Dan Howdle | January 8th, 2024
Until recently TalkTalk offered some of the best priced broadband packages in the UK, but it's now moved a little up-market, with pricing not all that different to its premium competitors. Does it still offer good value, or is TalkTalk no longer the 'value king'?
We interviewed 6,000 household broadband decision makers. This is how TalkTalk broadband customers rated their TalkTalk broadband service:
|Value for money
|Likeliness to recommend
Our TalkTalk broadband review will tell you everything you need to know about TalkTalk broadband, including the types of broadband and average speeds you can expect.
Previously thought more of as a 'budget' provider, TalkTalk is perhaps now more know for offering a really wide range of packages and speeds, along with some interesting extras. As a budget broadband provider, TalkTalk has some great low-cost packages, making it still a reasonably pocket-friendly option. But there are also some downsides to signing up for a TalkTalk broadband deal, depending on your individual needs and circumstances.
The provider offers TalkTalk standard broadband, TalkTalk fibre broadband and TalkTalk Full Fibre packages with speeds that will meet the needs of just about any UK household or business. They were a little late to the full fibre game, but can now compete with almost any other provider with the range of speeds they offer.
The higher end Full Fibre packages all come with variations of the Amazon eero pro 6 router – that's a Wi-Fi 6 box which will be either dual or tri band dependent on the package you choose. In fact the top of the line Full Fibre 900 comes with two tri band boxes, which should cover almost any property more than adequately.
There are some nice, relatively simple TV extras which can be added, going some way to relieve the confusion and complexity some people find when adding services with other providers. Like virtually all providers these days, there are no restrictions placed on downloads or uploads. Plus, as is now standard with all providers, line rental is included in monthly payments.
Customer service at TalkTalk has been found lacking in recent years, though it’s reassuring to know that call wait time is the industry best (calls are usually answered in under a minute).
There's a somewhat confusing picture when it comes to up-front, set-up and other extra fees. Some packages have additional postage costs, some have set-up fees, some have neither. It's often a matter of seeing what fees popup in the basket as you order. But they're rarely very high.
You also won’t get any inclusive landline phone call options with a TalkTalk broadband deal as standard, although the lower end packages do still come with pay as you go calls as standard, and offer free calls to other TalkTalk users. However, you can bolt several extra call options on for an affordable added cost. Note that, as is increasingly the case generally, their Full Fibre packages come with no phone line at all as standard.
The router provided with the brand’s non-full fibre packages is quite basic, though it should meet the needs of small to average-sized households well enough.
Here’s a quick look at what you can expect to find across the range of TalkTalk broadband packages.
|11Mbps - 900Mbps
|ADSL, fibre (FTTC) and full fibre (FTTP)
|Offers to look for
|Gift cards, Zero one-off costs
|Wi-Fi Hub, Amazon eero pro 6 dual/tri-band
|£24.95 per month
The faster the average download speed, the more you, and others in your household can do, and on more devices. As a rule, the more people in your home, the more the internet gets used and that means more bandwidth is needed for doing the activities they enjoy online (such as gaming, streaming TV and film). This means you’ll need fastest the broadband speed available at your location and on your budget. If you’re not sure what broadband speed you need, check our guide.
TalkTalk offers a choice of six download speeds to suit differing household needs, and all its packages come with unlimited downloads.
TalkTalk Fast Broadband, the brand’s lowest-speed offer has an average download speed of 11Mbps. It uses ADSL broadband, which is rapidly becoming obsolete and many providers no longer offer it. However, for a tiny minority of people, it's still the only available fixed-line option. It's insufficient even for one or two people using the internet simultaneously. And this download speed certainly won't be fast enough to suit the needs of a larger family. We do not recommend it, but then for the unlucky few it will be all you can get.
TalkTalk’s Fibre 35 deal offers download speeds averaging 38Mbps, much faster than a standard broadband connection and ideal for family households with several people online at once. It uses FTTC broadband (that's Fibre to the Cabinet, meaning there's still old fashioned copper cable involved). Compared to standard broadband, you’ll notice fewer glitches and problems doing things like streaming Netflix or Amazon Prime, and should be able to watch TV and films in HD with fewer issues.
If you live in a large, busy household where people are gaming, streaming, and surfing the internet 24/7, you may want to consider TalkTalk’s fibre broadband package, with average download speeds of 67Mbps. This will give you an even more stable service in a household that’s constantly ‘on the go’, though admittedly this still falls way short of the newer, full fibre services and probably still isn't fast enough to keep up with high demand.
They were a little late to the party, but TalkTalk's Full Fibre packages (previously marketed as ‘Future Fibre’) are now widely available, using Openreach's Fibre to the Property (FTTP) network. That's full fibre directly to your home, meaning there's no old fashioned copper wire to slow things down. The network is growing all the time, and currently reaches about a quarter of UK homes. You can check whether you're included by using TalkTalk’s own postcode checker.
It means that you’re going to benefit from speeds starting with the 150Mbps and going all the way up to an almost ridiculously fast 500Mpbs and even 900Mbps. Virgin Media offers speeds a little quicker, and has wider availability, but otherwise there are only a very few specialist local providers that can beat it.
You also get the benefit of a new ‘mesh’ tech with the Amazon eero 6 or Pro 6 routers depending on which deal you take. Yes, that does sound unbelievably technical. ‘Mesh’ routers such as the eero 6 can be reliably added to with small extender boxes that can be positioned around your property if needed.
TalkTalk’s new Full Fibre deals are all about being as fast as possible both in upload and download speeds. Because there is no old fashioned copper wire (your old telephone line in fact) involved, you get a fast, clean connection directly into your home. Full Fibre 150 is the entry-level version and probably has as much speed in both directions as anyone needs to stream high-quality video, download emails, upload photos to the cloud, in fact do anything fast. Full Fibre 150 comes with an Amazon eero 6 mesh dual-band router that you can set-up and control using the free app.
The next step up is Full Fibre 500. Getting this depends on where you are in the country at the moment. The difference is, of course, speed. The Full Fibre 500 deal comes with a Amazon eero Pro 6 tri-band mesh router that provides up to 506Mbps download (for streaming UHD movie for example) and 71Mbps for uploading (sending your photos up to your cloud storage for example). It’s incredibly fast.
The very top end of the TalkTalk Full Fibre range is Full Fibre 900 which, as the name suggests, provides a ridiculously fast download speed of 900Mpbs, and upload speed up to 91Mbps. You achieve this with not one, but two Amazon eero Pro 6 tri-band mesh routers which, once set up using the free app, happily talk to each other and provide coverage up to 560 square metres – enough for a small castle really.
Upload speeds dictate how fast you can copy or send things from your device to the internet, cloud storage, or other devices. Most of us receive more data than we send, making upload speed a little less important than download speed. However, if you do a lot of live gaming, or perhaps work from home and are often involved in video meetings, you'll find fast upload speeds really can be essential.
TalkTalk standard Fast Broadband comes with an upload speed of just 1Mbps, and Fibre 35 has an average upload speed of 9Mbps, compared to Fibre 65 which has an average upload speed of 18Mbps. Fibre 150 which comes with an upload speed of 25Mbps.
If you’re able to get one of the Full Fibre deals however, then you’re looking at upload speeds of 71Mbps with Fibre 500, or blazingly fast 91Mbps with the Fibre 900 deal. That should be enough for most applications, with multiple users.
As mentioned above, TalkTalk were once noted for they're exceptionally keen pricing, and were, to some extent, considered to be a bit of a budget brand. That perception has changed and prices are now more inline with other providers. Most broadband providers offer special deals and incentives to draw in new customers from their competitors, and TalkTalk are no exception. The brand used to offer a various vouchers across it's packages, but now more often restricts extras like this to it's higher end Full Fibre packages. So be sure to keep a look out for those.
If you want to add phone or TV to your broadband packages, you’re in luck. TalkTalk offers both phone and TV bundles.
TalkTalk only offers pay as you go calls calls as standard with its lower end broadband packages, and you can upgrade this to unlimited domestic landline and mobile calls for an additional cost. You can also choose to bolt on international calls for a little extra, too. However, the Full Fibre packages don't come with a phone line as standard, so if you need one, do watch out for that.
If you’d like to add a TV subscription to your broadband, then TalkTalk make things a little simpler than providers like Sky and Virgin Media, who's options can leave people a little bewildered. You can choose from the TalkTalk 4K TV box, offering over 170 live channels, or the new TalkTalk TV hub, which brings Hey Google, Google Play and Chromecast, along with 70+ channels, over 10,000 app options and streaming apps like Netflix, Prime and Now. They're both similarly priced, and offer pretty good value.
TalkTalk’s entry-level broadband service, along with the Fibre 35 or Fibre 65 packages, all come with their 'Wi-Fi Hub'. It's twice as powerful as the previous Super Router and can support up to 50 devices at once. It should be adequate for most homes, especially for these lower speed services where demands are likely to be lower.
Customers that are fortunate enough to be able to sign up for Full Fibre will receive the more powerful Amazon eero 6 dual-band mesh router that has seven built-in antennae to provide a far-reaching wifi signal around your home.
Customers who get the blazingly fast Full Fibre 500 deal will get an Amazon eero Pro 6 tri-band Wifi 6 router – enough to cover up to 190 square metres. And if you can get the ridiculously quick Full Fibre 900 package, well, you get two of them. That's enough to cover 560 square metres, which should be able to cover any single home.
For more information, see our TalkTalk router guide.
TalkTalk broadband installation takes around two weeks from the time you sign up. It’s recommended to wait until your service activation date before setting up your router, as you’ll obviously have no service provision before then.
If you don’t have an appropriate landline connection, this will be done by your engineer on your appointment date. You can make your appointment with TalkTalk when placing your order. For more details about what to expect when your TalkTalk broadband is installed, have a look at our guide.
TalkTalk has taken much flak for its customer service in recent years, with customers reporting badly informed call centre advisors and problems left unresolved for long periods.
Recently, however, there has been some improvement. The brand’s website also has a very good customer dashboard that can help you troubleshoot and resolve problems if your TalkTalk internet is down.
TalkTalk prides itself on its community – an online forum that is free to join where customers can ask questions about anything and get answers from other members, as well as having the opportunity to join live Q&A sessions, receive service status updates and report scams.
TalkTalk can also now boast the shortest call waiting times in the industry, with an average of just 47 seconds before a call is answered. In comparison, Plusnet customers wait a lengthy 7.27 minutes.
For TalkTalk broadband help, call Customer Services on 0870 444 1820. Having your account number to hand will help you deal with your issue more speedily.
Now it's moved fully towards offering full fibre FTTP services, TalkTalk offers one of the widest range of package speeds in the UK, although its customer service has been patchy in the last few years. However, it offers a great service for those looking for a set of relatively simple options, especially if you are looking to build a broadband, phone and TV package.