Is NOW broadband right for me?
NOW Broadband offers a range of plans and an emphasis on customer service.
- The highlights: An award-winning local service team; free move-in day service; competitive pricing.
- Watch out for: Router fees; not available everywhere.
NOW is a provider that focuses on quality, not quantity, and is aiming to be the most loved ISP in New Zealand rather than the biggest. This is evident through its award-winning local service team, plus you can get in-home and tech helpdesk support to iron out any issues with your broadband or devices in no time.
NOW started as a rural broadband provider back in 2002, but today offers ADSL, VDSL and fibre across New Zealand, putting customers first with easy-to-understand plans at competitive prices.
Read on to find out more about NOW broadband and if there is a plan for you.
Compare NOW broadband plans
Types of plans offered by NOW
All NOW broadband plans are naked, meaning they don’t come with a phone line. If you need a home phone, you can add one at the signup stage along with other extras.
Suitable for smaller homes or light-average internet users, this plan comes with 125GB of data via ADSL, VDSL or standard fibre.
The Unlimited plan is for households that don’t want to worry about running out of data each month. Available with ADSL, VDSL or standard fibre.
If you want the speediest broadband possible and unlimited data, Ultra Unlimited brings you super-fast fibre speeds of up to 900Mbps download and 400Mbps upload.
Epic gives you the same super-fast fibre speeds as the Ultra Unlimited plan, but you also get unlimited home tech helpdesk access, two in-home tech visits every year, and a 10% discount on any of NOW’s smart home products.
When choosing the 125GB or Unlimited plans, you will be presented with the types of connections available at your house. Fibre is the most reliable and faster than ADSL or VDSL, but it may not be at your place yet. Even if it is, you can still choose ADSL or VDSL.
NOW broadband plans don’t come with a router, but you can either use your own or get one when you signup and either pay for it in full or pay off over 12 months. You can also get the everyday router for free depending on available promotions on offer. Free standard installation is included on a 12-month contract for both new connections and transfers.
What is the deal with fibre?
Fibre is a type of broadband connection that is a vast improvement over traditional copper connections. With increased reliability and speeds up to 45 times faster than ADSL, fibre gives you the ability to have multiple devices streaming HD video or gaming at the same time without issues.
Standard fibre speeds from NOW are 300Mbps download and 100Mbps upload, but it’s possible to get even faster by paying an extra fee each month or choosing a different plan.
Fibre is being rolled out across New Zealand by the government and will be available for 87% of Kiwis by 2022. If it’s available in your area you can get free standard installation to your house and enjoy super-fast internet on multiple devices. This is how the process works:
- Once you sign up for a plan with fibre, NOW will contact your local fibre company to get the installation process underway.
- You will have a visit from a technician to survey your property and plan the installation.
- The local fibre company will connect the cables from the street into your property.
- A technician will bring the fibre into your home by installing an Optical Network Terminal.
- NOW will inform you when you are ready to go.
Getting fibre installed can take a few weeks or a few months depending on what kind of build work is required and if consent is needed from neighbours or landlords. You will also need to be at home to meet the technician for the planning and installation.
Are there any bundled extras with NOW?
When you join NOW broadband, you can add these extras on the signup page:
- Router. NOW offers two types of router models for ADSL/VDSL and fibre connections. You can purchase the everyday ADSL/VDSL Huawei DG8245V router or the everyday fibre Nokia HA-140 router on signup depending on your chosen connection type. Both routers are priced at $168 upfront or $14 per month paid over 12 months. For better coverage and a more consistent internet experience in large homes, you can get Whole-home Wi-Fi for $20 a month over 12 months, $10 a month over 24 months or a one-off payment of $240. There is a $15 router delivery fee, but once you’ve paid for it, it’s yours to keep.
- Home phone line. For $10 a month you can add a home phone line and an additional $5 will get you caller ID, call divert and voicemail. You can then choose calling packs for NZ, international or NZ mobiles, with monthly costs ranging from $10 to $30 a month.
- Remote assist membership. By paying $9.95 a month you’ll get unlimited access to NOW’s home tech helpdesk.
- In-home assist membership. For help with all your tech issues, this membership gives you a one hour home visit twice a year. NOW’s Techsperts can assist you in setting up devices, fixing slow internet, cabling clean up, device education, smart home planning and much more. You can also take advantage of unlimited remote assist calls and get 10% off NOW home tech products. In-home assist membership is automatically included in the Epic plan at a discounted rate, or you can add it on to any other plan for $19.95 a month.
- Static IP. If you need a static IP so you are always getting online with the same IP address, NOW can add this after you’ve signed up.
- Choose your connection. The 125GB and Unlimited plans use ADSL, VDSL or fibre, and you will pay the same price no matter which one you connect with.
- Build your bundle. NOW understands that certain broadband extras are not suitable for everyone. This is why its base plans are just naked broadband so you can add only the extras you need.
- Use your own router. If you have your own router, you might be able to use this instead of paying for another one. You can check if yours is compatible in the signup stage by clicking on ‘Check what routers are supported’. Here you’ll find information about configuration changes but NOW support can assist you if required.
- NOW Shop. To improve your home tech and entertainment game, you can purchase products such as video doorbells, security systems, Chromecast, LED bulbs and Wi-Fi systems.
- Free house move. NOW provides a free move-in day service to ensure you can get online on the first day in your new home. A Techspert will be at your new place on moving day to get your router set up and connect your devices. You’ll just need to let NOW know in advance so they can get everything ready.
- Handbrake service. If you have the 125GB plan you can turn on the handbrake service so you are not charged for additional data usage.
What to be aware of
- In-Home tech assist visits are only available in Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua, Hawke’s Bay and Wellington, but customers in other locations can get support over the phone.
- NOW broadband plans are not available everywhere, so you may get a message saying ‘It looks like you’re off the grid’ after entering your address. If you think you should be able to get broadband at your house, for example, you’ve had it before, you can contact NOW and they will look into it.
- NOW will have you connected within 5-10 working days in most cases for standard installations. If you are getting fibre for the first time then you may need to wait longer.
- You will be charged $1 for each additional GB you go over on the 125GB plan if you don’t have the handbrake service turned on.
- 30-day notice needs to be given if you want to cancel your broadband service.
There are not many (if any) broadband providers in New Zealand that will come to your home and get all your tech problems sorted, so this is one reason why NOW broadband is certainly worth considering.
NOW keeps pricing the same for its 125GB and Unlimited plans whether you will use ADSL, VDSL or fibre, and you can build your own bundle based on what you need and don’t need. One thing that is different from other providers is that there is no free modem or router included with its plans so you will need to purchase one if you don’t have your own.
However, this is not too much of a big deal since prices are already competitive and NOW has an award-winning local support team for when you need a helping hand.
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