vodafone pro - pro II

I joined Vodafone early this year at £25 per month and it's been surprisingly good given the issues others seem to have. Better than EE who were my previous supplier. 

A few weeks ago they offered me Vodafone pro for £30 - we have an old house with thick walls and it is difficult to get a signal throughout. The three boosters looked promising. I delayed as I couldn't make my mind up about a new 2 year deal, especially with the inflation linked rises. 

Today they've sent me details of a new Vodafone pro II deal, upgraded router etc, but now they want £36. The advertising talks about full fibre, but I only have FTTC, so I'm not even sure I'd be eligible. 

Anyone using Vodafone pro II or Vodafone pro?  Do the boosters / 4G backup bring anything useful to the table? 

Comments

  • Nebulous2 said:
    I joined Vodafone early this year at £25 per month and it's been surprisingly good given the issues others seem to have. Better than EE who were my previous supplier. 

    A few weeks ago they offered me Vodafone pro for £30 - we have an old house with thick walls and it is difficult to get a signal throughout. The three boosters looked promising. I delayed as I couldn't make my mind up about a new 2 year deal, especially with the inflation linked rises. 

    Today they've sent me details of a new Vodafone pro II deal, upgraded router etc, but now they want £36. The advertising talks about full fibre, but I only have FTTC, so I'm not even sure I'd be eligible. 

    Anyone using Vodafone pro II or Vodafone pro?  Do the boosters / 4G backup bring anything useful to the table? 
    @Nebulous2 From what I understand, the Vodafone "Pro II" is a Wifi 6E system. 

    There are three bands (the 2.4Ghz, the 5Ghz and 6Ghz band). The first two have a decent bandwidth and backwards compatible with all client devices (e.g. computers, phones, tablets, smart televisions etc). The last band though is only going to be accessible by compatible devices that can access the 6Ghz frequency. I.e. "Wifi 6E" capable devices. The 6Ghz frequency also has a shorter range so generally speaking you have to be in the same room as the booster to connect on that band (which has a theoretical faster speed and less interference). So ultimately it becomes a "Dual band" system with an additional 6E band. 

    For a Home network/Mesh system - The bandwidth on the backhaul 5Ghz band is better than the regular "Pro" system and the Pro II uses Wifi 6 rather than the older Wifi 5 standard of the Pro. That means the Pro II would have lower latency, better connectivity etc on a like for like basis than the Pro I. Regarding the "Mesh" concept though, the issue is that neither system has a dedicated backhaul band if the home network is completely wireless. Which means that the band is being used for communication with the other satellite nodes ("the boosters") you have around the home as well as connecting to devices.

    By comparison, other Mesh systems that one can buy such as (but not limited to) the Asus XT8, Asus XT12, Netgear Orbi, BT Whole Home Wifi 6 (the discs you can buy, not their subscription Complete Wifi product), etc, are Triband or Quadband Mesh systems that have a dedicated backhaul band purely used for communication between each booster point. Meaning the "client bands" are purely for clients. Resulting in higher speeds and less latency/interference in the home network. These of course are one off expenses that are relatively high, but can work with any broadband provider and would deliver higher speeds in a like for like test. 

    At the end of the day, a wired connection will likely deliver the full whack of speed best, but those systems are getting darn near close to do the job wirelessly. A "Wifi 7" standard may close the gap between wireless and wired in a few years time. 

    The other point is speed. The internet speed is like water pressure. And you will only notice the difference between mesh systems based on the slowest point in the network. If the internet connection is below 100Mbps (e.g. FTTC), then a very good Dual Band system, or even Powerline nodes would likely be perfectly capable of delivering that speed. Up to around 300Mbps, then the Vodafone Pro II system or something like the BT Whole Home Discs would likely be fine. Up to 500Mbps something like the "Amplifi Alien" or Vodafone Pro II. Over 500Mbps and for Gigabit line speeds, and if opting for a wireless network, I would say best go for one of the Asus or Netgear options above. 

    Ultimately, given the price rise of the likes of BT and Vodafone and loss of negotiating power if you enter a contract, I wouldn't advise signing up unless you are getting FTTP at a very very good lower price. Let alone to any subscription based Mesh service unless the internet speed is lower than the maximum capability of their Mesh product (far better to invest that money in a higher quality product of your own which will work with any provider and can sit in place over the years). At the moment, Vodafone appear to be the only "big" provider offering a 6E router. So it is helpful if you have compatible devices though. In short, I would only subscribe to the Pro II service if the broadband product was an FTTP option up to 300Mbps and they had given a 35-40% discount on the regular price to account for the CPI increases and the address was in a CityFibre area since competition on Openreach FTTP lines is increasing and wholesale costs are going down next year. 




  • Nebulous2
    Nebulous2 Posts: 5,113 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    @HaroldWhistler Thanks very much for this very comprehensive and helpful reply - apologies for not responding sooner. I thought I'd come back with an update. 

    Vodafone offered me another £2 off the Pro ii, making it £34 for Black Friday. I'm still baulking at the possibility of two annual rises of CPI plus 3.5% however. Next year alone could be 15%. I'm also having some problems with Vodafone. I can't sign into my account, and despite a helpful support agent it still hasn't been resolved and has been referred to the back-office IT team. 

    As a result I've decided to go for a Mesh system with Black Friday discounts. I narrowed it down to 2. A TP-link deco x60 with 3 nodes and a Linksys Atlas pro 6 also with 3 nodes. Both are reduced to £249.  I went for the TP-link one, despite slightly poorer reviews, because the software appears to be better and set-up for the Linksys seems to throw up more problems. 
  • Nebulous2 said:
    @HaroldWhistler Thanks very much for this very comprehensive and helpful reply - apologies for not responding sooner. I thought I'd come back with an update. 

    Vodafone offered me another £2 off the Pro ii, making it £34 for Black Friday. I'm still baulking at the possibility of two annual rises of CPI plus 3.5% however. Next year alone could be 15%. I'm also having some problems with Vodafone. I can't sign into my account, and despite a helpful support agent it still hasn't been resolved and has been referred to the back-office IT team. 

    As a result I've decided to go for a Mesh system with Black Friday discounts. I narrowed it down to 2. A TP-link deco x60 with 3 nodes and a Linksys Atlas pro 6 also with 3 nodes. Both are reduced to £249.  I went for the TP-link one, despite slightly poorer reviews, because the software appears to be better and set-up for the Linksys seems to throw up more problems. 
    @Nebulous2

    You are most welcome. Always good to know about the technology so you can make an informed decision as to what best suits your home set up.

    I totally concur on the subject of CPI. It could be a 15-20% price rise (and potentially another such rise the following year on the already increased price). I would opt for fixed price contracts if you can find them, which are usually on shorter terms (e.g. 12 months) as well so you know exactly what you are going to pay and giving you maximum flexibility. Apparently (according to ISP net) the "wholesale" Openreach costs are going down next year which should mean lower prices by ISPs (since Openreach charges them less for using their network) for certain broadband products. This happened last year. I would also add that if Full Fibre (FTTP) does happen to get delivered to your area and become available at your property, then a shorter contract helps because you have the flexibility of being able to pick which new provider you are going to go for, rather than only being able to upgrade with your existing one. For some people, the wholesale provider might be someone else as well (e.g. CityFibre, YouFibre etc). 

    Vodafone sadly can be quite inconsistent and their customer service very poor at times. I would have certainly thought an existing customer warranted a larger discount than £2. Like you said, the CPI rises need to be factored in. It might be best to switch to another Openreach provider if your contract is coming to an end.

    Regarding the Mesh systems, yes I think it is probably best overall to opt for your own rather than an ISP subscription with CPI rises. You can still use the Broadband provider's Router and just plug in your new home mesh network into that.

    It all hinges on the incoming Internet speed. The TP-Link Deco x60 should be fine for FTTC broadband. It is a Dual band Wifi 6 system. If possible, and in terms of a TP-Link product, you might wish to consider either the TP-Link Deco x68 or x90 which whilst slightly more in terms of initial cost, are Triband systems with a dedicated backhaul (purely for communication between each of the nodes) and more overall bandwidth. Those two would probably still hold up for the longer term in the event you do get FTTP in the near future. However, if FTTP is say 3 years away, then the X60 should serve the home well and at that point in the future, Wifi 7 should be coming into play and you upgrade the Mesh system then. 
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