Is TalkTalk broadband any good?
TalkTalk offers cheap internet deals: unlimited broadband with good security. There are no frills and the customer service is sometimes poor.
A pocket-friendly alternative to the likes of BT and Sky, TalkTalk offers fibre optic broadband connections with truly unlimited downloads up to 76Mbps. You’ll also get free security software and the option to add in home phone and TV to make a complete package. However, TalkTalk’s customer service record is a major issue, although it claims to be making efforts to redeem itself.
Pros and cons
- Cheap broadband deals
- Free HomeSafe software
- Options for businesses
- No inclusive calls with basic broadband
- Bad record of customer service
- Long contracts for fibre
What we like
Cheap broadband options
If you’re looking for a budget broadband deal without the restrictions of a download cap, TalkTalk is, on the face of it, one of the best broadband deals there is. Its entry-level package – SimplyBroadband – costs just £0 per month (plus £15.95 line rental) for truly unlimited downloads, with up to 16Mbps download speed and up to 1Mbps upload speed.
Prices are pretty good if you’re looking for a faster service. Prices for Fibre Medium (up to 38Mbps) start from £6.75 per month, but if you want a faster speed you may want to opt for the Fibre Large (up to 76Mbps) package. Prices start from £11.75 per month. Line rental remains a frustrating expense if you don’t plan to use your home phone, but you can slash the total cost by paying 12 months’ line rental upfront in a lump sum.
Free HomeSafe™ software
TalkTalk is very proud of its HomeSafe™ system, which all customers get for free as part of their broadband package. It is built into the network itself, which means any device using the home connection via Ethernet or Wi-Fi will be protected from content you have personally deemed unsafe or unsuitable. It is handy for parents as it can give you specific control over what your kids see online.
Options for business
TalkTalk has a range of options for business users looking for broadband. Unlimited data, a free router, and a free static IP address are all included in any TalkTalk business broadband package. TalkTalk business broadband starts at just £4 a month. Very cheap for the market and comparable even to TalkTalk's home broadband deals.
What we don’t like
No inclusive calls with basic broadband
There are no inclusive calls with TalkTalk broadband. You have to pay for what you use. So if you make a lot of phone calls in a month, you’ll be paying quite a bit. You can add an Anytime UK Calls Boost to your TalkTalk broadband for an extra £5 per month.
Bad record of customer service
Customer service has long been TalkTalk’s Achilles’ heel, highlighted by a hefty fine and a rather embarrassing telling-off from Ofcom in 2011 after incorrectly billing over 60,000 customers.
Despite complaints about TalkTalk falling to their lowest level since Ofcom first began publishing complaints data, they remain above the industry average. Customers experienced issues with how their complaints were handled and problems with changing provider. But TalkTalk is by no means alone: BT and EE also generated complaints in excess of the industry average for broadband service in 2013.
Long contracts for fibre
If TalkTalk’s reputation makes you a little uneasy, the 18-month contract on all fibre broadband contracts might feel too restrictive. If anything goes wrong and you want to jump ship, you’ll face an early exit fee for every month left on your current broadband and phone deals. Luckily, TalkTalk’s basic broadband package, SimplyBroadband, is only subject to a 12-month contract, but you'll need to plump for an 18-monther if you want to up the TalkTalk broadband speed.
How does TalkTalk compare?
Our comparison tool lets you compare TalkTalk broadband packages against a host of popular plans from other UK providers. You can compare against any other package by selecting a different option from the dropdown menus:
You can check the availability of TalkTalk broadband by entering your postcode below.
You get what you pay for with TalkTalk’s broadband options. The attraction of cheap unlimited broadband with good security software and useful business options is countered by the lack of inclusive calls, questionable service and a fairly long contract on the fibre broadband packages.
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