Wave Broadband Internet Review 2020
Wave Broadband is a mid-sized internet service provider that is currently only available in select areas of Oregon, Washington, and California. They offer copper, cable, and fiber plans, with emphasis on fiber but also have TV and phone services available to bundle and save money.
- High download speeds
- No contract required
- Data caps on certain plans
- Very limited coverage area
- Extremely limited upload speeds
Packages and Pricing
Note: All of Wave’s pricing varies by region, so potential customers should double-check the actual pricing before choosing their plans.
The following fiber package deals are based on service available in Concord, CA 94520:
High Speed 50
The entry-level fiber plan that’s available for $19.95/month with maximum download speeds of 50Mbps, while the upload speed is limited to 5Mbps. This plan has a data limit of 300GB per month, which is rather low when compared to other providers. Therefore, while the speed allows HD streaming, it’s not recommended as you’ll likely eat through the data really quickly so it’s better for light browsing and checking emails.
High Speed 250
The next tier package is available for a promotional price of $29.95/month. For this, you’ll get 250Mbps download speeds, while upload speeds are limited to 10Mbps. The plan comes with 500GB monthly data, which should be sufficient for HD streaming for smaller households.
High Speed 500
The High Speed 500 package is available for $39.95/month and comes with download speeds of 500Mbps, but strangely the upload speed is limited to 10Mbps in this plan too. That said, it’s a decent plan for HD and 4K streaming and downloads as it comes with 1TB monthly data, which is enough for larger households too.
The highest tier plan that’s available for $49.95/month with 1GB download speed but you should be aware that you’ll only be able to reach 940Mbps maximum speed, as the rest is reserved for the technology to deliver the speed. This limitation is valid for all providers who offer 1GB plans, not just Wave Broadband, but it’s also interesting that this plan’s upload is also limited to 10Mbps, so that might be a dealbreaker for some.
Even though the plan is advertised as having unlimited data, it actually has a 2TB cap, although for most home uses it’ll be hard to use over this.
It’s important to note that all of the above plans are offered at promotional prices which are only valid during a 3-, 6-, or 12-month period. The length of which you can choose during the online ordering process.
Wave Broadband also offers TV and phone options which can be added to the internet service and customers can choose between several equipment options:
- HD Receiver: $11.00/month – With this receiver, you get a HD recorder, interactive on-screen guides, and TV On Demand.
- TiVo Streaming DVR – The TiVo receiver is currently available at no additional charge for the first 12 months of the service. The usual price is $20 per month and is only available for plans with 100Mbps download speeds or higher.
- Universal HDTV Converter: $4.95/month
- TiVo Mini: $10.00/month – This requires TiVo HD-DVR and enables multi-room connectivity to the TiVo DVR for an additional TV.
TV Bundles & Extras
The TV package also has a local TV option including channels such as ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC, and CW. With this option, you also get digital music channels, as well as Wave on Demand and Wave TV on the Go option. The local TV option is available for $25.95 per month.
There are also several expansion packages available, which vary by location. But, as an example, some locations can get 90 extra channels from cable networks like AMC, ESPN, Disney, Bravo, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, FX, USA, TNT, and others. The full expanded content, with all the channels, is available for $72.94 per month and comes with Wave on Demand and Wave on the Go.
After the first 12 months, some options will increase in pricing. STARZ and ENCORE will go back to their regular $12 per month for each, or you can choose to pay $17 per month for both. MOVIEPLEX pricing goes back to $5 per month.
You can get your phone bundled in with your internet for an additional $10 per month otherwise it’s $29.95 per month as a standalone service. The phone option comes with:
- Unlimited nationwide calling, plus international calls to Canada
- Caller ID
- Call Waiting
- Call Forwarding
- FREE Cloud Phone App – The app enables you to route phone calls made to your home phone number to your smartphone or tablet, and receive and make them from there. Works globally, as long as the device you’re routing the calls to has a stable internet connection.
When opting for Wave equipment, you can get an eight-hour internal backup battery for your phone but this is only available for corded phones during a power outage. There is also the option to get a 24-hour battery, but you’ll have to pay a $139.99 one-time charge.
Network Management and Performance
Wave Broadband manages its network like many other providers, which includes limiting bandwidth in certain situations. According to Wave Broadband, you must avoid high traffic activities like large file transfers or ‘peer-to-peer applications’. That way you’re not providing a greater ‘burden’ on the network which can mean your services are cut off or restricted.
Wave Broadband also explains that the actual speed may vary and might not always be the highest possible advertised speed. Some factors they mention include the condition of wiring at your location, computer configurations, internet, and network congestion and management. This also includes the time of day when you are using the service.
- Installation Fee – A one-time fee of $60 but this can sometimes be avoided during promotional periods and, in many cases, by ordering online.
- Internet Infrastructure Fee – The fee is $3.17/month, and is explained as a fee that goes towards infrastructure upkeep and management.
- Interactive Equipment Fee – $2.72/month for the first digital or HD receiver.
- Local TV Stations’ Fee – These vary between $15 – $21.
*Other fees you should be aware of are the Universal Service Fund, E911, and taxes.
Your Modem and Router
Wave Broadband surprisingly offers many options when it comes to modems and routers.
Their most advertised option is the Enhanced Wi-Fi Eero, which according to Wave, will provide the best Wi-Fi coverage and service to users. The option comes with a fully compatible modem, all maintenance and troubleshooting is done by Wave Broadband tech support and it is available for $22.95 per month.
For users who want a more basic option, the Standard Wi-Fi + Modem package is available for $15.00 per month and comes with a modem and Wi-Fi service provided via a single router. This option includes 24/7 support in the event of issues as well.
For users who do not need Wi-Fi, there’s the ‘Modem Only’ option for $13.00 per month that comes with the modem appropriate for your speed package and also includes 24/7 support.
There are also two ‘Use Your Own’ modem options:
The first combines the Enhanced Wi-Fi Eero + Use Your Own Modem, and you’ll pay a rental fee of $9.95 per month for the Eero.
Alternatively, you can also choose to have only your modem, without the Eero, and this option is, of course, free of charge. For a list of supported models, check here.
Features and Benefits
Free Installation for Online Orders
The installation fee is usually $60, but can be waived with the ‘FREEINSTALL’ code during the online purchasing process. Professional installation includes setting up two TV sets on existing outlets, connecting a single computer OR three other devices to the modem.
Service Protection Plan
This is a support option for all Wave services that includes in-home wiring and equipment by a professional technician. This plan also includes customer education and costs $3.99 per month.
Roku Streaming Player
For $5.00 per month, customers can get the Roku 3 player and included motion-sensing remote. This will give you access to over 350 streaming options including TV shows, movies, sports, kids shows, as well as access for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, NHL Game Center, Pandora Radio, and more.
*Note that this doesn’t include a subscription for the services, just easy access to them. Each service might require a separate subscription.
Smart Home from Wave
This is a home control and protection option that enables overview and automation that you get via a Smart Home App on your phone. There are three plans available in the Washington and California areas:
- Control Basic – Costs $29.95 per month and includes image sensors with cameras for visual verification, three-door and window encrypted security sensors, and a touch screen panel.
- Control & Protect – Everything from Control Basic, but with 24/7 professional monitoring. Available for $39.95 per month.
- Control & Protect Premium – For $49.95 per month, includes all of the above plus a 1080p resolution IP camera.
Additional equipment includes:
According to customer reviews, Wave Broadband is a decent service provider that has the occasional outage, but is still more affordable than any other options available, and the bundle deals make them a competitive choice in the areas they are available.
Customer service can be accessed via phone, online, or by visiting one of their 25 local retail locations. For those interested in their services, the new customer number is 1-855-971-1252, while existing customers have their separate line: 1-866-928-3123.
Online inquiries are done via an online form and unfortunately there are no email or chat options available. The form can be accessed here, but existing customers can contact support via their own website login at wavehome.com.
There’s also a large troubleshooting portal where users can find answers for any service they need. The internet section is divided into several categories, including general issues, connection troubleshooting, wireless issues, network setup, and more.
Ways to Save on Wave Broadband
TV and Phone Bundle Options
Combining internet services, TV, and phone can save up to $30 per month or even more during the first 12 months of a promotional period.
Bring Your Own Modem
Instead of paying a rental fee for Wave Broadband’s modems, choose your own and save over $20 per month.
Order during promotional periods
Wave Broadband often has promotional periods for online orders, so it’s best to wait for these offers as you can get a price lock up to 12 months and save over $50 per month this way.
Wave Broadband is a solid option if you’re in a service area where fiber plans are available. The speeds are good, even though upload speeds are limited but the data caps can be an issue for power users. If you need a lot, the highest tier plan is more affordable than others and comes with a very high data cap which shouldn’t cause you a problem. The bundle deals are a great way to get all services at reasonable rates, and the no-contract deal makes them a solid choice as there are no worries about early termination fees when you want to switch to a new provider.