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TalkTalk broadband review 2021

By Dan Howdle | Friday, March 26th 2021

3.5/5

TalkTalk offers some of the best-value broadband packages in the UK. This makes the brand a great choice for those on a budget – but can cheap broadband also be good broadband?

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.

Our review: Is TalkTalk broadband any good?

What we like like
  • Fast enough for most households
  • Great value for money
What we don't like
  • Customer service has been lacking
  • No inclusive calls

As a budget broadband provider, TalkTalk has some great low-cost packages, making it a pocket-friendly option for UK consumers. There are also some downsides to signing up for a TalkTalk broadband deal, depending on your individual needs and circumstances.

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Pros

TalkTalk offers TalkTalk standard broadband and TalkTalk fibre broadband packages with speeds that will meet the needs of most UK households. And broadband provision through TalkTalk is also widely regarded as being great value for money.

TalkTalk can also boast no upfront costs for its fibre packages, free security bundles, and no restrictions placed on downloading. Plus, as is now standard with all providers, line rental is included in monthly payments.

Cons

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).

You also won’t get any inclusive landline phone call options with a TalkTalk broadband deal, but can bolt these on for an affordable added cost.

The router provided with the brand’s standard broadband package deals is very basic, though it should meet the needs of small to average-sized households with ease.

All in all, TalkTalk is arguably the best budget broadband provider in the UK, but is perhaps better suited to smaller households or those who don’t need the fastest available broadband speeds.

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Overview

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect to find in a TalkTalk broadband deal – not all freebies are available with every deal.

Download speeds 11Mbps, 38Mbps, 67Mbps, 150Mbps
Upload speeds 1Mbps, 9Mbps, 18Mbps, 25Mbps
Broadband ADSL, fibre and full fibre
Home Phone Yes
Freebies to look for Gift cards, Zero one-off costs
Packages available Broadband, Broadband & phone, Broadband, TV & phone
Router Super Router, Wi-Fi Hub Black
Contract length 18 months
Prices from £23 per month

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Broadband speeds

The faster the average download speed for broadband, the more you can do with your internet connection - quicker, and on multiple devices.

In general the more people in your home, the more time they spend using the internet, and the more bandwidth needed for doing the activities they enjoy online (such as gaming, streaming TV and film), the faster the broadband speed you’re going to need. If you’re not sure what broadband speed you need, check our guide.

TalkTalk offers a choice of four download speeds to suit differing household needs, and all its packages come with unlimited downloads.

TalkTalk Fast Broadband

TalkTalk Fast Broadband, the brand’s standard package, has an average download speed of 11Mbps. This is usually sufficient for one or two people using the internet simultaneously to do things like stream content, send emails and browse social media. This download speed may not be fast enough to suit the needs of a larger family, perhaps with older children who spend a lot of time online. In these circumstances, a fibre broadband deal could be better.

  • TalkTalk Fast Broadband
    TalkTalk
    • 11Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £24.95 p/m
    £9.95 one-off cost Buy Now

TalkTalk Fibre 35

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. 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 without any issues.

  • TalkTalk Fibre 35
    TalkTalk
    • 38Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £60 gift card
    £22 p/m
    Zero one-off cost Buy Now

TalkTalk Fibre 65

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 top-level 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 some way short of UK speed leader Virgin Media.

  • TalkTalk Fibre 65
    TalkTalk
    • 67Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • PAYG calls
    £65 Reward Card
    £22 p/m
    Zero one-off cost Buy Now

TalkTalk Fibre 150

TalkTalk’s top package provides a lightning-fast 150Mbps. To see if it is available in your area yet, you can use the postcode checker on TalkTalk’s website. A 150Mbps will ensure a busy online household has no connectivity issues whatsoever, and will comfortably support streaming movies in UHD and much more.

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Upload speeds

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 much less important than download speed.

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. To get the fastest upload speed, you will need to be able to get Fibre 150 which comes with an upload speed of 25Mbps.

Pricing

Most broadband providers offer special deals and incentives to draw in new customers, and TalkTalk are no exception.

The brand tends to offer a combination of low sale prices and cashback or voucher incentives during special offer periods. Below is a sample of what TalkTalk is currently offering new customers.

To see its complete range of deals, visit our TalkTalk package comparison page.

Packages and bundles

If you want to add phone or TV to your broadband packages, you’re in luck. TalkTalk offers both phone and TV bundles.

Broadband and phone

TalkTalk only offers PAYG calls with its broadband packages as standard, but 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 an additional cost.

Broadband and TV

If you’d like to add a TV subscription to your broadband, you can simply add TalkTalk TV when you sign up. Enjoy over 80 Freeview channels with the YouView box. Should you wish to sign up to NOW TV, Amazon Prime, Netflix or BT Sport, you can do so and enjoy these streaming services via your TalkTalk TV YouView box.

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Router and installation

Router

TalkTalk’s standard broadband service is the only package that comes with a Super Router. Although generally well-regarded, it does have some limitations when it comes to range and busier households would be better to look at choosing a fibre package. Customers signing up for Fibre 35 or Fibre 50 services will receive the Wi-Fi Hub Black as part of their package, which is twice as powerful as the Super Router and can support up to 50 devices at once.

Customers that are fortunate enough to be able to sign up for Fibre 150 will receive the even more powerful Wifi Hub that has seven built-in antennae to provide a far-reaching wifi signal around your home.

For more information, see our TalkTalk router guide.

Installation

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.

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Customer service

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.

Our verdict

TalkTalk offers some of the best-value broadband deals in the UK, although its customer service has been patchy in the last few years. However, it offers a great service for bargain hunters, especially if you are looking for a broadband, phone and TV package.

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