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Broadband ISP Zen Internet UK Sweeps the Expert Reviews Awards

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 (8:03 am) - Score 2,208
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Consumer site Expert Reviews has posted the winners of their annual ‘Best Broadband Awards 2021‘ event, which surveyed their readers in an effort to identify the best UK Internet Service Providers across a range of different categories. But the overall winner, by a comfortable margin, came out as Zen Internet.

The results stemmed from a reader questionnaire, which was hosted on the Expert Reviews website (see for full results), although it should be noted that this was based on a fairly small sample size of just 1,021 people. The small sample meant that only the largest ISPs could be compared, including BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Vodafone and Zen Internet, although we don’t know how many votes counted toward each.

Suffice to say that Rochdale-based Zen ended up coming out on top in every single category (Overall Winner, Best Customer Support, Most Reliable, Best Value and Best Speed) and by a “comfortable margin“. In terms of customers who would recommend their ISP, some 100% said Zen, which fell to 85.4% for EE, 82.1% for Plusnet, 71% for Virgin Media, 70.6% for BT, 70.1% for Sky Broadband, 64.1% for Vodafone and lastly 62.3% for TalkTalk.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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9 Responses
  1. CSH says:

    I am certainly looking into for ZEN to be my next full fibre provider once the services are available in my area of Aberdeen and also when they introduce the Zen full fibre plus 900.

  2. RaptorX says:

    I’m not surprised that they keep winning as their customer service is head and shoulders above this competition and they really are an excellent ISP.

    However, they’d get much tougher competition from the likes of A&A, IDNET and Aquiss, but would still come out looking very good.

  3. Anthony Goodman says:

    You only ever need customer service if there is a problem. And these days you maybe have a problem once per year – if that, and all service providers will either use Openreach of someone like CityFibre so just pass the problem onto them. So I am curious does anyone have any real world examples why Zen is considered better than the rest? I ask as it is often much more expensive than the rest and when CityFibre FTTP comes to my area I am tooing and frowing between each of Zen, Vodafone and TalkTalk for it.

    1. RaptorX says:

      Saying they just hand it off is a simplistic way to look at it as there’s a lot more to iit than that. I can give you an example.

      I left BT years ago after they failed to fix a simple configuration problem. I should add that this was when they had outsourced support, so they’re probably better now.

      My ADSL line can do 20Mbps, but I was getting just 12 because the BRAS profile was stuck on the server. There wasn’t even a physical line fault to cause it to drop, just a server glitch.

      I kept on at them for 6 weeks, each time they’d said they’d fixed it and when it didn’t budge they sent round an Openreach engineer, after first trying to say that there was no problem, speed was in spec, when it clearly wasn’t and even blaming me a couple of times. Three times they sent one round and each time he said he wasn’t needed and that they just needed to adjust the server setting remotely.

      The same engineer visited the last two times, the second time, he could see how stressed out I was and was pulling my hair out in frustration at BT’s inability to fix a basic fault. This time he went the extra mile and made the phone call himself, rattling off lots of incomprehensible numbers to the operator at the other end.

      I had a test download going while he did this, measuring the speed in Mbps. As soon as that operator hit the switch as it were, the rate jumped up to 20Mbps, no fuss, no glitches, completely steady.

      However, by then it was too late and I was thoroughly sick of BT’s lousy support. There were other issues too over the years which put me off them and this was the last straw.

      I looked for another ISP, had read that the smaller ones offer a much better service, saw Zen had a reasonably priced service and a great reputation, so went for them. Years later I’m still really happy with them.

      I’ve needed them a handful of times, sometimes to fix a fault and sometimes to adjust line profiles and each time they were professional and knew what they were talking about, no scripts. No wonder Zen keep winning against their big boy competition. As I said in my previous post here, they’d get stiff competition from A&A, IDNET, Aquiss and a handful of others, but would still come out looking really good.

  4. Rich says:

    Hello, we have been with Zen since September 2020, they are more expensive and have no bundled packages but I felt we should try them not least because I thought the Fritz router they provide and the pay extra for Mesh fritzbox could be worth it. As it turns out it has been definitely the right decision. Fritz box and mesh setup has been excellent as is the Fritz interface. Secondly we have had a hiss and crackle on our line since we moved in 6 years ago. Previous providers such as Plusnet, John Lewis, Now TV, hadnt acted on us raising this neither the occasional internet drop out and seemingly up and down connection speed. Within 3 days of raising this with Zen and them doing tests, OpenReach had been out and replaced outside copper cabling to the inside box and all sorted. More expensive than most but absolutely worth it in our short time with them.

  5. Essa Moshiri says:

    I have been with zen since July, the switch from BT was easy and straight forward.

    Their router is far superior to BT router where you can’t even change DNS.

    Further changing from BT to zen increased my speed with at least 15mbit. Price did increase but only slightly.

    The fact that I get static ip and ip6 is just amazing.

    I would say only thing I would say is that the Fritzbox could be simpler as interface can sometime can be slow and cumbersome.

  6. Ryan says:

    I wouldn’t recommend zen internet, been getting packet loss last few days and they keep fumbling around with their peers. I play online games like call of duty and the hit registration is really bad. Might switch to BT or Talktalk as they have more peers.

    1. Noode says:

      Have you spoken to them about it? There are loads of tweaks and options and things they can see that you can’t which might help.

    2. RaptorX says:

      Their service is much better than that, this looks like a fault on your service. Call support and have them investigate before criticising them.

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