Virgin Media broadband lives up to its claim that customers can “get more done online, faster”, with its fastest widely available speeds up to five times quicker than popular rival offerings. Broadband customers can also bundle in landline, TV and exclusive Virgin Mobile offers on the EE network.
Virgin Media is one of the ‘big four’ broadband providers, along with BT, Sky and TalkTalk. The company was formed in 2006 when cable companies NTL and Telewest merged and bought Virgin Mobile UK. They then signed a deal with Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson to license the Virgin brand for the combined business. This created the UK’s first ‘quadruple play’ provider, meaning customers can get their broadband, TV, landline and mobile services all from one company.
In 2013 Virgin Media became part of Liberty Global plc, the biggest international TV and broadband company in the world with more than 22 million customers in 10 countries across Europe.
With award-winning speeds, ability to bundle in great TV and mobile phone deals and inclusive extras like weekend phone calls and security features, Virgin Media broadband is worth serious consideration – if it’s available in your area. It’s not the cheapest, though, so make sure you want the extras before committing your cash.
If you’re looking for speed, Virgin Media is the king – as demonstrated by it winning the Fastest Broadband Provider award at the latest Uswitch Broadband Awards and for the previous 10 years, too. You can bundle in landline calls, loads of TV channels and exclusive Virgin Mobile deals. Some great extras come as standard – but Virgin Media isn’t the cheapest around so make sure you actually want the extras. Only around 60% of UK households can currently get Virgin Media broadband, so you’ll need to check whether it’s available where you live before you start getting excited about all it has to offer. If your postcode search says ‘yes’, Virgin Media broadband is definitely a worthy contender.
*Reviews on this page are randomly selected and sourced from an anonymous feedback survey of 7,681 broadband customers conducted by BroadbandDeals.com in July 2020.
Virgin Media owns and operates its own cable broadband network, which means it doesn’t use Openreach infrastructure like most other broadband providers in the UK, and only offers fibre-based, cable broadband. Virgin broadband’s combination of fibre-optic and cable technology means it can deliver much greater speeds than most other providers – its fastest widely available package is several times quicker than the fastest superfast fibre deals you can get from BT and Sky. You can find out more about how this works in our cable broadband guide..
All Virgin broadband packages come with unlimited downloads, so you’ll be able to stream live TV, play online games and browse to your heart’s content without any extra charges on your bill. Unlike some other providers, Virgin Media does use traffic management at peak times, which may slow down your speeds on some activities – but this will be barely noticeable to most customers due to the generally fast speeds they get.
Virgin Media usually charges a set-up fee of £35, but you can sometimes find deals with free set-up. Most of its deals are offered on an 18-month contract, and prices will increase after the 18 months are up, so you might want to shop around again after that.
For customers who don’t want to commit to a year and a half, Virgin Media also offers most of its deals on a 30-day rolling contract (also known as no-contract broadband), but you’ll pay a higher charge at set-up and the monthly cost will be higher. It could be a good choice if you’re set on Virgin and might be moving to an area that Virgin doesn’t cover in the next few months, though, as you may be charged any early cancellation fee if you can’t take your contract with you.
All Virgin Media home broadband packages except the Gig1 include the Hub 3 router, which Virgin describes as providing ‘intelligent Wi-Fi’ by automatically switching between the router’s different signals to give the best available speed to your devices. Gig1 customers get the next-generation Hub 4. You’ll get internet security and parental controls included as part of any Virgin Media broadband package.
Here’s an overview of the different Virgin broadband packages available – find out which Virgin Media deals and Virgin bundles you could get:
Virgin Media M50 Fibre Broadband offers average download speeds of 54Mbps*. This entry-level Virgin Media package isn’t far off the top fibre speeds offered by most providers on the Openreach network and will be more than fast enough for many households. M50 also includes landline phone rental and weekend calls.
You’ll get average download speeds of 108Mbps* if you opt for Virgin Media M100 Fibre Broadband. Virgin describes this as suitable for busy households with five to nine devices. It includes line rental and weekend calls.
Virgin Media M200 Fibre Broadband averages 213Mbps* download speeds, which will keep households with 10 or more devices happy, according to Virgin. It also includes line rental and weekend calls.
With Virgin Media M500 Fibre Broadband, customers can enjoy average download speeds of 500Mbps*, which is the UK’s fastest widely available broadband and five times faster than BT and Sky’s fastest fibre deals. Line rental and weekend calls come with the standard package.
This package has recently been given a complimentary speed boost to 600Mbps, so you can expect almost hyperfast speeds on this package.
A few UK cities and towns can now access Virgin Media Gig1 Fibre Broadband. This ‘future-ready’ broadband averages a stonking 1Gbps*.
Virgin Media’s business packages offer download speeds of up to 350Mbps or 500Mbps*, and you can tailor your package to suit your business by adding extras like phone lines and mobile handsets.
*Mbps and Gbps are the units used to measure broadband speeds. They stand for megabits or gigabits per second. The higher the Mbps (or Gbps), the faster your internet connection will be and the quicker you’ll be able to download and upload data. Providers must state an average speed when they’re advertising broadband deals. This is based on the speeds that at least 50% of customers can get at peak times, generally 8 to 10pm each evening. Therefore, the speeds you get could be higher or lower than this.
Virgin is one of the few providers that do truly broadband-only deals, but Virgin broadband-only may work out more expensive than having a landline you don’t use, so check the numbers before you decide.
All Virgin Media home broadband packages include line rental and calls to UK landlines, Virgin Mobile numbers and 0870 numbers, even if you choose not to use them. If you enjoy talking on your landline you can choose to bundle in extra packages. These include:
Talk More Weekends, which includes all UK mobiles and 0845 numbers
Talk More Evenings & Weekends
Talk More Anytime
Talk More International Anytime, which includes calls to 50 popular international destinations.
Virgin Media broadband and TV customers can take advantage of exclusive Virgin Mobile offers which could save you money if you’re outside your existing mobile phone contract. Virgin Mobile operates on the EE network, so you get great 4G coverage. All Virgin Mobile Pay Monthly and SIM-only plans let you roll over any unused data into the next month.
Virgin Media TV offers hundreds of channels and you can get just about everything from Virgin that you could get with Sky, with the notable exception of Sky Atlantic. You can choose from Big, Big + Drama, Bigger, Bigger + Movies and Ultimate Ooph packages and add in other extras such as Sky Sports, BT Sport and Sky Movies, if you want them.
You can contact Virgin Media’s customer service team via phone or live web chat. Before you do that, you can browse its website as there are lots of FAQs and articles that may help you answer your question or fix your issue yourself.
Live web chat is available Monday to Friday between 7am and 11pm, or 8am and 8pm at weekends. Its phone lines are open from 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm on Saturdays, and 8am to 6pm on Sundays.
Virgin Media tries to make it as easy as possible, although you’ll have to notify your old provider that you’re leaving them, unlike some providers on the Openreach network who will do this job for you.
If your home has had Virgin Media in the past three years, you may be eligible for QuickStart, where you set up your service yourself. Everything you need is usually dispatched within four working days and you can get free click and collect or home delivery for a small charge. If you have any problems when setting it up there’s a dedicated team to assist you. If they can’t help you get it sorted, then Virgin will arrange for an engineer to come out free-of-charge.
If you’re not eligible for QuickStart, a Virgin Media engineer will come and install your equipment for you and show you how to use it. This usually takes around two to three hours and someone over 18 will need to be at home when the installation takes place.
It may involve some digging in your garden and drilling through your wall to run the connection from the cable in your street into your home. Virgin Media says you can usually book the installation within 14 days of your order being accepted, and you can choose whether you want a morning or afternoon appointment.