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Vodafone Internet Reviewed: Best Value?

Rating
4.5 / 5

Verdict
For cities included in the Vodafone/CityFibre full-fibre network upgrade, Vodafone is the best service option in terms of speed-to-price. It's also worth considering for those who want to bundle with Vodafone mobile for a cheaper price. Customers searching for the best TV and Sports bundles will be better served by TV-first providers like Sky or BT.

 
Reviewed by
Thomas Buck

Vodafone is quickly rising as one of the best broadband options on the market.

The reason: a partnership with CityFibre to launch gigabit service throughout the UK. As of 2022, high-speed service has been deployed to 25 cities and is rapidly approaching its 2025 goal of 8 Million households served.

Vodafone is a good choice for broadband service if you live in their fibre footprint. The price point typically falls in the £25–45 range, putting it on-par with other major ISPs like BT and Virgin.

If you’re not in their fibre footprint, the service is actually delivered over Openreach lines owned by BT. While perfectly fine, there’s less advantage for these customers unless you’re bundling with Vodafone mobile for a lower price.

The biggest drawback with Vodafone is their security and parental controls. Compared with the market, Vodafone parental controls are mostly device-level, with no default settings for multiple Wi-Fi networks. The setup experience is less user-friendly than the in-app systems offered by their competitors.

Vodafone Broadband Pros and Cons


Pros

  • Full fibre service with gigabit download and upload speeds.
  • Affordable bundle options for mobile customers.

Cons

  • Limited and finicky security & parental controls.
  • Rarely the cheapest option available.

Vodafone broadband speed performance

Vodafone broadband speeds depend heavily on your location. If you’re in their full fibre service area, the speeds are up to the gigabit range and performance dramatically outperforms phone line broadband and even Virgin Media.

…For those outside their fibre footprint, service is delivered over Openreach phone lines. For those customers, just going directly with BT is usually the better choice.

As you can see in the chart below, their speeds overall underperform the UK norms. However, this is because most speed test sites include their mobile performance, which is the majority of their customer base.

Vodafone average speed graph.

Vodafone underperforms the UK in terms of mobile, but over-performs in full fibre areas.

Zoom in to look at cities where they’ve built full fibre, and you can see that the maximum speeds delivered become much more appealing:

Vodafone fibre cities speed examples.

Vodafone shows high maximum speeds in cities where they partner with CityFibre.

Is Vodafone full fibre?

Vodafone offers a full fibre service in partnership with CityFibre, a company that’s building full fibre service lines to major cities throughout the UK.

CityFibre is essentially the only major competitor to Openreach when it comes to full fibre broadband. The company is rapidly building up a fibre network in most major cities throughout England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

The buildout is good news for Vodafone customers, because Vodafone is acting as the “anchor tenant” selling CityFibre lines to end users.

Vodafone Wi-Fi router options

The Vodafone Wifi Hub is a surprisingly basic bit of kit. It includes the features you expect from a default Wi-Fi router in 2022, including beam-forming, dual-band (2.4 and 5 GHz bands), and multiple gig ports.

Missing features include Wi-Fi 6, extended range functionality, and mesh network add-on options.

If you’re in a larger home, you’re almost certainly going to want to replace the Vodafone default router with your own selection, in order to access better extension features. This is especially true for renters, who may not be able to drill holes to hard wire devices.

Vodafone security & parental controls overview

Beyond using the 2.4 GHz network as a “kids” network, Vodafone offers very few options for parents who want more security and control beyond simply blocking certain sites and limiting access time for designated devices.

 

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