineer turning up with a drill. As long as you have a standard broadband line running into your home, you simply plug in Vodafone’s new Wi-Fi Hub, then wait a few minutes for things to connect.
From the kit arriving in the post to downloading our first movie, the whole process took a matter of minutes and the simplicity continues with a very easy-to-use smartphone app. This application links directly to the router and allows you to check download speeds, see what devices are connected and monitor the overall health of your internet.
It’s a small price to pay compared to vanishing from an important video call during work hours or, worse still, missing the latest episode of your fave Netflix show
Another great feature is the ability to set up a guest connection which offers a unique password for visitors and a time limit. This is perfect for when the neighbours come over for the afternoon and need some internet – as soon as they leave, it’s easy to boot them off your broadband and make sure they’re not sapping your precious speeds from next door.
Along with the main router, you’ll also be sent a booster box that can be placed in another room to help make sure the Wi-Fi signal reaches every corner of your home. Again, this really easy to install with the app taking you through each step of the process. With everything up and running you shouldn’t find any dead spots.
We tested Vodafone’s broadband in a four-bedroom property spread across three floors and the signal stayed strong throughout our time with this broadband.
The 4G network is supplied to the Hub via dongle
Another neat bonus that comes as part of the price is instant access to help. Vodafone’s Wi-Fi Xperts are a dedicated team of highly trained broadband and Wi-Fi engineers who will proactively monitor and fix customers’ issues. They’ll even be in touch in the first ten days to make sure you are set up and your broadband is tailored to your home.
It’s a nice touch as you’ll get a text asking if it’s OK 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 than ever working from home, Vodafone’s new service should mean you never miss a morning Zoom call with the team – even if there’s an outage on your street and everyone else is offline.
The dongle slots into the Hub and is a little clunky
This all works via the router instantly switching over to Vodafone’s 4G signal the minute the fixed-line goes down. It’s worth noting that the 4G is pumped into the router via a standard dongle that slots into the rear of the hub. It’s slightly clunky and it would be better if all of this tech was neatly tucked inside the shell, but it’s still better than the headache of an outage.
Now, you might be thinking what’s the point of this as most networks offer a separate 4G dongle which you can quickly connect to should things go wrong. That’s a fair point, but where Vodafone has the advantage is that the main router always stays online no matter what happens on your street.
If like most people, you have a swathe of gadgets hooked up to this hub it means they will all continue to work until the fixed-line issue is repaired and you won’t have to start digging into the settings on every Echo, laptop, smart TV and camera to keep them online.
A comprehensive app offers a number of settings and options
Of course, 4G isn’t as fast as standard broadband so you probably won’t want to try and download a blockbuster PS5 game but it’s easily good enough for video calls and some music streaming.
Vodafone supplies a SIM with 50GB of data but the company has confirmed to Express.co.uk that this will be topped up if an outage lasts for a long period of time. There’s clearly loads to love about Pro broadband but we do have a couple of niggles. Like most routers, the Vodafone Hub that arrives with this plan is pretty chunky and the 4G dongle that pokes out of its rear case isn’t the prettiest design we’ve ever seen.
Then there are the overall speeds. Vodafone is reliant on the Openreach network and not everyone is connected to its fast fibre downloads. We tested this service in Greater London but could only get a maximum of 75Mbps, while Virgin Media offers next-generation 1Gbps speeds to the exact same address.
This clearly isn’t Vodafone’s fault – you can lay the blame squarely at the door of BT-owned Openreach – but nonetheless, it’s worth checking the speeds in your area before signing up.
So, How Much Does It Cost?
Finally, there’s the price as it is pretty expensive. The standard price for Vodafone’s Fibre 2 is currently £22 per month. Add the Pro service and you’ll face a monthly bill of £37. It’s almost like you’re paying an insurance policy to make sure your home stays connected 24/7.
That’s fine but during our months of testing the fixed-line stayed fully working and we never switched to 4G so you may end up wondering if it’s really worth paying the premium.
Vodafone Pro Broadband review: Final Verdict
When you think about Vodafone, you’re more likely to think of phone contracts than full-fibre internet …despite the company offering some of the best broadband deals in the UK today. With its new Pro Broadband bundle, Vodafone has launched something wholly impressive. If you want a cast-iron guarantee that your home broadband will never go offline, so you will never miss an important Zoom meeting, lose access to your smart thermostat or other connected gadgets, or miss the tense ending of your latest Netflix boxset binge – Vodafone Pro Broadband is a must-buy.
The Wi-Fi router is simple to setup, thanks to the help from the companion app for your iPhone or Android smartphone. This handy app also provides one-tap access to help 24/7 with a dedicated team of experts – perfect if you come across any issues with your new broadband kit (and something regular broadband customers can only dream of).
What We Loved
- Home Broadband Will Never Go Offline – Seriously
- Brilliant Companion App
- Easy To Set-Up The New Pro Wi-Fi Router
- Instant Access To Help If You Run Into Trouble
What We Didn’t Love
- Like Any Insurance, It’s Pricey Compared To Normal Broadband
- 4G Dongle Design Is Clunky
- Vodafone Relies On Openreach, So You Might Miss Out On Fibre Speeds
Of course, there’s no point having unbreakable broadband if the Wi-Fi doesn’t reach every corner of your home. Thankfully, Vodafone agrees. The company will bundle a booster box as part of your subscription to ensure nobody will be left unable to get a good connection in their bedrooms or the garden. With the booster fitted at home and the Vodafone Pro router switched on, you really will be unstoppable.
Our only real problems with this new Pro Broadband plan are the speeds available and the monthly cost. Vodafone relies on BT-owned Openreach to supply its internet connection so, if you’re unable to get the latest full-fibre download speeds from BT or Sky …you won’t find them here either.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a street that’s recently been upgraded by Openreach (or you’ve moved into a new build), you’ll be able to pair the unbreakable Vodafone Pro Broadband with speeds up to 900Mbps. That’s 12.8x faster than the average home broadband speed in the UK. For us, the best Vodafone could muster was 75Mbps. That’s a measly 5Mbps more than the average home broadband speed and for busy households with multiple people working from home, backing up photos to the cloud, making video calls, talking to Alexa, streaming music and 4K series from Netflix, and more – it’s not really quick enough.
That costs £37 a month, which is more than you’ll spend for similar speeds with a normal, breakable broadband plan. Of course, you’d imagine that “unbreakable” broadband would cost a premium …but the same 75Mbps speed from Vodafone without Pro Broadband features and you’ll only need to spend around £22 a month.
Over the course of a two-year contract, that’s a saving of some £350. So, it comes down to whether you’re happy to spend £175 a year to ensure you never suffer an outage.
Only you’ll know how often your home broadband suffers an outage and how much of an impact broken broadband would have on your business, work or play time. If you really can’t afford to be without the web, it’s impossible to fault Vodafone Pro Broadband.
However, like with any insurance policy, you need to decide whether it’s worth that high price. For our money, we’d rather spend the money on speedier download speeds to stream blockbusters and boxsets a little sooner, and ensure we’re never stuttering on our next work video call.