TalkTalk Help

What are master sockets?

Welcome to our quick guide to master sockets. Here you can find out what they are, where you can find them and how they can help improve your broadband speed. Select a question from the list below to find out more:

What is a master socket?

A master socket is the point where the external phone line enters your home. It’s a square, white socket that’ll be attached to one of the walls in your house. This is where the broadband signal is strongest as it offers the shortest travelling distance over your internal phone wiring before it reaches your router.

All the other sockets in your home are connected to this point by extension wiring. That means if you plug your router into any other extension socket in your home, the broadband signal will have to run through the extension wiring to reach your router.

This type of wiring isn’t ideal for carrying broadband signals and will add a lot of interference to the line. What’s more, these wires can degrade or become damaged over time meaning the signal and your speed can become even worse.

You can also use your master socket to quickly identify the cause of faults, especially if it has a test socket. Find out more.

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What sort of master socket do I have?

Depending on what kind of master socket you have, you may need to plug in a microfilter before plugging in your router and phone. These split the signals and prevent your home phone from interfering with your broadband and vice versa.

If your master socket already has a separate phone socket and data socket (which fits your router) built in, then it’s a pre-filtered socket that won’t need a microfilter. You can simply plug your router and phone straight into the socket.


Pre filtered socket

If your master socket can only fit one plug, then it is a standard socket and will need a microfilter installed to work properly with your router.

Mircofilter required

Master socket requiring a microfilter 

Find out more about microfilters.

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Where can I find my master socket?

If you have a master socket, it’ll be where the telephone line enters the house. A good way to find it is to look outside and follow any wiring entering the house to get an idea.

Most likely you’ll find it in your hallway near the front door, but you can also find it in the following places:

  • Around or underneath your front or back windows
  • In your loft
  • In your basement or cellar

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Can my master socket be moved or replaced?

This is useful if you have a big house and or are struggling to pick up Wi-Fi. Moving your master socket and router to a more central location will help with coverage. If you would like your master socket moved to a new location in your home, we can organise this for you.

Similarly, if you have accidently damaged your master socket, we can arrange an engineer to replace it for you.

Remember, there’s an engineer’s charge of £128.40 to move or replace master sockets. For more information, please contact us.  

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I can’t find my master socket

Not all properties have a master socket and some have junction boxes instead.

Old junction box

If your property has a junction box running to a single plug phone socket with a non-removable faceplate, then it’s unlikely you’ll have a master socket. This is also known as star wiring.

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Can I have a new master socket installed?

Yes, if you don’t already have a master socket and would like one installed, we can arrange that for you.

Remember, there’s an engineer’s charge of £128.40 to install a new master socket. For more information, please contact us

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