Virgin Media Broadband Review

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Pros

  • High average speed
  • Wide range of package price points. 
  • Big introductory discounts

Cons

  • Coverage for its quickest speeds is not as widely available as it should be
  • Customers often complain that the customer service is not as attentive as they would like.
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Introduction

Virgin Media brings to the market some of the quickest broadband speeds a customer can get. Having started life in 2006, over the last 16 years, Virgin Media has carved out a space for itself in the UK’s broadband market and can now attest to being one of the biggest and most popular providers out there. What’s great about Virgin, is that it can provide quick speeds thanks to its own network as opposed to relying on the Openreach system which many of Virgin’s other competitors use. The downside of that is, the network is not always in every area, so if Virgin has not expanded out to where you live, you may not be able to access it. That, of course, is becoming less and less common as the company expands its network.

Price

Currently, prices start at £26.99 and go up to £50.99 a month.

Key Feature

Its own network infrastructure so it is not reliant on OpenReach.

Broadband speeds and capabilities

Virgin Media is all about the speed of its broadband. It only offers a fibre service, and has never used ADSL as a way to provide broadband to its customers. It has a wide range of packages that really vary in speeds. The slowest is its M50 package which achieves average speeds at about 50-54mb/s. The packages then move through M100, M200, M350. The company now has packages M500 and Gig1. The Gig1 package can provide speeds of up to 1,104mb/s.

The entry-level prices for any of these packages are pretty competitive. Even on broadband only deals, the company does also sometimes throw in ‘freebies’ like an O2 sim card for example. Its slowest, M50 package is currently £38 a month as there is no deal on it. Its M100 package (the next speed up) is £26.99 for the first 18 months but goes up substantially to £44 when that 18 months runs out. The M200, M350 and M500 and Gig1 packages are all £32,99, £38.99, £44.99 and £50.99 respectively. All of those are introductory prices too which, after 18 months go up, usually by about £11-12 but some packages may see hikes that are actually closer to a £20 increase.

On top of all these monthly prices is a £35 upfront cost for installation. That’s the same across all of them, whether you buy the slowest or the quickest speed offering. If you’re looking for value for money for a longer period of time therefore, going for the more expensive packages may actually be more attractive than you initially think when you whack in the upfront cost. However, you do need to question whether you need the lightning quick average speeds that the Gig1 gives you for that higher monthly cost.

Conclusion

Virgin Media has opened up the broadband market by using its own network infrastructure. While it does not reach as far and wide as OpenReach does, it does at least make the market more competitive so that OpenReach does not have a monopoly. For us, we like the wide range of price points that mean there should be a broadband package for everyone, particularly given that you do not have to buy TV or landline products with a broadband subscription too. On top of all that, Virgin Media has the ability to offer its customers the fastest speeds on the market. While the user experience may not be able to differentiate between Virgin competitor’s highest speeds of 900mb/s versus Virgin’s 1000plus mb/s , it’s great to see that the broadband providers are developing technology to keep one step ahead of each other.

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