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BT broadband vs TalkTalk broadband

Friday, November 17th 2017

Trying to choose between BT and TalkTalk? As two of the biggest broadband providers in the UK they both offer some tempting deals, but how do they fare when put in direct competition with one another?

Here’s the full lowdown on the standard broadband and fibre products from both providers. We examine speeds, prices, usage options, and what nice little extras you’ll get when you sign up.

Incredible Black Friday cashback deal

Ending at midnight on Cyber Monday (27th November), and exclusive to Cable.co.uk, join BT with no connection fee (usually £50), get reduced prices for 18 months, up to £125 Reward Card, and a further £50 cashback. This incredibly hot offer is for new BT customers only.

To claim your BT Reward Card, visit www.bt.com/claimmyreward once your service has been installed and follow the instructions. You have three months from the point at which your service goes live in order to put in your claim, but we advise that you do it sooner rather than later.

  • BT Unlimited Infinity 1 + Calls

    BT
    • Pay nothing today
    • Weekend calls
    • UK's best Wi-Fi router
    Exclusive - Get £150 back, Free connection worth £50 & Free BT Sport for 18 months
    £29 .99
    £9.99 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal
  • BT Unlimited Broadband + Calls

    BT
    • Pay nothing today
    • Weekend calls
    • Free BT Home Hub 4 Wi-Fi router
    Exclusive - Get £100 back & Free BT Sport for 18 months
    £23 .99
    £9.99 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal
  • BT Unlimited Infinity 2 + Calls

    BT
    • Pay nothing today
    • Weekend calls
    • Free BT Smart Hub router
    Exclusive - Get £175 back, Free connection worth £50 & Free BT Sport for 18 months
    £39 .99
    £9.99 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal

At a glance

Download speed 76Mb
up to
76Mbps
up to
Upload speed 19Mb
up to
19Mb
up to
Usage options Unlimited 12GB, 25GB, unlimited
Fair usage policy
Traffic management
Static IP
Minimum contract 18 months 18 months
Public wi-fi
Prices from £19.95 per month £23.99 per month
  See deals See deals
TalkTalk
Download speed
Up to 76Mb
Upload speed
Up to 19Mb
Usage options
Unlimited
Fair usage policy
Traffic management
Static IP
Minimum contract
12 months
Public wi-fi
Prices from
£19.95 per month
BT
Download speed
Up to 76Mbps
Upload speed
Up to 19Mb
Usage options
12GB, 25GB, unlimited
Fair usage policy
Traffic management
Static IP
Minimum contract
12 months
Public wi-fi
Prices from
£23.99 per month

Speed

BT

When it comes to broadband, speed is often key. BT’s broadband packages come in three speeds, and the best choice for you will depend on what you want to do online. BT’s standard broadband option – up to 17Mbps – may seem slow, but if all you want to do is browse and check out Facebook, it’s ideal.

BT offers two fibre speeds – up to 52Mbps and up to 76Mbps. BT is unique in offering 52Mbps as its entry-level fibre speed - all other providers on the Openreach network offer 38Mbps.

TalkTalk

TalkTalk’s broadband speeds are fairly similar to BT’s, with 17Mb, 38Mb and up to 76Mb – for heavy users. If you regularly stream HD videos and movies, you’ll fit into the heavy user category. Fibre availability is much like that of BT, so it’s worth using an availability checker before you buy to make sure you can get TalkTalk’s faster broadband.

Package comparison

BT

BT broadband has unlimited usage on most its plans as well as free weekend calls. BT broadband packages all come on an 18-month contract. You’ll be subject to termination fees if you cancel before the minimum term expires.

TalkTalk

TalkTalk broadband packages all come with unlimited usage, so you can download as much as you like without being restricted or punished. Contract lengths for TalkTalk are usually set at 18 months. Like BT, if you cancel before the end of your contract, you may be hit with termination fees.

  • Broadband
    Max download speed17Mb
    Max upload speed1Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls10.24ppm
    Evening calls10.24ppm
    Weekend callsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£9.99
    Contract length18 months
    First year cost £297.87

    £23.99
    per month
    includes line rental

  • Broadband
    Max download speed17Mb
    Max upload speed1Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls11.50ppm
    Evening calls11.50ppm
    Weekend calls11.50ppm
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£0
    Contract length12 months
    First year cost £239.40

    £19.95
    per month
    includes line rental

    0800 083 4313 0800 083 4313

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Customer service

BT

According to the latest Ofcom reports, BT has achieved 60% in comparison to the sector average of 67% for broadband. Although BT is one of the leading providers in the UK, they haven’t rated well in the past with its customer service.

TalkTalk

TalkTalk’s satisfaction scores have remained pretty much the same for broadband. It achieved 53% in Ofcom's latest report. TalkTalk didn’t do itself any favours in the complaints department, as it got quite a high number of complaints in 2014.

Compare BT & TalkTalk broadband →

Technology and equipment

BT

With BT broadband, you’ll get a Home Hub 4 router at no extra charge. For fibre you'll get the latest Smart Hub router. Both routers are small, sleek boxes that allow you to get online. With its dual-band technology, you can connect several devices at once. Plus, it’s designed to fit though your letterbox, so you won’t need to be home to receive it.

The most important feature of the Smart Hub is that it’s future-proof, meaning it can support speeds of up to 1,000Mbps. So if BT introduces higher speeds you won’t need to purchase a new router. Plus its wi-fi signal is strong enough to reach more rooms in your house than an other UK router.

TalkTalk

With both Fast Broadband and Faster Fibre, you’ll receive a Super Router at no extra cost. This lets you connect several devices to the internet and reduces any interference, providing a stronger and stable signal.

Extra features

BT

BT does exceptionally well in the extras department, with free access to millions of wi-fi hotspots for all its broadband customers, along with BT SmartTalk, BT Parental Controls and storage space in the BT Cloud.

Any customer joining BT broadband will get free access to BT Sport for three months through the provider's online player. You can add all four BT Sport channels (BT Sport Europe, BT Sport 1 and 2, BT Sport ESPN) by adding BT TV for £3.50 per month.

Finally, BT broadband customers can get a BT Mobile SIM at a discounted price with prices starting from £5 per month.

TalkTalk

TalkTalk doesn’t offer all that much in the way of extras. When you join the provider, you’ll get Homesafe Security and the Super Safe Boost (at £2 per month extra) to protect your internet devices from the varied perils of viruses and spyware.

Conclusion

So who’s better? If we were pushed, we’d have to say BT, but it’s a close-run competition and what BT has to offer may not be right for you. In the end, it all comes down to your personal requirements.

And don't forget, Cable.co.uk now produces in-depth broadband reviews of every major UK broadband package, so check them out if you need more information.

Compare BT broadband deals → Compare TalkTalk broadband deals →

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