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TalkTalk broadband review 2022

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TalkTalk’s broadband is certainly cheap. But is it cheerful? And how does it compare to rival providers with pricier packages? Read on, as we run the rule over everything it’s got to offer

Our rating: Four out of five

There’s much to recommend TalkTalk, but it’s worth bearing in mind that its broadband comes with some caveats.

  • Good range of speeds
  • Price wise it’s very competitive against the likes of BT and Sky
  • Coverage is good across the UK
  • Decent call bundles
  • Customer service remains a weakness
  • Cheap deals available to existing as well as new customers
  • TV offering isn’t as good as Sky or BT

Is TalkTalk broadband any good?

TalkTalk bills itself as a ‘value provider’. And compared to other big-name providers, such as BT,Virgin Media and Sky, it’s certainly very competitively priced.  

Speeds are pretty good too and are also in line with other major providers. They’ll easily be fast enough for most households and TalkTalk’s packages are very widely available.

Its rolling-contract TV add-ons are flexible. So you can add or subtract the likes of BT Sport and Sky Sports from your package on a monthly basis.

That’s handy if you only want sports channels during the football or rugby season and don’t want to pay for them during the off-season.

More generally, we also like that TalkTalk extends cut-price promotions to existing customers. So the best prices are no longer reserved for new customers.

But there are some notable shortcomings when it comes to TalkTalk. Not least its reputation for customer service, which hasn’t always been great over the years.

It’s also fair to say that TalkTalk TV service is fairly basic too. Its YouView set top box doesn’t have all the latest features and looks a bit second best next to the likes of Sky Q and Virgin Media’s TV 360.

New customers only
New customers only
New customers only
New customers only

*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time(8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.

TalkTalk broadband review

Not sure TalkTalk is for you? Read on as we take a look at all TalkTalk’s key features to help you make your mind up.

Average TalkTalk broadband speeds

Fast broadband

TalkTalk’s entry level, ADSL broadband clocks in at 11Mbps and is built for users who don’t have loads of internet connected devices but want to be able to browse the web and occasionally stream music or movies.

Fibre 35

With 38Mbps average speeds, Fibre 35 is great for anyone looking to make the leap to fibre and be able to stream games and TV without their internet slowing down.

Fibre 65

Fibre 65 takes things up a notch, with 67Mbps speeds designed to help households where kids are gaming, working on homework or checking out social media while parents stream downstairs.

Fibre 150

One of TalkTalk’s fibre to the premises (FTTP) offerings, Fibre 150 has speeds of 145Mbps, great for anyone who wants rapid access and has lots of web connected devices. You’ll need to have had fibre to the premises connected in your area though.

Fibre 500

Increasingly available, Fibre 500 has speeds of 500Mbps and is made for hardcore users. Love to watch endless movies and enjoy hours long gaming marathons? This is for you.

Fibre 900

As with other providers’ superfast services, Fibre 900 only works in certain areas. It’s built for power users and is a good shout if you have a lot of smart home kit, like thermostats and lighting systems.

TalkTalk broadband packages review

TalkTalk packages are simple. Its most widely available packages pair broadband with a landline at a price that’s significantly below the industry average.

Speeds on these packages are in line with those from other household-name providers.

In select locations you can sign up for its Future Fibre packages (Fibre 150 and Fibre 500), which don’t necessitate a landline and offer excellent speeds. That’s thanks to full-fibre technology to deliver broadband to your address.

The catch is that the full-fibre service is only available in a fairly limited range of locations and you’ll require an engineer to get TalkTalk full fibre installed.

It’s also worth noting that Virgin Media’s fibre service gets you speeds in line with TalkTalk’s full fibre offerings but is more widely available.

TalkTalk Fibre review

TalkTalk offers fibre on all its packages except for its ‘fast broadband’ deal, which uses ADSL.

Fibre 35 and Fibre 65 run fibre to your area before completing the last section to your home over copper.

Fibre 150, 500 and 900 use full fibre, running right into the home, although you’ll need to have had this installed in your area if you want one of these packages.The speeds are all in line with BT and Sky, while Virgin has a faster 1.3Gbps service. The latter is not widely available, though.In terms of cost, TalkTalk Fibre is cheaper than BT, with a Fibre 150 package costing £29.95 compared with £35.99 for BT’s 100Mbps Fibre 100. Sky Ultrafast, by comparison, starts at £32.

TalkTalk TV review

TalkTalk’s TV service is only available when you also take a broadband package. You can’t buy it as a standalone service.

TalkTalk has recently started offering a new 4K TV box, with access to over 70 channels and 30 apps. If you have a 4K TV, it makes getting TalkTalk TV a smart move.

Critically, TalkTalk's TV service is also much cheaper. At the time of writing, you can add TV from just £4 per month, which gets you the box and over 80 live channels.

Want multi-room to watch TV in different channels around the home? To do so you’ll need to purchase another box or boxes at £25 each, plus an installation charge.

But the good news is that once you’ve got the additional box, there’s no subscription fee for multi-room viewing. Unlike the likes of Sky, which levies a monthly charge.

There’s also the option to add NOW TV passes, for access to Sky Cinema and Sport channels on-demand, and you can add Netflix and BT Sport too.

With the new 4K TV Box, that means ultra HD movies and football.

TalkTalk Router

TalkTalk’s WiFi Hub comes with its Fibre 150, 500 and 900 packages and is replete with the latest features.

These include:

  • Seven antennae for excellent coverage
  • Smart channel selection to ensure your connection doesn’t drop
  • AC standard WiFi, the latest around
  • Four ethernet ports for connecting

TalkTalk calls review

TalkTalk doesn’t offer a particularly wide selection of calls add-ons, but that probably reflects the fact that we’re using our landlines less and less frequently.

Your options for calls Boosts are:

  • Unlimited UK – Anytime calls to UK landlines and mobiles for £12 per month
  • International Max – 1,000 minutes to landlines and mobiles in 50 locations, plus cheap calls to more countries - £10 per month

If you choose not to add a calls package, you’ll get pay as you go plan. So you’ll only pay for the calls you make.

You’ll also qualify for 180 monthly minutes per month to other TalkTalk landline customers free of charge.

TalkTalk broadband cost

At the time of writing (June 2022), TalkTalk broadband deals start at the following prices:

  • Fast Broadband - £24.95
  • Fibre 35 - £23.50
  • Fibre 65 - £31.45
  • Fibre 150 - £36.95
  • Fibre 500 - £40
  • Fibre 900 - £49

TalkTalk extras

TalkTalk used to offer a range of so-called Boosts that let you customise your package. It no longer offers these to new customers.

Instead you can tailor your TV package by adding and subtracting Now TV Passes, which are sold at a discount, as well as subscriptions to Amazon Video, Netflix, BT Sport and Sky Sports.

Security software is included free of charge. But there’s also an option to upgrade to SuperSafe online security, which allows you to protect up to ten devices from viruses, identity theft, bank fraud and scams.

If you’d like to protect yourself from price rises, TalkTalk fibre packages give you the option of adding ‘Fixed Price Plus’.

For an extra charge of £2 per month, this ensures your price will be fixed for the duration of your 18-month contract.

Customer service with TalkTalk broadband

TalkTalk has long had a bad reputation for customer service, offsetting its low prices.

The latest Ofcom report on customer satisfaction in the broadband space shows little has changed, with just 78% saying they were satisfied with their experience.

Only Vodafone fairs worse, with BT top of the pile on 88%.

What are the pros and cons of TalkTalk broadband?

What’s good about TalkTalk broadband? And what’s not so good? We outline all the pros and cons below…

Pros

  • Decent broadband speeds at cheap prices
  • Flexible TV add-ons let you add and drop channels when you like
  • Affordable, but pared down, TV service
  • Often sweeten deals with vouchers and giveaways
  • No subscription required for multi-room TV
  • No installation fee on most packages
  • Free security software and parental controls

Cons

  • Customer service could be better
  • No option to get TalkTalk TV on its own

Our latest TalkTalk deals

New customers only
New customers only
New customers only
New customers only

*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time(8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.

How does TalkTalk compare with other providers?

TalkTalk has much to recommend it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you. Here we take a look at how it compares to rival providers to help you decide.

TalkTalk vs Sky

Sky and TalkTalk are pretty similar when it comes to their broadband service. Their packages offer roughly the same speeds and they’re both widely available.

The key difference is that TalkTalk is quite a bit cheaper.

Sky’s TV offering is far superior to TalkTalk’s, thanks to its Sky Q set top box and a much wider range of channels. Once again, though, there’s a price to pay for that.

While TalkTalk TV can be had for just £4 per month, even the cheapest version of Sky TV will set you back several times that.

TalkTalk vs Virgin Media

Virgin Media’s efficient cable network means that it generally offers a faster broadband service than TalkTalk. The catch? It’s also more expensive and is less widely available.

Virgin Media is the clear winner for TV, though. Its TV 360 box has more storage, a high-tech remote and lets you record multiple channels simultaneously than TalkTalk’s YouView box.

TalkTalk vs BT

TalkTalk consistently undercuts BT for broadband, despite offering similar speeds. So if you’re on a tight budget, TalkTalk is your best bet.

A YouView set top box is at the heart of both providers’ pay-TV services. But there are some critical differences.

Not least that TalkTalk only offers a stripped down box with no capacity to store recordings. Choose BT and you can get one with 500GB of storage space.

Both providers long ago scrapped a lot their complicated TV bundles and now offer more flexible add-ons based on NOW TV passes and streaming services.

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