Zen Broadband Buyers Guide

Multi-award winning broadband with outstanding reliability and support

  • Multi-award winning broadband
  • UK-based technical support staff who don't use scripts
  • 1 month rolling contracts with all standard broadband deals
  • Standalone broadband available - including fibre
  • Truly unlimited usage on fibre broadband and large allowances on standard
  • Rated the most reliable out 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 Zen Broadband

  • Reliable - as a primarily business-focused provider, Zen prioritises reliability and technical support. As such, they're rated most reliable of all suppliers on Broadband.co.uk
  • Technical support - Zen's support staff are UK-based and work from technical knowledge rather than scripts
  • Fibre packages available - speeds averaging 55Mb download and 17Mb upload available in enabled areas
  • Standalone fibre packages - Zen are one of the few providers that don't require you to switch your line rental and calls to them for their fibre products
  • Rolling contracts on all standard broadband - for no additional charge, all ADSL-based products come with a contract with no minimum term; just give a month's notice to cancel at all time
  • Truly unlimited usage with no traffic management slowdowns available on fibre and ADSL
  • Phone bundles - all deals come with the option of line rental and pay for what you use calls. Anytime calls can be added by taking out Line Rental Plus
  • Award winning products and customer service - Ten year winner of PC Pro's Best ISP Award and Which? Magazine's recommended broadband and phone services supplier April 2013
  • Faster in the evenings - due to being a business-focused provider, Zen's network has a 'peak time' during working hours and actually sees a slight speed increase in the evenings
  • Static IP addresses included as standard

Possible downsides

  • No short contracts on fibre - however 12 months is among the shortest contracts any provider offers for this service
  • No inclusive phone calls - there is no evening or weekend inclusive calling period on Zen's phone bundles, you just pay for the calls you use, or pay an extra £6.31 a month for anytime calls
  • Low peak time speeds - Advertised average speeds achieved by 50% of customers between 8pm and 10pm are significantly lower than most other providers using equivalent technology
  • Premium service - Zen prioritises reliability and quality of service over offering the very lowest prices

Features at a glance

  • Superfast Fibre 2 averages 55Mb download speed and 17Mb upload, Fibre 1 averages 26Mb download and 6Mb upload, standard broadband averages 6Mb download and 600kb upload

  • 1 month contracts on ADSL, 12 month on fibre

  • Download allowances truly unlimited on all packages

  • Free ADSL connection if switching from another supplier, £55 connection fee for Fibre (plus £48 for new connections)

  • UK based customer and technical support

  • Email anti-virus protection

  • 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

4.2 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 265 customer ratings since 2018-12-09. See more Zen customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2019-12-03

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
    4.2 stars
  • Customer Service
    4.4 stars
  • Speed
    3.9 stars
  • Reliability
    4.2 stars

Based on 265 customer ratings since 2018-12-09

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
We had massive ongoing problems with unstable internet connectivity that was driving us demented. Between Zen and ourselves and a LOT of effort from openreach we finally go the bl. thing sorted out. So theough perseverance we all got there in the end.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
London Zen  
6 months in, I can't fault them for anything. Smooth process, great router (top of the line and awesome range), good speed and reliability (no dropouts ever!) for a reasonable price.

For me, peace of mind does worth it!
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Leeds Zen  
From being great 5 years plus ago, the service has gonE to same old tripe and poor support of other providers.
Looking forward to ditching the guff Openreach RESELLER offer for 4g or 5g.
Seriously unless you need a static ip for a particular reason-
ZEN ARE NOT WORTH THE PREMIUM
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    2 stars
uk Zen  
Two contracts for two separate properties. Zen have charged a £20 connection fee for a rolling monthly contract which is advertised as 'no set up fee.' That basic broadband has been working.
The second contract is for fibre. I have just measured speed six days into this contract - 0.10mpbs. I have stopped watching online film for the second time in 30 minutes and the second evening since Zen took over my service. At other times, speed reaches 40mpbs.
With property 1, my router would not connect to Zen. It had connected with my previous ISP (not supplied with that ISP so not tethered to them/blocked). Zen had no answer. It connected after I switched off my mobile phone and gave up with tech support.
Both connections took in excess of 5-6 hours to be up and running.
Will be wasting work time again tomorrow - ringing Zen. Feel foolish for believing Which's recommendation.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Derby Zen  
At the moment experiencing problems with connection and speed due to Openreach network and nothing to do with Zen itself. Always professional and helpful. Best customer service ever. Reviewers that have given a poor rating for this company are doing so because of the fault of the Openreach network and not do not understand that Zen are reliant on Openreach to resolve some technical problems, they own and operate the Network that Zen customers use to access Zen Broadband. I would always recommend Zen above any other provider and if you look at all the reviews and awards they have receive you will see that they provide excellent customer service.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Highlands Zen  
Terrible. We've hardly had stable internet for more than a week. Support is non existent. We are paying handsomely for superfast broadband. We are getting nothing like what was promised. Just terrible.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
SW London Zen  
Signed up for broadband and line rental, got the line rental but broadband was never connected.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Essex Zen  
We left Virgin for Zen 10 days ago. Signed up for the 66 and are regularly getting 60. No outs, just a good reliable service. The router (Fritzibox) works well, and Zen fixed with Virgin to transfer our landline number. Very happy.
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
London Zen  
So i have been with zen for a while now and i noticed that my speeds were starting unusually slow, 0.5-1.5 mbps and i thought that i would just leave it as there maybe something wrong with my line. A few months later and i contacted zen to find out that my speed has been capped at 2 mbps, and we were not told about this, and now apparently after calling on thursday i have to wait till tuesday for the cap to be removed, pretty outrageous, paying £50 a month for 2 mbps
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Manchester Zen  
Having just had an email problem sorted I feel that I must commend this company for offering good value and a properly functional service. I have just had a problem with my email solved, although problems rarely occur. The helplines are always manned and if they are busy you get a callback very quickly. Their employees are helpful, knowledgeable, patient and they speak good English which you can understand. Having tried several other broadband providers, I am fairly certain that I shall stay with this one - you do get what you pay for and the ethos seems to be that of giving good service. (And I am pleased to say that no-one to date has asked me how I am or told me to have a nice day!)
  • Satisfaction
    5 stars
  • Customer Service
    5 stars
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    5 stars
Huddersfield 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.

Broadband compensation

Automatic compensation for loss of broadband service goes live from today

Posted on 2019-04-01 16:56 in News TalkTalk Zen Plusnet BT EE Sky Vodafone Virgin Media Hyperoptic

A new voluntary code introduced by Ofcom goes into effect today. This scheme means that the broadband providers who have signed up will have to reimburse customers in the event of their broadband or landline phone service being down for longer than two days. Here's what you need to know.

The compensation you can expect

  • Delayed repair following loss of service - if a fault takes longer than two days to fix, you can expect £8 for each day after that period that your broadband is not repaired
  • Missed appointments - if the engineer does not turn up or your appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours of notice, you can expect £25 per missed appointment
  • Delays with the start of a new service - if your broadband does not go live on the agreed date, you can expect £5 for each day of delay, including the missed start date

Homes and small to medium businesses who choose to use residential broadband are eligible for compensation on this scheme, and you should only need to report the fault for compensation to be paid out automatically.

To qualify for compensation, faults must not be of your own making (for example, your problem is down to your own wiring and equipment, you shove a spade through a vital cable on your property, or you're not at home for an engineer visit). You're also due compensation in the event of extreme weather causing problems and third-party incidents that contribute to the delay of repairs.

The providers taking part

Originally BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen signed up to the agreement back when it was proposed in 2017. Since then EE, Hyperoptic, Plusnet and Vodafone have also signed up, accounting for more than 95% of broadband and landline customers in the UK. While most of these providers will be participating in this scheme from today, Hyperoptic and Vodafone will start automatic compensation later this year, and EE should be ready to do so next year.

Find more information in Ofcom's press release.

Comments

Broadband compensation

Get automatic compensation when your broadband goes down

Posted on 2018-12-13 16:07 in News EE Zen Plusnet TalkTalk Sky BT Virgin Media

You could be in line for compensation next time your internet goes down, following an agreement involving some of the UK's biggest broadband providers.

A voluntary code introduced by industry regulator Ofcom states that, from early next year, providers will have to reimburse customers if they lose broadband or landline phone service.

So far, BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Zen Internet have signed up to the agreement. Plusnet and EE have also indicated that they may join.

What you'll get

Under the plan, customers will receive £8 per day in compensation when their broadband goes down and the fault takes longer than two days to fix.

In addition, there will be £25 compensation when an engineer misses a scheduled appointment, or cancels within 24 hours.

Plus, customers will receive £5 per day when new services they sign up for do not start on time.

Homes, and small and medium businesses are eligible.

There are some caveats. You won't get compensation if you're the cause of the problem, like if you damage the wiring in your home or are out when the engineer arrives. Most faults are also likely to be fixed inside two days, so you could still experience disruption without being compensated for it.

Openreach are also involved in the scheme, since most faults occur on their network (apart from Virgin Media, who use their own infrastructure). They have said that they won't compensate the broadband suppliers in the event of force majeure events like flooding, leaving the onus on the suppliers themselves to foot the bill in those instances.

After a consultation in Spring 2017, Ofcom published their judgement in November 2017, giving retail and wholesale providers a 15 month deadline by which automatic compensation had to be in place. This means that the very latest we can expect to see the system working is mid-February 2019.

Your consumer rights

The agreement is the latest in a line of measures designed to the experience of broadband users, and ensure we're all getting value for money.

You can already exit your deal early and without penalty in the event of mid-contract price rises, or if the service you're receiving is simply not up to scratch. And the process to switch broadband is also now much simpler than it used to be.

You can find all the information you need on these subjects and more in our guide to your broadband consumer rights.

Comments

Zen Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Zen right for you?

Can I get Zen Broadband?

Zen's standard ADSL-based broadband is only available in Zen network areas. Their fibre service is restricted to exchanges that have been upgraded to support fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband.

This currently applies to about two-thirds of UK households although this is growing as more and more exchanges are being upgraded to enable fibre every month. You can discover whether or not you live in a fibre-enabled area with our postcode checker. In addition to having a fibre enabled exchange, your street cabinet also needs to have been upgraded to support the technology (BT generally place advertising posters on these once they've been enabled).

What packages are available?

Zen Broadband offer one ADSL-based broadband packages and two fibre broadband packages covering a range of speeds, all offering truly unlimited downloads.

The Zen Broadband ADSL-based broadband package is:

  • Zen Unlimited Broadband - averages 6Mb at peak times

All ADSL-based broadband packages with Zen Broadband have a one month rolling contract, allowing for flexibility in your contract duration. You can get these packages without line rental for £10 a month less, but must have a working phone line with another company, such as BT.

Their standard phoneline speed is given as ‘averaging 6Mb at peak times’ despite a 'protocol speed' of up to 17Mb, this is because of factors like the distance from the telephone exchange in line length, and peak time congestion. At least half of users will achieve speeds faster than 6Mb at peak times and all users are likely to see speed increases outside of the 8pm to 10pm peak time. You can find out where your local exchange is, and how far away you are from it, with our postcode checker.

The Zen Broadband fibre broadband packages are:

  • Zen Unlimited Fibre 1 - averaging 26Mb download and 6Mb upload at peak times
  • Zen Unlimited Fibre 2 - averaging 55Mb download and 17Mb upload at peak times

Unlike with the ADSL-based packages, all fibre and phone package contracts with Zen Broadband have a duration of 12 months. You can also get these packages without taking out line rental for £10 a month less, but must have a working phone line with another company, such as BT.

Fibre services are also likely to experience some slowdown with copper line length, but thanks to using fibre-optic from the exchange to the street cabinet, it's only the much shorter distance from that cabinet to your home that causes any slowdown. FTTC products are also based on the faster VDSL technology over the copper cable segments, so the lowest speeds to be experienced from the longest lines are still likely to be as high as 10 or 15Mb when ADSL-based products might be experiencing 0.5Mb.

Which package should I choose?

Zen Broadband offer different kinds of package with their fibre and phone deals as opposed to their ADSL broadband deals, but the main factors are still speed, download capacity, phone service, contract length and overall expense.

When deciding between fibre and ADSL, your main concern should be speed. Fibre can be a lot faster and it is tempting, but the stated headline ADSL speed of 6Mb (available to 50% of users during peak hours, 8pm to 10pm) is more than enough for the majority of Internet uses, allowing not only casual browsing and email usage, but also watching videos, using Skype or downloading music. If you're on a budget then there could be little point paying extra for speed you won't necessarily need.

However, the faster speeds that fibre provides do suit some people better - especially if you're a regular heavy Internet user, and if your connection is shared with other heavier users, or just a lot of other people. The speed of the connection will be divided by those using it any one time, and so larger households including student flats and large families will benefit from having a fibre connection. This applies even more with the Zen Unlimited Fibre 2’s even higher speeds averaging 55Mb. People living far from telephone exchanges might also benefit from fibre if they can get it, as their ADSL speed is likely to suffer.

However, Zen Broadband’s deals are also tied to contract length. The short 1 month rolling contracts offer a great deal of flexibility, so are ideal for those whose living circumstances are likely to change in the next year, such as young people and students. The flexibility also means you are less tied to a single package (and provider). However the 12 month fibre contracts are still relatively short compared to many providers' fibre offerings which commonly have 18 or even 24 month minimum contract lengths. At the time of writing, the only fibre contracts shorted than 12 months offered are 9 month student-only offers from BT and Virgin that are only available around the start of the academic year.

Those who would like a home phone line provided with their broadband should opt for the packages with line rental and calls. The basic line rental package with only pay for the calls you use costs £16.99, and the Line Rental Plus package costs £23.50 a month and comes with anytime calls. If you want to keep your existing provider for line rental and calls, you can select the no line rental option for all of these packages for an extra £5.40 a month.

All of these factors must be weighed against each other in relative importance to you because you can only pick and match to a limited extent - all 1 month rolling contracts come with ADSL-based broadband, for example. The bottom line is to remember that you shouldn't have to pay for more than you require, as much as possible.

Points to consider before you choose

  • Do you need the flexibility of a 1 month minimum contract term or is the speed of fibre a more important factor?
  • How many people will be using your broadband connection at any one time, especially for heavy downloading, HD streaming or online games?
  • Would the expense of the faster speed be worth it for you?
  • How far do you live from a BT telephone exchange, and will this be a problem for your ADSL speeds?
  • What are your main priorities out of speed, download capacity, contract length, phone service and cost?

Compare all Zen Broadband deals

What do I get when I sign-up?

It's always good to know upfront what you'll get when signing up with an ISP so you know what you can enjoy for free, or to budget for any extras you may want.

  • Zen Customer Portal - The Zen Customer Portal allows you to manage your connection, including showing you how much data you have used so you know if you are approaching your download cap (if you have one).
  • 2GB inclusive web hosting - If you want to start your own website, or host files online, you may find this an attractive feature.
  • Zen Webmail - Closely linked to the Zen Customer Portal, Zen Webmail provides up to 11 POP3 email accounts per Zen Broadband account, and comes with Zen’s regularly-updated antivirus email protection to catch any threats before they reach your mailbox.
  • UK-based customer support - Unlike some other providers, Zen’s customer support is entirely UK-based, and do not use scripts. Calls to them are at local rates, which is not as good as freephone customer service, but still better than some other providers’ premium rates.
  • Broadband Voice - Zen Broadband’s Broadband Voice service allows Zen Broadband customers with a VoIP-compatible router and telephone to make telephone calls over the internet, providing an extra outgoing phone line for a fraction of the cost of a landline at £5.10 per month for 1000 inclusive minutes.
  • ADSL Move - Zen Broadband’s ADSL Move service helps you transfer your home broadband connection when you move house. Zen Broadband will help manage everything free of charge, and will waive the usual activation fee for setting up their broadband connection at the new home. This does not apply to Zen Fibre customers however - indeed, it is not currently possible to move your Zen Fibre connection with you and you might end up paying for two houses’ connections at once (however this may be the case with any BT Wholesale fibre to the cabinet service).
  • Static IP addresses - Zen Broadband offer free static IP addresses as a matter of course, which can be a great benefit to customers running servers.

What are the benefits of Zen Broadband?

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

  • Award-winning - Zen Broadband have a number of accolades to their name, including having won the PC Pro Best ISP Award ten years in a row, and being named Which? Broadband recommended provider. These awards are good signs that a provider delivers on its promises and provides a quality service. Zen Broadband’s customer service team are particularly praised in this regard.
  • UK-based customer support - Unlike some other providers, Zen’s customer support is entirely UK-based, and do not use scripts but are instead staffed by technically proficient technicians.
  • Short rolling contracts - While Zen Broadband offer 12 month fibre contracts which can be helpful for those who like to manage their accounts on an annual basis, they also provide short rolling one-month contracts on their various ADSL packages, which can be of great help to those with uncertain living circumstances or short tenancies who may need to move within the next year, such as students. It also provides greater flexibility in your broadband service, not consigning you to a contract for the foreseeable future.
  • Truly Unlimited fibre - Zen Broadband’s fibre and phone packages are truly unlimited, meaning that they are not only free of download caps and fair usage limits that would curb your internet usage per month, but they are also free of traffic management, meaning your fibre broadband service will never be artificially slowed.
  • Premium features - As a business-focused provider, Zen offer extras like static IP addresses, web space, truly technical support and exceptional reliability. Having majority business users also means that their network is slightly faster in the evenings when most other providers would be experiencing peak network congestion.

What are the drawbacks of Zen Broadband?

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

  • No inclusive routers on ADSL packages - Unlike almost all other providers, Zen Broadband do not provide free inclusive routers with their ADSL contracts, necessitating you to get your own. There is the option to purchase routers from Zen Broadband with £6.95 delivery, however this still adds up to an extra cost, unless you already have a compatible router.
  • No freephone tech support - Calls to customer support are charged at local rates. This isn't as bad as some providers' premium rate lines, but may become a significant additional expense.
  • Low peak time speeds - Zen's advertised average speeds, as achieved by 50% of customers between 8pm and 10pm, are significantly lower than most other providers using equivalent broadband technology. Zen's slowest advertised speed is only 6Mb while the next slowest provider has an average of 10Mb for the same protocol.
  • Premium pricing - Zen is rarely the cheapest option available. They've chosen to invest in stability, performance and excellent technical support, rather than offering the cheapest possible prices.
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