Virgin Media broadband review

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It’s got just about everything, from lightning-quick broadband to hundreds of TV channels - so is Virgin Media worth getting?

We've taken a good look at Virgin Media's broadband, TV, and home phone packages to see if they're any good. Here's everything you need to know...

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Cost

Virgin Media is among the more expensive providers. It comes at a similar price point to Sky for most comparable services, and it usually costs more than 'value providers', such as TalkTalk and Plusnet.

However, for the broadband speed you get, Virgin Media actually represents good value.

Its M100 package, which offers average speeds of 108Mbps, clocks in at a similar price to other providers' slower packages (generally around 60Mbps - 65Mbps).

What's more, although it's still more expensive than broadband from the aforementioned value broadband specialists, you can often take advantage of time-limited offers on Virgin Media deals that make them a lot more attractive.

So make sure you compare and check current costs, by clicking on the button below...

Packages

Virgin Media's portfolio of services includes broadband, home phone, TV and mobile phone.

When you sign up, you can either get a ready-made bundle of those services, or build your own bundle by picking and choosing which channels and broadband speed you want.

Alternatively, if you prefer you can just get one or two services. Home phone isn't available on its own, though, you can only get that with broadband or TV.

Conversely, broadband without a landline is available, which suits a lot of us quite well. So are 30-day contracts on Virgin Media services, though these tend to be work out a bit more expensive than long-term contracts.

So overall, Virgin Media is very flexible in terms of its packages, with only a few restrictions.

Virgin Media broadband review

Speed

Virgin Media broadband is very fast indeed. Its widely available fibre optic packages offer average speeds of 54Mbps, 108Mbps, 213Mbps, 362Mb or 516Mbps. To put that in some sort of context, BT's fastest standard fibre broadband service offers a top speed of 67Mbps.

Those are 'average' speeds, of course - they state what at least 50% of customers can get, so not everyone's Virgin Media broadband will necessarily climb to quite those heights.

But thanks to improvements in Virgin Media's network, you should almost certainly get speeds approaching what your package promises.

Virgin Media Super Hub

Download limits, fair usage, traffic management

All of Virgin Media's packages have unlimited downloads, and unlimited does mean unlimited - there's no usage cap at all.

Virgin Media TV review

Channels

Virgin Media TV offers a range of TV packages, which bundle together hundreds of channels together for a single monthly price. Alternatively, you can add channels on a 30-day, rolling-contract basis with add-ons that Virgin Media calls 'Personal Picks'.

Here's a selection of what you can get when with some of the Virgin Media TV bundles that form the core of its offering:

  • Mixit TV - Over 110 channels, including free-to-air channels plus a few premium ones such as Sky 1; catch-up and on-demand services
  • Maxit TV - Over 230 channels, including BT Sport, lots more HD channels and Virgin TV box sets
  • Maxit TV + Sky Sports - Gets you everything that the standard Maxi TV bundle offers, as well as all Sky Sports channels
  • Maxit TV + Sky Sports HD + Sky Cinema HD + Kids Pick - Over 260 channels, including specialist children's programming

So, you get quite a lot of channels. Even the smallest package is enough to rival the most premium offerings from some providers. The only provider to beat the top package is Sky, which has over 350 channels to offer.

Virgin Media TV customers can also sign up for what are called Personal Picks, which are add-ons that operate on a 30-day, rolling-contract basis. These let you add and subtract the likes of Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, BT Sport, as well as MUTV and international channels whenever you like, with 30 days' notice.

Virgin Media set top boxes

Virgin Media offers two set top boxes. When you sign up for a standalone TV package or a TV and home phone package, you'll get the Tivo box. But if you take a broadband, TV and home phone bundle from Virgin, or a package that comprises broadband, TV, home phone and mobile, you'll get the newer V6 box.

Both have support for lots of streaming, catch-up, on-demand shows, and of course all your recordings. But the main difference is that with 1TB of capacity, the V6 has double that.

Virgin Media TiVo box

The older Tivo box can be a bit slow and clunky to use, especially if you're not used to it, though the V6 is much slicker. Still, it's a decent system, and one of the best out there - its main rival is Sky Q.

Virgin Media Home phone review

Home phone from Virgin includes Talk Weekends as standard, which gives you inclusive calls to UK landlines at the weekends.

You can upgrade that to Talk Evenings and Weekends, Talk Unlimited (anytime calls to landlines), or Talk Unlimited Extra (anytime calls to landlines and mobiles).

That's fairly on par with other providers, though there aren't any real options to make international calls cheaper.

Plus, the covered calls in each package include calls to Virgin Mobile numbers, but to include any other mobile network, you need Talk Unlimited Extra… which adds a fair bit to your bill.


Extras

Here's some of the other stuff you get with Virgin Media.

  • Virgin Mobile - Virgin's got a good range of mobile plans, including SIM-only, PAYG, and contract deals - and TV and broadband customers get free unlimited calls to other Virgin Mobile phones too.
  • Virgin TV Go - The free app that lets you watch your Virgin Media TV on the go, including on-demand stuff and lots of live channels.
  • Public Wi-Fi - All customers can access Virgin Media Wi-Fi hotspots, including Wi-Fi on the London Underground if you're in the capital.
  • Security - With broadband, you get free Web Safe, that blocks harmful websites and includes parental controls; and a 12-month trial of F-Secure SAFE, which protects your devices from malware and viruses.

Our verdict

Well, it's expensive, but Virgin Media has some of the best broadband and TV services on the market. You'll be hard pressed to find faster internet, and only one other provider - Sky - can rival it for TV.

That makes Virgin Media a really good choice perfect for large, shared households and families but may be a bit much for anyone who lives alone or doesn't use the internet much.

So long as it's in your budget - and you can get it in your area, of course - we think it's worth splashing out.

Our latest Virgin Media deals

*Average speeds are based on the download speeds of at least 50% of customers at peak time(8pm to 10pm). Speed can be affected by a range of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be lower than that listed above. You can check the estimated speed to your property prior to purchasing.

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