TalkTalk broadband review 2023
|Value for Money||3.4/5|
TalkTalk can save you money with cheap fibre optic broadband deals, including rapid full fibre broadband using FTTP (fibre to the premises). It can also deliver a low-cost triple-play bundle that combines TV, broadband, and phone. However, customer service needs improvement.
|We like||We don't like|
What does ADSL mean?
ADSL stands for ‘Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line’. It’s broadband technology that allows the transfer data across regular telephone lines. You can make calls at the same time as being connected to the internet.
An ADSL line will, at minimum, allow for a broadband connection of up to 8Mb. These days, that’s pretty slow and won’t allow you to do much other than emailing or basic web searches.
ADSL2+ is now available at nearly all exchanges across the UK with slightly faster data transfer rates of around 10-11Mb.
What’s FTTP broadband?
Full Fibre broadband is also known as ‘Fibre To The Premises’, ‘Fibre To The Home’. This is often shortened to FTTP or FTTH. They’re all the same thing!
Instead of copper telephone wire making up the final part of the journey from that green cabinet on the street, fibre optic cables are installed right up to your home.
It’s amazing the difference in speed this small data journey can have. With full-fibre broadband you can expect to receive speeds of 1Gb+.
The downside is full-fibre is only available to a small percentage of homes in the UK, and it’s taking a good while to get everyone up to speed.
|Download Speeds (Average)||11Mb / 38Mb / 67Mb / 77Mb / 152Mb / 525Mb / 944Mb|
|Upload Speeds (Average)||1Mb / 9Mb / 19.5Mb / 20Mb / 30Mb / 72Mb / 110Mb|
|Data Usage Limit||Truly unlimited|
|Type of Broadband||ADSL, Fibre, Full Fibre|
|Home Phone Line?||Yes (required for ADSL and Fibre)|
|Inclusive phone calls?||Call bundles available as an add-on|
|Bundled Wi-Fi Router?||Wi-Fi Hub Black, Amazon Eero 6, or Amazon Eero Pro 6|
TalkTalk Broadband Speeds
Speed Score: 3.4 out of 5
TalkTalk offers a wide choice of broadband speeds, from the Superfast Fibre 35 or Fibre 65 packages, up to the ultrafast Full Fibre 900. The TalkTalk broadband deals available to you will depend on your location. To check this, you can type your postcode address into our deals checker.
Broadband Genie deals checker
TalkTalk Fast Broadband
- Download speed: 11Mb
- Upload speed: 1Mb
A basic broadband service with average download speeds of just 11Mb. This is pretty slow by today’s standards, so we don’t recommend it for most homes. It might be suitable for individuals where the broadband is only used occasionally, but it’ll struggle if the connection is shared.
This package isn’t the best value for money. It’s often more expensive than the much quicker TalkTalk Fibre 35, and there are cheaper equivalents from other providers.
TalkTalk Fibre 35
- Download speed: 38Mb
- Upload speed: 9Mb
This is the entry-level TalkTalk fibre service and is usually the cheapest TalkTalk package in general.
This is our recommended minimum for most households, it’s fast enough for an individual or small shared home. But it may struggle if you’ve got a busier home where everyone is trying to do video streaming or downloading at the same time.
TalkTalk Fibre 65
- Download speed: 67Mb
- Upload speed: 19.5Mb
Fibre 65 is the fastest TalkTalk service available to most homes. It’s also a great option for bigger families who may find the Fibre 35 package too restrictive. On top of that, it only costs a couple of quid more.
TalkTalk Full Fibre 65
- Download speed: 77Mb
- Upload speed: 20Mb
The cheapest full fibre deal from TalkTalk offers a very respectable 77Mb average download speed. If you can get full fibre, this is a great value deal.
TalkTalk Full Fibre 150
- Download speed: 152Mb
- Upload speed: 30Mb
If Fibre 65 isn’t enough, you can step up to an average download speed of 152Mb with this service. This kind of speed can cope with multiple high-definition video streams and allows you to download large files very quickly.
TalkTalk Full Fibre 500
- Download speed: 525Mb
- Upload speed: 72Mb
TalkTalk Full Fibre 900
- Download speed: 925Mb
- Upload speed: 110Mb
Ultrafast broadband is for the busiest homes with the most demanding requirements. Fibre 900 is currently the quickest TalkTalk package available, although few homes will take full advantage of it. Fibre 500 will be more than enough for the vast majority.
Not sure which is the right deal for you? Visit our 'easy guide to broadband speeds' for more help.
TalkTalk speed summary
TalkTalk customers seem slightly underwhelmed by the performance of their home broadband service, according to the results of our home broadband survey. Respondents rated it an average of 3.57 out of 5, compared to an overall average of 3.77.
However, the Ofcom home broadband performance report from September 2023 suggests things are a little better than our survey results indicate.
Ofcom average speed data: TalkTalk vs. BT, Vodafone, Plusnet, Sky, Virgin Media and EE
Most TalkTalk broadband packages use the BT Openreach network. That means advertised speeds are broadly in line with most other providers.
What is Openreach?
Openreach is the company that maintains the former British Telecom Network used for the majority of broadband and phone services. If a repair or installation is required, it’s Openreach who will send an engineer, not your provider.
More than 650 service providers using the Openreach network. That’s the majority of the UK’s broadband providers. This includes Sky, TalkTalk and BT. The exception to this is Virgin Media - it uses its own, separate cable network.
Unfortunately, while TalkTalk's full fibre deals offer excellent download performance, the upload rates aren't as impressive. You’ll see the same thing with high-speed broadband from other providers, too, including BT, Sky, and Virgin Media.
TalkTalk Customer Service
Customer Service Score: 3.3 out of 5
Unfortunately, TalkTalk has a reputation for not having the best customer service. Despite improvements in this area over the past few years, support continues to be a problem.
The TalkTalk user score of 3.25 falls below the average of 3.35. The picture doesn’t improve when we look at the more detailed Ofcom customer service report (18th May 2023), where it fell below average in almost all categories, other than call wait time.
- Overall satisfaction: 78% (average broadband score 82%)
- Satisfaction with speed of service: 76% (average broadband score 80%)
- Customers with a reason to complain: 24% (average broadband score 20%)
- Overall complaint handling satisfaction: 46% (average broadband score 51%)
- Call waiting time: 1:22 (average waiting time 2:37)
The number of complaints and the complaint handling satisfaction figures are concerning. Especially as this is the second year in a row this report has flagged this as being a problem.
In Ofcom's October 2023 Report: Complaints about broadband, landline, mobile and pay-TV services, TalkTalk was one of the most complained about broadband providers. Between April and June 2023, it received 18 complaints per 100,000 subscribers. To put this into perspective, the industry average was 12 per 100,000 subscribers. Complaints were mostly centred around how grievances were handled.
While TalkTalk doesn't offer a 24/7 customer support line, its telephone call centres are open daily between 8am and 10pm, so you can get help at peak times. If you need help outside of that, it does offer some online resources, including a forum.
For more information and other contact methods, visit our guide to TalkTalk customer service.
TalkTalk Broadband Value for Money
Value for Money Score: 3.4 out of 5
TalkTalk offers low-cost broadband services, and our user reviews survey shows customers seem fairly satisfied with what they're getting for their money. Its value score of 3.4 is higher than the average of 3.25 and in our 2023 Broadband Awards it ranked in second place for this category.
The best value package is usually Fibre 65, which is often available for just a little more than Fibre 35.
Less attractive is the TalkTalk Fast Broadband ADSL package. This costs about the same, or sometimes even a little more than the much quicker Fibre 65.
Unless there's an especially good special offer, Fast Broadband is one to avoid. If you can’t get fibre, then there are cheaper ADSL deals with other providers. And if fibre is available, then any of the TalkTalk fibre deals offer a lot more for your money.
Although it’s a budget provider, TalkTalk doesn’t usually have the cheapest broadband deals you’ll find listed on Broadband Genie. But you can often get great rewards to boost up the value.
Often, a TalkTalk reward deal will include an Amazon voucher worth around £50-£70. When comparing deals, don’t forget the offer details section. You can check the effective monthly cost for a price breakdown, including any one-off fees and rewards.
Reliability Score: 3.3 out of 5
In our 2023 Broadband Awards, TalkTalk ranked below many other popular broadband providers for reliability, including BT, Origin, Plusnet, Virgin Media and Sky. It tallied in with a total of 67.9% satisfaction.
In Ofcom's 2023 customer service report TalkTalk had a higher number of complaints than the average and generally, customers were less satisfied with how their complaint was handled.
TalkTalk is signed up to Ofcom's voluntary Broadband Speed Code of Conduct. This means if report you're having problems with your internet, but it can't be fixed within 30 days, you must be able to leave your contract without paying an early exit fee.
TalkTalk Bundled Wi-Fi router
Router Score: 3.5 out of 5
TalkTalk offers a few different Wi-Fi routers: the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub Black, Amazon Eero 6, or Amazon Eero Pro 6.
|Router||Included with package|
|Wi-Fi Hub Black||TalkTalk Fast Broadband, Fibre 35 and Fibre 65|
|Amazon Eero 6 or Eero Pro 6||TalkTalk Full Fibre|
Setting up your TalkTalk router shouldn't be difficult and, unless you need to have a line installed, you'll be able to do this yourself. However, if you do need technical support, you can make calls to TalkTalk's technical support line between 8am-10pm every day. There are clear online instructions and a video to talk you through all the installation steps.
An accessories store is available should you want to buy any extra extension cables direct from the provider.
TalkTalk router review: In a nutshell
All bundled TalkTalk Wi-Fi routers, including the Wi-Fi Hub, Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6 are easy to use and offer reliable connectivity. Although you're free to use third-party devices with TalkTalk, it's highly unlikely you'll need to, especially if you're on a full fibre deal.
As a bonus, the Amazon Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6 will work with Alexa and smart home devices. These routers also use the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology. This is capable of 500Mb download speeds, and can connect 75 devices at once.
For more information on TalkTalk hubs, including full specifications, you can read our full TalkTalk router round-up.
TalkTalk broadband extras
TalkTalk TV is available as a TV and broadband bundle with any TalkTalk broadband package.
It includes a YouView box that supports Freeview broadcasts and streaming TV. Many streaming apps are available in the electronic program guide (EPG), so you can switch to them like any other live channel.
Unlike most other TV services, the TalkTalk TV box doesn't include a hard drive for recording. However, it does offer up to 30 minutes of live pausing and rewinding.
The basic package doesn’t include additional channels, but you can add a variety of sports, entertainment, movie, and kids TV channels using NOW TV passes.
TalkTalk TV is a flexible alternative to the premium Sky TV and Virgin Media TV. While there are fewer channels overall, you have the freedom to choose from a variety of the most popular ones.
That said, if you plan on signing up for more than a single NOW TV pass at once, it would be worthwhile spending some time comparing TV and broadband deals. You might find the competition can deliver the same content for less.
TalkTalk: Expert Summary
TalkTalk Overall Score: 3.4 out of 5
Broadband bargain hunters will be pleased with TalkTalk’s low prices. The bundled routers for new customers are decent, and its broadband services are totally unlimited. There’s the option of full fibre broadband, too. Though it's a shame that the FTTP upload speeds lag far behind the download rates.
However, we can't avoid the topic that TalkTalk suffers from a poor reputation when it comes to customer service.
TalkTalk has made changes, including the closure of a controversial Indian call centre, new online repair tools, and the ability to send messages through the MyTalkTalk app. But this remains an area of concern, and it continues to be rated poorly in the Ofcom customer satisfaction report and our own broadband survey.
For the latest deals and more general information about TalkTalk, check out our TalkTalk hub.
Switching broadband providers
Check which TalkTalk deals are available to your home by popping your postcode or address into our deals checker. Don't forget to use our filters, so you can sort by price, speed or contract length. Our tables will also show you if there are any great reward offers available, too. You'll be able to see how much money these can save you in the long-run with our clear 'Effective Monthly Price' summary.
If you’re out of contract, switching between any provider is a quick and easy process. You shouldn’t even need to speak to your current provider - your new one should do all the admin for you.
Check out our guide on ‘how to switch broadband and get an amazing deal’ for more hints and tricks, learn how to save money and upgrade your home's internet connection with little fuss.
More broadband reviews
We review every provider we list on Broadband Genie. Check out the following reviews for our thoughts on other ISPs:
Broadband Genie’s review policy
When you’re looking to switch broadband, we know how important unbiased, balanced, expert reviews can be. As a dedicated broadband comparison and switching site, we are in a unique position to give you expert insight into whether or not we think a provider is worth your money. Read on to find out a little more about our broadband provider review process.User ratings
We ask users to review providers on our site, as part of our ongoing Home Broadband Survey project. We gather these reviews by promoting our survey to a broad swathe of customers. In doing so, we aim to get the most accurate and balanced customer feedback as possible. We believe this is preferable to advertising ourselves as a review service, which tends to attract a higher number of frustrated customers, skewing the results.
We use these scores, in combination with other factors such as Ofcom research to inform our overall ratings (more on this below).Overall ratings
Our overall provider rating is decided upon by our editors, informed by the user feedback we have received, we will also take into account wider market research such as Ofcom’s speed and customer service research, along with other trusted review platforms such as Trustpilot, where appropriate.
This allows us to create an informed, well-balanced review of a provider that’s ultimately the most useful way to determine whether or not a provider is right for you.