Virgin Media Broadband Review

Last updated: 15 March 2024   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Virgin Media offer some of the UK's fastest widely available broadband, with their gigabit-capable network now covering over 16 million premises.

Virgin Media offer competitively priced ultrafast and gigabit broadband deals, which can be bundled with TV and mobile.

Price:

Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star

Speed:

Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star

Reliability:

Gold star Gold star Gold star Gold star

Customer Service:

Gold star Gold star Gold star

Virgin Media broadband customers can choose from a range of download speeds, including the budget-friendly M125 plan, faster M250, M350 and M500 plans, and the top level Gig1 and Gig2.

Pricing is competitive across most of the speed tiers, and Virgin Media offer one of the best whole home wireless guarantees, with their WiFi Max add-on.

Volt is one of Virgin Media's main selling points, with one in five customers now on a Volt bundle, and receiving twice the download speed on average as non-Volt customers.

virgin media broadband

At a glance

Price From £24
Setup cost Free (was £35)
Minimum term 18 months
Out of contract price From £54
Annual price increase RPI + 3.9% from April 2025
Broadband connection Coaxial or full fibre
Download speeds 54Mb, 132Mb, 264Mb, 362Mb, 516Mb, 1130Mb, 2000Mb
Upload speeds 5Mb, 20Mb, 25Mb, 36Mb, 52Mb, 104Mb, 200Mb
Router Hub 3, 4 or 5
WiFi guarantee 30Mbps
Parental controls Virgin Media Web Safe
Home phone Optional
Anytime calls £10 (inc. UK mobiles)
TV Optional: TV 360 or Stream

Latest offers

Offer Terms

£250 bill credit or a LG 43 inch TV with selected Virgin TV bundles.

Hurry! Offer ends tomorrow!
27 May 2024

18 month minimum term. No setup fee. Prices vary depending on package chosen. Price will increase each year from April 2025 by the RPI rate of inflation announced in February each year plus 3.9%.


Virgin Media Volt M250 broadband & Phone, just £33.99/mth for 18 months

Hurry! Offer ends in 5 days!
31 May 2024

18 month minimum term. No setup fee. £70/mth after 18 months. Price will increase each year from April 2025 by the RPI rate of inflation announced in February each year plus 3.9%.


Virgin broadband customer reviews

Our independent survey of broadband customers found Virgin Media was rated 3.5 out of 5 overall, with good ratings for Speed, Reliability, and Satisfaction.

Virgin Media was rated average (3 out of 5) for value for money, customer service, and likelihood for customers to recommend them to a friend.

Here are the full results of the Virgin Media survey:

5 out of 5 4 out of 5 3 out of 5 2 out of 5 1 out of 5
Value for money 8% 22% 42% 21% 9%
Speed 26% 37% 24% 10% 4%
Reliability 22% 40% 22% 11% 6%
Satisfaction 12% 35% 33% 12% 9%
Customer Service 7% 24% 30% 19% 21%
Likelihood to Recommend 11% 24% 36% 17% 13%

Want to review your provider?

Whether you're a customer of Virgin Media broadband or another provider, you can submit a review of your provider by clicking through to the form below.


Our review of Virgin Media broadband

Pros Cons
Up to 2Gb download speeds at peak times, with symmetrical uploads option in some areas Only available across 55% of the UK at present (although they are expanding)
Fast WiFi guarantee with 20Mb speed promise in every room Customer service record is below industry average
Volt bundles offer very good value for money Upload speeds are asymmetrical (except in select locations as a paid upgrade)

Verdict: Is Virgin broadband any good?

Virgin Media is a very competitively priced option for those living within their network area, with some of the cheapest deals on 100Mb+ download speeds.

They also offer a great deal of flexibility for customers to find the right package for them, with options to bundle a home phone, or go phone line free and save money, to bundling mobile data and a pay TV service for extra discounts.

Because they operate their own network, Virgin Media also has quick fault resolution times compared to rivals, with 48% of faults being fixed on the same day they're reported.

Aside from availability not yet reaching everywhere, the main caveat with Virgin Media is watching out for the right deal, as conversely the cheapest prices are often found when taking more services. For example:

  • The cheapest entry-level plan is M125, even though M50 is still available
  • Broadband-only plans are ultimately cheapest, but savings from Volt or bundling TV is worth considering before signing up, with often just £1 - £2 difference
  • Volt broadband and phone bundles offer the best value for money, especially where customers use O2 as a mobile provider, or that want the WiFi Max add-on
  • Faster deals can be cheaper depending on offers, right now M500 is cheaper than M350 for example

In terms of drawbacks, the fastest tier plans M500 and Gig1 have recently benefited from a speed boost to uploads, but generally upload speeds are slower than with other full fibre networks.

While Gig2 has now gone live, its only available in select areas and not across their entire network yet, which could take another few years. So, for now, most customers will find Gig1 is their fastest deal with Virgin Media.

Complaint levels and customer service improved throughout 2022 for Virgin, but they've recently come under fire for making it difficult for customers to leave their contracts and are now being investigated by Ofcom. So that's one to watch out for.


Virgin Media broadband packages

Summary: Virgin Media offer a wide range of broadband packages with a somewhat confusing array of options, but they do offer very good value for money.

Virgin Media offer customers the choice of seven different download speeds. However, the M50 package is now gradually being phased out, which means customers will often find M125 for a cheaper price, so bear that in mind:

  • M50: 54Mbps average
  • M125: 132Mbps average
  • M250: 264Mbps average
  • M350: 362Mbps average
  • M500: 516Mbps average
  • Gig1: 1130Mbps average
  • Gig2: 2000Mbps average (not available nationwide)

In addition to these download speed choices, customers can also choose Virgin Media broadband in one of four bundle types:

  • Broadband-only: often the cheapest package, these deals come with just a broadband connection
  • Broadband and phone: includes a Virgin Media phone line, free calls at the weekend, and optional call plans
  • Volt bundles: often the best value for money, boost broadband speeds and get free O2 mobile data and the WiFi Max add-on, plus a home phone line with free weekend calls
  • Broadband and TV bundles: combine Virgin Media broadband with either the TV 360 service or the new Stream box for extra home entertainment

It's always worth carrying out a price comparison of Virgin Media deals, as often bundles with more services can be priced as low as, or sometimes even cheaper than, equivalent plans with less.

At the time of writing, this is the case with many Volt broadband and phone bundles, as well as entry-level TV bundles, like the Big Bundle and Big Volt Bundle.

Virgin broadband only

Virgin Media broadband can be taken without a phone line, and this often saves customers quite a bit over the broadband and phone bundles.

For example, M125 broadband-only is £10 per month cheaper than with a phone line, and M250 broadband-only is £4.99 per month cheaper.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M125 Fibre Broadband 132Mb average £26 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £26 per month + No setup fee (was £35)
M250 Fibre Broadband 264Mb average £29 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £29 per month + No setup fee (was £35)
M350 Fibre Broadband 362Mb average £35 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £35 per month + No setup fee (was £35)
M500 Fibre Broadband 516Mb average £35 Free 18 months
offer Offer: 500Mb broadband for the price of 350Mb + No setup fee (was £35)
Gig1 Fibre Broadband 1.13Gb average £41 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £41 per month + No setup fee (was £35)
Gig2 Fibre Broadband 2Gb average £84 Free 18 months

Virgin Media M125 is their cheapest broadband package, and offers average download speeds of 132Mbps, after receiving a speed boost in late 2022.

It's apparent Virgin are moving customers toward 100Mb+ plans, as the M50 package is now only available with a phone line, so it's more expensive than the faster M125 broadband-only option.

Setup is currently free at the time of writing, although it can cost up to £35. It's also worth being aware contracts taken out after April 2023 will now be subject to annual price rises of Retail Price Index (RPI) + 3.9%. Although those signing up between February and April 2024, won't see their prices go up until April 2025.

Virgin broadband and phone

For customers who know they want a home phone line, they can choose a Virgin Media broadband and phone bundle.

These deals aren't as cheap as the broadband-only plans above, but they often work out cheaper than simply adding on Virgin Media's line rental charge of £19. They also come with free calls to UK landlines at the weekend, and the option to take additional call plans.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M50 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 54Mb average £28 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)
M125 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 132Mb average £34 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)
M250 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 264Mb average £40 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)
M350 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 362Mb average £46 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)
M500 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 516Mb average £52 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)
Gig1 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 1.13Gb average £58 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)

Unlike with broadband-only, M50 broadband and phone is the cheapest package, which helps to provide a budget-friendly option to those who prioritise having a home phone.

Before taking the leap with a Virgin Media broadband and phone bundle however, it's worth looking at pricing on Volt bundles, which also include a phone line but can be priced even cheaper.

Virgin broadband and Volt

Volt was launched after the merger of Virgin Media and O2 to offer a bundle that combines services. It's now one of Virgin Media's best-selling points, and a package they're clearly keen to promote as it often comes in cheaper than equivalents without the extras.

Volt broadband and phone bundles currently cost:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M250 Volt Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 264Mb average £33.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35) + O2 mobile SIM with 6GB data, unlimited minutes and texts (Ends 31/05/2024)
M350 Volt Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 362Mb average £39.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35) + O2 mobile SIM with 6GB data, unlimited minutes and texts
M500 Volt Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 516Mb average £45.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35) + O2 mobile SIM with 6GB data, unlimited minutes and texts
Gig1 Volt Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 1.13Gb average £51.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35) + O2 mobile SIM with 6GB data, unlimited minutes and texts

The cheapest Volt deal, M250 Volt offers 264Mbps broadband, a phone line and a 6GB O2 mobile SIM for just £31.99 per month. In comparison, M250 broadband and phone costs £40, and M250 broadband-only costs £27.

As you can see, Volt offers exceptional value for money on Virgin Media broadband, so these deals are well worth considering, especially if you're used to using, or don't mind switching to, O2 as a mobile network.

Along with the 6GB O2 mobile SIM plan, which also bundles unlimited minutes and texts, all O2 plans within the household get double data, roaming benefits, and other extras, like Virgin Media's whole home wireless guarantee WiFi Max, which is worth £8 per month.

We look at how much Volt benefits are worth in this dedicated guide.

Virgin broadband and TV

Virgin Media broadband can be taken with or without TV, however for those who want Virgin TV, either TV 360 or Stream, they'll also need to take Virgin broadband.

As with Volt above however, the pre-made bundles from Virgin Media can offer very good value for money compared to taking broadband on its own.

Virgin TV and broadband bundles include:

All of these bundles also have Volt options, and options for extra channels like Sky Sports and Sky Cinema, which we cover in more detail in our guide to Virgin Media TV packages.

In terms of value for money though, taking the Big Bundle as an example, it currently costs £31 per month, and includes M125 broadband, the TV 360 box and free calls to UK landlines at the weekend. In comparison, M125 broadband on its own costs £24 per month, and M125 broadband with those free calls costs £34.

As you can see, certainly for anyone who'd take a phone line, it can be worth bundling Virgin TV for the cheaper price.

Virgin Media Stream

Virgin Media broadband customers also have the option to take Virgin's newer service, Stream.

It's basically a TV box which streams content over the broadband connection, and offers access to Freeview (without an aerial), as well as premium content like Sky Sports and Sky Cinema, and on-demand apps like Netflix and Prime Video.

Stream has no monthly cost, and all the TV packs are available on rolling monthly terms, so it's a very flexible way to access premium content without signing up to lengthy contracts.

One of the major benefits of Virgin Stream is the 10% bill credit offer on any channel pack subscriptions taken, which means it's the cheapest way to watch Sky Sports and TNT Sports.

The box costs £35 upfront, and can be added to any Virgin Media broadband deal.

Read more about Virgin Media Stream TV in our full review.

Virgin Media Essential broadband

Lastly, it's worth noting that for people in receipt of certain means-tested benefits, they have two more broadband packages available to them.

Essential Broadband and Essential Broadband Plus are social tariffs available to both new and existing customers in receipt of benefits who may be struggling to afford their standard broadband plan.

They're available to people in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income-based Employment Support Allowance

Existing Virgin Media customers still in a minimum term can also access these deals in they qualify, and switch without incurring any early leaving penalties.

Essential Broadband costs £12.50 per month and includes 15Mbps broadband, while Essential Broadband Plus costs £20 per month and includes 50Mbps broadband with the option to add Virgin Stream TV.

Read more about Virgin Essential Broadband, or social broadband tariffs in general.


Which broadband package is right for me?

Summary: Customers should consider services they want, but also bear in mind the cheapest deals can mean taking more services, and larger households will benefit from faster speeds.

As we've covered, Virgin Media offer a lot of different broadband packages, so it can be confusing to know which one is best for you.

Ultimately it comes down to picking the services you want first, for example if you know you want a home phone line, or if broadband-only will be adequate. Then, look for the cheapest deal with those services, because often the best value for money may mean taking an extra service.

For example, at the time of writing the cheapest Virgin broadband plans are:

  • Broadband-only: Broadband-only
  • Broadband with WiFi Max: Broadband with Volt
  • Broadband & phone (& mobile): Broadband with Volt
  • Broadband & phone (& TV): Big Bundle
  • Broadband & TV: Broadband with Stream

The other big decision when it comes to choosing a Virgin Media broadband package is which speed is right for me?

Here's a quick table of those speed options again:

Average download speed Average upload speed
M50 Fibre Broadband 54Mb 5Mb
M125 Fibre Broadband 132Mb 20Mb
M250 Fibre Broadband 264Mb 25Mb
M350 Fibre Broadband 362Mb 36Mb
M500 Fibre Broadband 516Mb 52Mb
Gig1 Fibre Broadband 1130Mb 104Mb
Gig2 Fibre Broadband 2000Mb 200Mb

According to Ofcom's latest research into broadband speeds, the average download speed in the UK is now 69.4Mbps.

So even Virgin's slowest broadband plan, M50, is offering download speeds not too far of that average. However, as we've seen, M125 is often cheaper and will be adequate for most households.

As you move up the tiers, you get both faster download speeds, faster upload speeds, and an increased capacity to support more devices and more users at the same time.

That's important to consider then for larger households where people want to get online at the same time and carry out different activities, such as gaming in one room, and streaming in another, without slowing each other down.

For example, Virgin Media say:

  • M50 is for small households with up to 4 devices
  • M125 is for households with 5 to 9 devices
  • M250 is for households with 10 or more devices
  • M350 is for households who want to stream HD, game online, and use smart devices, all at the same time

More devices connecting at the same time, and carrying out bandwidth heavy activities, like downloading, online gaming, streaming video, video calls, or simply working from home, will need a faster overall speed to enable enough capacity to be shared between each user.

Larger households therefore, especially when people are likely to be going online at the same time, should look at faster Virgin broadband packages, for example M350 and upwards.

Download times for larger files also vary considerably between the speed ranges. For example, let's look at the time to download a HD film and a console game for each Virgin Media broadband plan:

Film in 1080p HD (6GB) PlayStation 5 FIFA 23 (50GB) PlayStation 5 Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War (220GB)
M50 16 minutes 2 hours 13 minutes 9 hours 45 minutes
M125 7 minutes 55 minutes 4 hours
M250 3 minutes 15 seconds 27 minutes 2 hours
M350 2 minutes 30 seconds 20 minutes 1 hour 30 minutes
M500 1 minute 40 seconds 14 minutes 1 hour
Gig1 45 seconds 6 minutes 30 seconds 28 minutes

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War is one of the largest update sizes for consoles, and well-known for its lengthy download times, as well as taking up so much space on the PS5. So, most game downloads will be smaller than this, but it's an interesting market for a very large download.

In comparison, a HD movie is only around 6GB, and even an Ultra HD Movie would be around 15GB. For someone downloading a large photo album from the cloud, 100 12MP photos would be about 600MB, or 0.6GB.


Price comparison

Summary: Virgin Media broadband is very competitively priced, often coming in as one of the cheapest options for a particular speed.

Virgin Media broadband pricing is competitive compared to equivalent packages from other providers.

Their entry-level and mid-tier broadband deals tend to offer the best value for money, along with Volt and TV bundles as we've looked at above.

M125 broadband-only is Virgin Media's current cheapest overall deal, and here's how it looks compared to rival packages:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M125 Fibre Broadband 132Mb average £26 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £26 per month + No setup fee (was £35)
Full Fibre 145 145Mb average £27.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £12/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers
Full Fibre 150 150Mb average £29 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £3 off for Vodafone pay monthly customers
Full Fibre 100 150Mb average £29.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £50 BT Virtual Reward Card + Save £1/mth and free setup (was £31.99) (Ends 06/06/2024)

As you can see, Virgin Media M125 is currently cheaper than 100Mb broadband deals from Plusnet, BT, TalkTalk, and Sky, and is actually one of the cheapest 100Mb+ plans available.

Looking at faster packages, the M500 broadband plan also compares well:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M500 Fibre Broadband 516Mb average £35 Free 18 months
offer Offer: 500Mb broadband for the price of 350Mb + No setup fee (was £35)
Full Fibre 500 500Mb average £33 Free 24 months
offer Offer: £3 off for Vodafone pay monthly customers
Ultrafast Plus Broadband 500Mb average £32 £5 18 months
offer Offer: WiFi Max just £3/mth + (£5 refundable setup fee for new customers if applicable)
Full Fibre 500 525Mb average £39 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Free setup and P&P

At the time of writing, Sky's Ultrafast Plus broadband with 500Mbps average speeds is the same price as Virgin Media M500, as is Vodafone Full Fibre 500. At just £33 per month though, M500 still beats prices from TalkTalk, Plusnet, and BT.

At the top end of the scale, Virgin Media's Gig1 plan is also well priced:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Gig1 Fibre Broadband 1.13Gb average £41 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £41 per month + No setup fee (was £35)
Full Fibre 900 900Mb average £44.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £17/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers (Ends 29/05/2024)
Full Fibre 900 944Mb average £49 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Free setup and P&P
Full Fibre 900 944Mb average £44.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Money off for 18 months

Gig1 Fibre broadband is currently priced at just £39 per month, with very few cheaper options available. Even budget provider Plusnet comes in just a few pounds more at £44.99 per month.

Gig1 also offers faster average download speeds at peak times, at 1130Mbps compared to many of the Openreach alternatives which average around 900Mbps.

Read more about Virgin Media Gig1 here.


Broadband speed

Summary: Virgin Media are hard to beat when it comes to download speeds and availability for gigabit-capable broadband, yet they're currently surpassed by newer technologies for upload speed and latency rates.

Virgin Media offer broadband speeds from 54Mbps all the way up to 1130Mbps across their entire network, which so far passes over 16 million premises. They also offer 2Gbps speeds with Gig2 in select locations as well.

This means the fastest broadband speeds are available to more properties than are currently reached by rival network BT Openreach.

Advertised broadband speeds must be experienced by at least 50% of a provider's customer base during the peak hours of 8pm to 10pm in the evening.

So, we know at least half of Virgin Media broadband customers are receiving the following speeds on average at peak times:

Average download speed Average upload speed
M50 Fibre Broadband 54Mb 5Mb
M125 Fibre Broadband 132Mb 20Mb
M250 Fibre Broadband 264Mb 25Mb
M350 Fibre Broadband 362Mb 36Mb
M500 Fibre Broadband 516Mb 52Mb
Gig1 Fibre Broadband 1130Mb 104Mb
Gig2 Fibre Broadband 2000Mb 200Mb

Virgin Media's Q4 2022 financial results reported that the average speed among their entire customer based had increased year-on-year to 301Mbps, which is over four times faster the UK's average of 69Mbps.

In addition, customers on Virgin Media's Volt bundles had a combined average download speed of 452Mb, twice that of non-Volt customers.

Ofcom's latest independent research into real world broadband speeds, published in September 2023, reported on five of Virgin's fastest broadband plans.

Broadly their findings lined up with Virgin Media's own claims on their average speeds at peak times, with Ofcom reporting above average figures for each package.

Average download speed at peak times Average download speed over 24 hours
Virgin M125 134.48 136.30
Virgin M250 267.20 272.46
Virgin M350 373.68 380.90
Virgin M500 516.86 539.55
Virgin Gig1 1115.38 1137.08

Each of the package speeds were reported on by at least 100 panellists, and reflect the recent speed boost of the entry-level plans in November 2022.

While there was some reduction in speed during the peak times of 8pm to 10pm, all packages achieved average download speeds in excess of their advertised speeds.

Virgin Media performed better than Openreach FTTP providers BT in this report. BT only marginally exceeded their average download speed of 300Mb, reporting in at 303.67Mb at peak times, with a panel base of 61.

Overall, Virgin Media offer a range of fast broadband deals that perform solidly in real world tests.

Minimum guaranteed speeds

As signatories to Ofcom's code of practice on broadband speeds, Virgin Media offer minimum guaranteed speeds at the point of sign up.

Here are the expected speed ranges and minimum speeds for each Virgin broadband plan:

Average download speed Estimated download speed Minimum guaranteed speed
M50 54Mbps 53 - 55Mbps 27Mbps
M125 132Mbps 133 - 137Mbps 66Mbps
M250 264Mbps 267 - 273Mbps 132Mbps
M350 362Mbps 369 - 382Mbps 181Mpbs
M500 516Mbps 508 - 543Mbps 258Mbps
Gig1 1130Mbps 1076 - 1139Mbps 565Mbps
Gig2 2000Mbps 2020 - 2085Mbps 1000Mbps

If customers go on to not receive the minimum speed for 3 consecutive days or more, and Virgin don't resolve the issue within 30 days, they can leave their contracts free of charge.

Upload speeds

Virgin Media broadband offers asymmetrical speeds, which means uploads are slower than the advertised download speed.

While download speed is that most likely to be noticed by customers, upload speed is growing in importance as more users use their Internet connection to share content, make video calls, and game online.

Virgin Media's upload speeds have typically been slower than with rival providers like BT and Sky, but they did recently boost the upload speed of their fastest tier plans M500 and Gig1 to be more in line with the competition.

Here are the upload speeds of each Virgin Media broadband package:

Average upload speed Estimated upload speed
M50 5Mbps 5Mbps
M125 20Mbps 21Mbps
M250 25Mbps 26Mbps
M350 36Mbps 36 - 37Mbps
M500 52Mbps 41 - 52Mbps
Gig1 104Mbps 69 - 104Mbps
Gig2 200Mbps 208 - 208Mbps

Customers in select locations where Virgin Media has rolled out full fibre technology can also choose an upload speed add-on, which boosts upload speeds to the same as the advertised download speed, and costs just £6 extra per month.

Those living outside of these new areas will get to benefit from the multi-gig Gig2 and upload speed add-on eventually, but the project to upgrade their entire network to faster speeds isn't due to complete until 2028.

So, while Virgin Media are hard to beat for download speed and availability for the fastest broadband in the UK, they are currently beaten by newer technologies for upload speeds in most areas.

Customer satisfaction with speed of service

Independent research into customer satisfaction carried out by ourselves, found 63% of Virgin Media customers were satisfied with the speed of their service.

They ranked 4th out of 11 providers in the survey for satisfaction with speed, beaten only by Hyperoptic, Zen Internet, and KCOM.

Speed (4 or above) Satisfaction with speed of service (Ofcom)
Virgin Media 63% 82%

Ofcom also report on satisfaction with speed in their Comparing Customer Service report, last published in May 2023.

Ofcom's research found 82% of Virgin Media customers were satisfied with the speed of their service, which was two percentage points better than the industry average of 80%.

In Ofcom's research, Virgin Media was only beaten by Plusnet (83%) and drew with Vodafone (82%) for satisfaction with speed among existing customers.

Latency

One final metric worth looking at when considering how well Virgin Media broadband performs for speed, is latency.

Latency is a basic measurement of how long it takes one packet of data to move from one point on a network to another. It's also known as ping.

Slower latency rates mean broadband experience could seem laggy or slow, however most people won't notice it, as it only really affects very intensive or fast-moving activities, like online gaming.

Ofcom reported the following average latency rates across Virgin Media's broadband packages:

Average latency (lower is better)
Virgin M125 14.53
Virgin M250 15.46
Virgin M350 14.76
Virgin M500 13.10
Virgin Gig1 15.80

In contrast, BT's 300Mb full fibre plan reported a peak-time latency rate of 6.93, based on 61 panellists.

As we can see then, Openreach's fibre to the premises network currently has much faster latency rates than Virgin Media's coaxial network.

However, this is another area where Virgin Media's Project Mustang upgrade will see new technology boost speed and latency performance with full fibre to the home connections.


Broadband reliability

Summary: Virgin Media have a good reputation for reliability, with some of the market's fastest fault resolution times.

Good broadband experiences often come down to how reliable the connection is, as well as simply how fast it is.

We independently surveyed broadband customers and found 62% of Virgin Media customers rated them 4 out of 5 for reliability and the stability of their service. This was broadly in line with the average, with only BT, Hyperoptic, Zen Internet, and KCOM scoring higher.

Reliability (4 or above) Satisfaction with service overall (Ofcom)
Virgin Media 62% 81%

Ofcom's independent research looks at satisfaction with service overall, and their survey found 81% of Virgin Media's customers were satisfied with their service. However, the industry average was 82%, which is slightly higher.

Disconnections

Disconnections, or drop outs, is a good way to see how stable a broadband connection is performing.

Ofcom's independent broadband speed research looks at daily disconnections that last longer than 30 seconds and ranks each provider tested accordingly.

Average daily disconnections (30 seconds+)
Virgin M125 0.06
Virgin M250 0.10
Virgin M350 0.12
Virgin M500 0.03
Virgin Gig1 0.08

BT full fibre had disconnection rates between 0.06 and 0.11, with superfast fibre connections more likely to suffer disconnections with averages between 0.06 and 0.13.

In comparison then, Virgin Media's network performed better for disconnections against superfast fibre connections, but BT Openreach full fibre looks more reliable.

Faults

Faults, and how quickly a provider resolves them, can be a good indication of how reliable a broadband provider is.

However, Ofcom has also reported as many as 56% of all broadband and landline faults in 2021 came from problems within a customer's home, such as poor wiring or things out of the control of a provider.

Faults per 1,000 customers in 2022
Virgin Media 55
Industry average 41

Virgin Media reported more faults in 2022 than in 2021, with just 40 faults per 1,000 customers in 2021.

However, they have the second fastest fault resolution time, with 48% of faults resolved on the same day, a further 20% within 1 day, and 98% within the same week.

In comparison, BT only resolved 76% of faults within the same week, and while Sky resolved 91% of faults in the same week, they only fixed 10% in the same day. However, Openreach resellers have a greater reliance on third-party engineers which can slow down fault resolution.

Virgin Media's proportion of re-contacts, that is customers having to report the same fault more than once, was just 3%, compared to the industry average of 4%.


Virgin Media Hub

Summary: Virgin Media broadband comes with either a Hub 3, Hub 4, or Gig1 customers get the latest WiFi 6 enabled Hub 5.

Virgin Media provide all customers with one of their branded hub routers. Customers taking plans up to M500 will get either a Hub 3 or Hub 4 depending on availability, and Gig1 customers will get the latest Hub 5.

The Hub 5 router supports both intelligent mesh and the latest WiFi 6 protocol. It also has a wired ethernet LAN connection which supports up to 2.5Gbps speeds.

Here are the specifications of the Virgin Media Hubs:

Hub 5 Hub 4 Hub 3
WiFi protocol 6 (802.11ax) 5 (802.11ac) 5 (802.11ac)
WiFi band Dual band Dual band Dual band
2.4Ghz band 3x3 11/b/g/n 3x3 11/b/g/n 2x2 11/b/g/n
5Ghz band 4x4 11ax 4x4 11ac 3x3 11ac
Ethernet 1 x 2.5Gb, 3 x 1Gb 4 x 1Gb 4 x 1Gb
Antennae 5 4 4
Security WPA3 WPA2 WPA2

While Virgin Media offers a solid, up to date, router, many customers often report that they use the router in modem-only mode and buy a separate wireless router to improve the coverage and speeds they experience in the home.

We have a list of the best WiFi 6 routers available to help speed up broadband, including ones that can be used on a Virgin Media connection.

However, before setting out to replace the router, it's worth considering Virgin Media's whole home WiFi guarantee, which promises minimum download speeds of 30Mbps in every room. It's also included free for Gig1 and Volt bundle customers.

WiFi Max

Virgin Media's WiFi Max add-on promises customers minimum download speeds of 30Mbps over their wireless connection in every room in their home. If they don't, Virgin Media will give them a £100 bill credit.

WiFi Max costs £8 per month, but it's included for free with:

Customers can request up to three WiFi boosters, called WiFi Pods, and these plug into a power socket and can extend a wireless network seamlessly around a home, helping to alleviate any dead spots or areas with weaker signal.

Virgin require customers to use the Connect app to test speed in each room, and each WiFi Pod needs to be ordered one at a time, so the overall process may seem slow if a customer ends up needing all three boosters.

As a last-ditch attempt to fulfil the guarantee, Virgin may send out an engineer to check the positioning of the main router and each of the WiFi boosters, but if the service fails to deliver the guarantee of 30Mbps, customers will be given a £100 off their bill.

Connect app

The Virgin Connect app allows customers to manage their home wi-fi, and it's designed to help customers:

  • Testing wi-fi performance from room to room
  • Pause the wi-fi signal to specific devices
  • Deal with connection problems (including rebooting the Hub)
  • Connect to Virgin Media wi-fi hotspots (which include 250+ London Underground stations and all Glasgow Subway stations, plus loads in other countries)

The Connect app can help to setup the WiFi Max system, as well as keep an eye on any issues that might develop. It's a useful way to communicate with Virgin Media regarding any broadband problems too.


Customer service

Summary: Virgin Media have improved complaints levels in 2022, but are now under investigation for how they've handled cancellations.

Virgin Media generally rank around the industry average for customer service, which is fair considering they're the third largest provider.

However, they've recently come under fire for complaints around how easy it is for customers to cancel services or switch away, with Ofcom currently investigating them.

On the flip side, because they operate their own network, they also tend to have fast fault resolution times, whereas resellers of Openreach usually have longer waiting times to get an engineer out to customers.

Virgin Media's complaint levels have improved after they peaked in 2021, however as you can see from the chart below, they still come in higher than many other providers.

When the Q1 2021 complaints figures were announced, revealing a spike of 33 complaints per 100,000 customers for the quarter, we spoke to Virgin Media who told us, "Providing a great customer experience alongside fast, reliable services is our number one priority. Since Ofcom collected its data for this report, we have made a number of improvements to our customer service, including hiring more than 500 care agents, which has seen complaints decrease by 70% putting them at their lowest level since 2018. We will keep investing and making improvements to give our customers the high-quality service they rightly expect."

Complaints have declined since, with the latest Q2 2023 report recording just 15 complaints per 100,000 customers, putting them ahead of TalkTalk and Vodafone.

Customer satisfaction

Our independent survey of broadband customers asked questions relating to overall satisfaction, as well as how well they felt the customer service performed and if they were likely to recommend them to friends and family.

We found 80% of Virgin Media customers rated them 3 out of 5 (average) or above for satisfaction with their service overall. In addition, almost half (47%) rated them 4 or above (good) for overall satisfaction.

3 or above (average) 4 or above (good)
Satisfaction with service overall 80% 47%
Customer service 61% 31%
Likelihood to recommend 71% 35%

Virgin Media customers were happy to recommend the service to friends or family, with 71% rating 3 or above out of 5 for likelihood to recommend, and one in three (35%) saying they would recommend them.

Overall, 61% of Virgin Media customers rated them 3 or above out of 5 for customer service, with just under one in three (31%) rating them 4 or above out of 5. There were more disgruntled customers with regards to customer service, but the numbers were generally positive.

For further insight we can look into Ofcom's independent survey into customer satisfaction, last published in May 2023.

Virgin Media Industry average
Satisfaction with service overall 81% 82%
Satisfaction with speed of service 82% 80%
Customers with a reason to complain 25% 20%
Overall satisfaction with complaint handling 46% 51%

Virgin Media broadband customers were largely satisfied with the speed of their service, and their service overall.

However, they also had more customers than the industry average with a reason to complain, and less satisfaction with complaint handling. This echoes the current Ofcom investigation into complaints over cancellation and complaint handling.


Virgin Media broadband availability

Virgin Media broadband isn't available as widely as superfast broadband packages on the copper phone line network, resold by providers such as BT, TalkTalk, Sky, and Plusnet.

Yet, while these deals have near 97% UK coverage, they have top speeds of around 60Mb.

Virgin Media's fibre network now reaches 55% of the UK, around 16 million premises, and the provider has plans to expand their reach to a further 7 million homes to cover 80% of the UK by the end of 2026. So, it's a network that's rapidly growing.

It's worth nothing that at the end of 2021 Virgin Media completed their network upgrade to bring gigabit broadband speeds to every home on their network. So Virgin Media customers can choose from 54Mb to 1.13Gb download speeds.

Find out more and use our Virgin Media postcode checker to see if Virgin Media is available in your area.


Summary: Should you choose Virgin broadband?

Virgin Media have the fastest widely available broadband speed, so if it's available in your area, it's worth considering, especially for those who also want a premium TV service.

Virgin broadband pricing is also highly competitive, and is one of the cheapest deals for 100Mb+ connections.

Some of the main reasons to choose Virgin Media include:

  • Competitive pricing, especially on low to mid-tier Volt bundles
  • Market-leading whole home WiFi guarantee, promising minimum 30Mbps download speeds in every room, or a £100 bill credit
  • Latest protocol WiFi 6 router for customers who take Gig1 broadband
  • Value for money when combined with Virgin TV in pre-made bundles

However, where Virgin Media is sometimes beaten by the competition includes:

  • The very cheapest packages are found with other providers, including Hyperoptic and Community Fibre
  • Multi-gig and symmetrical upload speeds are limited to specific areas for the next few years while Virgin Media upgrade their network
  • Openreach FTTP broadband beats Virgin Media on latency rates and reliability metrics, so serious gamers might want to consider BT, Plusnet, or Sky, for example
  • Out of contract pricing can be high, Virgin send end of contract notifications, but be prepared to haggle to re-contract for a decent price

For those who want to sign up to Virgin Media broadband make sure to compare prices, because often special offers for new customers mean faster deals, or those with more services, can actually cost less.

Comments

Glen George
21 November 2020

Am a Virgin customer and it's fine when it works. The problem is it doesn't most the time. Currently on hold yet again for over an hour - no consistent internet for over a week now. Avoid it like the plague I'd suggest.

David
18 February 2019

I am switching to virgin tomorrow (19/02/2019) so we'll see how it goes ..

edward murphy
16 April 2018

I have the contractors outside my house now, laying the cables for my street. I was seriously considering signing up, to save a bit of money, but having perused the customer comments underneath the various reviews on the web, I think I'll stick with BT for the time being. Being a Virgin customer sounds like a bloomin' nightmare, lol.

Mario Stanchev
8 December 2017

I would give 0 stars if I could, do not go with Virgin ever. I have been waiting 40 days for different teams of engineers to come and do the wiring and set up my broadband. The first that came didn't want to do any job, they took pictures and left . Then the company told me they will send me the best one. Again I took a day off and waited for that guy the whole day. He came at 7:20pm, told me it's a very big job and he didn't want to stay until late, so he took pictures and he left. The customer support team also is transfering me between different operators so I didnt get any support at all. They don't want to even terminate my contract . I have had a conversation between me and the Engineer (who also told me the company is crap), so my lawyer will deal with them from now on if they don't want to terminate my contract. Let me summarise it:

Strongly recommend to avoid Virgin at all costs. Save your hassle and just go with a different broadband provider.

Amit
21 November 2017

Extremely bad service, I pay for 100MBPS but they are giving 23 to 40 MBPS, when raising a complaint they rudely argue by saying this speed is good. Then why they are charging for 100meg speed? They should charge for 40Meg.

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