TalkTalk is one of the UK's cheapest broadband providers offering both up to 14Mb standard broadband connections as well as superfast fibre optic broadband.
About TalkTalk broadband
TalkTalk offers some of the cheapest home broadband and phone packages on the market, as well as its own line rental deals. In 2009, it purchased Tiscali UK was also involved in a takeover of Pipex Broadband, making it one of the UK's largest providers.
Operating its own local loop unbundled (LLU) network, TalkTalk is able to offer some of the cheapest broadband around. It also utilises BT Infinity's fibre network to offer up to 38Mb and up to 76Mb connections to customers on its Essentials package.
TalkTalk also offers a TV subscription that utilises the newest digital TV platform.
TalkTalk phone number
You can contact TalkTalk on 0800 049 7843
The TalkTalk broadband service
Over the past few years, TalkTalk has been widely criticised for its weak customer service, but has since invested millions to improve its reputation. Research by regulator Ofcom has shown big improvements in customer feedback.
Despite no longer offering its revolutionary "free broadband" package, TalkTalk is still among the UK's cheapest providers, with two great value bundles to choose from.
1. TalkTalk Essentials (www.TalkTalk.co.uk/Essentials) - Offers fast and reliable "unlimited" broadband with speeds of up to 14Mb. The speeds you receive should be sufficient to make the most of the web with stable BBC iPlayer and YouTube connections.
2. TalkTalk Plus (www.TalkTalk.co.uk/Plus) - Also comes with speeds up to 14Mb and "unlimited broadband" downloads, subject to a fair usage policy. You also get unlimited anytime phone calls, not just evenings and weekends as with Essentials.
With TalkTalk's unlimited download allowance you can access all the TV, music, movies and games you want to, without the worry of exceeding a limit. You can find out how TalkTalk customers rate their service in our TalkTalk reviews section.
TalkTalk offers two fibre packages: Fibre Medium, an up to 38Mb connection, and Fibre Large, up to 76Mb. Both are available with the Essentials package only and aren't available to customers requiring a new line installation. As TalkTalk use the BT Infinity network its fibre packages are not yet available nationwide - BT Openreach plan to expand the Infinity network coverage to two-thirds of the population by 2014.
Broadband and phone deals
Monthly cost: £3.25
(for 12 months)1st year cost: £39.00
Monthly cost: £13.25
(for 12 months)1st year cost: £159.00
Monthly cost: £18.25
(for 12 months)1st year cost: £219.00
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Call TalkTalk on
0800 049 7843
Call TalkTalk on
0800 049 7843
Call TalkTalk on
0800 049 7843
TalkTalk's TV service
TalkTalk's digital TV service, TalkTalk TV Plus was the first offered by a broadband provider to be based on YouView. Subscribers to TalkTalk TV, broadband and phone packages will get a free YouView TV box and a digital TV service which allows you to:
- get unlimited access to seven day catch up with BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5
- pause and record 74 Freeview channels - including some in HD
- unlimited access to 4,000 shows and box sets - with some of the best from the US & UK
- add on flexible Sky Sports & Sky Movies Boosts - with only a one month minimum commitment so no costly annual subscription
TalkTalk broadband speeds
With a TalkTalk Essentials package you'll get download speeds of up to 14Mb. If you live within BT Infinity's fibre optic network - which TalkTalk utilises for its fibre connections, you can also get TalkTalk's Fibre Medium or Fibre Large connection offering speeds of up to 38Mb or 76Mb.
Actual download speeds
While providers might advertise a high top speed, in reality, a number of factors can reduce the actual download speeds you receive. These include:
- Your distance from the exchange - ADSL broadband speeds get progressively slower the further away from the telephone exchange you live. If this is a problem, you could think about switching to fibre optic if it's available, as cable technology isn't affected in the same way.
- Network congestion - The number of TalkTalk customers using your network at the same time will also have an impact on the actual speeds you receive. This is why speeds often drop in the late afternoon as schools and workplaces close for the day.
- Traffic management - Providers will sometimes apply a traffic management or "shaping" policy at peak times. This is to help ensure all customers receive an equally good service.
As it uses a different technology to carry the connection, Fibre Optic broadband does not experience the same degree of speed degradation, so the download speeds you will get are likely to be much closer to those that are advertised.
TalkTalk download limits
All of TalkTalk's current broadband packages offer "unlimited" downloads, allowing you access to as much TV, music, movies and games as you want. However, a fair usage policy exists to protect TalkTalk customers from slow browsing as a result of others who download excessively.
TalkTalk static IP address
TalkTalk home broadband packages include a dynamic IP address, but TalkTalk Business broadband comes with a static IP address. However, you don't necessarily need a business broadband package to get one.
TalkTalk contention ratio
TalkTalk's broadband has a contention ratio of 50:1, regardless of which package you've signed up for. This means that up to 50 TalkTalk customers could be sharing the same amount of bandwidth at any given time.
A contention ratio of 50:1 is the standard across the entire home broadband market. For instance, home broadband plans from BT (www.BT.com), Plusnet (www.Plus.net) and Virgin Media (www.Virginmedia.com) also come with a 50:1 contention ratio. Business packages tend to have a contention ratio of 20:1, for faster and more reliable connections.
TalkTalk broadband benefits
For lots of customers, the main appeal of TalkTalk (www.TalkTalk.co.uk) value for money, as its Essentials package is one of the cheapest on the market. However, it also offers for a few pounds extra each month.
TalkTalk has a selection of "Boosts" that can be added to your Essentials or Plus package from £2 a month, on a month-by-month basis - so you only have to pay when you actually need them.
TalkTalk deals and offers
- 12 months half price on Broadband + Phone Essentials - just £3.25 for the first 12 months (then £6.50 thereafter plus £14.95 a month line rental. Offer ends: 13 March 2013.
- FREE connection worth £30: This offer is only available to new customers ordering a TalkTalk Essentials or TalkTalk Plus package.
- FREE wireless router: TalkTalk Essentials and TalkTalk Plus customers get a free wireless router. Switch to TalkTalk Essentials (www.TalkTalk.co.uk/Essentials) for a free wireless "G" router, or TalkTalk Plus (www.TalkTalk.co.uk/Plus) for a free wireless "N" router. A wireless router allows you to go online anywhere at home without having to run wires around the house. Wireless "N" routers typically provide greater coverage and better signal strength than wireless "G" routers. If your house has thick walls, or is particularly big, a wireless "N" router could work better for you.
- FREE support: It's free to call TalkTalk's customer service or technical support teams from your TalkTalk landline.
TalkTalk broadband awards & accreditations
- Highly Commended - Value for Money in the Broadbandchoices Awards 2011
- Winner - Value for Money, Clarity of Pricing & Billing - Broadbandchoices 2010 Customer Satisfaction Survey
- Highly Commended - Overall Customer Satisfaction Broadbandchoices 2010 Customer Satisfaction Survey
- Highly Commended - Value for Money Broadbandchoices 2010 Customer Satisfaction Survey
Our broadband expert's verdict
Michael Phillips, managing director of broadbandchoices, said: "TalkTalk (www.TalkTalk.co.uk) is a great choice for anyone who needs broadband and home phone on a budget, as it represents very good value for money. The Essentials package is perfect for families who need to keep an eye on their finances.
"TalkTalk's low call costs also make it a good option for heavy home phone users who will be able to make big savings compared to some of its rivals, and its 'Boosts' make it a flexible choice for broadband and home phone users too."
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