TalkTalk broadband or Plusnet broadband

Last updated: 5 October 2022   By Lyndsey Burton

Plusnet beat TalkTalk on price, yet TalkTalk offer a more advanced broadband service.

TalkTalk and Plusnet may seem similar with both providers marketing themselves as budget options with low prices. However, there are some big differences between them.

While Plusnet are cheaper overall, TalkTalk offer more advanced options such as gigabit broadband and the latest WiFi 6 mesh router for full fibre customers, as well as an optional TV service with Netflix and Sky content.

Plusnet won our industry award for most reliable broadband, and outperform TalkTalk for customer satisfaction and complaint levels, making a choice between the two hard to make.

talktalk or plusnet

At a glance

TalkTalk Plusnet
Price from £25 £21.99
Superfast broadband 38Mb, 67Mb 36Mb, 66Mb
Ultrafast broadband 152Mb, 525Mb, 944Mb 145Mb, 500Mb
Anytime UK calls £16/mth
Includes UK mobiles
Includes 2,000 minutes to UK mobiles
TV 210 channels, 41 on-demand apps inc. Netflix, NOW, BT Sport -
Customer satisfaction 78% 79%
Customer complaints 21% 20%
Minimum term 18 months 18 months / 24 months
TalkTalk Plusnet
Pros pros Gigabit broadband Cheaper prices
Advanced WiFi 6 mesh router More reliable broadband
Optional TV service Better customer service
Cons cons Higher than average complaints figures No gigabit broadband
Slightly higher prices Full fibre customers get the standard router

Verdict: Who is best for...

TalkTalk Plusnet
Price Plusnet wins
Speed TalkTalk wins
Reliability Plusnet wins
Router TalkTalk wins
Call plans Plusnet wins
TV TalkTalk wins
Customer service Plusnet wins
Overall TalkTalk wins


Winner: Plusnet are cheaper than TalkTalk across all of their comparable broadband packages.

Plusnet broadband packages cost less than TalkTalk on all speed levels, making them a clear winner on price.

In addition, because Plusnet dropped their geographical pricing policy in mid 2021, their pricing is now more straightforward and even customers in remote areas will get the main prices advertised.

Neither provider currently charges setup costs, and both providers offer customers a free wireless router, although they may ask for it back if a customer decides to leave.

In our independent survey of broadband customers carried in 2022, we found 56% of Plusnet customers felt they were receiving value for money scoring the provider 4 out of 5 or above, with an additional 31% rating them 3 out of 5.

In comparison, 52% of TalkTalk customers felt the provider offered them value for money, rating them 4 or above (out of 5), and an additional 31% rated them 3 out of 5.

Customer perception around value for money seems to be fairly level between Plusnet and TalkTalk, and while TalkTalk is more expensive, it's only by up to £3 at most, so they're still at a similar pricing level.

Overall, while both providers offer low-cost broadband, Plusnet beat TalkTalk on price simply for having cheaper prices.

Broadband deals

Winner: TalkTalk offer a wider range of broadband packages than Plusnet, they also offer more flexibility with shorter contracts and the option of gigabit broadband speeds.

TalkTalk and Plusnet are both budget broadband providers, yet there are major differences between them in terms of the broadband deals they offer.

The main differences between them are:

  • Plusnet are cheaper on a like-for-like basis than TalkTalk
  • TalkTalk offer 18-month full fibre deals, whereas Plusnet's are 24-months
  • TalkTalk offers gigabit broadband, while Plusnet only goes up to 500Mb

For the cheapest offers, here are TalkTalk and Plusnet side-by-side on their superfast fibre broadband plans:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Unlimited Fibre 66Mb average £24.99 Free 24 months
Unlimited Fibre Extra 66Mb average £26.99 Free 24 months
Fibre 35 38Mb average £26 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Free setup and P&P
Fibre 65 67Mb average £26 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Free setup and P&P

These packages are available to around 97% of UK homes and are delivered using the existing copper phone line network, with fibre cables laid to the nearest street cabinet.

Plusnet is cheaper than TalkTalk by just over £3 on their Fibre 35 deal, and £2 on the faster plan. Both providers have now made their basic copper broadband package more expensive than this fibre deal, as they direct customers to sign up to fibre where it's available.

Aside from price, the superfast packages from TalkTalk and Plusnet are broadly similar. They both have a minimum term of 18-months, include a phone line with pay as you go calls, and both have no upfront fees at the time of writing.

Full Fibre Broadband

TalkTalk and Plusnet both offer full fibre broadband packages over the Openreach FTTP network. TalkTalk also offers these plans in CityFibre enabled areas too, meaning availability is slightly higher for TalkTalk than for Plusnet.

Both providers offer an entry-level full fibre deal, but Plusnet is again cheaper than TalkTalk by just over £2 per month. Plusnet is also cheaper on the faster packages than TalkTalk, with savings again up to £3 per month.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 74 74Mb average £27.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £6/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers
Full Fibre 145 145Mb average £27.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £12/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers
Full Fibre 150 152Mb average £28 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Free setup and P&P
Full Fibre 500 500Mb average £33.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £19/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers
Full Fibre 500 525Mb average £39 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Free setup and P&P

The main difference between TalkTalk and Plusnet full fibre broadband packages is that Plusnet deals have a 24-month minimum term, whereas TalkTalk deals only tie customers in for 18-months.

That means TalkTalk customers get an extra 6 months of flexibility over Plusnet. Customers looking for a long-term deal though, will have to switch or recontract sooner with Plusnet. That said, Plusnet make recontracting easy for customers, with new contract options made available in the online portal.

Neither TalkTalk or Plusnet offer a home phone line alongside their full fibre broadband deals, which is common for budget providers keeping their cost down by offering a data-only line.

Anyone who wants a home phone will have to look elsewhere however, with providers including BT and Sky offering a landline option on their full fibre deals.

Gigafast Broadband

As mentioned, only TalkTalk offer a gigabit broadband package, which is the fastest widely available broadband speed, as Plusnet has chosen to only offer up to 500Mb as their fastest deal.

Here is the pricing of TalkTalk Full Fibre 900:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Full Fibre 900 944Mb average £49 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Free setup and P&P

Overall, TalkTalk and Plusnet broadband deals are largely similar, with the providers taking the same approach on offering a data-only line for full fibre broadband.

Plusnet is cheaper though, and unless customers want extras only available with TalkTalk, like gigabit broadband, shorter contracts or TalkTalk's TV service, Plusnet may well be the winner on price.

Read our full reviews of TalkTalk broadband and Plusnet broadband.


Winner: TalkTalk offer the fastest broadband speed with up to 944Mb average downloads, compared to Plusnet's much slower 500Mb top speed.

TalkTalk and Plusnet have some notable differences when it comes to looking at the speed of their broadband services.

Some of the main differences between Plusnet and TalkTalk on speed are:

  • TalkTalk offer gigabit broadband, where Plusnet only goes up to 500Mb
  • TalkTalk advertise faster speeds than Plusnet, which at least 50% of their customers must be receiving at peak times
  • TalkTalk have faster real-world upload speeds than Plusnet on their superfast plans
  • Plusnet have faster average download speeds on their superfast plans than TalkTalk
  • More Plusnet customers are satisfied with the speed of their service than TalkTalk customers, and this is backed up by two separate reports

While both providers offer broadband over the Openreach fibre to the cabinet, and fibre to the premises, networks, TalkTalk also offers broadband using the CityFibre network too.

In addition, TalkTalk offers a gigabit broadband option, which Plusnet has chosen not to provide, likely because those looking for gigafast speeds are being directed to their parent companies BT and EE.

Here are the broadband speeds each provider delivers to at least 50% of their customers during the busiest times of 8pm to 10pm:

TalkTalk Broadband Plusnet Broadband
Fibre 35 38Mb / 9Mb 36Mb / 9Mb
Fibre 65 67Mb / 18Mb 66Mb / 18Mb
Full Fibre 150 152Mb / 25Mb 145Mb / 30Mb
Full Fibre 500 525Mb / 71Mb 500Mb / 75Mb
Full Fibre 900 944Mb / 91Mb -

According to the advertised speeds, TalkTalk offers a faster broadband service than Plusnet. However, as we'll look at below, Plusnet isn't completely behind TalkTalk when it comes to delivering the fastest broadband.

Satisfaction with speed

Our independent survey of broadband customers carried out in 2022, found more Plusnet customers were satisfied with the speed of their service than TalkTalk customers were.

60% of Plusnet customers rated them 4 or above (out of 5) for satisfaction with their broadband speeds, compared to just 51% of TalkTalk customers. In addition, a further 22% rated Plusnet 3 out of 5 for speed, while 30% rated TalkTalk 3 out of 5 for speed.

In Ofcom's latest Comparing Customer Service report, last updated in May 2022, they also found more Plusnet customers were satisfied with the speed of their service than TalkTalk customers were.

78% of Plusnet customers were satisfied with the speed of their service, compared to just 73% TalkTalk customers. And 79% of Plusnet customers were satisfied with the overall service, while only 78% of TalkTalk customers were satisfied.

TalkTalk Plusnet
Satisfaction with speed of service 73% 78%
Satisfaction with service overall 78% 79%

These findings from Ofcom match our independent survey of broadband customers, suggesting that Plusnet customers have greater satisfaction with their broadband speed than TalkTalk customers do.

However, in terms of satisfaction with the overall service, the providers are much more similar, with just one percentage point between them.

Real-world speeds

While broadband providers can only list download speeds that at least 50% of their customers actually receive during the busiest times, we can also look at independent research from Ofcom into real-world speeds.

Their latest report, published in September 2021, found both providers offered similar real-world speeds to their advertised speeds, but Plusnet actually had faster speeds on their 66Mb plan than TalkTalk's equivalent deal.

TalkTalk Plusnet
Over 24 hours 36.69Mb 35.13Mb
Peak time (8-10pm weekdays) 35.96Mb 34.02Mb

For their entry-level fibre deal, both TalkTalk and Plusnet deliver similar real-world speeds according to this report. However, TalkTalk is faster with a 24-hour average of 36.69Mb, compared to Plusnet's marginally slower 35.13Mb.

TalkTalk Plusnet
Over 24 hours 61.19Mb 64.39Mb
Peak time (8-10pm weekdays) 60.09Mb 62.46Mb

Plusnet is faster than TalkTalk in real-world speed tests on the 66/67Mb plan, delivering an average download speed of 64.39Mb over 24 hours, compared to just 61.19Mb from TalkTalk.

This is more noteworthy because TalkTalk's advertised speed is faster than Plusnet's, but Plusnet seem to be performing better in real-world tests. It's also worth noting that Plusnet was the faster provider among all other major providers in the report, beating equivalent packages from Sky, BT and EE.

Upload speeds

Upload speeds don't get as much coverage as download speeds do, but they can still affect a broadband experience, especially during activities such as online gaming, video calls and for people who are working from home on shared files.

Ofcom's broadband speed research also looked at upload speeds between providers, but here they found TalkTalk were faster than Plusnet, achieving 9.28Mb uploads on their entry-level deal compared to just 8.47Mb with Plusnet.

TalkTalk Plusnet
Fibre 35, over 24 hours 9.28Mb 8.47Mb
Fibre 65, over 24 hours 18.30Mb 17.98Mb

The faster package was similar too, with TalkTalk achieving 18.30Mb upload speeds on average, compared to just 17.98Mb with Plusnet.

It's possible the slower download speeds reported for TalkTalk could have been affected by network contention, in other words more users sharing bandwidth on the network. Contention, or congestion, may not have had the same affect for uploading which generally receives less traffic than downloads.

Overall, it's actually tricky to say whether TalkTalk or Plusnet is the faster broadband provider. TalkTalk offer faster speeds overall with their gigabit broadband package, they also advertise faster average download speeds. Yet, Ofcom found Plusnet achieved faster real-world download speeds than Plusnet, and two separate independent surveys found Plusnet customers were more satisfied with the speed of their service than TalkTalk customers were.

As we look at below, we also know Plusnet has a more reliable service than TalkTalk, which may play into some of those customer opinions on speed. Ultimately, TalkTalk are the faster broadband provider, but Plusnet's service is more reliable.


Winner: Plusnet broadband scores higher on reliability metrics like disconnections and faults than TalkTalk broadband does.

Plusnet won our industry award for most reliable broadband provider in 2022, so they actually have very low disconnections and fault rates out of all the major providers. They also score well for latency, which means data transfers aren't being delayed.

Our independent survey of broadband customers found 62% of Plusnet customers rated them 4 or above (out of 5) for reliability, and 21% rated them 3 out of 5. In comparison, just 59% of TalkTalk customers rated them 4 or above for reliability, with a further 22% rating them 3 out of 5.

The latest research from Ofcom found Plusnet outperformed TalkTalk for disconnections, faults, and latency. While both providers had similar jitter rates.

In terms of daily disconnections, the providers had similar rates but Plusnet broadband had less disconnections than TalkTalk.

TalkTalk Plusnet
Disconnections (lower is better) 0.06, 0.10 0.06

TalkTalk's top-tier superfast plan had more disconnections than Plusnet's equivalent plan, but their entry-level fibre deals scored the same.

Both providers actually performed well for disconnections across all major providers, with both TalkTalk and Plusnet reporting fewer daily disconnections than EE and Virgin Media.


Latency rates can give an indication as to how fast a broadband connection responds to inputs. Usually this will go unnoticed, but online gamers may seek out providers with low latency rates for a fast response time.

TalkTalk Plusnet
Latency (lower is better) 13.05, 11.44 10.85, 9.89

Plusnet has noticeably lower latency than TalkTalk broadband across both of their superfast plans. Plusnet also had some of the lowest latency rates across all the major providers, offering lower latency than Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk, EE, and comparable packages from BT.


A high jitter rate can indicate a slow or faulty connection, as these can result in data being sent in the wrong order.

TalkTalk Plusnet
Jitter (lower is better) 0.35, 0.30 0.35, 0.31

TalkTalk and Plusnet reported similar rates for jitter, with TalkTalk performing very marginally better.

Compared to the other major providers they had similar jitter rates to EE and Sky, which makes sense as they all operate over a similar network. Virgin Media and BT's full fibre had the lowest jitter rates, which again, makes sense as these are faster packages overall with more direct cabling.


A good indication of the reliability of a broadband service is by looking at how many customers are reporting faults.

In 2021, Plusnet had the lowest number of fault reports across all major providers, with just 12 faults per 1,000 customers per month. In comparison, TalkTalk had 54 faults over the same period.

TalkTalk Plusnet
Faults per 1,000 customers per month 54 12

While there looks to be a big jump between Plusnet and TalkTalk, actually most of the providers included in the report had fault records above 40. BT also reported 54 faults per 1,000 customers per month, EE had 63 faults, and Vodafone had the highest at 73.

TalkTalk was beaten on faults by Virgin Media and Sky with 40 and 39 faults respectively.

Overall, we can see Plusnet perform well for reliability with the lowest fault records of any major provider, as well as low daily disconnections and low latency. In comparison, TalkTalk also have low daily disconnections, but their latency rate was slower, and they had a lot more fault records throughout 2021.


Winner: TalkTalk offer a marginally better router to fibre customers than Plusnet, they also offer an advance WiFi 6 mesh router for full fibre customers.

A major drawback to Plusnet full fibre broadband at least, is that Plusnet provide all of their customers with the Plusnet Hub Two router.

In contrast, TalkTalk full fibre customers get the latest technology with an eero 6 mesh router. While standard fibre customers get the TalkTalk WiFi Hub, this still has slightly better specs than the Plusnet Hub Two, with an extra ethernet port.

Amazon eero 6 TalkTalk WiFi Hub Plusnet Hub Two
WiFi Protocol 6 5 5
WiFi Bands Dual band Dual band Dual band
Mesh Yes No No
2.4GHz channel 2x2 MU-MIMO 3x3 MIMO 3x3 MIMO
5GHz channel 2x2 MU-MIMO 4x4 MU-MIMO 4x4 MIMO
Ethernet LAN 2 x 1Gb 4 x 1Gb 3 x 1Gb
Antennae 4 7 7

Customers looking at standard fibre from either Plusnet or TalkTalk will get a similar router with both providers and so there is little between them.

However, for people looking at taking full fibre broadband, TalkTalk is the clear winner over Plusnet, offering a much more advance router with the eero 6 that supports both the latest WiFi protocol and mesh technology.

Call plans

Winner: Plusnet's call plans are cheaper than TalkTalk's, though neither provider offer a home phone with full fibre broadband.

TalkTalk and Plusnet offer a basic line rental service with their superfast fibre plans and basic copper plan, however neither provider include a call plan as standard.

Customers can upgrade and add either unlimited anytime calls or an international plan. Monthly prices are cheaper with Plusnet, but their plans are more complicated with a set minutes allowance for mobile calls.

TalkTalk are arguably the better option for international calling with a much more generous 1500 minute plan, compared to just 300 minutes with Plusnet.

Here are their call plans side-by-side:

TalkTalk Plusnet
Anytime calls £16
Unlimited UK landlines
Unlimited UK mobiles
Unlimited UK landlines
2000 minutes to UK mobiles
International calls £14
1500 minutes to mobiles and landlines in 55 countries
300 minutes to top destinations
Unlimited UK landlines

TalkTalk and Plusnet have both chosen to offer data-only broadband connections with their full fibre plans, this means while it makes the monthly price lower, customers are unable to add a home phone plan to their deals at all.

For full fibre with a home phone, potential customers will need to look at providers like BT or Sky instead.

Customer service

Winner: Plusnet have improved their customer service considerably over recent years, yet TalkTalk are still receiving higher than average complaints.

Plusnet and TalkTalk are similar when it comes to customer service, with both providers suffering to some extent from offering a budget-priced service. However, Plusnet generally perform better than TalkTalk with higher levels of customer satisfaction and lower levels of complaints.


In our independent survey of broadband customers carried out in 2022, we found the majority of Plusnet customers were happy with the customer service they received, with 33% rating them 5 out of 5, and 65% rating them 4 or above.

In comparison, the majority of TalkTalk customers rated them 3 out of 5 for customer service at 34%, with only 41% of customers rating them 4 or above.

In addition, more Plusnet customers were likely to recommend them, with 62% rating them 4 or above (out of 5), while only 49% of TalkTalk customers said they would recommend them.

Ofcom's most recent Comparing Service Quality report, updated in May 2022, had similar findings, with Plusnet scoring slightly better than TalkTalk on customer satisfaction.

TalkTalk Plusnet
Satisfaction with service overall 78% 79%
Satisfaction with speed of service 73% 78%
Customers with a reason to complain 21% 20%
Overall satisfaction with complaint handling 43% 43%

Neither Plusnet or TalkTalk performed particularly well in Ofcom's latest survey of broadband customers, with both providers scoring under the industry average on all metrics.

However, considering their report alongside our own independent survey, Plusnet have more satisfied customers happy with their customer service than TalkTalk does.


TalkTalk have a history of high complaint figures, however Plusnet have bought their complaint levels down in recent years.

The most recent report available covering quarter 1 of 2022 shows Plusnet had fewer complaints than TalkTalk with just 11 complaints per 100,000 customers, compared to TalkTalk's 14 complaints. Plusnet was also only marginally above the industry average of 10 complaints.

TalkTalk Plusnet
Broadband complaints per 100,000 customers, Q1 2022 14 11

Complaint records for landline services showed a similar picture, with Plusnet receiving 6 complaints per 100,000 customers in Q1 2022, compared to TalkTalk receiving 10 complaints over the same period. Again, Plusnet was close to the industry average of 6 complaints.

TalkTalk Plusnet
Landline complaints per 100,000 customers, Q1 2022 10 6

For complaint records then, Plusnet have fewer complaints than TalkTalk for both broadband and landline services.

Service trends

When we look at service trends over the past few years we can actually see Plusnet and TalkTalk are perhaps more evenly matched on complaints overall. While Plusnet have noticeably improved their complaint levels over the past year, we only have to look back to 2020 for a period when Plusnet had more complaints than TalkTalk.

Complaints per 100,000 customers: Ofcom, published April 2022
BT Sky EE Plusnet Shell Energy TalkTalk Virgin Media Vodafone
Q4 2019 10 5 5 20 0 19 14 27
Q1 2020 12 6 3 16 0 22 13 25
Q2 2020 7 4 3 9 0 22 12 23
Q3 2020 16 6 7 23 0 18 20 26
Q4 2020 14 7 6 21 0 20 23 31
Q1 2021 15 7 7 21 0 25 33 25
Q2 2021 10 5 4 15 13 19 17 13
Q3 2021 9 5 4 13 17 17 15 12
Q4 2021 7 4 5 8 15 14 13 13

Over the last few years, Plusnet had higher complaint levels due to problems with a new billing system that was implemented in 2018. However, they recovered from this by 2019, when they had one of their best years with Ofcom reporting 93% of their customers were satisfied with their service overall, which was the highest amongst all major providers. They also reported high satisfaction amongst customers for both speed (82%) and reliability (85%).

In comparison, that year, only 78% of TalkTalk customers were satisfied with their service overall, with 75% satisfied with the reliability of their service and 76% satisfied with the speed.

Since then, Plusnet's satisfaction ratings have fallen slightly, although they still outperform TalkTalk.

Overall, Plusnet perform better for customer satisfaction and complaint levels than TalkTalk, although even they are only around the industry average, with providers like Sky and EE the best broadband providers for customer service.

Special offers

Plusnet and TalkTalk both frequently run special offers for new customers. Here are the offers currently available through Choose:

Verdict: TalkTalk or Plusnet for broadband?

Overall Winner: TalkTalk, we think they offer customers more choice and advanced features, including a better router and the option to bundle TV.

It's difficult to find an easy winner between TalkTalk and Plusnet, while they may seem like two no-frills budget providers, they actually have notable differences between them.

TalkTalk offer more advanced features and a gigabit broadband plan, yet Plusnet are cheaper overall and score better in both reliability and customer service research.

Plusnet are increasingly becoming a no-frills provider with the removal of their TV service, and limited full fibre options on launch, with the same router as standard customers. This is giving other budget providers an edge, including TalkTalk who are now offering more for a similar price point.

TalkTalk are the best choice for:

  • A bundled TV service for just £4 a month
  • Gigabit broadband option
  • An advanced WiFi 6 mesh router for full fibre customers

While, Plusnet are the best choice for:

  • Cheapest overall prices
  • More reliable connection, with a better customer service record

Overall, we'd pick TalkTalk over Plusnet for their more advanced options including gigabit broadband and the latest WiFi 6 mesh router for full fibre customers. We also like the option to bundle the TalkTalk TV service that offers 210 live channels and over 35 on-demand apps, including Netflix and NOW.

That said, Plusnet remain a solid choice, with cheaper prices, better reliability, and better customer service, which makes them hard to beat for a simple broadband package.

Read more in our full review of Plusnet broadband and TalkTalk broadband, or compare the latest prices in our main broadband comparison.


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