TalkTalk Broadband Review

9 min Read Published: 27 Oct 2022

TalkTalk broadband reviewTalkTalk is the fourth most popular broadband provider in the UK, with 2.8 million subscribers as of 2021. It offers plans ranging from standard broadband to full fibre, plus TV and landline packages. But how does TalkTalk compare to broadband heavyweights like Sky, BT and Virgin Media? And can it compete with the challengers trying to shake up the internet provider status quo? In this independent review we will look at the speeds offered by TalkTalk, the bundles customers can access and how much you will need to pay for a TalkTalk broadband deal.

We recommend that you read the review in full however you can jump to specific sections of the review using the following links:

TalkTalk Broadband key features

TalkTalk offers a wide range of deals, so every household should be able to find a package that suits their needs. Here we go through the key details of the main deals available, so you can see which one will suit your usage and budget.

If you are not sure how much download speed your household needs, read our ‘What broadband speed do I need?’ article.

Product name Average download speed Minimum contract length TV package available Phone line required Setup cost Standard price
Fast broadband 11Mbps 24 months Yes Yes £9.95 £32.00*
Fibre 35 38Mbps 24 months Yes Yes £9.95 £29.95*
Fibre 65 67Mbps 24 months Yes No £9.95 £29.95*
Fibre 150 150Mbps 24 months Yes No £9.95 £39.95*
Fibre 500 500Mbps 24 months Yes No £9.95 £44.95*
Fibre 900 900Mbps 24 months Yes No £9.95 £54.95*

*TalkTalk monthly prices will rise in April each year by the rate of inflation plus 3.7%

TalkTalk Broadband packages

TalkTalk currently offers broadband deals with six main types of connection. Here we will take a closer look at each one to help you work out what package will be best for you. If you are unsure what type of broadband your household should choose to meet your online needs, read our article on ‘Which broadband is best?’.

TalkTalk Fast Broadband

Download speed: 11Mbps

This is TalkTalk’s most basic broadband service. It uses a standard (ADSL) connection that relies on the copper wiring from your phone line to connect your home to the internet.

An average download speed of just 11Mbps is slow and will only suit users who occasionally stream videos, browse social media or send emails. This type of connection will also struggle to manage multiple devices connected at once.

This package is not great value for money as the faster Fibre 35 and Fibre 65 setups are cheaper at the standard pricing.

TalkTalk Fibre 35

Download speed: 38Mbps

This is TalkTalk’s entry-level fibre service and provides a big speed upgrade from standard broadband. Your household should be able to stream in HD without browsing speed slowing down for other devices. If you have a big household with multiple people streaming videos or games at the same time, you may need a faster connection.

Fibre 35 is often the cheapest package offered by TalkTalk when the price is discounted during a sale, however, the standard price is the same as the much faster Fibre 65 deal.

TalkTalk Fibre 65

Download speed: 67Mbps

This is the fastest TalkTalk broadband available, unless your home has a full fibre connection. Download speeds of 67Mbps will be enough for most homes to stream content on multiple devices without slowing down the overall speed for everyone else.

TalkTalk also offers this product to full fibre homes, though you should be able to get much faster speeds with a different package.

TalkTalk Fibre 150

Download speed: 150Mbps

Homes with full fibre connectivity will be able to access the next level of TalkTalk broadband package. Full fibre connections are designed to bypass old copper wiring with much more efficient fibre-optic cables. This means you won’t need a phone line and can receive significantly faster speeds than with a standard fibre connection.

The upgrade in download speed to 150Mbps will be useful for households who download large files on top of streaming from multiple devices at once.

TalkTalk Fibre 500

Download speed: 500Mbps

If you find that your broadband connection struggles to cope with multiple users downloading large files and streaming in 4K, you may want to consider the Full Fibre 500 deal. This is a big step up in speed from Fibre 150 for an increase in standard price of around 10%. Fibre 500 is designed for high-usage households, so make sure you need the extra speed before you commit to the higher monthly fee.

TalkTalk Fibre 900

Download speed: 900Mbps

Fibre 900 is one of the fastest broadband packages available, though not all homes will be able to reach the average speed of 900Mbps. It will suit homes packed to the rafters with smart devices. So if your lighting, heating and security are all connected to your broadband, this could be a good package to avoid slowing downloads and 4K streams.

How much does TalkTalk Broadband cost?

The TalkTalk standard pricing is not as high as with Sky, BT or Virgin Media, but there will be other providers offering cheaper deals. TalkTalk does not generally discount its deals to the same extent as Sky, BT and Virgin Media, but due to its lower standard pricing, some tariffs may be the cheapest option. For example, at the time of writing TalkTalk’s Fibre 65 is available for £26 a month on a 24 month contract with the setup costs waived. That is cheaper than current BT and Virgin Media deals for the same speed. There might also be special offers available that include an incentive voucher, cashback or gift, such as an Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker.

TalkTalk is usually beaten for price in all download speed brackets by at least one competitor, but its discounted packages are regularly cheaper than big name rivals BT, Virgin Media and Sky. As TalkTalk’s standard pricing is closer to the deals being offered to new customers, you will not get such a big shock if you forget to renegotiate your bill at the end of your fixed term.

TalkTalk will charge £9.95 as a standard installation and setup charge, though this can be waived as part of some limited-time deals and discounts. Exactly how much you pay up front will depend on the broadband infrastructure in your area and what type of internet connection your home has had previously. If you need a phone line installed, TalkTalk will arrange for this to be done through Openreach. Read our article ‘Do you need a landline for broadband?’ for more information on whether you need a landline.

Product name Speed Minimum contract length Setup cost Standard price
Fast broadband 11Mbps 24 months £9.95 £32.00
Fibre 35 38Mbps 24 months £9.95 £29.95
Fibre 65 67Mbps 24 months £9.95 £29.95
Fibre 150 150Mbps 24 months £9.95 £39.95
Fibre 500 500Mbps 24 months £9.95 £44.95
Fibre 900 900Mbps 24 months £9.95 £54.95

TalkTalk Broadband extras

Some TalkTalk deals include incentive rewards as extras, such as vouchers, cashback or gifts. Past offers have included a free Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker for broadband customers.

TalkTalk customers can also access a TV package that offers a range of Freeview channels. You can bundle a Netflix or NOW subscription into your package too, though you may be able to find the same price subscribing to these services separately.

TalkTalk’s TV offering is a seeming downgrade compared to Sky, BT and Virgin Media as the package requires you to use separate apps, accessed through the TalkTalk TV Box, to view content. You cannot record live TV with the box, so you will miss out on the personalised viewing experience offered by providers like Sky. While the TalkTalk setup does offer flexibility and 4k capability, if you are planning on signing up to Netflix, Disney Plus and multiple NOW channels, you may be able to find a better deal through Sky, Virgin Media or BT.

Many TalkTalk deals will include a pay-as-you-go phone package that offers free calls to other TalkTalk landlines. You can upgrade this to include more calls for an additional monthly fee.

Does TalkTalk offer social broadband?

TalkTalk does not offer a social broadband package, but it does provide six months of free broadband to jobseekers without an internet connection. This is part of a partnership with the government and applications have to be made through a local Jobcentre Plus office.

Does TalkTalk have a good router?

Customers with a Fast Broadband, Fibre 35 or Fibre 65 package will be sent a TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub. This router scored 78% in a Which? review that commended its range and security settings, but criticised its ability to handle multiple devices.

Fibre 150, Fibre 500 and Fibre 900 customers will get an Amazon Eero 6 or Eero Pro 6. These routers include extra features such as Amazon Alexa support and Zigbee smart home hub integration. The Eero 6 scored an impressive 87% from Which? thanks to its excellent speeds and ability to cope with multiple connections. However, Which? noted that some otherwise helpful security features require an additional subscription.

TalkTalk will provide Fibre 900 households with an extra Eero Pro 6 router at no additional cost. This will enable you to utilise the router’s mesh networking system to reach signal dead zones around your home.

Do I need a phone line with TalkTalk Broadband?

TalkTalk Fast Broadband and Fibre 35 will require a phone line to connect your home to the data cabinet in the street. You can also get a Fibre 65 deal if you have a phone line, though you won’t need one if your home has a full fibre connection.

You can find out more about broadband and landlines by reading our ‘Do you need a landline for broadband?’ article.

TalkTalk Broadband customer reviews

TalkTalk currently has a rating of 2.8 out of 5.0 on customer review site Trustpilot, which seems low but actually compares well to some big names in broadband. TalkTalk outscores Sky (1.5), BT (1.6) and Virgin Media (2.0), with good reviews focusing on good customer service and prompt engineer visits. The negative reviews cover poor customer service and slow speeds.

Ofcom’s recent customer service survey tells a slightly different story, however. It scored 78% for ‘satisfaction with overall service’, which was considerably lower than Sky (86%), BT (86%) and Virgin Media (85%).

TalkTalk Broadband pros and cons

TalkTalk broadband pros

  • Range of speeds available
  • Often cheaper than Sky, Virgin and BT
  • High Which? rating for full fibre router
  • Range of gift vouchers and rewards on offer
  • Offers TV, phone and broadband bundles

TalkTalk broadband cons

  • Basic router for customers without full fibre
  • Low-ranking customer service according to Ofcom
  • Expensive standard broadband package
  • TV deal requires multiple subscriptions from other entertainment services
  • TV box cannot record shows

How does TalkTalk Broadband compare with other providers?

TalkTalk package TalkTalk price Competitor package offering same speed Competitor price
Fast broadband £32.00 NOW Broadband Brilliant Broadband £18
Fibre 35 £29.95 Shell Energy Broadband Superfast Fibre £21.99
Fibre 65 £29.95 NOW Broadband Super Fibre £22
Fibre 150 £39.95 BT Fibre 100 £35.99
Fibre 500 £44.95 Vodafone Pro Ultrafast 500  £43
Fibre 900 £54.95 EE Unlimited Fibre Max Broadband 900 £50

TalkTalk often discounts its prices below those of the major broadband providers, though rarely as low as companies like NOW Broadband or Shell Energy Broadband. However, TalkTalk will regularly add in great rewards and vouchers that can make your broadband deal much better value.

TalkTalk’s broadband service can compete with packages from Sky and BT, but if you want a full, integrated TV package too, you may need to go elsewhere. Bundling your TV service is unlikely to save you much money with TalkTalk, as it relies on other providers to supply TV. For example, adding a NOW Sports pass to your TalkTalk subscription will not necessarily be any cheaper than just buying one separately.

You can find out more about which broadband provider can offer the best deal for your needs by reading our article ‘Who is the best broadband provider?’.

If there is a good deal available with a reward or gift you really want, a TalkTalk package could work out as great value for money. If you want a full TV and broadband package, or the cheapest service for your needed speed, there are likely better options on the market.

How to compare TalkTalk broadband

One of the best ways to compare broadband packages is via a comparison site such as Uswitch*. Comparison sites allow you to compare the best deals from multiple broadband providers at once. We have partnered with Uswitch* in order to source the best broadband deals, simply click on the link provided and enter your postcode to get started. Broadband deals can be tailored based on preference, meaning you can search based on factors such as price, speed, reliability, Wi-Fi coverage and customer service. According to the latest data, customers that chose a broadband package via Uswitch saved an average of £162 per year.

Is TalkTalk Broadband any good?

TalkTalk Broadband offers deals at a range of speeds, runs interesting deals and has good standard pricing. So, if you can find the right deal, it could be a great option. If not, you may be more tempted by alternative providers offering better overall value.

 

 

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