Virgin Media broadband deals
Virgin Media Deals
Virgin Media has a range of different ISP deals. Use our tool to see which packages are available at your address:
Who is Virgin Media?
Virgin Media is a UK telecommunications company. It provides internet service to more than 5 million customers nationwide, while also operating mobile and landline telephone networks. Virgin no longer operates its own TV channels, having sold Virgin Media Television to BSkyB in 2010, but it still provides third-party channels to millions of homes. This combination of broadband, mobile, landline and TV made Virgin Media the UK’s first “quadruple-play” provider.
Interestingly, Virgin Media has never been significantly affiliated with Richard Branson’s Virgin empire. The company was first formed in 2006, as the result of a merger between NTL and Telewest. This new business, at the time simply known as NTL:Telewest, went on to purchase Virgin Mobile, in order to add mobile connectivity to its range of services. As part of that deal, the company secured the rights to use the Virgin brand across the board, not just for the mobile network.
Since establishing the Virgin branding, Virgin Media has gone on to forge a reputation as the foremost supplier of cable internet and television services in the UK. In the television industry, this has primarily served as a rival offering to Sky’s satellite broadcasting. When it comes to broadband, the difference with so-called “cable” systems is the method of extending connectivity from the local cabinet into individual homes and businesses. See “What is Virgin Media Fibre Optic?” for a complete account.
Virgin Media’s mobile network is one of the early adopters of 5G. Compatible phones can get access to the 5G network, which boasts theoretical maximum speeds 100x greater than 4G. Broadband and TV customers can get special perks on Virgin Mobile deals.
What is Virgin Media Broadband?
Virgin Media offers a specific type of broadband known as fibre optic broadband (see below). This can offer significantly higher speeds than other technologies - nationwide coverage is currently around 52%.
For those not covered by the fibre optic network, Virgin Media used to offer an Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) alternative. This older technology uses traditional copper telephone lines to transmit internet connection. However, Virgin Media sold off this service to TalkTalk in 2014, migrating legacy customers the following year.
What is Virgin Media Fibre Optic?
Virgin Media Fibre Optic is a cable broadband technology currently not offered by any other provider in the UK. It utilises what is known as “fibre to the X” (FTTX).
For the most part, this actually works in the same manner as standard fibre broadband offered by other providers. Broadband is transmitted to local cabinets through a network of fibre cables: a system known as “fibre to the cabinet” (FTTC). The likes of Sky and BT operate in exactly the same way - Virgin Media uses its own proprietary fibre network, rather than relying on Openreach, but the underlying premise is no different. The variation comes in how internet connectivity is transmitted from the local cabinet to individual properties.
For this last leg, Virgin Media continues to use fibre cables. These carry much more data than traditional copper cables, and are capable of transmitting it at much faster speeds. This allows Virgin Media to quote considerably higher average speeds than its competitors.
Virgin Media’s broadband is not strictly “fibre to the premises” (FTTP). While fibre cabling is used the whole way in Virgin’s network, the connection does still go via a cabinet. The latest FTTP networks, being rolled out by some providers, cut out this middle stage entirely. As this becomes more widely available, Virgin Media’s speed advantage over its competitors is likely to diminish.
For the time being, however, Virgin Media is able to advertise its broadband as “7x quicker than Sky and BT”. This is based on the fastest widely available download speeds. For Virgin Media, that is 516Mbps (compared to 67Mbps for BT and Sky) . That figure refers to the download speed available on Virgin’s M500 package. Here are the quoted download and upload speeds for all of Virgin’s broadband packages:
M50: 54Mb/s average download, 5 Mb/s average upload
M100: 108 Mb/s average download, 10 Mb/s average upload
M200: 213 Mb/s average download, 20 Mb/s average upload
M350: 362 Mb/s average download, 36 Mb/s average upload
M500: 516 Mb/s average download, 36 Mb/s average upload
M600: 636 Mb/s average download, 41 Mb/s average upload
Gig1 Fibre Broadband: 1140 Mb/s average download, 52 Mb/s average upload
Is Virgin Media Broadband unlimited?
All Virgin Media broadband packages are unlimited. Unlike some other providers, there is no traffic management, data cap or fair use policy.
Perks of Virgin Media
Internet service providers will generally offer benefits and perks as a way of appealing to new customers, and retaining existing ones. Each provider offers a unique selection of extras. Below is an explanation of some of the benefits available on select Virgin Media packages.
What is the Virgin Media Speed Guarantee?
The Virgin Media Speed Guarantee is a promise to customers that download speeds will not drop below certain specified levels. If speeds fall below the guaranteed figure for three consecutive days, and Virgin Media is unable to resolve the problem within 30 days of the complaint being made, customers are allowed to terminate the contract without paying an early termination fee.
The exact guaranteed speed varies depending on the package in question and the time the policy was taken out. It is calculated as 50% of the advertised speed.
All Virgin Media broadband customers who began their policy on or after 28 February 2019 are covered by the guarantee.
What is Virgin Media Intelligent WiFi?
Virgin Media Intelligent WiFi is a self-optimising home network designed to continually ensure that all connected devices are running on a fast and reliable connection.
This works by utilising “channels”. Every internet-connected device runs on a channel - but if there is too much traffic on one channel, it can slow down broadband speeds. The Intelligent WiFi system constantly checks for congestion - when it detects too many devices on one channel, it moves one or more of them on to a separate channel.
Intelligent WiFi also ensures that every device is connected to the appropriate WiFi frequency. 5Ghz connections are faster over shorter ranges, but gadgets further away from the hub perform better when connected to a 2.4Ghz frequency. Most modern routers come with this dual band option, but Virgin Media’s automatic optimisation is a definite perk.
Intelligent WiFi boosters are also available. These help tackle connection black spots within a property, acting as range extenders to strengthen the WiFi signal in rooms where it would otherwise be weak. “Broadband subscribers who have also selected the “Maxit” TV bundle (see all TV packages here) can get these boosters free of charge, provided the Connect app (see below) has identified a low-connection area. For regular subscribers, Intelligent WiFi boosters cost an extra £3 per month.
Finally, the Virgin Media Connect App helps users get the most from their Intelligent WiFi setup. As well as WiFi scans to check connectivity throughout the house, the app can view a list of all devices connected to the WiFi. Device connections can be individually paused, allowing parents to monitor the internet usage of their children. The app is available on the Play Store and the App Store.
What are Virgin Media WiFi hotspots?
Virgin Media WiFi hotspots are a collection of more than 3.5 million WiFi zones nationwide, accessible free of charge to Virgin Media broadband subscribers. Locations include over 260 London Underground stations. The network of WiFi hotspots also extends globally - in total, there are more than 20 million locations.
For those with the Virgin Media Connect app, this only needs to be set up once. After that, any devices with the app installed will automatically connect when within range of a hotspot.
This is a particularly appealing perk for users who travel a lot. It allows them to save on mobile data costs, or to establish a connection in areas with poor mobile signal.
It is worth noting that a fair usage policy does apply to these public hotspots. Any content unsuitable for children is also blocked while connected to a Virgin Media hotspot.
What is Virgin Media TV?
Unlike some of its rivals, Virgin Media does not have its own dedicated television channels. TV stations including Challenge and Living were sold off to BSkyB in 2010. However, Virgin is still a big player in offering TV packages.
A whole range of deals that allow customers to access third-party channels are available. This includes BT’s sports channels, as well as Sky’s sports and movies offerings.
The most basic deal offers 109 primarily Freeview channels, along with the M100 broadband. This costs £29.99 a month. This can then be upgraded incrementally: Big plus Drama has 142 channels, Bigger comes with 208 channels, and Bigger plus Movies features 230 channels. Bigger plus Sports adds the Sky Sports channels. All of these are paired with the M100 broadband connection.
The biggest option is called “Ultimate Oomph”. This has a total of 242 available channels, adding a range of children’s stations including the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon to the Bigger plus Movies bundle. Unlike the other bundles, it also comes with the M500 broadband connection.
“Maxit TV” is included in the Bigger bundle and above. Subscribers at this level get free Intelligent WiFi boosters when required, in order to fix connection black spots. All BT Sports channels are also available on Bigger bundles or higher. BT has the exclusive UK rights to broadcast Champions League and Europa League football. It also shares coverage of Premier League and FA Cup matches. Other sports include rugby union and UFC.
Sky Sports is not part of the Big, Bigger or Ultimate Oomph packages, but can be tacked on as an extra. Sky broadcasts the greatest share of Premier League games in the UK, while also holding rights to EFL and top-flight Scottish games. Cricket and Formula 1 are also big draws, as are major golf tournaments including the Ryder Cup and US PGA.
Similarly, Sky Movies is available as a package add-on - although unlike the Sky Sports channels, these channels are also included as standard on the Ultimate Oomph package. The Movies channels often rebrand on a temporary basis, but the core selection looks like this:
Sky Cinema Action
Sky Cinema Animation
Sky Cinema Comedy
Sky Cinema Drama
Sky Cinema Family
Sky Cinema Greats
Sky Cinema Hits
Sky Cinema Premiere
Sky Cinema Premiere +1
Sky Cinema Sci-fi Horror
Sky Cinema Select Sky Cinema Thriller
All Virgin Media TV deals also come with a recordable box. This may be the classic TiVo box or the newer V6 model, which allows customers to record up to six shows at the same time. The Virgin TV 360 platform, available to Ultimate Oomph subscribers, also provides Mini boxes for streaming around the home.
How to contact Virgin Media support
Virgin Media offers an array of services and perks. But, as with any broadband provider, there is always the possibility that a fault could occur. Should this happen, here’s how you can get in touch with Virgin Media:
How do I contact Virgin Media by phone?
Virgin Media customer service is reachable at 0345 454 1111. Especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, this line is only recommended once all online help options have been exhausted.
This service is open 8AM-8PM Monday to Friday, and from 8AM to 6PM on Saturday.
Hearing or speech-impaired customers can contact a text relay support service at 18001 0800 052 2164.
How do I contact Virgin Media online?
Virgin Media encourages all customers to use the collection of guides and articles as their first port of call when it comes to getting support. A range of the most common issues are covered, sorted by broad category. They can be found here.
Customers can also run a status check, to see if there are any specific or area-wide issues affecting service.
Virgin Media is a “quadruple-play” broadband provider, meaning it also offers mobile, landline and television services. Other internet service providers which offer a range of services beyond broadband include Sky, BT and NOW.
That wraps up this guide to Virgin Media’s broadband service. There are numerous factors to consider, from the array of perks to the variety of packages available. Hopefully this guide has put you in a strong position to make an informed choice about whether you want to opt for Virgin Media as your internet service provider.