Virgin Media Broadband Review

9 min Read Published: 10 Jan 2024

Virgin Media is a giant in the broadband and TV world. It has a reputation for fast speeds, innovative cable technology and some adverts starring Usain Bolt. But can it compete with some of the newest breakthroughs in broadband infrastructure, as well as an increasing number of low-cost challengers? There are also the other big names in broadband – like Sky and BT – battling for customers. Our independent review looks at the key features, the pros and cons of choosing Virgin Media broadband, and how it compares to other broadband providers.

We recommend that you read the review in full however you can jump to specific sections of the review using the following links:

Virgin Media broadband key features

Virgin broadband offers a superfast service that is available to around 56% of UK households. Speeds begin at 50Mbps – a much higher entry level compared to BT or Sky – and broadband deals are available as part of bundles including TV and mobile (provided by O2). Here are some of the key features of Virgin Media broadband packages.

Package Download speed Minimum contract length TV package available Phone line required Setup cost Monthly cost
M50 54Mbps 18* months Yes No £0* £28.00
M125 132Mbps 18* months Yes No £0* £26.50
M250 264Mbps 18* months Yes No £0* £30.50
M350 362Mbps 18* months Yes No £0* £34.50
M500 516Mbps 18 months Yes No £0 £38.50
Gig1 1130Mbps 18 months Yes No £0 £45.00

*Virgin Media also offers a 30 day rolling contract for its M50, M125, M250 and M350 services, though these deals come with an installation and contract fee of £80.

Virgin Media broadband packages

Virgin broadband is currently available in six main packages. Here we break down each one to help you work out what would best suit your household. If you are unsure whether Virgin Media’s cable broadband is for you, read our article on 'Which broadband is best?'.

Virgin Media M50

Download speed: 54Mbps

According to Ofcom the average UK broadband speed was 69.4Mbps in 2023, so the M50 package may be slightly below what most households are used to. This will likely suit small households with one or two users not looking to stream or download more than one piece of content at a time. You can read our article 'What broadband speed do I need?' if you are unsure how fast a broadband connection your household needs.

Make sure you shop around before you opt for the M50 package, as Virgin Media regularly discounts its faster M125 deal below the M50 price.

Virgin Media M125

Download speed: 132Mbps

The M125 will be a good fit for busy households with high usage. 132Mbps is almost double the 2023 average UK speed, so should be more than enough for average users streaming TV and films, sending emails and making video calls. This broadband speed will also support higher users streaming from multiple devices at once, watching TV in 4K and downloading large files.

Virgin Media M250

Download speed: 264Mbps

The M250 is comparable to full fibre services from Virgin Media’s rivals. It can support high levels of downloads and streaming, so could be a good option for serious gamers or a household of multiple home workers.

Virgin Media M350

Download speed: 362Mbps

For around 10% more on your monthly bill, the M350 can offer an extra 149Mbps compared to the M200. This may be appealing for anyone looking to maximise the feeling of getting value for your money, but it is important to try and only pay for the download speed you need.

The M350 can support multiple devices across your home, so could be a good option if you have a lot of smart devices connected to your Wi-Fi.

Virgin Media M500

Download speed: 516Mbps

The M500 will give you significantly faster download speeds compared to the M350, but the same upload speed. This could be a problem for users who rely on uploading large files.

If everything in your home – dishwasher, thermostat, watch, doorbell, fridge, cat – is connected to the internet, you may be looking at the M500. It should be able to support this kind of extensive continuous usage without slowing down additional streaming or downloading.

Virgin Media Gig1

Download speed: 1,130Mbps

This is the fastest package Virgin broadband offers and will let you watch multiple 4K streams at once, download huge files quickly and video call your friends at the same time.

Only a few households are likely to need this level of download speed, especially as the upload speed is a comparatively disappointing 52Mbps. However, for the households that do get this package and are able to reach the top speed, they will be getting one of the fastest internet connections available in the UK.

How much does Virgin Media broadband cost?

Virgin Media broadband is expensive, but there are deals to be had. Some 18-month deals offer an almost 50% discount, plus a bill credit or voucher. This means you can get some very fast speeds at a price you might normally expect to pay for a standard fibre package.

However, these are limited time deals. Without the discounts, Virgin Media can be a pricey option.

In some cases, adding a phone line can make Virgin Media broadband deals cheaper. It may seem odd, but Virgin services are occasionally priced more cheaply with phone calls added to the package than without, so make sure to compare broadband deals and bundles to find the cheapest offer.

Bundling your entertainment services could help make an expensive broadband service better value. If you already have a TV subscription with a different provider like Sky or NOW, check if adding entertainment to your Virgin broadband instead might help lower your overall monthly costs.

Product name Speed Minimum contract length Setup cost Monthly cost
M50 54Mbps 18 £0 £28.00
M125 132Mbps 18 £0 £26.50
M250 264Mbps 18 £0 £30.50
M350 362Mbps 18 £0 £34.50
M500 516Mbps 18 £0 £38.50
Gig1 1130Mbps 18 £0 £45.00

Will Virgin Media broadband prices increase in 2024?

Many providers hike the price of broadband packages every year, even for customers who are still under contract. Sometimes the price increase is in line with the rate of inflation, but at other times it can exceed it. In some instances a provider may choose to keep prices down in order to beat competing offers, but that seems unlikely for 2024.

Virgin Media looks likely to raise the cost of its broadband packages again in 2024, but as it does not include any annual price rise in its contract terms, customers will be able to switch to a different provider or cancel their contract for free if prices do go up.

Virgin Media broadband extras

A Virgin Media broadband deal can seem like much better value for money if you are able to bundle together services you already use into one monthly package. For example, if you already have Sky Sports, Virgin Media’s ‘Bigger bundle + Sports’ offers a broadband service and eight Sky Sports channels. This also includes a calls package. This could save you money versus paying for each service separately. The downside is that the bundles are not flexible, so you will need to sign up for a fixed period of time.

You can also get special offers if you already have an O2 mobile phone deal, or you can add an O2 sim to your Virgin Media package. This bundling does not offer the same value as sports, because there are so many cheap sim deals on the market, whereas sports packages are limited to a few providers. Therefore, it may be cheaper to buy a sim card from a different provider separately.

If you are a student, you may be able to access special discounts from Virgin Media in the summer before the new academic year. In previous years, students have been able to get up to £20 off the standard price of a package and on a reduced 12 month contract – otherwise not available with Virgin Media. Customers will need an email address ending in ‘’ to access these deals.

Does Virgin Media offer social broadband?

Yes. Customers receiving  Universal Credit, Pension Credit, Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Income-based Employment Support Allowance can access a discounted Virgin Media deal.

This is offered on the M50 plan for £20 per month or a reduced-speed 15Mbps for 12.50 a month. The offer is available on a rolling 30-day contract with no installation fee, though customers on the M50 plan can pay a £20 set-up fee for a free Virgin Media streaming box.

Does Virgin Media have a good router?

Virgin Media broadband packages now come with its Hub 4 router as standard, except for Gig1 customers who will receive a Hub 5 router. If you have been with Virgin Media for a while, you may still have the Hub 3.

The Hub 3 is a decent router, scoring 74% with Which? thanks to its coverage, useful app and parental control settings. However, its speeds were not the best when tested by Which? and the configuration was noticeably tricky to set up. Its score puts it below competitors BT, Sky, Vodafone and EE.

The Hub 4 is an upgrade on the Hub 3 and has all of the same features. It should help those customers with larger homes make sure their Wi-Fi reaches every room of the house.

The Hub 5 is advertised as bringing increased coverage and reliability, plus faster speeds and a casing made from 100% recycled plastics.

Do I need a phone line with Virgin Media broadband?

Virgin Media uses cable broadband to connect customers to the internet. This means that it bypasses the phone line in your home with its own cabling network, so you won’t need a phone line to be connected.

Read our article on ‘Which broadband is best?’ to find out more about the different types of home broadband connection.

We also have an article on ‘Do you need a landline for broadband?’ to answer all your phone line questions.

Virgin Media broadband customer reviews

Virgin Media scores a seemingly low 1.7 out of 5.0 on Trustpilot, though this is actually ahead of its closest competitors. Sky scores 1.3 out of 5.0 and BT scores 1.4 out of 5.0, which suggests most of the site’s broadband reviews are negative.

The positive reviews for Virgin Media mention good customer service and fast speeds, while the negative reviews focus on poor customer service, unexpected bills and unreliable coverage.

Virgin Media came tenth out of 12 in a Which? survey of broadband providers. It scored only one out of five stars for technical support and customer service.

Ofcom research provides some better reading for Virgin Media. In a recent report, 81% of Virgin broadband customers surveyed found its overall service satisfactory. However, while this was higher than TalkTalk, Virgin’s overall score was slightly below its main rivals Sky and BT.

Virgin Media broadband pros and cons

Virgin Media broadband pros

  • Offers the fastest speeds on the market
  • Option of 30-day rolling contract
  • Ability to bundle broadband, TV, home phone and mobile
  • No need for a phone line
  • Access to Virgin Media Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Deals and discounts of up to 50% often available
  • Special deals for students
  • Discounted deal for customers on certain benefits

Virgin Media broadband cons

  • Standard prices are poor value for money compared to rivals
  • Not as widely available as Sky, BT and other competitors
  • Low Which? score for technical support
  • Relatively poor upload speeds compared to download speeds
  • TV packages are fixed-term bundles
  • High installation fees for 30-day customers
  • Long minimum contract required for free installation
  • High cancellation fee

How does Virgin Media broadband compare with other providers?

Virgin Media package Virgin Media price Competitor package offering same speed Competitor price
M50 £28.00 Sky Superfast Broadband £27.00
M125 £26.50 BT Fibre 100 £28.99
M250 £30.50 Vodafone Full Fibre 200 £30.00
M350 £34.50 Shell Energy Full Fibre 300 £40.99
M500 £38.50 Plusnet Full Fibre 500 £31.99
Gig1 £45.00 Vodafone Full Fibre 900 £36.00

Virgin is unlikely to be the cheapest option for broadband in your area, but unless you also have full fibre or mobile broadband available, it will be the fastest. There are often very good deals to be had, sometimes discounting standard prices by almost 50%. If you can get a good deal, Virgin Media can be very competitive on price, while consistently outperforming rivals on download speed.

How to compare Virgin Media broadband

One of the best ways to compare broadband packages is via a comparison site such as Uswitch*. Comparison sites allow you to compare the best deals from a number of broadband providers at once. We have partnered with Uswitch* in order to help source the best broadband deals for our readers, simply click on the link and enter your postcode to get started. Results can be tailored based on your personal preference, meaning you can filter results based on factors such as price, speed, reliability, Wi-Fi coverage and customer service. According to the latest data, customers that chose a broadband package via Uswitch saved an average of £162 per year.

Is Virgin Media broadband any good?

Virgin Media is still the speed king of the broadband industry, but its customer service record will be a worry for some people. While the standard pricing is high, some great deals mean many customers will be able to get the highest speeds around for a decent price.

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