Virgin Media M350 Fibre Broadband

Last updated: 14 March 2024   By Angela Moran

M350 fibre broadband is Virgin Media's mid-tier package, with average download speeds of 364Mb per second.

Virgin Media M350 offers plentiful broadband speeds, and can be bundled with Volt and Stream TV.

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Virgin Media M350 broadband is an excellent mid-tier option for customers who want ultrafast download speeds for a competitive monthly price.

The average download speeds of 364Mb per second at peak times will be more than adequate for most households, effectively supporting gamers, content producers, and those who work from home.

It's possible to bundle M350 broadband with Virgin Media TV, and it's included in the Big Volt Bundle for just £2.50 more per month than the broadband-only plan.

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© Virgin Media

At a glance

Price £34.50
Setup cost Free (usually £35)
Minimum term 18 months
Out of contract price £66 after 18 months
Annual price increase RPI + 3.9% from April 2025
Download speed 362Mbps
Upload speed 36Mbps
Usage allowance Unlimited
Router Hub 3 or Hub 4
WiFi guarantee 30Mbps for £8/mth
Parental controls Virgin Media Web Safe
Home phone Optional
Anytime calls £10/mth (inc. UK mobiles)
TV Optional: TV 360 or Stream
Pros Cons
Competitively priced with ultrafast speeds Upload speeds aren't symmetrical and only 36Mb per second on average
Volt and TV bundles offer exceptional value for money Comes with a WiFi 5 router either the Hub 4 or older Hub 3
Real world tests faster than advertised average speeds Home phone option expensive unless taken with Volt

Special offers

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) (Ends 30/04/2024)
M350 Volt Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 362Mb average £37.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35) + O2 mobile SIM with 6GB data, unlimited minutes and texts

Who is M350 fibre broadband best suited for?

Virgin Media M350 is the provider's mid-tier plan, so it's great for families and households who want ultrafast broadband, but with an eye to their monthly outgoings.

The average advertised download speed of 362Mb per second will be enough to support a wide range of devices and multiple people wanting to get online at the same time, even when carrying out bandwidth heavy activities like gaming and streaming.

Virgin Media M350 is suitable for:

  • Larger households where multiple people want to get online at the same time
  • Gaming in HD and Ultra HD
  • Download large files quickly, including full game files for PS5 and Xbox
  • Streaming in HD and Ultra HD on multiple devices at once
  • Working from home on a reliable and fast connection

For an extra £2.50 per month it's possible to bundle M350 with Virgin TV 360, Volt and home phone calls with the Big Volt Bundle, so that's a deal worth considering.

While M350 should provide connection speeds adequate for even the most demanding households, customers who go online a lot may want to consider the next step up to M500 as it's currently on offer for less than M350, at just £33 per month - see the deal here.

Compare the latest Virgin Media prices.


What does Virgin Media M350 broadband offer?

Virgin Media's M350 broadband plan offers average download speeds of 362Mb per second, and average upload speeds of 36Mb per second.

It generally uses coaxial cable to the home, but many parts of Virgin Media's network are being upgraded to full fibre to the home, which should support faster speeds in the future.

Here are the latest prices:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M350 Fibre Broadband 362Mb average £35 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £35 per month + No setup fee (was £35) (Ends 30/04/2024)
M350 Volt Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 362Mb average £37.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35) + O2 mobile SIM with 6GB data, unlimited minutes and texts
M350 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 362Mb average £46 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)

Virgin Media often runs different offers for new customers, which at the time of writing, could make the M350 Volt plan the best choice in terms of value for money.

Volt boosts broadband speeds, so you're effectively getting M350 broadband for the price of the M250 plan. It also includes a range of extras, such as a free whole home WiFi guarantee, a 6GB O2 mobile SIM, and a home phone with free calls to UK landlines at the weekend.

However, the Big Volt Bundle arguably offers an even better choice for M350, as it bundles Virgin TV 360, with all Volt benefits, and costs less at just £36.99 per month. We look at this option in more detail below.

All M350 package options come with an 18-month minimum term, and setup is currently free for new customers under offer, as it usually costs £35.

The price on all plans will increase at the end of the minimum term, but Virgin Media will send customers an end of contract notification giving them time to switch away or negotiate a new cheaper price.

For example, Ofcom research found around 10% of Virgin Media customers re-contracted with them at the end of their minimum terms, and saved on average around £7.74 per month for doing so.

Lastly, it's worth being aware Virgin Media have recently changed their policy on annual price rises to bring them in line with partner company O2. So, the provider now reserves the right to increase prices by Retail Price Index (RPI) + 3.9% in April of each year, although they've said customers signing up now won't see price rises until April 2025.

Annual price rises aren't unusual in the broadband market place, but are worth factoring in to any budgeting calculations when choosing the right broadband deal.

M350 broadband + calls

Virgin Media M350 broadband can be taken with a home phone line and calls, although depending on the package chosen, it can be cost prohibitive to do so.

At the time of writing, if customers opt for M350 Volt with calls it's only £3.49 more per month for the home phone line. Yet, taken without Volt, M350 broadband and calls is £11.50 more per month, which makes it a slightly less attractive option.

Where the phone is bundled customers get free calls to UK landlines at the weekend. They can also upgrade the call plan to one of the following options:

Call plan Includes Monthly price
Weekend & evening chatter Calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles 7pm to 7am during the week and all weekend £5
Anytime chatter Calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles at any time £10
International anytime chatter Calls to UK landlines and UK mobiles at any time, plus calls to 50 destinations worldwide £15

Regular home phone users may well benefit from the calling plans available, even if the monthly fee increases.

Yet it's also worth remembering M350 + Volt plans come with an O2 mobile sim with unlimited minutes to UK landlines and UK mobiles, so this could also be used for free phone calls at any time.


M350 broadband + TV

Virgin Media M350 fibre broadband is available bundled with some of their TV plans, and this can also be a good way to get the package with extra benefits included.

Package TV Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M350 Fibre Broadband + Stream 52 362Mb average £35 £35 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £35 per month + Get 10% Stream credit back on every subscription you add to Stream (Ends 30/04/2024)
Big Volt bundle 117 132Mb average £37.99 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35) + O2 mobile SIM with 10GB data, unlimited minutes and texts (Ends 24/04/2024)
Bigger Combo bundle + Sports HD 195 264Mb average £65 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)

M350 is included in both the Big Volt Bundle, which includes Virgin Media's TV 360 box, along with 100 channels, free calls to UK landlines at the weekend, and a 10GB O2 SIM.

Price wise the Big Volt Bundle is a no brainer as it costs £1 less than the M350 broadband and phone plan with Volt, meaning customers get the TV 360 box and pay less each month.

For sports fans, M350 is also included in the Bigger Volt Bundle + Sports HD, this plan includes Sky Sports in HD, as well as more entertainment and documentary channels, with a count of over 190.

Virgin Media Stream is also an option worth considering, and can be added to M350 broadband only, or broadband and phone.

Instead of being a traditional pay TV service, Stream is a set-top box that allows customers to stream their subscription content and take premium packages of channels on monthly contracts. It also costs £35 upfront, while the TV 360 option is currently offering free setup.

Finally, while the TV and broadband bundles of M350 are cheaper or a similar price for new customers compared to the broadband and phone only option, customers should be aware of higher out of contract prices.

At the end of the minimum term the monthly price of TV and broadband bundles with Virgin Media can jump steeply, and so the above information around negotiating a cheaper price when the minimum term ends is just as important here.


M350 vs M500 broadband

Because Virgin Media offer a range of broadband download speeds customers looking to sign up may ask whether they should opt for a faster plan.

The next step up from M350 broadband is M500, which offers average download speeds of 516Mb per second, and recently increased upload speeds of 52Mb per second.

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M350 Fibre Broadband 362Mb average £35 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £35 per month + No setup fee (was £35) (Ends 30/04/2024)
M500 Fibre Broadband 516Mb average £35 Free 18 months
offer Offer: 500Mb broadband for the price of 350Mb + No setup fee (was £35) (Ends 30/04/2024)

At the time of writing M500 broadband-only is actually £1.50 cheaper per month compared to M350, yet offers download speeds more than 150Mbps faster, and faster upload speeds too.

M500 also opens the door to TV and broadband bundles including the Bigger Volt Bundle which offers over 190 channels, as well as the Mega Volt Bundle, something that may be of interest to those wanting more TV options.

Should you upgrade?

With current offers making M500 cheaper than M350 for broadband-only plans it's a no brainer that prospective customers should plump for the faster plan. Although it's worth bearing in mind out of contract prices for M500 will be higher than for M350, so ensuring you switch or recontract at the end of the minimum term is important to avoid losing those extra savings.

Those who want a bigger TV package from Virgin Media may also be more inclined to take the upgrade as it's bundled with plans that include more channels.

Overall, on broadband speeds alone, most households will find M350 more than adequate even with multiple devices and users wanting to go online at the same time, but current offers make the upgrade worth serious consideration.


How does Virgin M350 compare?

Virgin Media M350 stands fairly alone in the 350Mb range of download speeds, as other full fibre providers tend to offer packages around 150Mb and then jump up to 500Mb.

This can make it difficult to compare Virgin's M350 on a like-for-like basis against rival providers.

However, we can look at packages priced around the same level to see what customers could get for the same money elsewhere:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
M350 Fibre Broadband 362Mb average £35 Free 18 months
offer Offer: Reduced price: £35 per month + No setup fee (was £35) (Ends 30/04/2024)
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 500Mb average £33.99 Free 24 months
offer Offer: Save over £19/mth + No setup fee + Exclusive offers and discounts for Plusnet customers

As you can see from the table above it's possible to get faster average download speeds of 500Mbps with Vodafone and Sky Ultrafast Plus for a little less each month. However, other providers, including TalkTalk and Plusnet, charge more.

Customers looking at more highly rated providers who have a stronger track record for customer service and reliability, like Sky, can get 145Mbps speeds for £28 per month, or the faster 500Mbps plan for £33.

Vodafone and TalkTalk both offer these full fibre plans over the Openreach and CityFibre networks, meaning they cover over 15.5 million premises. Sky uses only the Openreach network, so availability is less at around 12.5 million premises.

Virgin Media use their own network which has a different footprint to the other providers, yet currently passes more properties at just over 16.1 million.

Availability is highly likely to be a deciding factor when looking at rival ultrafast packages with speeds in excess of 100Mb per second. As such, it's always worth checking availability in your specific area.

Read more about Virgin Media's availability checker and find out what broadband speed you need in these guides.


How fast is Virgin Media M350?

Virgin Media M350 broadband offers an advertised average download speed of 362Mb per second, and an average upload speed of 36Mb per second.

Advertised average speeds must be delivered to at least 50% of a provider's customer base during the peak hours of 8pm to 10pm when the network is busiest. So, we know from this the majority of customers will be getting the headline speed or faster.

Virgin Media also provide some extra information on speeds for M350:

  • Estimated speeds at peak times will range between 366Mb and 381Mb per second
  • Upload speeds will range between 36Mb and 37Mb per second
  • The minimum guaranteed speed for M350 is 181Mb per second

While the above speeds may vary depending on a customer's location, the personalised minimum guaranteed speed given at the time of sign up is enforceable under Ofcom's code of practice on broadband speeds.

As a signatory, Virgin Media have agreed to allow customers to exit their contracts early and without penalty if they fail to deliver the minimum guaranteed speed for 3 consecutive days and they can't fix the issue within 30 days.

However, when we tested their minimum speeds, our given guarantee was for just 181Mbps, which is exactly half of the advertised average of 362Mbps. So, customers may feel short-changed if their enforceable speed is that low.

Ofcom also publish bi-annual reports that show how major broadband packages perform in real world tests, and M350 has been a part of that report for several years.

The most recent research published in September 2023 showed M350 outperformed their advertised average by a margin of 13Mb per second at peak times.

Advertised average download speed Average over 24 hours Average at peak times
Virgin Media M350 362Mb 380.90Mb 373.68Mb

This independent research, drawn from a panel of 100 users, shows Virgin Media M350 broadband is delivering its headline speeds by an excess of 11Mb per second at peak times, and 18Mb faster over 24 hours.

Upload speeds

The average upload speeds Virgin Media offer with M350 is 36Mbps and the expected speed range for upload speeds is between 36Mbps and 37Mbps.

The latest testing from Ofcom shows an average of 36.54Mbps, so the package is living up to expectations on this score too.

However, customers who are comparing M350 to full fibre broadband packages should bear in mind that Virgin do not offer symmetrical upload speeds as some full fibre broadband providers do.

Providers like Hyperoptic and Community Fibre offer the same upload speeds as download speeds, although it's notable that providers on the Openreach fibre to the premises (FTTP) are in the same position as Virgin Media, so upload speeds will be more similar on widely available deals.

While upload speeds are not as important as download speeds, it's still something to be aware of when comparing broadband packages.

Reliability

Virgin Media broadband ranks highly in our guide to broadband reliability, mainly thanks to their market-leading WiFi guarantee and fast fault resolution times.

This means that even drops in performance are offset by the high speeds and most customers won't see any noticeable dips.

All the same, there are caveats to the performance of M350 that should be mentioned:

  • The latency of the package is around double that of BT's full fibre packages. This is the time it takes for actions to be completed and, while it's still only around 15ms, Virgin's technology means latency on their lines is higher.
  • Virgin's packages have a slower web page loading time than BT full fibre, and even a number of fibre to the cabinet deals. With an average of 406.25ms on the M350 plan, compared to 94.18ms on BT's 300Mb fibre to the premises connection.

Overall, the high speeds offered by Virgin M350 do much to mask these technical difficulties and the majority of customers wouldn't notice them at all.

In the longer term, Virgin Media are committed to upgrading their coaxial to the home connections to full fibre, although this is unlikely to be completed on a nationwide basis before 2028.


Router

Virgin Media M350 broadband customers will be provided with a WiFi Hub, which is likely to be either the Hub 3 or Hub 4 version.

Neither version is the latest router offered by Virgin Media, but the Hub 5 is limited in availability and so reserved for customers taking their fastest Gig1 plan.

Even customers on the faster M500 package will likely be sent the Hub 3 or 4 depending on availability of the devices.

That said, both the Hub 3 and 4 have been kept updated, with improvements made to channel optimisation, band steering and WiFi sharing in 2019, and again in 2021.

These improvements meant connected devices were more easily able to switch to less crowded WiFi channels and to switch between frequencies to allow for more optimised performance. Airtime fairness improvements also mean WiFi signal is allocated more fairly across different devices.

The Hub 3 and Hub 4 both offer:

  • Dual-band wireless
  • WiFi 5 protocol support
  • Smart channel selection
  • 4 x 1Gb Ethernet LAN ports
  • Intelligent WiFi with mesh
  • Support for up to 20 devices at once

The Hub 4 does benefit from a stronger antenna setup with 7 internal antennas compared to 5 with the Hub 3. Existing customers who are struggling with their wireless signal can request a router upgrade if they've been sent the Hub 3 or earlier.

Both Hubs support mesh, and can be used with Virgin Media's WiFi Max guarantee that provides mesh discs to expand a wireless network seamlessly around larger homes. The add-on costs £8 per month, but those taking M350 with Volt will get it included for free.

Connect app

Virgin also offer a Connect app which functions with the Hub 3 and 4 to manage wi-fi around the home. It offers the following features:

  • Testing home wi-fi performance
  • Pausing wi-fi signal to specific devices
  • Dealing with any connection problems
  • Connecting to Virgin Media wi-fi hotspots outside the home.

The app is a neat extra for customers taking Virgin broadband, helping them understand and manage the wi-fi signal around their home.


Verdict: Is Virgin Media M350 any good?

M350 fibre broadband from Virgin Media has settled in its place as the provider's mid-tier speed option, sitting comfortably between their entry level M125 and M250 plans, and the faster M500 and Gig1.

We like M350 broadband because:

  • Real world performance exceeds advertised average speeds
  • The monthly price is competitive, especially when taking M350 with Volt
  • TV bundles offer excellent value for money with the TV 360 box included for less each month with the Big Volt Bundle
  • Availability for ultrafast speeds with M350 is over 55% of UK homes with Virgin Media

362Mb download speeds should suffice for even the most demanding homes, while M350 also provides value for money for households on a budget.

Although current special offers mean M250 broadband is noticeably cheaper at just £27 per month, and the faster M500 is also cheaper than M350 at just £33 per month, which means customers should probably go up or down a little for the best deal.

Still unsure? Read more in our in-depth look at Virgin Media's full range of broadband services.

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