Hyperoptic vs Virgin Media: Which is best?

Last updated: 11 September 2022   By Samantha Smith

Hyperoptic and Virgin Media are two of the fastest broadband providers in the UK, although only Virgin services are widely available.

Hyperoptic are the more competitive provider, offering shorter contracts and cheaper prices alongside excellent download and upload speeds.

Virgin Media's expansion of their Gig1 service brings 1Gb speeds to over 15 million households while Hyperoptic's availability is so far limited to 900,000 premises across the UK.

While we'd readily choose Hyperoptic in a straight battle, the lack of availability means this isn't a realistic choice for most.

hyperoptic vs virgin media

At a glance

Overall winner Hyperoptic
Packages Hyperoptic
Price Hyperoptic
Speed Virgin Media
Router Virgin Media
Customer service Hyperoptic
Bundles Virgin Media


Hyperoptic Virgin Media
Price From £17.99/mth From £25/mth
Superfast broadband 57Mb 54Mb
Ultrafast broadband 158Mb, 522Mb, 900Mb 108Mb, 213Mb, 362Mb, 516Mb, 1.13Gb
Home phone Optional Optional
Inclusive calls Evenings & weekends Weekends
TV None Extra cost
Minimum term 30-days 18-months

Special offers

Virgin Media are one of the UK's four biggest providers. Here are some of their latest deals for new customers:

Offer Terms

£50 bill credit with Virgin M125 broadband, just £26.50/mth

Hurry! Offer ends in 6 days!
14 December 2023

18 month minimum term. No setup fee. £49/mth after 18 months.

Virgin Media Bigger Sports Combo HD Bundle just £62 a month with free setup (worth £35)

18 month minimum term. No set up fee. £137/mth after 18 months.

Given that Hyperoptic sell what could be considered a premium product to a much more targeted audience, we'd be forgiven for thinking they wouldn't go in for introductory offers - but we'd be wrong.

In fact, they often run introductory discounts on each of their 12-month packages; these are the main deals they're offering at present:

Offer Terms

Up to 6 months free on selected 24-month Hyperoptic plans

Hurry! Offer ends in 3 days!
11 December 2023

24 month minimum term. Up to £19 setup fee. From £47/mth after 6 months.

Broadband deals

Winner: Hyperoptic offer cheaper broadband deals than Virgin Media, they also offer more contract options and cheaper upfront fees.

Hyperoptic and Virgin Media offer a range of broadband speeds from 50Mb all the way up to 900Mb or 1Gb.

All Virgin Media broadband contracts are on 18-month contracts while Hyperoptic customers can choose from the cheapest 24-month deals, 12-month plans or choose a rolling 30-day package.

While these two providers are primarily focused on faster speed packages, they both offer entry-level superfast deals around the 50Mb mark along with a 100Mb+ package:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Fast 50Mb (24 months) 57Mb average £25 £19 24 months
Superfast (24 months) 158Mb average Free
for 3 mths,
then £35
£19 24 months
offer Offer: 3 months free (Ends 11/12/2023)
M125 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 132Mb average £34 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)
M50 Fibre Broadband + Weekend chatter 54Mb average £28 Free 18 months
offer Offer: No setup fee (was £35)

There are a couple of important differences between the two broadband providers:

  • Hyperoptic is usually cheaper per month, though it's worth noting that Virgin packages include a home phone line (Hyperoptic customers will need to pay extra for that - more below)
  • While Virgin Media do offer broadband without a home phone, but these packages are often more expensive than taking broadband with a landline
  • Virgin's upfront costs are slightly higher than Hyperoptic's, however both ISPs frequently run offers eliminating or reducing these set-up fees

As we've already mentioned, 24-month contracts are the cheapest available from Hyperoptic, with customers paying a few pounds more to take a 12-month plan and a little bit more again to take rolling deals.

One further point on pricing: Hyperoptic are committed to no in-contract price rises while Virgin are known to raise prices during contracts (but do offer customers the option to leave if they're unhappy with them).

Ultrafast broadband

Ultrafast and gigabit capable broadband packages from the two providers follow the same pattern in terms of pricing.

Virgin offer M200 and M350 plans, but their comparable plans with Hyperoptic are M500 and Gig1:

Package Broadband Monthly price Upfront price Contract term
Ultrafast (24 months) 522Mb average Free
for 6 mths,
then £47
£19 24 months
offer Offer: 6 months free (Ends 11/12/2023)
Hyperfast (24 months) 900Mb average Free
for 3 mths,
then £45
£19 24 months
offer Offer: 3 months free (Ends 11/12/2023)
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)

Again, we see the same differences in terms of contract length, landline and monthly costs, with Hyperoptic usually the most competitively priced of the two, especially when we look at the Hyperoptic Hyperfast plan.

Virgin also offer Volt packages that combine Virgin broadband services with O2 mobile SIMs. These can add extra value to plans, and Hyperoptic doesn't have anything comparable.


Winner: Hyperoptic are cheaper than Virgin Media, both for their fixed term broadband contracts and shorter rolling deals.

Hyperoptic's pricing structure is clearer and cheaper than Virgin Media's, plus their flexibility means customers can choose a price point that works for them.

It also makes sense for Hyperoptic customers to go broadband only, while Virgin's approach to home phone deals means it's usually cheaper to take broadband with an unwanted phone line than to get rid of it altogether.

So, on price alone, Hyperoptic is the winner here.


Winner: Virgin Media offers a faster broadband service than Hyperoptic, with their Gig1 package beating Hyperoptic's Hyperfast deal.

Both Hyperoptic and Virgin Media provide fibre broadband direct to their customers, cutting out the Openreach network entirely and meaning they can deliver ultrafast speeds across their networks.

Hyperoptic introduced a mid-range ultrafast package in November 2019, plugging the gap between the 150Mb and 900Mb packages.

Meanwhile, Virgin unbundled their 500Mb broadband for the first time in June 2020, offering the fastest most widely available speeds in the UK to around 15 million customers before expanding their Gig1 service to all customers by the end of 2021.

Ofcom have included some of Virgin's packages in their most recent report on real-world broadband speeds:

Ofcom average speeds, published March 2023
Advertised average speed Over 24hrs Peak time
(8-10pm weekdays)
Virgin Media 132Mb 110.78Mb 109.76Mb
Virgin Media 264Mb 217.77Mb 216.14Mb
Virgin Media 362Mb 380.56Mb 375.94Mb
Virgin Media 516Mb 533.91Mb 514.59Mb
Virgin Media 1130Mb 1138.79Mb 1127.67Mb

Judging from these results, Virgin's speeds are within the range of their promises.

Unfortunately, Hyperoptic aren't big enough to be included in Ofcom's results, so we don't know if their speeds live up to the billing.

Yet providers must only advertise speeds that can be attained by 50% of their customers at peak times, and it's worth noting that Hyperoptic have slightly upgraded their average speeds on their superfast and ultrafast plans as their customer data expands:

  • 50Mb is now advertised with speeds of 57Mb
  • 150Mb is now advertised with speeds of 158Mb
  • 500Mb is now advertised with speeds of 522Mb

These slight revisions upwards suggest that Hyperoptic are meeting and slightly exceeding their promises to customers.

What about upload speeds?

Hyperoptic's upload speeds blow Virgin Media's out of the water, with symmetrical upload speeds on three of their four packages.

Package Download speed Upload speed
Hyperoptic 50Mb Fibre 57Mb 5Mb
Virgin Media M50 Fibre Broadband 54Mb 5Mb
Virgin Media M100 Fibre Broadband 108Mb 10Mb
Hyperoptic 150Mb Fibre 158Mb 158Mb
Virgin Media M200 Fibre Broadband 213Mb 20Mb
Virgin Media M350 Fibre Broadband 362Mb 36Mb
Hyperoptic 500Mb Fibre 522Mb 528Mb
Virgin Media M500 Fibre Broadband 516Mb 36Mb
Hyperoptic 1Gb Fibre 900Mb 900Mb
Virgin Media Gig1 1130Mb 52Mb

If upload speeds are important, it's no contest - Hyperoptic beat Virgin on all but the most basic of broadband packages.


Speed and reliability are intrinsically connected, with the technology used to deliver broadband from Hyperoptic and Virgin Media affecting how reliable it can be.

All Hyperoptic broadband is delivered via fibre to the premises (FTTP), meaning fibre goes straight into a customer's home. This is the most reliable form of broadband.

Conversely, most of Virgin Media's network is currently cable, although they are gradually rolling out full fibre technology across their network.

Cable is a slightly less reliable technology, resulting in higher latency (the amount of time it takes requests to be actioned) and disconnections, yet these are still much less of a problem than we used to have with copper-based technologies.

In terms of reliability, then, Hyperoptic is the better choice - for now.


Winner: Virgin's latest Hub 5 is one of the most powerful routers around, beating Hyperoptic's more standard Hyperhub.

Both providers offer several different routers to customers, although it isn't immediately clear in the case of Hyperoptic which router is supplied with which package.

Hyperoptic supply routers manufactured by ZTE and Nokia, with the routers optimised to handle the speeds a customer has chosen.

Meanwhile, customers taking most of Virgin's packages will receive their Hub 3, a good router that has been updated over the years with improved technology for a smoother experience.

Customers taking Gig1 from Virgin Media, however, will receive their latest Hub 5. We named this as the best router available from a UK ISP in 2022.

Here's a quick comparison of Hyperoptic's Nokia router and the Hub 5 offered by Virgin Media:

Hyperhub Hub 5
Dual band Yes Yes
Wi-fi standard Wi-Fi 5 Wi-Fi 6
Security WPA2 WPA3
Antennae 7 5
LAN 4 x 1 Gbps 1 x 2.5 Gbps
3 x 1 Gbps

The Virgin Hub 5 utilises the latest wi-fi standard and security protocols, putting it slightly ahead of its rival.

That said, the hubs offered by Hyperoptic are high quality and will work effectively for customers.

It should be noted that, while there was a security alert on a router supplied by Hyperoptic in 2018, this was patched and is no longer an issue.

Speed boosters

Mesh speed boosting systems are offered by both Hyperoptic and Virgin Media to allow customers to improve their home broadband speeds.

Hyperoptic introduced their Total Wi-Fi service in early 2022 which costs £7 per month on top of a customer's broadband bill.

They will be supplied with a Minihub that matches their router, with both ZTE and Nokia hubs available.

Only customers on 12-month or 24-month plans can purchase Total Wi-Fi, and existing customers may need to sign a new contract to add it to their plan.

Meanwhile, Virgin launched a new guarantee in September 2022 which promises minimum download speeds of 20Mb in every room or customers can claim £100 back.

Again, Virgin supply WiFi Pods to help accomplish this and the service is free for customers on Gig1 or Volt bundles while it costs £8 per month for everyone else.

The booster pods from both providers are comparable in price, yet Virgin offering a threshold that services should meet or customers will get money back is a welcome addition.

Learn more about speed boosters and broadband speed guarantees.

Customer service

Winner: Hyperoptic have a strong reputation for customer service online, while Virgin Media's service figures are worrying.

Hyperoptic aren't big enough yet to be featured in Ofcom's annual Customer Service Quality reports or the complaints data they produce quarterly, so it's difficult to say how good their customer service really is.

One indicator we have is their Trustpilot ranking that is currently Excellent, with a score of 4.6 from over 16,000 reviews.

In contrast, Virgin Media have a Poor score of 2.0 based on over 63,000 reviews, although this covers multiple services such as TV and mobile.

Overall, we have far more customer service data for Virgin Media, including these customer satisfaction figures:

Virgin Media
Customer satisfaction 78%
Satisfaction with speed of service 79%
Customers with reason to complain 23%
Average call wait time for support 3 minutes, 45 seconds
Satisfaction with complaints handling 45%
Complaints to Ofcom per 100,000 subscribers 78

Virgin's figures in this latest report were markedly down on the previous year's, with customers highlighting them as one of two providers least likely to be recommended.

They had the highest level of complaints in 2021, although their figures in 2022 are improving, and lower customer satisfaction than the industry average.

Even with no concrete customer service data, Hyperoptic edge this one thanks to their superior Trustpilot reputation.

Other factors to consider

Before rushing to sign up there are a couple of other factors to consider.

TV services from Virgin Media

Virgin may be best known for their broadband, but they're also Sky's biggest rival for TV services, offering everything from entertainment bundles up to Sky Cinema and Sky Sport additions.

Find out more in our full review of Virgin's TV services or read about their streaming only solution launched in 2022 called Stream.

Hyperoptic, meanwhile, provide broadband fast enough to deal with any number of Ultra HD Netflix streams, but anyone looking for more than broadband and phone in one package is out of luck.


Having shown just how competitive these two ultrafast broadband providers can be, it's time to return to the main issue for most of us: availability.

Virgin Media cover over 15 million premises with their network while Hyperoptic's footprint is currently only around 900,000 households.

To find out if Virgin Media and/or Hyperoptic are available in your area, check with the postcode tool below:

Since Hyperoptic connected their first building in London in 2011, they have substantially expanded their network.

Although ambitious extension plans to reach two million premises by the end of 2022 was put back a year to 2023. They are currently active in almost 60 towns and cities across the country.

But even though Virgin Media are widely available in towns and cities - and are expanding - they still only cover just over half of the popular and even in fairly solid Virgin Media areas there are pockets of streets or buildings that miss out.

Search and compare broadband in your area here.

Verdict: Hyperoptic or Virgin Media?

Overall winner: Hyperoptic beat Virgin Media with their cheaper pricing and phenomenal upload speeds.

The speeds offered by Hyperoptic and Virgin Media are excellent, even by the standards of the ultrafast broadband rollout.

Hyperoptic are ahead on some critical measures such as:

  • Cheaper monthly prices
  • Cheaper upfront costs
  • Unparalleled upload speeds
  • High levels of customer satisfaction

Meanwhile, Virgin Media win on:

  • TV service to bundle with broadband
  • Number of package choices
  • Availability

In an ideal world, we'd choose Hyperoptic every time, even though the reality is that Virgin Media's services are going to be available to many more households.

With 1Gb broadband on the rise, however, it's likely these two will continue to grow and attract more customers as they expand further across the country in 2022 and beyond.

Read more in our in-depth guide to Hyperoptic broadband and Virgin Media broadband, or compare deals here.


Barbara Dickson
24 January 2019

Don't believe the hype! Been a customer of Hyperoptic for more than 4 years and I wouldn't recommend it, even though I am paying for the 150GB fibre service. You see they don't measure speeds using wireless, they only accept a measurement of speed while connected to the router with an ethernet cable, which obviously provides very different speed figures than a wireless use. It seems stupid since the whole point of the router hub provided is to have a wireless service! Also their service is very regularly down with damaged cables etc that need to be fixed in the building and they never credit you or refund for no service periods, of which there are plenty. If you need internet reliability then avoid Hyperoptic.

Lastly the customer service is horrendous. You will need to send an abundance of emails seeking assistance, all with the usual non helpful customer service attitudes, where they don't read your email so don't give you a solution to your problem, but instead a solution to a problem they've made up in their heads! Every problem will take at least a week to resolve, even by phone. They will continuously pass you around from person to person and department to department. Lastly, be aware if you change plans as they will rip you off. They make major financial mistakes with accounts when the amounts needing to be paid via direct debit change, they take way more money than they should and their bills are incorrect too. When you point this out they will do the passing around departments and tell you it's correct, hoping you'll go away. I have changed plans and they charged me VAT twice as well as the same amount of days on the old plan and still charged me those days on the new plan too!

Sharm Malam replying to Barbara Dickson
8 February 2019

Your networking ideas are pretty poor, wireless is always going to be the loser when it comes to gig networks, most appliances are not even going be able to handle gig speeds unless they have 802.11ac (newer appliances will have this) implemented. All speeds from all ISPs are calculated using cabled tests, the fact that you don't realise that cabled is always going to be winner vs wireless is poor.

A router is not a wireless god send, it's designed to do routing, the best routers in the world actually don't even have wireless implementation in them because adding radios to a cabled infrastructure cause EMI and if you are running a network that has to have no interference you're better off not using wireless radios.

Apart from that your customer and service review is your own view, I have no view on that, just pointing your lack of knowledge in the networking department before you lead people in the wrong direction.

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