We took a close look at Virgin Media’s broadband, TV and home phone plans to see if they are good. Here’s all you need to know …
- Virgin Media vs. Sky TV
- Virgin Media vs BT broadband
Virgin Media is one of the most expensive providers. It is similar in price to Sky for most comparable services, and is generally more expensive than “value providers”, such as TalkTalk and Plusnet.
However, for the broadband speed you get, Virgin Media actually represents good value for money.
Its M100 plan, which offers average speeds of 108 Mbps, runs at a similar price to slower plans from other providers (typically around 60 Mbps – 65 Mbps).
Plus, while it’s still more expensive than the broadband from the aforementioned value broadband specialists, you can often take advantage of time-limited deals on Virgin Media offers that make them much more attractive.
So be sure to compare and check the current costs, by clicking the button below …
See all Virgin Media offers
Virgin Media’s service portfolio includes broadband, home telephony, television and mobile telephony.
When you sign up, you can either get a ready-made package of these services or create your own package by picking and choosing the channels and broadband speed you want.
Alternatively, if you prefer, you can just get one or two serves. Home phone is not available on its own, however, you can only get it with broadband or television.
Conversely, broadband without a fixed line is available, which suits many of us quite well. The same goes for 30-day contracts on Virgin Media services, although these tend to be a bit more expensive than long-term contracts.
So overall, Virgin Media is very flexible in terms of plans, with only a few restrictions.
Virgin Media Broadband Review
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Virgin Media broadband is indeed very fast. Its widely available fiber optic plans offer average speeds of 54 Mbps, 108 Mbps, 213 Mbps, 362 Mb, or 516 Mbps. To put this in some context, BT’s fastest standard fiber broadband service offers a maximum speed of 67 Mbps.
These are “average” speeds, of course – they indicate what at least 50% of customers can get, so everyone’s Virgin Media broadband won’t necessarily reach these heights.
But with improvements to Virgin Media’s network, you should almost certainly get speeds approaching your plan’s promises.
Download limits, fair use, traffic management
All Virgin Media plans have unlimited downloads, and unlimited means unlimited – there is no usage cap.
View Virgin Media Broadband Offerings
Virgin Media TV review
Virgin Media TV offers a range of TV packages, which bundle hundreds of channels for one monthly price. Alternatively, you can add channels on a 30-day rolling contract basis with add-ons that Virgin Media calls “Personal Choices”.
Here’s a selection of what you can get with some of the Virgin Media TV packages that form the core of its offering:
- Mixed TV – More than 110 channels, including free channels and some premium channels like Sky 1; remedial and on-demand services
- Maxit TV – Over 230 channels, including BT Sport, many other HD channels and Virgin TV boxes
- Maxit TV + Sky Sports – Gives you everything offered by the standard Maxi TV package, as well as all Sky Sports channels
Maxit TV + Sky Sports HD + Sky Cinema HD + Children’s choice – Over 260 channels, including specialized children’s programs
So you get a lot of strings. Even the smallest plan is enough to compete with the most premium offerings from some providers. The only provider to beat the best package is Sky, which offers over 350 channels.
Virgin Media TV customers can also sign up for so-called Personal Choices, which are add-ons that work on a 30-day rolling contract basis. These allow you to add and subtract channels like Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, BT Sport, as well as MUTV and international channels whenever you want, with 30 days notice.
Virgin Media set-top boxes
Virgin Media offers two decoders. When you subscribe to a stand-alone TV package or to a home TV and telephone package, you get the Tivo box. But if you get a Virgin broadband, TV and home phone plan, or a plan that includes broadband, TV, home phone and mobile, you’ll get the new V6 box.
Both support plenty of streaming, catch-up, on-demand shows and of course all of your recordings. But the main difference is that with 1TB of capacity, the V6 has double that.
The old Tivo box can be a bit slow and clunky to use, especially if you’re not used to it, although the V6 is a lot smoother. Still, it’s a decent system, and one of the best around – its main rival is Sky Q.
See Virgin Media TV offers
Virgin Media Home Phone Review
Virgin home telephony includes Talk Weekends as standard, allowing you to make included calls to UK landlines on weekends.
You can switch to Talk Evenings and Weekends, Talk Unlimited (anytime calls to landlines) or Talk Unlimited Extra (anytime calls to landlines and mobiles).
It is quite comparable to other providers, although there are no real options to make international calls cheaper.
Plus, the calls covered in each plan include calls to Virgin Mobile numbers, but to include any other mobile network you need Talk Unlimited Extra… which adds quite a bit to your bill.
View Virgin Media Phone Deals
Here are some of the other things you get with Virgin Media.
- Virgin mobile – Virgin has a good range of mobile plans, including SIM-only, PAYG, and contract offers – and TV and broadband customers also get free unlimited calling to other Virgin Mobile phones.
- Virgin TV Go – The free app that lets you watch your Virgin Media TV on the go, including on-demand content and many live channels.
- Public Wi-Fi – All customers can access Virgin Media Wi-Fi hotspots, including Wi-Fi in the London Underground if you are in the capital.
- Security – With broadband you get Web Safe for free, which blocks harmful websites and includes parental controls; and a 12-month trial of F-Secure SAFE, which protects your devices against malware and viruses.
Well, it’s expensive, but Virgin Media has some of the best broadband and TV services out there. You’ll be hard pressed to find a faster internet connection, and only one other provider – Sky – can compete with TV.
This makes Virgin Media a great choice, perfect for large and shared households and families, but can be a bit too much for anyone who lives alone or doesn’t use the Internet much.
As long as it’s within your budget – and you can get it in your area, of course – we think it’s worth spending a lot of money.
Compare Virgin Media deals
Our latest Virgin Media offers
* Average speeds are based on download speeds of at least 50% of customers during peak hours (8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.). Speed can be affected by a variety of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be slower than stated above. You can check the estimated speed of your property before you buy.