We review NOW broadband's three plans and outline the pros and cons of each, benefits and how to get the best price.
Updated 18 July 2021
- NOW in a Nutshell: NOW is one of the largest broadband providers in the country, and its differentiating factor is its immense commitment to offering the best broadband technical support in New Zealand.
- Coverage: NOW offers ADSL, VDSL, and Fibre broadband nationwide. tTo find out what type of service is available in your area, visit their website.
- Plans and Pricing: NOW offers three plans:
- 125GB Plan (from $75/month)
- Unlimited Plan (from $85/month)
- Ultra Unlimited Plan (from $99/month).
How to get the best price on NOW broadband plan:
- New Customers: Plans with NOW are cheapest when you sign up for an unlimited data plan, and don't plan to change providers for at least 12 months (therefore avoiding the early exit fee).
- Renewing: If you're happy with NOW and would like to continue, the best approach is to compare the pricing when your contract comes up for renewal. If NOW is offering a better deal than the renew rate, contact their support team and ask for them to apply it to your account.
This guide details the five plans’ pros and cons and compares the plans side-by-side and outlines those most suitable for NOW for broadband. We cover:
- NOW Broadband Set Up and Installation Charges
- How Fast is a NOW Broadband Connection?
- Comparing NOW Plans
- Choosing the Right NOW Plan
- NOW Broadband Frequently Asked Questions
Christopher Walsh, Founder of MoneyHub, shares his views on comparing broadband providers:
NOW Broadband Set Up and Installation Charges
Know this first: When comparing broadband providers, service setup charges are an essential part of the deal. Fortunately, in the case of NOW, there are no major differences between its broadband plans since all have the same setup costs.
- Set up fee: NOW does not charge any set-up fee for standard installations - this applies when you already have an existing ADSL, VDSL, or Fibre connection at home. However, if that’s not the case, you may end up paying a non-standard set-up fee.
- Modem: When signing up with NOW you can bring your own modem (BYO), rent the standard Netcomm router for $10/month, pay it upfront ($120), or opt for a next-gen Whole-home Wi-Fi kit for $25/month ($300 if you prefer paying it upfront). In all cases, you will have to pay a small delivery and handling fee of $14.
There are no set up fees associated with standard ADSL/VDSL or Fibre installations. However, you may have to pay a non-standard installation fee if your household does not already have a fibre connection.
NOW Broadband Customer Service and Outage Support
- You can contact NOW's Customer Support by phone from 8 am - 9 pm, during weekdays and from 8:30 am to 5 pm during weekends.
- You can also contact support by using their direct message system.
- Finally, you can visit NOW’s customer service team in person at their Napier HQ at office hours from Monday to Friday, or in Christchurch (you have to call first for an appointment).
- It’s worth mentioning that you can also include a Remote Assist Membership ($9.95/month) to get unlimited access to NOW’s Home Tech Helpdesk, or include an In-home Assist Membership ($19.95/month) to get a one hour home visit twice a year plus unlimited remote assist calls.
How Fast is a NOW Broadband Connection?
The speed of your internet connection will be determined by the type of line available in your area. Depending on your location, NOW may have VDSL, Standard Fibre or the newest HyperFibre lines available. Below is a reference of what to expect from each line:
- NOW’s ADSL/VDSL Speed: Up to 70Mbps download speed / 10Mbps upload speed
- NOW’s Fibre Speed: Up to 100Mbps download speed / 20Mbps upload speed
- NOW’s Ultra Unlimited Fibre Speed: Up to 900Mbps download speed / 400Mbps upload speed
Comparing NOW Plans - 125GB vs Unlimited vs Ultra Unlimited Broadband Plan
NOW offers three fixed-line broadband plans, the 125GB Plan, the Unlimited Plan, and the Ultra Unlimited Plan. Also, for extra $19.95/month ($16/month on the Ultra Unlimited Plan), you can sign up to Home Assist Membership which gets you access to unlimited remote tech assistance, two in-home visits per year to enhance your household wireless network, 10% off NOW’s smart-home products and more. For detailed information regarding Home Tech Assist, you can visit NOW’s website.
Important: The pricing below assumes you choose a “naked” broadband plan, with no phone line add-ons.
NOW 125GB Broadband Plan Review
Summary: NOW's 125GB Plan offers a good starting point to enjoy fast and stable broadband connection for tasks that consume little to moderate bandwidth.
NOW Unlimited Broadband Plan Review
Summary: As its name suggests, NOW's Unlimited Broadband Plan has no data transfer limitations so it is an excellent upgrade over the 125GB plan, ideal for large families and content creators
NOW ULTRA Unlimited Broadband Plan Review
Summary: NOW's Ultra Unlimited Plan provides one of the fastest broadband connections in New Zealand at a reasonable price, making it an interesting alternative for professionals who work from home and large families with high bandwidth demands.
Which NOW Broadband Plan is the Best?
Our view is that, for most homes and professional content creators, the 'middle tier'Unlimited Fibre Plan
offers the best value for your money. As runner-up, you have theUltra Unlimited which offers excellent value for Fast Fibre broadband at $99/month
Choosing the Right NOW Plan - 125GB vs Unlimited vs Ultra Unlimited Broadband Plan
To determine which plan best suits your needs, consider the following specifications and features:
1. Connection Speed: In general terms:
- The ADSL/VDSL Plan offer a connection speed adequate to perform most usual online tasks at home, from reading the news and emails to watching YouTube videos or streaming services. In other words, when signing up for 125GB or Unlimited plans, you can choose this technology if your home does not require heavy use of bandwidth-consuming applications.
- The Standard Fibre Plans allow you to enjoy reliable 100/20 Mbps speeds that are more suitable for larger families requiring more bandwidth to enjoy HD streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Disney+ etc. This speed also offers more than enough bandwidth for most content creators and online professionals.
- Ultra Unlimited Plan only offers one option: the super-fast 950/500 Mbps connection. This is an excellent choice for professionals who work from home, content creators, and large families with huge bandwidth requirements.
- This is possibly NOW's weakest point since it does not offer open term plans unlike most broadband providers. This is a clear disadvantage for all those who do not feel comfortable sticking to a 12-month contract, and for landlords and tenants seeking a more flexible and untethered broadband service.
3. Set-Up Charges:
- To make up for its lack of open term plans NOW offers a free installation service for all homes with an existing ADSL, VDSL, or Fiber connection. However, take into account that if your address does not have such a connection, you will have to pay a non-standard connection fee that will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Another notable weakness of NOW is that it does not offer the option of a free modem in any of its plans. You have the option to bring your own modem (BYO), rent a basic modem for $10/month, buy said Netcomm router for $120, or rent NOW's whole-home Wi-Fi kit for $25/month (or a one-off payment of $300). In all cases, a shipping fee of $14 also applies. Simply put, if you are considering any of NOW's plans, you should be prepared to bear these additional costs.
4. Monthly Costs: From a cost point of view, it is clear that ADSL and VDSL plans are not a good alternative. You end up paying the same rate as fibre plans, which provide greater speed, stability, and bandwidth. On the other hand, while it is true that the Unlimited and Ultra Unlimited plans offer great value for your money, you should take into account the previous point (set-up charges) where we mentioned that you should rent your router for an additional $10/month. All in all, in our opinion, NOW fibre plans make more sense when you already have a modem or are willing to buy it when you sign up for the plan.
5. Additional perks: NOW is a provider that offers the best possible technical support to its customers. In this sense, it offers two unique subscriptions: the Remote Assist Membership ($9.95/month) and the In-Home Assist Membership ($19.95/month on all plans except Ultra where has a discounted price of $16/month). Solving all customer problems and providing live support is certainly an advantage that other providers do not have. In that sense, if you are looking for a broadband provider with a premium level of support, then NOW is a good alternative to consider. On the other hand, if you are the type of person used to dealing with WiFi technology, these services are unlikely to interest you.
NOW Broadband Frequently Asked Questions
To help you decide if NOW is right for your home, we've included several frequently asked questions to help you know more about the service.
Is NOW available at my address?
Most likely - you'll need to type in your address to see if you're covered. You can do that here under See Availability.
Does NOW offer a free modem?
No, unfortunately NOW does not offer a free modem in any of its plans. However, you can bring your own modem (BYO) using NOW’s recommended setting.
Does NOW offer additional perks?
Yes, NOW offers two technical support subscriptions, the Remote Assist Membership ($9.95/month) and the In-Home Assist Membership ($19.95/month on all plans except Ultra where has a discounted price of $16/month). Moreover, NOW also offers the option to rent or buy a whole-home WiFi router kit for better signal coverage in large or multi-level households. In addition to those perks, you can also add a Static IP address to any plan for $5/month.
Does NOW offer an open term contract?
No, NOW does not offer an open-term contract since all its plans require a 12-month membership.
Does NOW offer discounts for broadband plans?
No, NOW does not offer discounts for broadband plans; however, it does not charge any set-up fee for households that already have an ADSL/VDSL/Fibre connection.
Who owns NOW?
NOW is a Hawke's Bay-owned broadband company, with Mercury Energy owning 48% of its shares.
Does NOW offer a home phone add-on with its broadband plans?
Yes, you can add unlimited local calls $5/month or you can add a plethora of call packs ranging from $10/month to $30/month.
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