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*The "average" speed displayed in Mb represents the speed available to 50% of customers with this product during peak time (between 8pm and 10pm). The actual speed you will get depends on your cabling, your area and (with non-fibre optic products) time of day and how far you are from the telephone exchange. Most providers will tell you the likely speed you will receive when you begin your online sign up — this may differ from the average speed displayed on our table.
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We aim to take the strain out of broadband comparison. Good broadband deals aren't just about the price, it's also about what's included in the product, the speeds offered and any extra incentives providers are offering. To balance all of these, we have developed a ranking formula that takes into account deals that are proving to be popular with our customers, that are competitive in the market and have a smooth buying process.
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Founded by Richard Branson in 1989, Virgin Media is one of the most familiar providers in the UK broadband market, and also one of the fastest. Thanks to its own dedicated cable infrastructure, it can offer blazing-fast speeds throughout its network. Its superfast, high-bandwidth offerings deliver astonishingly fast gaming, streaming and downloading with no slowdowns at peak periods or buffering when multiple people want to use the internet at the same time.
However, Virgin Media's deals don't stop there. It's what's known as a 'quadruple play' provider, as it also offers home phone, mobile phone and pay TV services, so you can get all the connectivity and entertainment your family could ever need from the same provider.
With a range of high-speed broadband deals to choose from, great offers for new customers, and the ability to build an internet, phone and TV package tailored precisely to your needs, Virgin Media offers something for everyone, but is particularly suited to busy households with demanding connectivity requirements.
Key features of Virgin Media include:
Virgin Media's broadband packages are delivered by its own cable network, which means it can offer significantly higher speeds than the typical fibre broadband services that depend on Openreach's network. There are a range of packages and speeds to choose from.
Virgin Media broadband and phone deals start with average download speeds of 54Mbps, going up to 516Mbps packages for heavier users and even an astonishing 1Gbps for certain parts of the UK. They also include a Virgin phone line and free weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin Mobile numbers.
You can add to this with a number of additional options, including free weekend calls to all mobiles, adding evenings or adding anytime calls to UK or international numbers, depending on your needs.
Virgin offers a range of TV packages that can be added to any broadband deal. These include Mixit TV, which offers 110 channels, as well as the bigger Maxit bundle, which ups the channel count to more than 230, including premium services such as Sky One, Fox and a range of HD services.
In addition to this, you can add movies or sports packages to your deal, as Virgin Media offers the full range of Sky Cinema channels, as well as a Sports package that gives you access to both Sky Sports and BT Sport.
You can also get a bundle deal that includes all of the above, for a Virgin Media broadband, phone and TV deal that covers all of your needs.
If you're just looking for a fast way to get online, Virgin Media broadband is also available on its own, with no requirement to sign up for a Virgin phone line or TV deal.
While Virgin Media isn't as widely available as fibre broadband services that use Openreach's network, it is still available to around 44% of UK homes. However the company is extending its network all the time and is aiming to reach 53% of homes by 2020 through its Project Lightning expansion.
If you're already a customer of Virgin Media and want to upgrade your services, the company has lots of offers and deals available. You can see what's on offer at the moment by logging into your account on the Virgin Media website.
Virgin Media frequently has great deals for new customers, with users often being able to get as much as 50% off the monthly cost of their package for the first 12 months. In addition to this, the firm sometimes runs limited-time flash sales where you can often get free gadgets such as games consoles or TVs, so it pays to keep an eye out for what's on offer at any given time.
If you're heading away to uni, Virgin Media also offers some dedicated student broadband deals. These include exclusive 30-day rolling contract offers for its superfast broadband and phone packages that aren't available anywhere else — ideal if you're only going to need broadband for a limited period.
Because it uses its own dedicated fibre network, Virgin Media is able to offer significantly faster speeds than many other broadband providers. The options available are listed below.
Virgin Media's entry-level broadband offer is still faster than many other firms' fibre deals, hitting average download speeds of 54Mbps. The M50 package also offers upload speeds of 3Mbps and is said by Virgin to be suitable for smaller households with up to four devices.
Next up is the M100 package, with average download speeds of 108Mbps and average upload speeds of 6Mbps. Virgin says this is best suited for busier households with between five and nine devices.
For the biggest homes, where ten or more devices will need to connect to the internet at the same time, Virgin's M200 package offers average download speeds of 213MBps and upload speeds of 12Mbps.
Customers with a very high amount of usage can take advantage of Virgin's M350 fibre broadband package, which offers average download speeds of 362Mbps. Virgin notes this is the UK's fastest widely-available broadband deal, so if you're a heavy user and want to stream in 4K on multiple devices and download the largest files, this is the right package for you.
Finally, users with the most demand can enjoy ultrafast download speeds of up to 516Mbps, with equally impressive upload speeds of 35Mbps, on average. It only comes with Virgin Media’s Ultimate Oomph bundle, though, which is an all-encompassing deal that includes a TV package with over 270 channels, anytime landline calls and an unlimited SIM card for your mobile.
It’d be pretty difficult to max out this incredibly fast package, but you may feel safer with it if you’re in a home with multiple ‘power-users’, where everyone is playing 4K video games and using large, demanding computer programmes on lots of devices each.
The nature of Virgin's cable network means there should be much less variation in what actual speeds households should be able to receive, so if Virgin Media is available in your area, you should usually expect to receive speeds very close to what is advertised.
To see if Virgin Media broadband is available to your home, you can use our Postcode Checker.
New customers will require Virgin Media to send an engineer to install the cable and get everything working. This will be arranged when you place your order.
However, homes that have had Virgin Media installed previously — such as by a previous resident — can use the firm's QuickStart self-install, which lets you get started in just a few simple steps.
Most Virgin Media broadband and TV packages will require an installation fee, which is typically £35.
If you're able to use the QuickStart option, you'll receive all the hardware you need via courier or click and collect, with QuickStart packs usually sent within three working days for the UK mainland, or within four working days if you live in Northern Ireland.
For engineer visits, you'll be able to choose your date when you place the order, usually within around 14 days. Once at your home, it should take between 30 minutes and two hours to get things up and running.
Virgin Media's Super Hub wireless router is the fastest and most advanced wireless router on offer from the provider. It's capable of connecting up to 20 devices at once with wireless speeds up to seven times faster than the UK average, depending on your package.
It takes advantage of the 5GHz frequency, which is more advanced and less congested than the 2.5GHz frequencies found on many other providers' included routers. This means you can game, stream and download wirelessly without worrying as much about slowdown.
If you're using the QuickStart service, your Virgin Media router should be very easy to get up and running, as you'll just need to plug in a few cables. You can find specific steps for each model of Virgin Media router on its website.
Virgin Media broadband offers a range of services to help keep your browsing safe, including advanced parental controls and tough anti-virus and anti-malware software.
Virgin Media's Switched on Families suite of services helps ensure your family is safe online, whether this is at home or when you're out and about. There's also an interactive guide on its website to help you understand the options available and how best you can protect your kids, whatever age they are and whatever content they want to view.
When you're at home, Virgin Media Web Safe protects any device that's connected to your network. This can protect you when you're shopping online or using banking services by blocking fake and fraudulent sites, as well as protecting against viruses. It's included for free with all broadband packages.
F-Secure SAFE services extend protection to up to five devices, including mobile phones, tablets, PCs and Macs to keep you safe from viruses, fraudsters and theft wherever you are. Virgin Media customers can get this free for 12 months, with it costing just £25 a year thereafter, compared to its normal RRP of £79.99 a year.
Virgin Media's parental controls can be personalised to your needs, letting you block access to inappropriate websites or categories of content, as well as set limits on your kids’ screen time.
If you have any questions or issues with Virgin Media, or want to discuss your account, there are several ways you can do this.
Virgin Media customers generally report above-average levels of satisfaction with the quality of their broadband and customer service, with research from Ofcom in April 2019 finding 85% of customers saying they're satisfied with the overall level of service, compared with 83% for the industry as a whole.
There are a number of ways to contact Virgin Media customer service. In addition to a wide range of online FAQs, you can get assistance over the phone or via live web chat.
Virgin Media customer service can be reached by phone on 0345 454 1111 from any number, of by dialling 1560 on a Virgin Media landline. Customer service agents are available from 8am until 9pm Monday to Friday, between 8am and 8pm on Saturdays, and from 8am until 6pm on Sundays.
If you're experiencing an issue with your broadband, you can also contact the firm's live chat team Monday to Friday from 7am until 11pm, or 8am until 8pm on weekends. This service can be found on Virgin Media's website.