- UK-based customer service
- DSL and hybrid fibre connections
- Website and email included
- Good value phone calls
- High connection fees on some deals
- Basic modem has no wireless
Eclipse is one of the UK’s oldest internet service providers, starting in the West Country in 1996 with dial-up.
It became a national business and moved into broadband before being bought by KCOM group, which has the UK’s largest internet network and has enabled it to add fibre-optic connections to its catalogue. The company - and its support teams - are still based in the West Country.
Although dial-up is still available, Eclipse is mainly a broadband provider, with services running from ADSL for homes and businesses over your phone line, to high speed hybrid fibre connections and business communications.
Other services include server, website and domain hosting, data and server backup, connection monitoring, hosted email exchange and security, online workspaces, website creation and ecommerce services - at both consumer and business levels.
As a consumer service, Eclipse is focused on reliability and quality of service compared to low prices and extra like free WiFi, and it doesn’t challenge the mass market providers on cost, but it does promise to answer customer calls through in 60 seconds or less, and employ experts who can answer questions in short order. Every customer does get a free subdomain, email addresses and web space, however.
Home broadband starts from £12.50/month for 24Mbps with a 2GB download cap (there’s no line rental charge), but as well as promising above-average speeds, it’s at the higher download limits that Eclipse becomes competitive on price. There are also one-month contracts for those who want to sample the service or need a short-term solution.
High-end customers can access an FTTC hybrid fibre service on the same speed as BT Infinity, but with a very flexible choice of download limits and upload speeds.
If you’re a business user, then both DSL and hybrid broadband are on offer, as well as leased lines, bonded DSL and symmetric DSL.
Residential and business users can also save money on phone calls, with an anytime phone package included in the top consumer ADSL package, but you’re not forced to use Eclipse for line rental.
Eclipse offers both ADSL and hybrid fibre-optic broadband to residential and small business users, and ADSL customers automatically get ADSL2+ (up to 24Mbps) where it’s available via the local exchange. Monthly rolling contracts are available if you don’t mind paying a connection fee.
Unlike most providers, who advertise an ‘up to’ speed, Eclipse rates each connection’s potential before you connect, showing the expected minimum, maximum and the estimated speed of your line. Eclipse claims a UK average broadband speed of 10.6Mbps across all of its connections.
They also offer a usage calculator to help you choose which package will suit your needs.
All Eclipse home broadband contracts come with a free subdomain (e.g. username.eclipse.co.uk) and 10 email addresses (e.g. email@example.com). Eclipse also provides a range of web-hosting services for everything from personal websites to e-commerce.
You get anti-spam and antivirus protection, and if you go over your monthly usage allowance, extra Gigabytes cost £1.27 each. Alternatively, you can choose to have your speed capped whenever you exceed your usage limit, so your costs don’t go crazy, and you can monitor your usage online in real time.
Customer service and technical support calls are free if you have the TalkMore phone package (free with Home Pro), or local rate on other packages. They’re open Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, and weekends/Bank Holidays 9am-5pm.
Online backup storage up to 5GB is free with the Home Pro account and can be expanded in 20GB chunks for £5.98/month, but it’s a PC-only service. There’s also a 500MB free trial for 30 days.
Home Lite costs £12.50/month and has a 2GB monthly usage limit, with a 12-month contract. There’s a connection fee of £33.67, and you don’t get a free router, but there’s no charge for switching from another provider. You’ll get 50MB of web space for your Eclipse subdomain.
Home Select costs £20.50/month and has a 50GB monthly usage limit. Connection and switching from another provider are free with a 12-month contract, or £50.50 and £12 respectively on a one-month contract. There’s a free wireless DSL modem: Technicolor TG582n, which has four Ethernet ports and WiFi b/g/n, and it comes with a single broadband filter for your phone socket. Your Eclipse subdomain gets 100MB of space and you get 5GB of online backup space.
The Home Pro account costs £30.50/month, and you can use up to 100GB per month, but downloads from 11pm-9am are unlimited. The Technicolor TG582n wireless router is free, your Eclipse subdomain gets 100MB of space and you get 5GB of online backup space.
Eclipse Home Fibre is an FTTC hybrid-fibre service that uses fibre-optic cable to your local street cabinet, and your BT phone line to complete the short distance to your home, enabling speeds up to 40Gbps and uploads of up to either 2Mbps or 10Mbps. Eight static IP addresses are also included for servers. It’s available on a 12-month contract, or a 24-month contract with free set-up help and a free Netgear WNR2000 wireless router (£100 on the 12-month contract).
Although hybrid fibre typically gives around 33Mbps average speeds, Eclipse guarantees 12Mbps throughput on all of its fibre services.
Packages start at £21.50/month for 10GB monthly usage and 2Mbps upstream. Increasing the download limit costs £3.50/month for 20GB, £8/month for 50GB, £15.50/month for 50GB, and £37.50/month for unlimited downloads. Increasing the upload speed to 10Mbps costs £5/month.
Eclipse also offers a wide range of business broadband services, such as ADSL from £14.95/month, business fibre from £19.95/month, bonded DSL at up to 80Mbps from £90/month, symmetric DSL with unlimited usage from £125/month, and leased lines at up to 100Gbps from £299/month.
Business services include server, website and domain hosting, data and server backup, connection monitoring, hosted email exchange and security, online workspaces, website creation and ecommerce services.
Eclipse line rental costs £12.50/month, but it’s not required to get their broadband services.
You can add the TalkMore free calls package for £6.12/month with the Home Lite and Home Select broadband package, and it’s free with Home Pro. This gives you unlimited free calls to local numbers, national UK 01, 02 and 03 numbers, 0845 and 0870 numbers, Eclipse’s customer service and technical support teams, and other Eclipse TalkMore customers, plus flat rate calls to mobiles and low-priced international calls. You can keep your BT telephone number and it’s a one month contract.
If you don’t have broadband, the Evening & Weekend calls package is £12.50/month on a 12-month contract. It includes free Voicemail and covers the same numbers as TalkMore from 6pm-8am Monday to Friday, plus all day Saturday and Sunday. Outside this, calls cost 10p connection charge plus 5p/min for local and national numbers, 4.03p/min for 0845, and 8.08p/min for 0870 numbers. Mobile calls are 11p/min daytime and 6p/min weekends and evenings. International calls cost 5p/min at all times to the USA and main European nations.
Alternatively, you can have 1,000 minutes of UK calls (01, 02 and03 numbers) for £15.60/month over 12 months. 0845 calls cost 2p/min daytime, 0.85p/min evenings and weekends. 0870 numbers are 4p/min daytime, 3.36p/min evenings and weekends. Mobiles are 12p/min daytime, 9p/min evenings and 6p/min weekends.
Optional calling features are £2.50/month each, £5/month for two to four, or £7/month for five or more. These include caller display, anonymous caller rejection, call diversion, call waiting, call barring, reminder calls, ring back, three-way calling, and call sign (alternate number and ringing style).
Free calls are under standard terms and conditions with a maximum 60 minutes per call.
Eclipse User Reviews
"Excellent value for money for me. Also excellent level of service, friendly, expert help at the end of the line.
Was recommended to me and I have recommended to others."
"Do not get eclipse. They tie you into a contract that is not suitable. very slow broadband, keeps dropping out and they won`t give you a mac code to move."
"My phone suddenly has no tone. Can I get hold of Talkmore or Eclipse? No. Not by telephone, ( it is dead) nor by email 'live chat',(no response) nor by mobile phone because although my "call is important to us" they are too busy to answer. Should I send them a bill for a day's lost work?"
"Do not use Eclipse - they offer deals for better broadband coverage and then do not deliver. Once they have mis sold their product - they then want to charge you an early termination fee to get out of it."
"Generally good service. Connection has dropped out a couple of times in the past few years. Speeds aren't great, but that's more to do with the distance to and usage of the exchange.
Technical support seem to know what they're doing and not just working off flowcharts like some of the big suppliers.
Their sales team can be a bit dodgy - I work shifts and don't appreciate them ringing me. They generally offer to give me a months free for being a loyal customer etc., but tend to not be keen on mentioning this ties you into a contract.
If they actually wish to reward loyal customers the fine, do something nice. But self serving deception like this brings their rating down for me."