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Value for money with Three home broadband

Three Home Broadband focuses on offering a wireless broadband service which makes use of the company's 5G high speed and ever-expanding mobile data signal. Users can benefit from cable-free, next-generation internet access.

Value for money with Three home broadband

Key Benefits

One of the major benefits of Three's 5G 3 home broadband deals and other 5G offers is that this type of home broadband doesn't need any installation and you can be anywhere provided that you're within reach of the mast.

All you have to do is plug in your router in an area where there is 5G and off you go. There is no engineering work that needs to be done or any landlines to connect. It is a simple plug in operation and you're ready to go. You will simply get a SIM and a receiver/router in the post with no extra costs or time commitments and this is a major draw for many users.

What you may be still wondering, however, is what sort of 3 home broadband speed you can expect and is 3 home broadband any good? You may particularly want to know is how good 3 home broadband is in comparison to old-fashioned cables and whether you could even get it. Let's try and answer some of those questions.

Coverage and 3 home broadband speed

You may be asking how good is 3 home broadband? This is incidental, however, if you can't get the coverage. At the time of writing this review, around half of the UK was covered by Three's 5G, while 99 per cent had 3G or 4G coverage.

Three's 5G network was launched towards the start of 2020 and initially coveted 66 towns and cities. It expanded rapidly, however, to cover in excess of 400 British towns and cities. The company passed the 50 per cent market coverage in the middle of 2022.

If you're interested in Three Home Broadband, you can check if you can get it by visiting the company's website and filling in your postcode details.

The average download speeds, meanwhile, are between 100 and 260Mbps. Three is known as Britain's biggest and fastest carrier for 5G mobile.

The highest speed possible is 1,200Mbps and there are some customers who do manage to get over 800Mbps. The average is significantly lower than this, however. The speed that you get will ultimately depend on how close you are to the nearest mast.

When the 5G service was first launched, Three advertised the speed as 100Mbps. This has now been removed from the company's material, however, and independent measurements from the likes of Ookla, OpenSignal, and RootMetrics have indicated a speed from 204Mbps to 258Mbps. According to Ofcom data, the average download speed for home broadband in the spring of 2021 was 50.4 Mbit/s.

The average speeds being achieved by 3 home broadband are typically only usually obtainable by customers making use of full-fibre broadband and look set to improve further. The speeds should be plenty for even busy households with lots of gaming and streaming activity.

It is worth noting, however, that users will have to contend with pretty average upload speeds and slightly higher latency if gaming. According to RootMetrics and Ookla, this is 17ms in London and 21 to 26ms on average across the country. This should still be fine for gaming overall, however.

Another thing to be aware of is that Three operates a traffic management system. This is called Traffic Sense and is aimed to ensure that all users get their share of Three's network and have the best possible experience. However, the reality is that you may have slower speeds than normal at times.

Contracts

Contracts

There are contracts of both 12 months and 24 months available, with prices starting from £10 a month for the most cost-effective 3 home broadband deals. The longer contracts are significantly cheaper than the shorter contracts.

New Three home broadband customers can only sign up for 5G contracts as the 4G and 3G home broadband services are no longer offered to new customers.

5G Hub deals include the 5G download speeds plus unlimited usage and no need for a phone line and the prices charged are comparable to other fixed line solutions. The equipment is also good and is attractive if you can't get a full fibre broadband service in your area.

If you can achieve the higher speeds, Three offers particular value for money in comparison to other providers and services.

Routers

The 5G Hub router Is a Qualcomm 5G SDX55M model with a pair of Ethernet ports with gigabit capability. This means you can connect two devices using a wired connection if you want to ensure you get the fastest possible speed.

It is a dual-band router with wireless connectivity using Wi-Fi 6, next-generation connectivity. It can send its signal to up to 30 wireless devices and is renowned for providing superior coverage around the home.

You should think about where you place your router, however, and you won't have as much choice as you might want. You shouldn't position it next to the fridge or a mirror, for example. The recommended position is next to a window pointing in the direction of the source of the signal. This is likely to be quite restrictive in terms of positioning in many homes and is one of the downsides of this system.

Three customer service

Look at sites such as Trustpilot and you will find a typical mix of 3 home broadband reviews but those that relate to customer services are no worse than any other provider. In general, Three customer services seem to do reasonably well and offer various means to contact them, including a telephone line, Live Chat, and social media contacts.

3 home broadband reviews

The conclusion to this review is that Three home broadband could be very appealing if you live within one of the company's 5G coverage areas. It offers excellent value for money if you can achieve its higher speeds, but this requires living close to one of its masts and so this certainly won't apply to all users. Coverage is growing, however, and the 5G network is still in its early stages. This means that more improvements and more benefits for greater numbers of people are on the cards in the not too distant future. In the meantime, value for money is still on offer, as are decent speeds and acceptable customer service levels.

One of the downsides of Three 5G home broadband is the limitations when it comes to positioning the router and there is no doubt that Three currently can't compete with the offerings of Virgin Media, for example, when it comes to absolute speed. Having said this, however, it does offer something different with its own benefits and this may prove attractive to you.

As we mentioned earlier, improvements are also continuing and there is a real possibility that one day, the speeds offered by the likes of Three home broadband could actually surpass those achieved by fixed-line broadband systems. There is no doubt that the 5G technology already being used has huge potential and is capable of achieving some truly impressive speeds for its users to enjoy in the future.

How Does Three's Mobile Broadband Compare to Traditional Providers?

Three's mobile broadband offers a unique alternative to traditional fibre optic cable providers. With unlimited data plans and the potential for 5G speeds, it's an attractive option for many consumers. Unlike fixed-line broadband, Three's service doesn't require line rental or installation, which can lead to significant cost savings.

According to Ofcom's 2023 report, the average UK broadband speed is now 65.3 Mbps. Three's 5G home broadband can potentially offer speeds well above this, with some users reporting speeds of up to 800 Mbps in optimal conditions.

How Does Three's Mobile Broadband Compare to Traditional Providerss

What Are the Benefits of Three's Pay Monthly Mobile Broadband Plans?

Three's pay monthly mobile broadband plans offer flexibility and value. Many plans come with unlimited data, making them ideal for heavy users or households with multiple devices. The monthly charge is often competitive, especially when factoring in the lack of line rental.

Three also offers 'Go Roam' benefits on many plans, allowing customers to use their data allowance in over 70 destinations worldwide at no extra cost. This can be a significant advantage for frequent travellers.

How Does Three Handle Price Increases and Consumer Protection?

Like most UK broadband providers, Three's prices are subject to annual increases. These are typically based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus an additional percentage. For example, in April 2023, Three increased prices by December's CPI rate plus 3.9%.

Three is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, ensuring fair treatment of customers. They offer a 14-day cooling-off period for new contracts, allowing customers to cancel without penalty if they're not satisfied.

What Equipment Does Three Provide for Home Broadband

What Equipment Does Three Provide for Home Broadband?

Three provides a Home Hub for their broadband service. This is typically a ZTE or Huawei router capable of distributing 5G or 4G signals throughout your home. The router supports multiple users and devices, with most models capable of connecting up to 64 devices simultaneously.

For mobile broadband users, Three offers a range of mobile Wi-Fi devices and dongles. These are compatible with various devices including laptops, tablets, and smartphones, regardless of whether they run iOS or Android.

How Can Customers Maximise Their Three Broadband Experience?

To get the most out of Three's broadband service, consider these tips:

  1. Use Three's coverage checker before signing up to ensure good signal strength in your area.
  2. Position your Home Hub near a window and away from electronic devices for optimal signal reception.
  3. Take advantage of Three's app to monitor your data usage and manage your account easily.

Frequently Asked Questions About Three Broadband

Yes, Three typically performs a credit check for pay monthly broadband plans. This helps determine eligibility and credit terms. However, they also offer some plans with no credit check required, which might be suitable for those with limited credit history.

If you're switching your mobile service to Three, you can usually keep your existing phone number. This process, known as porting, is typically completed within one working day of your new service being activated.

Three often provides special offers for existing customers, including discounts on additional services or upgrades. It's worth checking your account or contacting Three directly to see what offers are available to you.

As of 2023, Three claims to have the UK's fastest 5G network, with coverage in over 400 locations. However, coverage can vary significantly depending on your specific location, so it's essential to use Three's coverage checker before committing to a plan.

If you exceed your data allowance on a limited plan, Three will alert you. You can then choose to buy additional data or wait until your allowance refreshes. On unlimited plans, you don't need to worry about exceeding your allowance, but speeds may be reduced during peak times due to traffic management policies.

Page last updated on: 04/07/2024

Page reviewed by: Brijesh Patel

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