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TalkTalk Super Router review

Gordon Kelly

By

Reviewed:

1 of 10

TalkTalk Super Router
  • TalkTalk Super Router
  • TalkTalk Super Router
  • TalkTalk Super Router
  • TalkTalk Super Router
  • TalkTalk Super Router
  • TalkTalk Super Router
  • TalkTalk Super Router
  • TalkTalk Super Router
  • TalkTalk Super Router
  • TalkTalk Super Router

Summary

Our Score:

6

Pros

  • Competitive speeds at close range
  • Well made
  • Free upgrade

Cons

  • Wireless speeds collapse at long range
  • Bland design
  • Merged SSID By Default

Key Features

  • 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4GHz & 5GHz WiFi
  • 4x Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1x Gigabit WAN
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • WPS, WPA/WPA2 security
  • Manufacturer: TalkTalk
  • Review Price: £124.99

What is the TalkTalk Super Router?

This is TalkTalk’s big jump into 802.11ac WiFi and after the desperately poor Plus Fibre router it can’t come soon enough. On paper TalkTalk has done a good job too with few obvious signs of the shortcuts made by most ISP-supplied routers. Then again it is also tempting faith with the choice of name.

TalkTalk Super Router – Design & Features

‘Utterly unremarkable’ is the term that comes to mind when looking at the Super Router and it certainly doesn’t suggest there is anything ‘Super’ about it. That said on closer inspection it is nicely made, minimalist and the matt black finish (which looks lighter in the flesh than the press shots portray) feels good and resists dust and fingerprints. In short: it will go about its business without demanding to be the centre of attention and that is what most people will want.

Where the Super Router does edge closer to its title, however, are the specs. TalkTalk has performed a two generation jump with the Super Router, adding both 802.11ac and 802.11n 5GHz bands on top of 802.11n 2.4GHz seen in the misleadingly named ‘Plus Fibre router’ (it struggles to achieve Fibre speeds over wireless at anything but close range).

Furthermore this is a 3x3 antenna array with Beamforming, which suggests good things. Our only caveat being the ISP is keeping a lid on who makes the router and that sets off some alarm bells.

SEE ALSO: Best Routers Round-up

TalkTalk Super Router 2

Elsewhere though there are additional reasons to be positive. Unlike the EE Bright Box 2, it features four Gigabit Ethernet ports and Gigabit WAN placing it alongside the superb BT Home Hub 5 and 802.11n 5GHz limited Virgin Media new Super Hub (yes, these names!). It also blows the woeful 802.11n 2.4GHz limited Sky Hub and its four Fast Ethernet ports out the water.

In addition TalkTalk has equipped the Super Router with a USB 2.0 port for sharing a printer or external storage and there’s DLNA, UPnP and WPS, WPA/WPA2 security for good measure. As ISP-supplied routers go, it looks promising.

TalkTalk Super Router – Setup

Things also stay on track with the setup. Plug in and connect to the Super Router and it follows the example of Linksys and Asus in automatically opening a browser window and guiding you through the setup. If you haven’t managed to establish an Internet connection there is also a graphically illustrated guide stored offline, which is smart.

But TalkTalk does lose points on two accounts. Firstly the router settings password is set to the usual username/password combo of admin/admin which anyone will guess (my review unit didn't prompt me to change it, but apparently retail versions will). Secondly TalkTalk merges its 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands under the same SSID.

SEE ALSO: D-Link DIR-850L router review

The latter is a particular bugbear of ours and a hateful practice which is thankfully being phased out by most router makers. The argument for is you keep things simple and don’t confuse the customer. The (far bigger) problem against it is you can’t choose which band your device connects to and therefore there is no way of knowing if your shiny new 802.11ac laptop/tablet/phone is stuck on doddery, old 802.11n 2.4GHz.

This can be changed in the settings, but it is a faff to find and doesn’t allow for natural language SSIDs so you have strict length and character limitations.

The good news apart from that is the UI itself is clear and logical. It doesn’t borrow from one of the major router manufacturers either, which a) means TalkTalk has done a good job from scratch, but b) again raises questions about its origin.

pablouk

June 6, 2014, 12:48 pm

Least they have one, who knows where the hell SKY's version is.

Matthew Thompson

June 7, 2014, 11:00 am

"Our only caveat being the ISP is keeping a lid on who makes the router and that sets off some alarm bells."
The screenshot of the UI states it's a Huawei.

forgottenmiddle

July 17, 2014, 3:48 pm

I had two of these recently - at first you think wow fast - but leave it a bit and keep checking on different devices in your home and you find they don't actually work on wifi properly and have not been properly tested before release mine both have drop outs in speed when using different devices going from 55mb to half of that and even as low as just 5mb. Everyone will get this using these devices until they fix the issue - I am using fibre large - I sent both back to talk talk and have gone back to the two box open reach thing which works fine and much more reliable than that so called super router

Björn Grillar

November 6, 2014, 6:02 pm

Would it kill them to offer a wall-mounted router? The modem is wall-mounted, it makes common sense to give one the option of wall-mounting the router too. My router is currently screwed onto a 2" buttress with blanking plate...

Andy Mitchell

November 27, 2014, 4:01 pm

I believe this has VDSL2 built in so you wouldn't need the BT fibre modem. While it would be nice to start seeing routers that are wall mountable, where would they put the ports? They would be a pain on the side and on the bottom would require others to lay the router flat on a surface to plug stuff in.

Harlsen

December 7, 2014, 10:57 am

Good points, but the option to choose one or the other would be good...

TalkTalk Dont Care

April 28, 2016, 10:38 am

I am on a mission to get TalkTalk to replace their crappy "Super Router", the Huawei HG633, which is not fit for purpose. If anyone has had issues with this router and would like to share, please visit my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/talkt... or Twitter https://twitter.com/TTDontCare

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