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TalkTalk Plus Fibre router

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly



Our Score:


TalkTalk Plus fibre router - Performance

Given the glaring array of old tech within the 3780 we expected it to perform little better than the subpar efforts of the PlusNet Fibre and Sky Hub and sadly we were proved right.

At our test distances of two metres and 10 metres line of sight plus 13 metres behind two standing walls the 3780 hit speeds of 8.57 megabytes per second (69.36 megabits per second), 8.55MBps (68.4Mbps) and 3.2MBps (25.6Mbps) respectively.

The immediate point to note is even at two metres the 3780 won't achieve the 76Mbps fibre speeds TalkTalk advertises. There isn't a massive shortfall like the Sky Hub's 5.8MBps (46.4Mbps) and it is over the 62.7Mbps Ofcom claims is average for 76Mbps customers, but it does mean you will need a wired connection should you be lucky enough to receive real world broadband speeds in excess of 70Mbps to your door.

Furthermore the 3780 is outstripped by the aged PlusNet fibre router's 9.63MBps (77.04Mbps) and 8.82MBps (70.56Mbps) at two and 10 metres, though its 13m performance of just 2.2MBps (17.6Mbps) falls well short as does the Sky Hub's woeful 1.3MBps (10.4Mbps) at the same distance.

That said any victories here are hollow are all three routers falling well short of providing satisfying fibre optic speeds once walls come into play which highlights the limitations of 2.4GHz WiFi.

By contrast the BT Hub Home 4 (while actually more sluggish than both the PlusNet and TalkTalk routers at 2.4GHz) hits speeds of 13.5MBps (108Mbps), 13.1MBps (104.8Mbps) and 4.92MBps (39.36Mbps) at 5GHz. Meanwhile the Virgin Media new Super Hub's 5GHz performance achieves 17.5MBps (140Mbps), 11.5MBps (92Mbps) and 4.3MBps (34.4Mbps) and even its 2.4GHz performance reaches 10.1MBps (80.8Mbps), 8.5MBps (68Mbps) and 3.2MBps (25.6Mbps).

One slightly brighter spark is the 3780's USB performance, which peaks at 3.02MBps (24.16Mbps). This batters the 1.42MBps (11.36Mbps) of the PlusNet fibre router and inches ahead of the BT Home Hub 4's 2.79MBps (22.32Mbps) while the Sky Hub has no USB port at all.

Still the new Super Hub comes out on top here as well managing 3.2MBps (25.6Mbps), though USB remains a poor medium for file transfer until routers significantly boost the power of their chipsets.

Should I buy the TalkTalk Plus fibre router?

As with the single band routers supplied by PlusNet and Sky, the answer is a straightforward 'no'. Of course new customers get the 3780 free and existing customers can upgrade (TalkTalk says the router is worth £45, subject to your haggling) so avoiding it may be easier said than done.

Despite this we would argue any TalkTalk customer receiving decent fibre speeds and living in more than a single room studio should ditch the 3780 even if they got it free. And upgraders should put their £45 towards the circa £100 RRP of the excellent dual band D-Link DIR-845L, whose 5GHz speeds hit 7.1MBps (56.8Mbps) at 13m and even its 2.4GHz performance reaches 5.5MBps (44Mbps) at the same distance.

Going further, those who are prepared to pay around £150 should opt for a next generation 802.11ac router such as the superb Linksys EA6700, D-Link DIR-868L and Asus RT-AC66U. All offer blazing 5GHz speeds and their wireless ac performance universally tops 24MBps (190Mbps) at 13 metres. For those pushing a lot of traffic over local networks in particular they're a whole new ball game.

For more options, head to our best routers round-up.


In supplying its fibre customers with a single band router TalkTalk falls foul of the same errors as Sky and PlusNet. In itself the 3780 isn't to blame, it is a reasonably good-looking, basic, 2.4GHz router which performs as it should, but it is the wrong standard to supply with fibre optic broadband. The pre-fibre days have made many ISPs lazy in the routers they supply. Fibre is now showing this up and it needs to stop, quickly.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Build Quality 6
  • Design 6
  • Features 4
  • Performance 5
  • Value 5


August 15, 2013, 11:16 am

This review seems to be completely misleading to me.
I'm not sure what router you reviewed but it certainly isn't the same as my Huawei HG533.
(Maybe there really is a model H533?)

All your pictures look like my router.
But mine certainly doesn't have a "Schizophrenic UI" - when I enter the Advanced settings the pages are formatted just the same and bear no resemblance to your D-link screen shot.

Your description says "Manufacturer: D-Link".
My unit is very definitely manufactured by Huawei.

You also say "Want to upgrade? Head to our best routers round-up for our top picks."
If you talk to TalkTalk they will tell you that this is not a good idea, there are various features required for their TV service to work correctly and the HG533 is of course set up to do this. Other routers may not be able to be configured to work with the TalkTalk TV service.

This all seems very strange - I'm not sure that I would trust this review.

DSL Slaphead

August 15, 2013, 11:35 am

TalkTalk have used 2 suppliers for routers for the last few years, the split the supply between Huawei and D-Link. The routers might look the same externally and internally but they have different firmware and model numbers.


August 16, 2013, 12:32 am

I think TR calling it H533 must be a typo and they meant HG533. As for the schizophrenic UI, I assume that's because your version is running Huawei firmware and so uses a different advanced interface. As TR noted in the review, they're looking at the D-link version of this router but Huawei also make an identical looking version.

As far as TalkTalk TV goes, I thought they just used a re-branded YouView box, with access to more online services? In that case, unless TalkTalk have modified the way it works, all it needs is an internet connection provided via ethernet to get it working. However, it would be good to get clarification on this, as what's the point of being forced to use TalkTalk's router for TV if you get notably inferior wireless.

EDIT: According to this TalkTalk page, "If you do not use a supported router then you may not be able to watch the TV Boosts you subscribe to in the TalkTalk Player". The wording is a bit ambiguous so I wonder if you can use a 3rd party router and still use all the features of TalkTalk Plus TV?

David Waine

August 16, 2013, 7:42 am

I have this router (the Huawei version). It sits on the windowsill in the living room downstairs and communicates wirelessly with my Mac upstairs - at a consistent 13Mbps on copper wire, while also running my YouView box (connected via homeplugs) without any buffering or pixelation - and it will do both at the same time. Are you telling me that these figures won't improve if I switch to fibre optic? Or could it be that your review sample was faulty?


August 16, 2013, 1:15 pm

There are important settings for port forwarding and IGMP. Various people who have tried to use routers that are not supported by TalkTalk have hit problems particularly with using TV boosts on their YouView boxes.

Gordon Kelly

August 18, 2013, 11:17 pm

It would depend on the distance to your router and the thickness of the walls and floors between it and your computer, but yes I'd be surprised if you got much more with a fibre connection than 13Mbit. It is the limitation of 802.11n 2.4GHz WiFi not of the Fibre connection which is why ISPs should always supply dual band routers with fibre broadband services.

Gordon Kelly

August 18, 2013, 11:18 pm

Yes, I mention this at the very start of review.

Gordon Kelly

August 18, 2013, 11:19 pm

I explain very clearly at the start of the review that TalkTalk uses 2 router manufacturers: D-Link and Huawei. We received the D-Link version.

Gordon Kelly

August 18, 2013, 11:23 pm

It was a typo yes, but thanks for explaining things to YouViewUpdate.

I agree the wording is ambiguous about Plus TV - we didn't have the service to check. That said I'm sure you could disable the Wifi on the TalkTalk router and connect a third party router to its LAN port at worst.

Gordon Kelly

August 18, 2013, 11:24 pm

See my reply to this above.


August 19, 2013, 4:03 am

I'm not sure what the purpose of this review is.

You say "Should I buy the TalkTalk Plus fibre router?" and then you don't recommend buying this because it's performance is inferior to dual band routers.

But as far as I can see most people wouldn't consider buying this router in the first place.

Where would you buy it? As far as I'm aware it is only available from TalkTalk, with one obvious exception. That exception is of course eBay. This is not surprising as many people will have received a free HG533 router as part of their broadband deal and may already have a satisfactory router or may have chosen to upgrade. There is one supplier on eBay offering a "buy-it-now" deal at £21.88 including postage, and if you were to choose the bidding option you'd probably be able to buy one for less than this.

Thus in real world terms the going rate for this router is about £20 and that seems to me to be pretty good value for money - surely worth more than 2.5 stars?

So the real starting point of this review should be to say "Many of you will have received an HG533 from TalkTalk as part of your broadband package - is it worth upgrading?"

To which the answer is probably "yes" if you've chosen a fibre connection.

But who might be thinking about this? I think TalkTalk appeal to two categories of users. The first is people who simply want the cheapest deal, and these people are not going to spend another £100 on a new router. Secondly there are those who want a broadband package that includes a YouView box. At present there's only one other ISP offering this so an important question about the HG533 is "How does it compare with the BT Home Hub?" More details would have been useful here.

Having said all this the review does have an important conclusion. "The pre-fibre days have made many ISPs lazy in the routers they supply."

And the message for TalkTalk is that the HG533 "is the wrong standard to supply with fibre optic broadband."

One final minor point for Mr Kelly - your review would be easier to read if you just stuck to one method of describing speeds - Mbps not MBps.

Brian James

September 25, 2013, 1:58 pm

I have a TalkTalk Huawei HG533 router firmware version v1.14t which is causing a big issue with myself and many other TalkTalk customers. It won't allow me to use AirPrint from my ipad to my HP photosmart 7520 wireless printer. I understand that this has been an ongoing problem for the last few months. TalkTalk say that they are working on new firmware to solve the issue but they have no time scale. This is very frustrating as I bought this printer specifically to use AirPrint. Any suggestions would be welcome!


October 25, 2013, 9:45 am

If only their service was as good as their adverts! From scouring the internet the you will get a general feel that TalkTalk customers just aren't happy with the service they receive, due to poor customer service and Internet connection speeds. From my experience TT provide a polar opposite when comparing the big 3s' providers Q&S.

I cant wait for my TT contract to expire, a shoddy experience its been at best, and would advise you all to pay the extra £3-£15 pcm and receive a decent service!


November 3, 2013, 10:20 am

I have a Belkin G Plus Mimo ADSL Router. Was emailed by Talktalk to tell me my router wasnt picking up the best signal and my connection would be impaired??? Really? I was watching Internet TV on my new Smart TV with no problem. But I agreed to *Upgrade* to theirs. OMG what a nightmare. My TV froze and stuttered frame by frame. If I connected with MY laptop my partner could not connect to the internet with his. I rang TalkTalk and so resulted in lots of calls from them, including text, saying they needed to fix my phone line at a £50 charge to myself. Eh?? There is no problem with my phone line, I have never had problems making/receiving calls....and my line had been checked 2 years previous by BT.
After a week of texts from them, many phone calls from me. I finally think I have got it across that it was the new TALKTALK router that was the issue. She said she would send me an upgrade.....at a cost!! My response is not repeatable on this forum (and i dont swear normally).
Finally she agreed to send me one free of charge.
Meanwhile.....I unhitched the Talktalk Router and reconnected my Belkin Router......strange the problem has gone away......just like I will once my contract finishes with Talktalk next March. I was paying quite alot less until this new contract jumped up.....so I may as well Talk with my feet and walk away from Talktalks poor service.....I couldnt even understand whom I was talking too......erm must have been the line or accent not very clear.


November 16, 2013, 8:59 pm

I had two faulty Huaweis before TT sent this one; it has lasted more than the 2 weeks of the others, but suffers from constant drop-out and has to be rebooted every time the phone is used or a second computer goes online. I have spent hours on the phone to their support people and had to suffer their denials and bluster, so I am going to buy something better, which this article has pointed me to.


December 20, 2013, 1:16 pm

I am talking with talk talk now and I challenged on this and have been told router to be fitted is dual band


January 5, 2014, 9:09 am

I have just had a look at the Dlink Web site search for the tecnical details of DSL-3780L.


Is it different than this one?


January 6, 2014, 2:28 am

I'm not really sure why anyone should care what any of these devices look like or why the reviewer should open his review with such puerile nonsense. Seems to me a "boxy" router, like the older DSL-2680, tucks away in a cupboard or on a shelf out of sight more easily never to see the light of day until it needs rebooting.

As well as the Airprint issue this router (and incidentally the Huawei HG533 and HG523 too) won't passthrough DHCP requests to at least wifi and for the HG533 across the LAN ports too, so if you run your own DHCP server on your LAN you simply cannot use this device at all. This is despite the DSL-3780 router help wrongly telling you that it will, and how to configure the router should this be your network configuration. There are documented vulnerabilities with these routers and I've just had three TT routers fail within a week.

Then, should TT issue a firmware update to fix their Alpha test devices, they are not making it available for direct download, rather only updating via the TR069 protocol. There are reports of people waiting weeks to get their update plus how one gets a firmware update for a router that you cannot actually use on your network is beyond me.

How this garbage even makes it off the development test bench, let alone into production and rolled out to customers simply beggars belief. These ISP provided devices are simply not fit for purpose.


January 15, 2014, 8:13 pm

I found setting a different DNS server speeded up openning web pages. As there was a noticeable time between typing in a web address, and webpage opening. Even though my internet connection was 15Meg and seemed to have not problems with downloads.


January 17, 2014, 12:09 am

I honestly envy anyone who can get double-digit broadband speed. After the recent rains mine has gone down to 0.8Mbit download and 0.4Mbit upload (yes, both speeds below 1Mbit). I am just over half a mile from the exchange, TT claim everything is fine their end and there is the familiar offer of an engineer coming to mix my 'set-up issues within the house'. What a lot of nonsense. I am torn between opting for their fibre, hoping it will make things much better (and it is cheap at £10/month) and walking away despite having just paid for another 12 months line rental in advance. NB. they tried to tell me that it may be my house alarm slowing the broadband (????) or the problem was with my laptop - when I have a brand new, super-fast Toshiba! Grrrrrrrrrr!


January 28, 2014, 6:08 pm

I was having the exact same issues with them. Upload and download speeds at 0.8. Upgraded to fibre and it made no difference.

Alexandra Crawford

October 23, 2015, 2:50 am

I bought a Huawei WS550 a dual core 1GHz processor dual band wireless N with a stated 450MBps throughput. It certainly solved my Archos WiFi instability problem and so far everything appears fine with download speed to mine and others laptops comfortably fast.


December 1, 2016, 5:11 pm

Security researchers found that TalkTalk's D-Link DSL-3780 routers is vulnerable to the Mirai malware.

TalkTalk customers have reported disruption to their internet service over the past days.

A spokeswoman from the firm confirmed that its "DSL-3780 routers were affected" but said "only a small percentage of its customers used them."

Chris D

March 29, 2017, 11:39 am

I signed up to TalkTalk on the 6th March. I still haven no internet, and have spent over 2 hours on the phone to talk talk.

An engineer visited last week and said it would be fixed that day and would call me back - he never did, and there is still no connectivity.

I phoned on Monday to cancel - it took so long for them to fill out their notes I agreed instead to an engineer visiting again today. They said they had booked the appointment in for the engineer to visit today. Today I phoned again to find that in fact no engineer had been booked in - despite me spending half an hour on the phone and being told a number of times that is was booked in for today.

I've just spent another half hour on the phone, and as I'm away next week the soonest an engineer can visit is April 10th.

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