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TalkTalk broadband review 2021

By Dan Howdle | Thursday, January 7th 2021

3.5/5

TalkTalk offers some of the best-value broadband packages in the UK, with prices fixed until 2022. This makes the brand a great choice for those on a budget - but can cheap broadband also be good broadband?

This TalkTalk broadband review will tell you everything you need to know about TalkTalk broadband provision, including the types of broadband and average speeds you can expect.

Is TalkTalk broadband a good choice?

What we like like

  • Fast enough for most households
  • Great value for money
  • No mid-contract price-hike guarantee

What we don't like

  • Not the best router out there
  • Customer service has been lacking
  • No inclusive calls with basic packages

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 both standard / ADSL and fibre broadband packages with speeds that will meet the needs of most UK households. Broadband provision through TalkTalk is also widely regarded as being great value for money, and you won’t be ambushed by mid-contract price hikes, as prices are fixed until 2022.

TalkTalk can also boast no upfront costs with broadband provision, free security bundles, and no restrictions placed on downloading. Line rental is also 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 basic broadband deal, but can bolt these on for an affordable added cost.

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

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

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TalkTalk broadband – an 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 11Mb, 38Mb, 67Mb
Upload speeds 1Mb, 9Mb, 17Mb
Broadband ADSL & fibre
Home Phone Yes
Freebies to look for Gift cards, Zero one-off costs
Packages available Broadband, Broadband & phone, Broadband, TV & phone
Router TalkTalk Super Router, TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub
Contract length 18 month, 24 month
Prices from £22 per month

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Average TalkTalk 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 band-width 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 three download speeds to suit differing household needs.

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
    £24.50 p/m
    £9.95 one-off cost Visit 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
    £22 p/m
    £4.95 one-off cost Visit 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
    £75 gift card
    £24 p/m
    £4.95 one-off cost Visit Now

All of TalkTalk’s packages include unlimited data downloads, so there’s no need to worry about usage caps.

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Average TalkTalk broadband 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.

Fibre 35 from TalkTalk has an average upload speed of 9.5Mbps, compared to Fibre 65 which has an average upload speed of 19Mbps.

TalkTalk broadband packages

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

Broadband and phone

Their cheapest broadband package only includes PAYG calls, but you can upgrade this to inclusive calls for an additional cost. This includes domestic landline and mobile calls – the option for international calls is also available.

Broadband and TV

If you’d like to add a TV subscription to your broadband, with either TalkTalk’s TV with fast broadband or TV Plus with fibre 35 bundles. Enjoy over 70 Freeview channels with the YouView box and, should you want to add extra channels, you can do this too.

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Router and installation

Router

While TalkTalk’s Super Router is generally well regarded, it does have some limitations when it comes to range. If you live in a large family home with lots of rooms, therefore, TalkTalk may not be the best provider to meet your needs. Providers including Virgin Media, BT, SKy and Vodafone provide more powerful routers with more range. Check what’s available where you live if range matters to you.

The TalkTalk router is also a pretty plain hunk of plastic – it’s unlikely to be a centre point of your décor but it’s not the worst looking router either.

If you’re a broadband only customer, your TalkTalk Super Router will be delivered to your home address by Royal Mail, 3-5 days before your service goes live.

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 with TalkTalk broadband

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 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.

TalkTalk does not discriminate between new and existing customers for the best current broadband deals either, which provides a refreshing contract from other industry providers.

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.

Latest deals

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.

Our verdict

TalkTalk offer some of the best-value broadband deals in the UK, although their customer service has started to let them down over the last few years. They’re a great service for bargain hunters, especially when signing up to a broadband, TV and phone deal. Add to this a fixed price guarantee until 2022 and you’ve got yourself a great deal.

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