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TalkTalk broadband review 2022

Is TalkTalk broadband any good?

Our TalkTalk Broadband rating: 4 / 5

TalkTalk offers cheap broadband deals, including broadband and TV bundles, and it can provide very fast full-fibre internet, too. But its customer service isn’t the best.

TalkTalk broadband review

TalkTalk can save you money with cheap fibre optic broadband deals, including rapid full-fibre broadband using FTTP. It can also deliver a low-cost triple-play bundle combining TV, broadband, and phone. However, customer service needs to be better.

We like

  • Cheap fibre broadband deals.
  • Good value triple-play bundles.
  • Totally unlimited.
  • FTTP broadband is available.
  • Frequent reward deals.

We don’t like

  • Poor customer service reputation.
  • Upload speeds aren’t great on fastest packages.
  • Expensive ADSL package.
  • TV box does not record. 

TalkTalk broadband: in summary

  • Download speeds (average): 11Mb / 38Mb / 67Mb / 145Mb / 500Mb
  • Upload speeds (average): 1Mb / 9.5Mb / 19Mb / 25Mb / 75Mb
  • Data usage limit: Truly unlimited
  • Type of broadband: ADSL & fibre optic (FTTC & FTTP)
  • Home phone line: Yes (required for ADSL & FTTC)
  • Inclusive phone calls: Optional extra
  • Router: Wi-Fi Hub Black or TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub

TalkTalk broadband speeds

TalkTalk offers a wide choice of broadband speeds, though availability varies depending on your location; use our postcode checker to find out what speed is available at your home.

TalkTalk Fast Broadband

  • Download speed: 11Mb
  • Upload speed: 1Mb

A basic broadband service with an average download speed of just 11Mb. This is very slow by today’s standards and we do not recommend it for most homes. It may be suitable for individuals where the broadband is only used occasionally, but it will struggle if the connection is shared. 

This package is also not the best value for money. It is 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 usually the cheapest TalkTalk package overall.

This is our recommended minimum for most households, it is fast enough for an individual or small shared home. But it may struggle with supporting multiple bandwidth-intensive tasks like video streaming or downloading.

TalkTalk Fibre 65

  • Download speed: 67Mb
  • Upload speed: 19.5Mb

Fibre 65 is the fastest TalkTalk service available to most homes, and a great option for bigger families who may find the Fibre 35 package too restrictive (and it only costs a couple of quid more). 

TalkTalk Fibre 150

  • Download speed: 145Mb
  • Upload speed: 25Mb

If FIbre 65 isn’t enough, and you live in an area with FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) access, you can step up to an average download speed of 145Mb with this service. This kind of speed will cope with multiple high definition video streams and allow you to download large files very quickly.

TalkTalk Fibre 500

  • Download speed: 500Mb
  • Upload speed: 75Mb

Ultrafast broadband for the busiest homes and most demanding requirements. Fibre 500 is the best TalkTalk service available in most areas (there is an even quicker 900Mb package, but availability is extremely limited at present). 

TalkTalk speed summary

TalkTalk user Speed Satisfaction score: 3.57  / 5

The speed satisfaction score is taken from the feedback of TalkTalk customers, who are asked to rate the performance of their TalkTalk broadband service on a scale of one (very dissatisfied) to five (very satisfied). The score is an average of all results, updated on a monthly basis.

TalkTalk customers seem underwhelmed by the performance of their home broadband service, going by 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.

Ofcom average speed data: TalkTalk 37Mb vs BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, and TalkTalk

Average broadband download speed recorded by Ofcom during a 24-hour period. 

  • TalkTalk 37Mb average speed: 31.6Mb (85% of advertised rate)
  • BT 36Mb average speed: 25.94Mb (72% of advertised rate)
  • EE 36Mb average speed: 31.6Mb (88% of advertised rate)
  • Plusnet 36Mb average speed: 28.8Mb (80% of advertised rate)
  • Sky 59Mb average speed: 28.8Mb (76% of advertised rate)
  • Virgin Media 54Mb average speed: 51.7Mb (96% of advertised rate)

The Ofcom home broadband performance stats suggest that things are a little better than our survey results indicate. TalkTalk has one of the best average speed scores for this speed tier, delivering a respectable 85% of its advertised rate. It also had a strong 92% for the 67Mb service.

Most TalkTalk broadband packages are using the Openreach (BT telephone line) network. That means advertised speeds are broadly in line with the majority of other providers.

It does also offer much faster speeds using Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) technology, however, the coverage of these services is far more limited. 

If available, it offers up to 500Mb download speeds across most of the network. A 900Mb TalkTalk Ultra Fibre Optic package is also on offer, but only for a relatively small number of homes in Yorkshire. 

Unfortunately, while these FTTP deals offer excellent download speeds, the upload rates are underwhelming in comparison. You’ll see the same disparity with high-speed broadband from other providers including BT, Sky, and Virgin Media, but there are alternative FTTP providers which offer much better upload rates.

TalkTalk broadband value for money

TalkTalk value for money user score: 3.65 / 5

The TalkTalk user value for money score is the average rating from TalkTalk customers, who are asked to rank their provider for value on a scale of one (very poor value) to five (very good value). 

TalkTalk has a reputation for offering low-cost broadband services, and our survey shows that customers seem fairly satisfied with what they’re getting. Its value score of 3.65 is higher than the average 3.47.

The best value package is usually Fibre 65, which is often available for just a couple of pounds more than Fibre 35.

Less attractive is the TalkTalk Fast Broadband ADSL package, which costs about the same (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 cannot get fibre then there are cheaper ADSL deals from other ISPs. And if fibre is available, any of the TalkTalk fibre deals offer a lot more for your money.

TalkTalk rewards

Although it is a budget provider, TalkTalk doesn’t usually have the very cheapest broadband deals you’ll find listed on Broadband Genie. But it often includes rewards that add significant value. 

Usually, a TalkTalk reward deal will include an Amazon voucher worth around £50-£70. When comparing deals, check the offer details section and check the effective monthly cost for a breakdown of the price including any one-off fees and rewards.

You can compare the latest TalkTalk offers on our TalkTalk rewards page. For general help with rewards, visit our guide to claiming free gifts and vouchers.

TalkTalk customer service

TalkTalk customer service user score: 3.45 / 5

TalkTalk users were asked to rate their provider for customer service, on a scale of one (terrible) to five (excellent). The user score is the overall average for each provider.

TalkTalk, unfortunately, has a long-standing reputation for sub-par customer service. Despite improvements in this area over the past few years, support continues to be a problem.

Our customer service user score of 3.45 falls below the average of 3.69, and the picture doesn’t improve when we look at the more detailed Ofcom customer service report

The Ofcom study compares major providers on key customer service metrics. TalkTalk received the following scores in the most recent publication (7th May 2021): 

  • Overall satisfaction: 77% (average: 80%)
  • Customers with a reason to complain: 24% (average: 26%)
  • Overall complaint handling satisfaction: 47% (average: 52%)
  • Complaints per 100,000 subscribers: 81 (average 50)
  • Call waiting time: 1:46 (average 4:09)

The number of complaints and the complaint handling satisfaction statistics are concerning. The satisfaction score in particular is flagged by Ofcom for being “statistically significantly worse than the sector average at the 95% confidence level”.

It’s not all bad, though. Fewer customers than average have a reason to complain, and its call waiting time is well below the average.

While TalkTalk does not offer a 24/7 customer support line, its telephone call centres are open every day 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 Wi-Fi router

TalkTalk offers two different Wi-Fi routers: the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub Black, and the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub.

TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub Black specifications

  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) & 802.11ac (5Ghz)
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi: No
  • Ethernet: 4x Gigabit ethernet

TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub specifications

  • Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz) & 802.11ac (5Ghz)
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi: No
  • Ethernet: 4x Gigabit ethernet

The Wi-Fi Hub Black is supplied with TalkTalk Fast Broadband, TalkTalk Fibre 35 and TalkTalk Fibre 65. Anyone signing up for TalkTalk FTTP will receive the Wi-Fi Hub.

Both offer a similar set of features. The major difference between the two is that the Wi-Fi Hub supports faster full-fibre broadband.

Both offer the newer (though not latest) 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard in addition to the older 802.11b/g/n standard. 

This means you’ll be able to get faster Wi-Fi speeds with any device that uses 802.11ac and still use older hardware, too. These routers are dual-band, so your router will host two different Wi-Fi signals concurrently.

In addition to the wireless broadband, there are four gigabit network ports on the back for fast wired connectivity. 

TalkTalk broadband extras

TalkTalk TV

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, with many streaming apps neatly integrated into the electronic program guide (EPG) so you can switch to them like any other live channel. 

Unlike most other TV services (including the very similar BT TV), the TalkTalk TV box does not 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. 

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, as you may find the competition can deliver the same content for less.

TalkTalk: our verdict

Broadband Genie rating: 4 / 5

Broadband bargain hunters are going to be pleased with TalkTalk’s low prices. Its triple-play TV, broadband, and phone deals are especially alluring.

Plus, the free routers 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, TalkTalk does suffer 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 avoid call waiting times by sending 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.

All Broadband Genie reviews

In addition to TalkTalk, we've also got reviews for many other providers:

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More about TalkTalk