TalkTalk broadband, home phone, and TV review

TalkTalk logo

Talk is cheap, and TalkTalk is even cheaper - but is it any good? The company’s known for offering value broadband, home phone, and TV, and with all that going on, it could be worth getting.

We've taken a good look at everything you can get from TalkTalk and put it to the test. Here's what we think, including how it compares to other providers, and our ultimate, final verdict.

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Cost

TalkTalk's prices are nice and low. This is an area where it shines. It also promises to freeze your price for the length of your contract - so you don't have to worry about the bill going up unexpectedly.

TalkTalk almost always has some of the cheapest broadband packages around, and often has special offers on to make it even more worth your while.

Here's what those costs look like right now:

Best buy deals
  • Fast Broadband
    No Price Rises!
    • Average speed* 11Mbps
    • £9.95 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go calls
    • £17.95 per month
    12 month contract
  • Fast Broadband with Unlimited UK Calls
    No Price Rises!
    • Average speed* 11Mbps
    • £9.95 up-front costs
    • Anytime calls inc.
    • £27.95 per month
    12 month contract
  • Faster Fibre
    No set-up fees
    • Average speed* 35Mbps
    • £9.95 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go calls
    • £23.50 per month
    18 month contract
  • Faster Fibre with speed boost
    No Price Rises!
    • Average speed* 63Mbps
    • £9.95 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go calls
    • £28.50 per month
    18 month contract
  • TV Plus with Fast Broadband + TV Select
    No Price Rises!
    • Average speed* 11Mbps
    • £34.95 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go calls
    • £24.95 per month
    12 month contract
  • TV Plus with Faster Fibre + TV Select
    No Price Rises!
    • Average speed* 35Mbps
    • £34.95 up-front costs
    • Pay as you go calls
    • £30.50 per month
    18 month contract

*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.

Broadband


Speed

You'll find TalkTalk broadband in three download speeds: Fast Broadband, with average speeds of 11Mb; Faster Fibre Broadband with average speeds of 35Mb; or Faster Fibre with average speeds of 63Mb. Watch out - it's called 'fast' even when it's slow.

Those speeds are on par with most other providers - it's identical to what you get from Sky, Plusnet, and EE, for instance - though you can get much, much faster from Virgin Media.

The speed you'll actually get on your line can vary a lot, however, depending on where you live. It's usually fairly consistent with fibre broadband, but ADSL in particular can differ quite a bit. TalkTalk will give you a speed estimate for your address when you sign up.

Data limits, fair usage, and traffic management

All of TalkTalk's broadband is unlimited - and that means truly unlimited. There's no data cap whatsoever, no traffic management, and no secret fair usage clause. You'll just have to promise to use your connection lawfully and that's it.

This is great - you really can use and download as much as you want, so long as you don't download illegal files or plot a heist or something.

Router

You'll get a TalkTalk Super Router with your broadband - aka either a D-Link 3782, or a HG633.

TalkTalk Super Router

It's not the best router around. It has all the features you need, like AC Wi-Fi, four ethernet ports, a USB port, and the latest wireless security, but there's definitely better hardware available from other providers. It's no match for the BT Smart Hub and Sky Q Hub, for example, which offer things like Smart Wi-Fi and ultrafast transfer speeds.

That said, the Super Router works just fine - it's easy to use, reliable, and will connect all your devices to the web without a hitch.

TalkTalk's fibre packages include a WiFi Hub, which has been developed specifically to work best with the TalkTalk network and tailors speeds based on specific device.

TV

Sign up to TalkTalk broadband, and you can grab some premium TV as well. The telly packages are:

  • TV - 70-ish Freeview channels, with a basic YouView box
  • TV Plus - 83-ish channels including some from Sky, with a YouView+ box that can record live TV

Those base packages are a bit shoddy on the channels front, but you can customise your TV by adding Boosts. These are bundles of channels that you can subscribe to on a monthly basis - and you can change or cancel them whenever you want, so it's incredibly flexible. More so than pay-TV from a lot of other providers, in fact. Boosts include the mega Entertainment Boost, Kids Boost, Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, and more.

You can even add BT Sport - albeit not from TalkTalk directly. Once you're up and running, simply contact BT to sign up.

Overall, TalkTalk TV isn't as comprehensive as Sky or Virgin Media, but there's a decent amount of choice and, most attractively of all, low prices. If there's a few key channels you want, it's ideal.

TalkTalk YouView box

Home phone

You get line rental chucked in with your broadband too. It's pay-as-you-go, but you can upgrade it to include unlimited UK calls or a number of international calling options.

There isn't really anything special going on here - TalkTalk's home phone is missing some of the options and features you can get with providers like BT, but luckily that also means it's missing the higher price tag. Plus, there's a decent range of options if you call international numbers a lot.

Extras

  • TalkTalk Mobile - All TalkTalk customers can claim a free SIM card, loaded with 200 minutes, unlimited texts, and 500MB data every month. You can upgrade that to a bigger allowance, or even take out an exclusive handset deal. Plans are reasonable, though they aren't great for heavy mobile users.
  • TalkTalk TV Store - TV users can access the TalkTalk TV Store, where you can buy and rent movies and episodes of shows.
  • TV2Go - The app that lets you watch TalkTalk TV on the go, included in your package. A very nice extra, but reviews on the app store are a bit on the low side.
  • Security - HomeSafe parental controls are included, and you can add the SuperSafe Boost for device protection - though this carries a small monthly fee.

Our verdict

The main attraction of TalkTalk is the price. It's one of the cheapest ways to get broadband, especially fibre, and will get you online easily with a surprising amount of features.

It's short on bells and whistles - there aren't as many TV channels as you get with Sky, none of the uber-speeds of Virgin Media, and no cloud storage or Wi-Fi hotspot access like BT includes - but since it's all in the name of keeping prices down, fair enough.

If straightforward, value broadband is what you're after, TalkTalk is certainly worth a look.

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