TalkTalk vs Plusnet broadband: Which should I get?

ByKim Staples
Talktalk vs Plusnet

Looking for good value, straightforward broadband? TalkTalk and Plusnet are both good choices. Though they don’t have as many bells and whistles attached to their services as some providers, you’ll still get a lot for your money.

But with two providers this similar, which should you go for? Well, they may have a lot in common, but they're a little different once we look closer. Let's see what you can get.

Speed and cost

The broadband packages from TalkTalk (www.talktalk.co.uk) and Plusnet (www.plus.net) are practically identical. Both offer:

  • Standard ADSL broadband, with download speeds up to 17Mb and unlimited downloads
  • Fibre optic broadband, with download speeds up to 38Mb and unlimited downloads
  • Fibre optic broadband, with download speeds up to 76Mb and unlimited downloads

In terms of cost, comparable packages have very similar prices. Plus, since both providers often have deals and offers going on, the cheapest one can change at any point.

There are two key differences that set these providers' packages apart from each other, however. First of all, most packages from TalkTalk last 18 months, while Plusnet offers shorter terms.

Secondly, broadband from TalkTalk is truly unlimited, but Plusnet manages web traffic. This means that with Plusnet your speeds may slow down at peak times for certain tasks (like file sharing), but will be prioritised for others (like streaming TV), so you'll always have a stable connection.

Verdict: Ultimately, there's very little difference - even web traffic management has its own advantages and disadvantages. It's best to look at everything else each provider offers too.

Featured TalkTalk broadband deals

TalkTalk
TalkTalk
TalkTalk
Fibre Medium with SimplyBroadband Fibre Large with SimplyBroadband Essentials TV + Fibre Large
Monthly cost £8.75 (for 18 months, then £17.50 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £136.75 Monthly cost £13.75 (for 18 months, then £22.50 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £196.75 Monthly cost £17.50 (for 18 months, then £22.50 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £266.75
Up To 38 Mb Up To 76 Mb Up To 76 Mb
Weekend calls inc. Weekend calls inc. Eve & wknd calls inc.
Channels 0 Channels 0 Channels 76
Go
Call TalkTalk on 0800 049 7843
Mon to Thurs 8am-10pmFri to Sun 8am-9pm
Go
Call TalkTalk on 0800 049 7843
Mon to Thurs 8am-10pmFri to Sun 8am-9pm
Go
Call TalkTalk on 0800 049 7843
Mon to Thurs 8am-10pmFri to Sun 8am-9pm

Security

Good news for us, bad news for hackers: TalkTalk and Plusnet both include internet security with their broadband.

All TalkTalk packages come with HomeSafe, which gives some network-level security; and you can add the SuperSafe Boost for extra protection from malware and the likes. Get it free for one device, or £2 per month for up to eight. It's available for PCs, tablets, smartphones - the lot.

You'll get Plusnet SafeGuard with all of Plusnet's broadband packages, and you can install Plusnet Protect on your PC for extra protection. It's free with Unlimited and Unlimited Fibre Extra, but you'll only get a three-month trial with Unlimited Fibre. And bear in mind you can only install it on PCs - not Macs, tablets, or phones.

Which broadband provider has the best security?

Verdict: TalkTalk's security options are better so long as you don't mind spending a little extra, if only because you can install the SuperSafe Boost on a wider range of gadgets.

Home phone

To get TalkTalk broadband, you'll also need TalkTalk line rental. One of the great things about a TalkTalk landline is that it's extremely flexible. To get things like more inclusive minutes you can add a 30-day 'Boost' - such as the Anytime UK Calls Boost - and you can download the Talk2Go smartphone app to use those minutes when you're out and about. Read more about TalkTalk home phone.

Plusnet broadband, meanwhile, has something special up its sleeve: you can team it with line rental from any provider. It means you have a great way to save money if you find a good home phone deal elsewhere.

Of course, if you stick with Plusnet's landline, you'll get a little discount on your bill. And it's not a bad service at all, with plenty of calling options and features to pick from. Read more about Plusnet home phone.

Verdict: If you use your landline a lot, Plusnet gives you more options - especially as you can get line rental from any provider you please.

Featured Plusnet broadband deals

Plusnet
Plusnet
Plusnet
Plusnet
Unlimited Broadband Unlimited Broadband & Anytime Calls Unlimited Broadband + Anytime International 300 Unlimited Fibre & Evening and Weekend Calls
Monthly cost Free (for 12 months, then £9.99 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: -£68.01 Monthly cost £6.00 (for 12 months, then £15.99 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £3.99 Monthly cost £15.00 (for 12 months, then £24.99 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £111.99 Monthly cost £8.00 (for 18 months, then £17.99 per month thereafter) 1st year cost: £102.99
Up To 17 Mb Up To 17 Mb Up To 17 Mb Up To 38 Mb
Pay as you go Day, eve & wknd calls inc. Day, eve & wknd calls inc. Eve & wknd calls inc.
Go
Call Plusnet on 0808 178 5954
Mon to Fri 8am-8pmSat 9am-7pmSun 9am-6pm
Go
Call Plusnet on 0808 178 5954
Mon to Fri 8am-8pmSat 9am-7pmSun 9am-6pm
Go
Call Plusnet on 0808 178 5954
Mon to Fri 8am-8pmSat 9am-7pmSun 9am-6pm
Go
Call Plusnet on 0808 178 5954
Mon to Fri 8am-8pmSat 9am-7pmSun 9am-6pm

TV

TalkTalk has a decent - and very flexible - TV service going on, which you can order along with your broadband. You'll have the option of a YouView or a YouView+ box, and then you can add some of those Boost things to get extra channels - like the Entertainment Boost, Kids Boost, Music Boost, and loads more. Each one works on a 30-day basis so you can stop and start them whenever you want.

Read more about TalkTalk TV

Watching TV

With Plusnet, you can add a YouView box to your package, and for a little extra each month you'll get Freeview, BT Sport Lite, and 20 premium channels.

Of course, broadband with either provider doesn't stop you from getting TV from Virgin Media or Sky if they're available for your home.

Verdict: TalkTalk has quite a bit more going for it if you want to add on some basic TV.

What else?

How about sports? If you have Plusnet broadband and YouView or Sky TV - or even just a spare Sky box and satellite dish hanging around - you can add BT Sport to your telly. Sky Sports, meanwhile, is available on TalkTalk TV. Read our guide to sports on TV for more.

Plusnet's customer service is worth a mention, too. The provider has won awards for it - so if you have an issue with your broadband, rest assured that Plusnet will get it sorted.

And let's not forget TalkTalk Mobile. As a 'quad-play' provider, TalkTalk also has mobile deals for its broadband customers at a nice low cost.

Conclusion

While TalkTalk and Plusnet are both quite similar at their core, slight variations between the two mean that each offer something a little different.

If it's just basic, straightforward broadband you're after, Plusnet's services are the most simple to get your head around. Teamed with its award-winning customer service it's probably the most hassle-free option.

However, if you need something more from your broadband - like a flexible phone or TV package, or an app to use your landline minutes from your mobile, or decent internet security, or a cheap mobile deal - there are more options available for you from TalkTalk.

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