Direct Save Telecom Broadband Review

Last updated: 25 January 2024   By Samantha Smith

Direct Save Telecom offer a no-frills service, but work with a range of fibre networks to offer availability across the UK.

Direct Save Telecom offer a wide range of broadband deals through four full fibre networks as well as offering part-fibre deals.

Price:

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Speed:

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Reliability:

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Customer Service:

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Direct Save Telecom are smaller provider, but they've been established for almost 20 years now.

They offer a fairly no-frills broadband service, but have some unique features, including low cost international calls and no credit checks to get connected.

While they partner with four fibre networks across the UK to offer wide availability, prices will vary depending on location, so comparing deals in an area is a good first step.

wireless router in home
Credit: Casezy idea/Shutterstock.com

At a glance

Price From £31.95
Setup cost £8.95
Minimum term 12 months / 18 months
Out of contract price From £36.95
Annual price increase CPI + 3.8% in March
Broadband connection Copper / part-fibre / full fibre
Download speeds 35Mb, 63Mb, 40Mb, 80Mb, 100Mb, 220Mb, 400Mb, 550Mb, 1000Mb
Upload speeds 9Mb, 18Mb, 10Mb, 20Mb, 30Mb, 40Mb, 60Mb, 100Mb
Router Wireless router
WiFi guarantee Not available
Parental controls Not available
Home phone £6.95 for pay as you go calls
Anytime calls £11.95 (inc. UK mobiles)

Latest deals

Offer Terms

DirectSave 35Mb Fibre Broadband for £31.95/mth for 12 months

12 month minimum term. £8.95 P&P. £36.95/mth after 12 months. Monthly price will rise annually by CPI + 3.8% in March.


DirectSave Full Fibre Broadband from £34.95/mth for 18 months

18 month minimum term. £8.95 P&P. Monthly price will rise annually by CPI + 3.8% in March.


Our review of Direct Save Telecom

Pros Cons
Wide full fibre availability via four fibre networks Not always the cheapest, especially for part-fibre and Openreach FTTP
Competitive pricing depending on area Basic broadband router
Home phone option available on all deals Few optional extras

Verdict: Is Direct Save Telecom any good?

Direct Save Telecom offer a wide range of broadband deals, partnering with four independent full fibre networks across the UK, as well as offering part-fibre deals through Openreach for 97% UK availability.

However, whether or not prices are competitive does vary considerably between location, and those served by Openreach may find cheaper prices with providers such as Plusnet, Sky, or Vodafone.

Direct Save Telecom do offer a useful service with an optional home phone line on all packages, cheap international calls, and no credit checks on new customers to keep their service open to all.

However, downsides such as a very basic router and not always offering the cheapest prices may mean customers are better served by a more well-known provider.

Compare the latest prices using our free broadband comparison tool.


Direct Save Telecom broadband packages

Summary: Direct Save Telecom offer a broad range of broadband packages due in part to their approach to partnering with multiple fibre networks.

Direct Save Telecom offer a fairly dizzying array of broadband deals, however they're generally all subject to location, so most customers will have a finite number to choose from.

Prices, broadband speed, and contract length do vary between location, so it's worth checking to see exactly which Direct Save Telecom deals are available in your area.

However, the majority of households in the UK will have availability with one of Direct Save Telecom's part-fibre or Openreach full fibre deals. So, here is what these plans currently cost:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Superfast Fibre 35Mb 35Mb average £31.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Superfast Fibre 63Mb 63Mb average £34.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Full Fibre 100/20 100Mb average £34.95 £8.95 18 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Full Fibre 220/30 220Mb average £39.95 £8.95 18 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Full Fibre 400/40 400Mb average £42.95 £8.95 18 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Full Fibre 550/75 550Mb average £44.95 £8.95 18 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Full Fibre 1000/115 1Gb average £52.95 £8.95 18 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)

The superfast part-fibre deals come with 12-month contracts, while full fibre connections on the Openreach network have a minimum term of 18 months.

All deals can be taken with a wireless router, and customers can also choose to add a home phone line with pay as you go calls for £2.95 extra, or add an inclusive call plan, which we look at in more detail below.

Customers living in certain pockets around the UK where another full fibre network has rolled out their services may also be able to get broadband through Direct Save Telecom.

The provider has partnerships with MS3 Networks in Hull, FullFibre Limited dotted around the west Midlands, and Open Fibre Networks who has pockets of availability around the country.

The partnership with MS3 Networks in Hull is the most interesting one as the city of Hull has always been a monopoly held by KCOM, but residents now have more choice with the expansion of independent full fibre networks like MS3.

Here are the deals available with Direct Save Telecom for residents of Hull:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Hyper Superfast FTTP 100/100 100Mb average £24.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Hyper Superfast FTTP 500/500 500Mb average £34.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Hyper Superfast FTTP 1000/1000 1Gb average £39.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)

These deals come with symmetrical upload speeds that are as fast as the download speed, and have 12-month minimum terms with the option of adding a home phone line too.

Customers living in areas served by either FullFibre Limited or Open Fibre Networks will also have slight variations on price, so it's worth checking availability for your postcode on our dedicated Direct Save Telecom deals page.


Home phone plans

Summary: All Direct Save Telecom broadband packages can be bundled with a home phone line with a range of optional inclusive call plans.

Direct Save Telecom offer a home phone line to all customers regardless of location or the broadband deals available to them.

It costs an extra £4 per month to add a digital home phone service, although customers will then have to pay another £2.95 (so £6.95 in total) to add calls on a pay as you go basis. Without the extra call plan customers will only be able to receive calls and not make them.

It's also possible to add one of the following call plans instead:

Calling plan Monthly price
Pay as you go calls Pay per use calls anytime £2.95
700 minutes 700 minutes of calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles £5.95
Anytime calls Free calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles (fair use applies) £11.95

These plans would be in addition to the £4 monthly charge for a home phone service.

The fair use terms on the anytime calls plan allows for up to 2000 minutes, or 300 calls. Out of allowance and pay as you go call charges are 18.27 pence per minute to UK landlines and UK mobiles and there is no call setup charge.

You can see how Direct Save Telecom compares for calling costs in our home phone guide.


How does Direct Save Telecom compare?

Summary: Direct Save Telecom compare well on costs against rival providers, but the best deals really depend on location.

Direct Save Telecom are a fairly cheap, budget, broadband provider, so let's see how they compare on price against other budget providers.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Superfast Fibre 35Mb 35Mb average £31.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Super Fibre 63Mb average £21 £10 12 months
offer Offer: Save £3/mth until 4 July 2024 then £24/mth + NOW TV membership available reduced for 12 months (Ends 04/07/2024)
Fibre 2 65Mb average £26 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £3 off for Vodafone pay monthly customers
Fibre 66Mb average £25.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £4/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers (Ends 29/05/2024)

NOW Broadband currently offer one of the cheapest prices for part-fibre, with their Super Fibre plan costing just £23 per month for 12 months.

Often, a provider's entry-level part-fibre deal now starts at around 63-66Mbps, as is also the case with Vodafone and Plusnet, so customers can get faster speeds for less. The next superfast deal up for Direct Save Telecom costs more at £34.95 per month.

So, for part-fibre to the cabinet connections, Direct Save Telecom aren't the cheapest broadband provider, and it's worth customers comparing deals in their area if price as an important factor.

Entry-level full fibre

For faster full fibre deals, Direct Save Telecom offer a wide choice of speeds through the Openreach FTTP network. Looking at the 100Mbps deal, here's how they compare with other resellers across equivalent connections:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 100/20 100Mb average £34.95 £8.95 18 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Full Fibre 150 150Mb average £29 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £3 off for Vodafone pay monthly customers
Full Fibre 145 145Mb average £27.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £12/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers
Ultrafast Broadband 145Mb average £28 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)

Vodafone, Plusnet, Sky, BT, and TalkTalk all offer cheaper entry-level 100Mb full fibre deals than Direct Save Telecom, as does Virgin Media on their cable network.

Although note that some providers like Plusnet and TalkTalk no longer offer a home phone service, which is available through Direct Save Telecom.

Households in Hull

Because Direct Save Telecom partner with other full fibre networks than just Openreach, they do offer more competitive pricing in certain locations.

Hull for example, is one area in particular where Direct Save Telecom are likely to offer a cheaper deal to new customers.

Here are their two fastest deals up against prices from Hull incumbent KCOM:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Hyper Superfast FTTP 500/500 500Mb average £34.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Full Fibre 500 500Mb average Free
for 2 mths,
then £34.99
£24.99 24 months
offer Offer: 2 months free (Ends 03/06/2024)
Hyper Superfast FTTP 1000/1000 1Gb average £39.95 £8.95 12 months
offer Offer: Loyalty Discount Club (worth £49.95)
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average Free
for 3 mths,
then £44.99
£24.99 24 months
offer Offer: 3 months free (Ends 03/06/2024)

While KCOM has held the monopoly in Hull for many years, new full fibre networks expanding in the area is helping to create competition and choice for residents.

Overall, Direct Save Telecom aren't the cheapest broadband provider, but in some locations they could be - so as always, it's worth comparing broadband in your area to find out.


How fast is Direct Save Telecom broadband?

Summary: Broadband speeds will vary depending on location, but where full fibre is available customers can get up to 1Gbps download speeds.

Direct Save Telecom offer a range of broadband speeds up to 1000Mbps or 1Gbps, but it does vary depending on location and whether full fibre has been rolled out to an area yet.

Customers living in full fibre enabled areas covered by Openreach, MS3 Networks, Open Fibre Networks or Full Fibre Limited will be able to choose from download speeds between 100Mbps and 1000Mbps.

While customers who've yet to be reached by full fibre will still be able to access superfast speeds between 35Mbps and 63Mbps with a part-fibre connection.

Here are the download and upload speeds for customers living in either part-fibre or full fibre Openreach areas:

Download speed Upload speed
Superfast 35Mb 35Mb 9Mb
Superfast 63Mb 63Mb 18Mb
Full Fibre 100 100Mb 10Mb
Full Fibre 220 220Mb 30Mb
Full Fibre 400 400Mb 40Mb
Full Fibre 550 550Mb 60Mb
Full Fibre 1000 1000Mb 100Mb

The speeds given for full fibre deals don't match up with those offered by other resellers, so it looks like Direct Save Telecom is listing up to speeds, rather than averages.

Customers living in full fibre areas reached by MS3 Networks in Hull and FullFibre Limited in the west Midlands will be able to receive symmetrical upload speeds that are fast as the downloads.

Overall, Direct Save Telecom offer similar broadband speed options to other providers, but it's unclear why they don't offer more accurate average speeds or personalised speed estimates.


Router

Summary: Direct Save Telecom provide all customers with a free wireless router, but specifications are likely to be fairly basic.

Direct Save Telecom use a range of different routers depending on the package and connection type a customer has chosen. This means, those who sign up to faster full fibre packages should get a router that can better handle the speeds on offer.

Customers will get either a RTLQ3 FTTH, UK33 FTTH, UK33 DSL or RTLQ3 DSL router. However, there's little information available about the specs of these devices and there is no manufacturer or model given.

The UK33 DSL and UK33 FTTH routers offer dual-band wireless on both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz channels, however the router doesn't merge these channels and instead broadcasts them as separate wireless networks which a connecting device can choose between. This is basically a feature of older dual-band routers, as newer models better handle the different frequencies together. Customers have to pay an extra £24.95 setup for this router.

The RTLQ3 routers seem older still, with very large external antennae and only single-band wireless, where newer devices generally all have internal antennae to give a more streamlined look.

Overall, customers may be disappointed with the router selection on offer from Direct Save Telecom, and it could be worth sourcing your own device.


Customer service

Summary: Direct Save Telecom offer UK-based customer support, but independent data on performance isn't available due to their size.

Direct Save Telecom are a fairly small broadband provider, which means they don't hold enough market share to be featured in independent research by regulator Ofcom into complaints and customer service performance.

However, with the trend for smaller independent providers entering the market this isn't something particular unusual, and while there is more data for providers like BT, Sky, and TalkTalk - it's still not an exact guarantee for customer experience.

Direct Save Telecom do offer customer service centres in the UK, with call routed through a Watford number, which is where their headquarters are located.

They also have fairly positive reviews on Trustpilot, although only 1862 customers have rated them so far. 59% have rated them excellent, with a high number of reviewers praising their customer service agents. Reviews also look genuine too, with a mixture of responses and Direct Save Telecom agents reply to both negative and positive reviewers.

One slight issue to be aware of is that Direct Save Telecom were investigated by Ofcom in 2018 over their debt collection policies, although the regulator backed off after the telecom company made some changes. However, it's worth bearing in mind.


Summary: Is Direct Save Telecom any good?

Despite being a very no-frills provider, Direct Save Telecom isn't always the cheapest option available, so it's always worth ensuring you've compared deals in your area before settling on a provider.

The rollout of full fibre broadband is also helping to increase competition with providers such as Plusnet, Sky, Vodafone, and NOW Broadband all offering cheaper prices.

There are some positives to Direct Save Telecom though, including:

  • Cheap prices in certain locations, such as in Hull
  • Wide availability through partnering with multiple full fibre networks
  • No credit checks on new customers
  • Home phone options on all packages, including cheap international calls

The biggest downside to Direct Save Telecom could well be the router they offer, with more providers moving towards technically advanced devices that offer stronger signals, better coverage and ultimately faster speeds over wireless.

Lastly, anyone in receipt of certain means-tested benefits should look to BT Home Essentials, as this tariff offers lower prices to help people stay connected.

Use our free tool to compare broadband prices in your area.

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