Virgin Media Broadband Buyers Guide

Ultrafast high speed cable broadband available to around 60% of UK households

  • Fastest widely available broadband speed - with average download speeds of 516Mb on their fastest packages
  • Large range of TV and phone broadband bundles available, as well as broadband-only packages
  • Line rental cheaper than BT, also available with no phone line or line rental required
  • Technical support and repairs are free of charge
  • Free Hub 3 router with advanced 802.11ac wireless technology with all deals
  • Free wi-fi on the London Underground

Need help choosing? Give us a call on 0800 083 8870   Go to site

Virgin Media M100 plus Phone
£34.00 for 18 months
£51.00 thereafter

£40.00 upfront cost

  • 18 months reduced price!
  • 108Mb average download speed!
  • 10Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • WiFi on the Tube
  • Free Super Hub with 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Add a mobile SIM for just £5 extra
  • Use home phone minutes on mobile
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • 18 month contract

Buy now

Or call us on
0800 083 8870

Virgin Media Big Bundle
£28.99 for 18 months
£62.00 thereafter

£40.00 upfront cost

  • 18 months better than half price!
  • 54Mb average download speed
  • 5Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • Virgin TV V6 Box record up to 6 shows at the same time
  • 110+ TV channels including 20 HD
  • WiFi on the Tube
  • Virgin TV Anywhere app
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • 18 month contract
 

Buy now

Or call us on
0800 083 8870

Virgin Media Bigger Bundle + Movies
£57.00 for 18 months
£103.00 thereafter

£40.00 upfront cost

  • Ending Choose either an 4K TV worth £299 or £250 bill credit!
  • Offer 18 months reduced price!
  • 213Mb average download speed!
  • 20Mb average upload speed!
  • Truly unlimited usage
  • Virgin TV V6 Box record up to 6 shows at the same time
  • 220+ TV channels including 60+ HD
  • WiFi on the Tube
  • All the Sky Cinema channels in HD
  • All the BT Sports channels in HD
  • Free Super Hub with 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Weekend UK landline calls
  • 18 month contract
 

Buy now

Or call us on
0800 083 8870

Reasons to choose Virgin Media

  • No need for line rental if you opt for a broadband-only deal - cable to the property allows for broadband-only packages
  • Fastest widely available provider in the UK, averaging 516Mb download speed, more than 7 times that of BT fibre, which is currently averaging 67Mb on its fastest speed
  • Consistently the fastest of the big national providers in our monthly speed test report
  • Hub 3 router standard on all deals offers 802.11ac advanced wireless technology with faster speeds at a distance
  • Equipment is 'rented', meaning Virgin provides free repairs and replacements (provided that the customer hasn't abused the equipment)
  • No switching hassle - different technology, can run concurrently with ADSL while one or the other is set up
  • TV services provided by underground high speed cables so not affected by storms or heavy usage of your broadband service
  • Family Plan - existing broadband and TV customers on a Virgin Pay Monthly SIM can bundle up to 5 SIMs on one account to get discounts and additional parental controls
  • Rated highest for reliability out of all TV with broadband providers by Broadband.co.uk vistors

Possible downsides

  • Only available to around 60% of the UK, ruling out the vast majority of rural areas, but their footprint is growing
  • Installation can be more complex if your home hasn't been connected to Virgin Media before

Features at a glance

  • Top speeds average 516Mb download speeds and 36Mb upload speeds

  • 18 month or 30 day contracts

  • Truly unlimited usage on all packages

  • £35 upfront cost as standard

  • Free technical support by phone or online - 8am-9pm Weekdays, 8am-8pm Saturdays, 8am-6pm Sundays

  • Free anti-malware protection, firewall and parental controls for up to 5 devices

  • Free advanced Hub 3 802.11ac wireless router with all deals

  • Full range of premium Pay TV channels available, including Sky Sports and Sky Cinema

  • Phone bundles available

  • Free wi-fi at over 3.5 million hotspots, including in the London Underground and Glasgow Subway

  • Phone line optional for broadband only deals

  • Virgin Media have published a Traffic Management Policy

3.1 stars
  satisfaction rating based on 8110 customer ratings since 2019-11-29. See more Virgin Media customer ratings and reviews.

Details last checked on 2020-11-27

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Package  (Sorted)  
Speed    
Usage    
Contract    
1st Year Cost    
Monthly Cost    
Virgin Media Big Bundle More Info

Special offer: 18 months better than half price + free weekend calls + Virgin TV V6 Box + 110+ TV channels + WiFi on the Tube!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
54Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£388 £28.99
£62.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media Big Bundle + Drama Pick More Info

Special offer: Virgin TV V6 Box + 190+ channels + free weekend calls + WiFi on the Tube!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
108Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£472 £35.99
£69.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media Bigger Bundle More Info

Special offer: Free weekend calls + Virgin TV V6 Box + 210+ TV channels + WiFi on the Tube!

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
108Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£580 £44.99
£88.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media Bigger Bundle + Movies More Info

Hurry, ends soon! 43" 4K TV or £250 credit + 18 months reduced price + Virgin TV V6 Box + 220+ TV channels + WiFi on the Tube!
Choose either a 43" Toshiba 4K TV worth £299 or £250 bill credit

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
213Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£724 £57.00
£103.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract
Reward offer for new customers buying online only


£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media Bigger Bundle + Sports More Info

Hurry, ends soon! 43" 4K TV or £250 credit + Free weekend calls + Sky Sports for 12 months + Virgin TV V6 Box + 220+ TV channels + WiFi on the Tube!
Choose either a 43" Toshiba 4K TV worth £299 or £250 bill credit

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
108Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£904 £72.00
£107.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract
Reward offer for new customers buying online only


£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media Bigger Bundle + Sports & Movies More Info

Hurry, ends soon! 43" 4K TV or £250 credit + Free HD for 12 months + free weekend calls + Virgin TV V6 Box + 230+ TV channels + WiFi on the Tube!
Choose either a 43" Toshiba 4K TV worth £299 or £250 bill credit

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
213Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£988 £79.00
£123.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract
Reward offer for new customers buying online only


£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media M100 More Info

Includes: 18 months reduced price + no phone line necessary + WiFi on the Tube!
Uses underground high speed cables so isn't affected by storms

802.11ac Wireless Router

averages
108Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£340 £24.99
£44.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media M100 plus Phone More Info

Special offer: 18 months reduced price + free weekend calls + WiFi on the Tube!
Uses underground high speed cables so isn't affected by storms

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
108Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£448 £34.00
£51.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media M200 More Info

Includes: 18 months reduced price + no phone line necessary + WiFi on the Tube!
Uses underground high speed cables so isn't affected by storms

802.11ac Wireless Router

averages
213Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£412 £30.99
£50.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media M200 plus Phone More Info

Special offer: 18 months reduced price + free weekend calls + WiFi on the Tube!
Uses underground high speed cables so isn't affected by storms

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
213Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£520 £40.00
£57.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media M350 More Info

Includes: 18 months reduced price + no phone line necessary + WiFi on the Tube!
Uses underground high speed cables so isn't affected by storms

802.11ac Wireless Router

averages
362Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£484 £36.99
£56.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media M350 plus Phone More Info

Special offer: 18 months reduced price + free weekend calls + WiFi on the Tube!
350Mb speed availability subject to line check by Virgin Media

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
362Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£592 £46.00
£63.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media M50 plus Phone More Info

Special offer: Free weekend calls + WiFi on the Tube!
Uses underground high speed cables so isn't affected by storms

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
54Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£376 £28.00
£45.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media M500 More Info

Special offer: 18 months reduced price + WiFi on the Tube!
Uses underground high speed cables so isn't affected by storms
500Mb speed availability subject to line check by Virgin Media

802.11ac Wireless Router

averages
516Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£556 £42.99
£62.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media M500 plus Phone More Info

Special offer: 18 months reduced price + free weekend calls + WiFi on the Tube!
500Mb speed availability subject to line check by Virgin Media

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingLine Rental

averages
516Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£664 £52.00
£69.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract

£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
Virgin Media Ultimate Oomph Bundle More Info

Hurry, ends soon! 43" 4K TV or £250 credit + 18 months reduced price + free anytime calls + Truly Unlimited SIM + two Virgin TV V6 boxes + 245+ TV channels + WiFi on the Tube!
Choose either a 43" Toshiba 4K TV worth £299 or £250 bill credit
Uses underground high speed cables so isn't affected by storms

802.11ac Wireless RouterPhone CallingTelevision ServiceLine Rental

averages
516Mb
truly
unlimited
18
months
£976 £77.99
£139.00 after 18 months
Prices may change at any point during the contract
Reward offer for new customers buying online only


£40.00 upfront cost

Go to site

Or sign up by phone
0800 083 8870
  • ICON KEY
  • Wireless Router
  • 802.11n Wireless Router
  • 802.11ac Wireless Router
  • Phone Calling
  • Television Service
  • Line Rental

Details last checked on 2020-11-27

Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best way to get a feel for a broadband provider is to read what those who are already customers think of the service they're receiving. Below are all the reviews we've received for Virgin Media.

Customer Ratings Summary

  • Satisfaction
    3.1 stars
  • Customer Service
    2.9 stars
  • Speed
    3.1 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars

Based on 8110 customer ratings since 2019-11-29

Show all time ratings

Add your own review of Virgin Media

Ratings are left by users of our speed test as well as by reviewers. Recent star ratings summarise the last 12 months of ratings or the last 100 placed, whichever is largest.

Reviewer Location Reviewing Date Ratings
There are constant issues with my broadband and home phone line. They have sent me letters saying work will be carried out in my area of which services may be intermittent on that day up until 4pm. 4pm comes and goes with services still down I check their website where it's been updated to another time of 6pm. 6pm comes around and yet again the timeframe has been moved to 9pm. This keep happening until around 11pm or 12pm. This has happened multiple times now and I'm trying to work from home in an ecommerce role where you can imagine having a stable internet connection is vital.

Other than that I have constant drop outs of service like today. With no notification of service interruption. I checked their website and yet again it says there are issues in the area. Again saying the deadline for this fix is 3pm. But obviously that means nothing to them.

I booked in an engineer to visit my property with a AM timeframe only to wait around all day up until 8pm when no one turned up.

Their customer service is terrible offering no support or compensation for these constant interruptions. Spending over an hour on hold totalling up to 4 hours trying to resolve my issues bout my services. I've made 4 complaint with their team of which nothing was resolved.

I genuinely have never seen such poor service from a company. Below services has been
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    2 stars
  • Reliability
    1 star
Manchester, Stockport Virgin Media  
From 24 to 39 pounds.
Thiefs!!!
Dificult to get hold of customer services and once you speak to them the price stay the same.
Big NO, NO
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    3 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
London Virgin Media  
I have been a long term customer of Virgin Media broadband as it is part of the TV package. However, for the last 12 months the internet is extremely bad! Continuously cutting off, which is annoying whilst I conduct video calls whilst working from home.

I have now cancelled my subscription and hope they improve in the near fututr.
  • Satisfaction
    2 stars
  • Customer Service
    2 stars
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
South London Virgin Media  
I would welcome anyone's views on the grievances outlined in a letter of complaint I sent off by email today.

I have now noticed that since sending the letter off, the speed has considerably dropped. It might be worth mentioning also my yearly contract had finished back in September. I had only been paying 29 sterling as a special promotion for 100mbps when I initially signed up. By telephone, I attempted to renew the contract and at first I was offered the same packet but for 59 sterling. I refused to accept it and hung up. But didn't give up and rang again. But I didn't give up. By some sort of fluke I managed to get through to Marianne at Customer Retention. She offered me something completely different for 28 sterling but the same packet for the same speed. I asked her how so, since I was originally quoted a different price. She said, in future, just ask to be put through to Customer Retention.

What is this? There is no option for Customer Retention when you make a call. Press 1,2,3, 4 for limited options no mention of Customer Retention. After reading all the reviews of people in similar circumstances, I thought it was worth a mention. Only after reading other reviews of people being encouraged to accept the initial quote did it ring a bell.
Getting back to my grievances over the last 2 days, here is the letter:-

Please note that my reference to being a 'satisfied customer' was in regards to the high speed only. This was why I signed up in the first place.





TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN,


I have been a customer with Virgin media since October 2019 and in that time, I have been more than satisfied with the quality of services provided. A situation has now arisen in the past two days that requires me to move to another home. Consequently, I decided to act right away in an attempt to transfer my account to the new address. The address was in the same town, not far from the present address. By doıng this, I had no inclination ıt would turn out to be a problem lıke the one that unfolded.

Yesterday, I went online to check if your services were available at the new address. I entered the postcode several times on the facility provided via my online account. However, there was an instruction 'please wait' each time I entered. I assumed that maybe this was because there were lots of apartments in the building. Subsequently, I proceeded to enter the online chat facility under 'moving home' to get further clarification on the issue.

From the outset of the chat, I specifically outlined the nature of my enquiry ie I would be moving home and I wanted to find out if Virgin Media was available in that area: and, that my previous attempts to enter the postcode had been unsuccessful. This was not clarified immediately by the agent but instead, he proceeded to ask for security details and lots of information relating to the new address. He also asked if I wanted Virgin Media at the new address to which I replied 'I did'. Since this turned out to be a lengthy procedure, I interpreted it as meaning that the service was indeed available at the new address; after all I had not been advised otherwise. Or, indeed my interpretation was that I needed to go through this procedure just to find out if services were, in fact available in the area. The correspondence ended with the agent advising me that another agent would be in touch in the next 45 minutes.

In the meantime, I decided to call Virgin Media for further clarification. I explained what had happened as outlined above. The agent advised that it was an unnecessary procedure and there should have been a check beforehand to establish if the service was available at said location. He then kindly proceeded to check this out and was able to confirm that it wasn't in fact, available. He also advised there would be a fee for disconnection. I was disappointed when I heard this and the agent was sympathetic to my concerns. He was very helpful and kindly offered to transfer me to customer care which I accepted. I waited for 20 minutes but there was no reply.

Despite this, I continued to the chat facility in the hope that maybe there would be some other options available. Before I could get to explain what had happened, the agent took me through the whole process again asking for lots of information. In between times, I asked if he could see the messages from the first point of contact where I had already given all the same information. As time went on, I became increasingly frustrated and the conversation was just one of disarray and confusion. At the end of it, he said the service was indeed not available and that there would be a fee for disconnection. Then he encouraged me to book a cancellation date.

My account of the correspondence, leads me to my poınt in writing to you. My grievance is twofold:

1 I can only describe yesterday's communication as a mission impossible. For at least four hours, I was trying to clarify something that could have been clarified at the outset. In addition, there was no consistency in the means of communication, at least not what one would expect from a high profile service provider. It provided nothing but unnecessary confusion for such a simple inquiry. Of course with exception to the agent's help via telephone call. My hope is that in highlighting the matter, you may take it on board and review it for whatever purposes.

2 The above, coupled with the fact that I was alarmed to learn that I would have to pay a disconnection fee. This, I find totally incomprehensible. Taking into consideration the fact that I did not wish to leave Virgin Media in the first place and that your broadband service was not available for that location. It was not a matter of me being dissatisfied with your services. Why, therefore should I be penalised for something that is totally out of my control?

When I renewed my contract back in September, I could not foresee that I would be moving home in the future. It came about out of necessity. Just like I could not foresee the service would not be available at the new address. The terms of the contract do not allow for such a predicament. In other words, when I agreed to that contract, I did so, because I was happy with the service after one year's subscription. I never perceived that I would leave it, no matter what the circumstances.

I could understand it would be different if It had been a situation whereby I had chosen to leave the service as a dissatisfied customer. Indeed, I would accept, via the terms of the contract, I was liable to pay a disconnection fee. This however is not the case.

Furthermore, I am a single parent who is really struggling to make ends meet under the benefits system at this period of time. The internet connection is a valuable lifeline for me and my child. In that respect, no matter how a little money I receive every month, I have always made it a priority when it comes to paying the essential bills. Thereby a loyal customer. I would also add that even if I was of affluent status, the principle of the matter outlined above would still remain the same.

Now, I find myself in a situation whereby I must move to another home which incurs further costs. Perhaps you can understand, that such a fee on top of that, I would struggle to pay; and simply have not got the funds to do so.

In light of these circumstances and for the reasons aforementioned, I would appeal to you to consider a waiver of the penalty fee.

Trusting you will acknowledge.

I am enclosing a record of yesterday's correspondence for reference.


So the above letter outlined my grievances. I again decided to contact them out of sheer frustration, not wanting to let it go This time, (after waiting 30 minutes for a response and paying for the call) I asked what the options where. This individual advised that when I pay the diconnection fee and hook up with another provider, that provider will cover the cost of the fee as part of their payment plan. Now, I ask all of you out there. Have you ever heard anything the likes of????? He's on the other side of a phone call and he thinks I was born yesterday!!!! Honestly as we say too good to be true. Wish it were that simple!

I then asked if there was any way of airing the complaint since the address I sent the mail off to was the only address I could find (after much deliberation on Google Search). There was no facility on their online system for making a complaint. He further advised me to make the issues known on twitter and facebook. Really, can I trust this?

Really folks, should customer care not be of utmost priority? They are Virgin Media and invincible because of their good reviews for high speeds. Was that not a ploy to get the customers in the initial stages. Why have so many perople mentioned that speeds have been reduced. How can the customer have faith? Like a Lamb to the Slaughter.

I rest my case. Feedback welcome.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    4 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
Derry Virgin Media  
Would give minus stars if I could. Never works. Hours on hold to speak to anyone. Truly awful. Avoid at all costs.
London Virgin Media  
Abysmal service and disgusting behaviour. Virginmedia have a clear policy of providing no support to residential accounts and will block your attempts to obtain any help by automatically directing calls corresponding to your account to a recorded voice message giving false information. If you eventually get a chat response, they will just lie to you, saying that it is a planned outage, for your benefit, and will be restored by a certain future time. It never is, of course. If you use Virginmedia broadband, expect much lower average speeds than claimed and the complete loss of service for weeks or even months at a time.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
North London Virgin Media  
stay miles away, their pricing is very dicey. for some customers it is low, for existing loyal customers it is high... and they charge exit fee quite randomly.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
UK Virgin Media  
Without a doubt, the most unreliable service and worse customer service.

After signing up to a 12-month contract in April 2018, they are now claiming that I agreed to a new contract during the course of a technical support call, after siting that I was paying £60/month for a service that was not being delivered.

They are now attempting to charge an additional exit fee for a contract that was never agreed, without reading out my terms and conditions.

6 months, getting download speeds between 5-15mgbs, on an m200 package, is quite disgraceful.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
Reading Virgin Media  
Terrible customer service. Yesterday I call them for moving my house. They accepted it and fixed the new contract from 28 th of this month for my new house. From today morning there is no Internet connection. When I logged in they said the contract ended. I call them twice, kept on hold for over 1 hours and cut off. As an nhs staff, we expect at least a minimum standard from our provider. This is terribly frustrating...
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    1 star
  • Reliability
    1 star
London Virgin Media  
I normally don't leave reviews but feel compelled to do so due to the entirely horrific experience I am currently having with Virgin Media. Having been a customer for a number of years I have become accustomed to the terrible customer service and hours on hold but this time has broken the proverbial camels back. I have been lied to, coerced, fobbed off and treated with contempt. There are no words to describe how I feel, "violated" is as close as I can get. Avoid at all costs.
  • Satisfaction
    1 star
  • Customer Service
    1 star
  • Speed
    5 stars
  • Reliability
    3 stars
London Virgin Media  

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The reviews published on this page are those of the individual authors who have warrantied that they abide by our review guidelines. Reviews are not the opinion of Broadband.co.uk.

Student broadband

Find the best student broadband deals for 2020

Posted on 2020-09-07 16:57 in Features Offers Three 4GEE BT John Lewis NOW Broadband Plusnet Virgin Media

Fast, reliable broadband is a must-have for any student house. And given that it can take a couple of weeks to set up, it's one of the first things you'll want to get sorted when you move in for the new term.

If you haven't signed up for your own broadband package before, we'll tackle some of the questions you might have here.

It's all pretty straightforward, but as a student you won't have quite as many options as everyone else. Contract length is absolutely vital - you don't want to be saddled with a long term deal that you have to keep paying for during the summer holidays or beyond.

And with all the corona-driven uncertainty this year, flexibility is more important than ever. Let's take a look at some of the things you need to know.

What speed do you need?

Your usage is probably going to be pretty high, so the fibre deals in the 60-67Mb average speed range should be your starting point.

You might get away with one of the slower fibre packages if there's only two people in your house, but in most cases the extra speed will be worth more than the fiver or so difference in price.

Faster is always better, of course, and you might be lucky enough to be living in an area where you can get speeds over 100Mb - and sometimes quite a lot more. These might come from the normal fibre providers like BT or Sky, from Virgin Media, or in 5G areas through the likes of EE and Three. Just make sure you keep an eye on the contract length and any setup fees for these faster deals.

What length contract should you get?

Short contracts are key for student broadband, so don't even consider those that need an 18 or 24 month commitment.

12 months is the longest you should go for, but even then you'll end up with quite an overlap with the summer break where you're still paying for your internet while you're hitting the beaches in Spain. Don't rule these out entirely, though, as they might still work out cheaper than a shorter option.

BT offer a few nine month deals that align much better with your term time. Some broadband suppliers, including NOW Broadband and Virgin Media, also offer 30-day rolling contracts that you can cancel at any time. These are best for zero-commitment broadband, but they do often come with significant setup fees. Be sure to factor that in when you're comparing prices.

Do you need any extras?

If Netflix isn't enough and you want a bit of sports action or some more of the latest US shows, you can save some money by adding a pay TV plan to you broadband deal. You won't be able to do this through Sky, as they only offer TV on an 18 month contract, but you can get 30-day deals on NOW TV streaming with NOW Broadband.

For any overseas students in your house, consider adding a call plan with support for cheap international calls.

Who pays the bill?

Even though you'll be splitting the bill with all your housemates, one of you is going to have put their name on the contract. It will be their responsibility. This is one of the reasons why you don't want to sign up to anything longer than 12 months, tops. You don't want to be stuck paying your broadband bill long after your housemates have moved on.

It's a good idea to assign each one of your utilities to a different person in your household so you share the risk. To help manage bills you can also look into setting up a shared bank account across the household, or take a look at apps like Splitwise that make it easier to see who owes what.

Best broadband deals for students

So, what student broadband deal should you choose?

BT offer three plans specifically for students. They're nine month deals, with speeds ranging from 36Mb to 67Mb. You can add a Sports or Entertainment TV package, as well as call plans including cheap international calls to 236 countries.

For one month contracts, you've got two main choices:

  • NOW Broadband - speeds range from a sedate 11Mb (don't bother!) to a much more suitable 63Mb, with the option to add streaming TV plans as well. All of them come with a £65 upfront fee.
  • Virgin Media - speeds on the 30-day plans range from around 54Mb all the way up to over 500Mb. Many setup fees have been waived on the 1 month rolling contracts that are specifically for students, but bear in mind that installation takes longer if your house hasn't had Virgin before.

Your other options are for 12 month contracts. When you add in the setup fees and slightly higher prices for short deals, these year-long plans may still end up being competitive, even though you'll still be paying in July and August when you don't need it. Among your best options here are:

  • John Lewis Broadband - speeds go up to an average 66Mb, with no activation fee, and usually include an e-gift card as a bonus.
  • Plusnet - speeds up to 66Mb, with just a £10 activation fee. You also get the option to add BT Sport - with Premier League and Champions League football - after you've signed up.

And there's one last thing to consider - broadband over 4G or 5G. This won't be right for everyone: 4G speeds are better for one or two users rather than a large, heavy-use household, and though 5G is blazing fast it still has very patchy coverage. If you're in the right part of London, Three's 5G Home Unlimited plans look good, and include a 12 month option. Find more great mobile broadband deals here.

Ready to start shopping for student broadband? Use our postcode checker to compare the best broadband deals available in your area today.

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Broadband complaints

Vodafone still the worst large provider for broadband complaints, say Ofcom

Posted on 2020-09-02 11:37 in News Post Office EE Vodafone Plusnet TalkTalk Sky Virgin Media BT

For the third successive quarter, Vodafone have been named as the 'big eight' broadband provider that generates the most complaints.

The unwanted title comes from Ofcom's latest complaints report for the last quarter of 2019. They show what while the industry average improved from 14 to 12 complaints per hundred thousand customers, Vodafone's number rose slightly to 27. That's around a quarter more than the next worst 'big eight' performers, Plusnet and TalkTalk.

Once again, the standout suppliers were EE and Sky with just five customers having cause to moan. They, along with BT, were the only companies to achieve below average grievance levels. Virgin Media made the biggest improvement, with their level of disgruntled users dropping from 20 in the previous quarter, to 14.

The data covers the UK's eight largest broadband suppliers, which all have at least 1.5% market share. Here's how they rank:

  Complaints per 100,000 customers Compared to previous quarter
EE 5 -
Sky 5 -
BT 10 -3
Industry Average 12 -2
Post Office 13 +3
Virgin Media 14 -6
TalkTalk 19 -3
Plusnet 20 -2
Vodafone 27 +1

 

The report covers October to December 2019. Its publication was delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak, and it also means that the data doesn't take into account the massive surge in broadband use during the lockdown. We'll have to wait and see what impact that had on customer satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction

Speaking of which, Ofcom have also released their latest annual Customer Satisfaction survey. The report, for the whole of 2019, shows that an overall 85% of users are happy with the broadband service they get.

Of the 'big eight', Plusnet came out on top with an impressive 93% satisfaction rate. This is in spite of them performing pretty badly in a couple of areas. Over the year they had the second highest number of complaints, at 100 per hundred thousand customers. They also had the second longest call waiting time. Anyone phoning Plusnet for support would have to wait an average three minutes 48 for the call to be answered. By comparison, TalkTalk would answer in just 39 seconds.

This was a rare win for TalkTalk, who came out bottom of the satisfaction chart at just 78%. Only 44% of their users were happy with how complaints were handled, too.

The Customer Satisfaction report ranks the leading broadband providers across a range of categories. Here are the winners and losers:

  Average Best Worst
Overall satisfaction 85% Plusnet - 93% TalkTalk - 78%
Customers with a reason to complain 12% BT, Post Office - 10% EE - 15%
Satisfaction with complaint handling 53% EE - 66% TalkTalk - 44%
Average call waiting time 2:10 EE - 0:26 Virgin Media - 4:26
Ofcom complaints per hundred thousand 52 Sky - 21 Vodafone - 115

 

Your broadband rights

You don't have to settle for poor service from your broadband provider. If you aren't happy with what you're getting, or you don't think you're getting what you're paying for, take a look at our guide to your rights as a broadband customer to find out what you can do. We've got some advice on how to complain to your broadband provider, too.

And, of course, when your contract is up, you don't need to stick around if your provider is not up to scratch. Check out the best broadband deals available today to see what your options are.

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Virgin Media Broadband Buyers Guide - Is Virgin Media right for you?

Can I get Virgin Media?

Virgin Media ultrafast broadband is only available through the company's own fibre optic cable network, meaning you need to live in a Virgin Media cable area to be able to get it.

The network currently comprises about 60% of UK homes, although Virgin Media are looking at expanding their coverage by the end of 2020. Ultrafast speeds (in excess of 100Mb) are available in all cable areas, and the full upgrade from M200 to M350 rolled out across 2018. M500 rolled out across 2019, and M600 is due to roll out as part of the Ultimate Oomph package, but expect that to extend to other packages later on.

You can use our broadband checker to see if you live in an area with cable.

What packages are available?

Virgin Media provide 5 different broadband packages, each providing a different speed of broadband service:

  • M50, averages 54Mb download speed, 5Mb upload speed
  • M100, averages 108Mb download speed, 10Mb upload speed
  • M200, averages 213Mb download speed, 20Mb upload speed
  • M350, averages 362Mb download speed, 36Mb upload speed
  • M500, averages 516Mb download speed, 36Mb upload speed

All packages except M500 can be taken as standalone broadband deals, or with the option of line rental and a Weekend or Anytime calls package. Broadband is fully unlimited, with no restrictions on downloads or uploads. You can get Virgin Media broadband on both 18-month and 30-day rolling deals. The short term deal offers greater flexibility, but comes with a much higher upfront installation cost, typically £80, compared to £35 on the long. They're also more expensive per month if you choose a package with calls. You also have the option boost your speeds to the next package and get a 2GB data SIM bundled in.

Virgin Media is a "quad play" provider. This means that you can add a full range of pay TV services, plus a mobile deal, to your broadband and phone package. All TV deals require an 18 month contract.

Fibre optic broadband like that provided by Virgin Media does not vary in speed depending on how far you are from a telephone exchange, unlike their competitors who use copper phone lines.

Which package should I choose?

All Virgin Media broadband packages are truly unlimited, and offer 'superfast' and 'ultrafast' speeds over 24Mb and 350Mb respectively. When deciding which package is best for you, you should consider how heavily you use the internet, how many people will be using your connection, and your budget - you don't need to pay more than necessary.

Virgin Media claims an average 5 second download time for an album, and 2.4 minutes for a movie on M100, and even faster on M200 with less than a 4 second average download for an album and 1.45 minutes for a movie, and even faster still on M350. These speeds are more suited to people who download a lot, or who regularly play online games, especially if there is more than one person doing this.

As most internet users do not need the higher broadband speeds, the size of your household should be a primary consideration when selecting which package you wish to go for. Virgin Media claim the M100 package is ideal for families, and the M200 and 350 packages are the 'ultimate experience' easily adequate for 5 or more people. This assumes that everyone will be using the internet a lot - which may be the case for some larger families or student households, in which case going for a faster package will enable you to avoid slowdown when everyone is online at the same time.

However, there is no point in paying for more than you need.

Points to consider before you choose

  • How many people will be using your broadband connection?
  • Are you a heavy downloader, or do you regularly play online games?
  • Would the expense of the faster speed be worth it for you?

Compare all Virgin Media deals

What TV deals do Virgin Media offer?

As well as their very fast broadband speeds, another big attraction of Virgin Media is the range of premium Pay TV services they offer.

Virgin Media TV is delivered via Virgin's cable infrastructure, so you need to live in an area where this has been installed. You watch via the Ultra HD-ready Virgin TV V6 box, which allows you to record six shows while watching a seventh. You also get on-demand viewing and support for Netflix and YouTube. In addition, the Virgin TV Go app lets you watch on a phone or tablet. These services come on a 12 month contract.

Virgin Media TV offers four bundles with an increasing number of channels:

  • Big Bundle: over 120 channels, most of which are available through Freeview. You can add Sky Cinema or Sky Sports as add-ons without contract. The standard Player TV bundle comes with Virgin's M50 fibre broadband.
  • Big Bundle + Entertainment Picks: more than 150 channels, including the above plus premium entertainment channels like Sky One, Sky Witness and Fox. Sky Atlantic is not available on Virgin. Boost your TV options by adding Entertainment Picks, with a choice between Drama, Documentaries, Lifestyle and Sport Lite
  • Bigger Bundle: over 240 channels including HD and +1 versions of many of the Mix TV channels, plus BT Sport in Ultra HD and the Virgin TV Ultra HD channel. You can add Sky Cinema or Sky Sports as add-ons without contract. Bundled with M100 fibre broadband.
  • Ultimate Oomph Bundle: the full package of over 280 channels, including Sky Sports HD, Sky Cinema HD and BT Sport UHD, plus the Virgin TV Ultra HD channel. Bundled with the ultrafast M500 fibre broadband, Anytime calls and a mobile SIM with truly unlimited data, minutes and texts.

Virgin offers certain bundles that match TV packages with specfic broadband deals, but you can mix and match, too, to ensure you get exactly what you need. All TV packages come with an option to boost your speed to the next tier, aside from Ultimate Oomph which already offers the fastest speeds available.

How do I switch/sign-up?

Customers switching to Virgin Media will have an engineer come over to their house to install the cables and help you get set up with fibre broadband, including the Hub 3 router.

If you are switching to a Virgin Media package that includes phone services, you will need to switch your phone line. Virgin Media should do everything for you, including letting you keep your pre-existing phone number. If you do this, then your previous provider will automatically cancel your phone line and any broadband services that are associated with it.

If you're not switching phone services, you will need to give your current broadband provider 30 days notice of cancellation. If you're worried about downtime, you can always arrange for your current broadband to end a few days after your Virgin start date.

Find out more at our guide on switching broadband providers.

What do I get when I sign-up?

It's always good to know upfront what you'll get when signing up with an ISP so you know what you can enjoy for free, or to budget for any extras you may want.

  • Wireless router - All customers signing up to Virgin Media fibre broadband will get a free Virgin Media Hub 3 wireless router with the very latest 802.11ac wireless technology offering the fastest speeds and greatest range. The routers will be set up by a Virgin Media engineer on installation day.
  • Online security - F-Secure SAFE, an anti-virus tool worth £79.99 a year, is included free for all Virgin Media broadband customers. You can install this on up to five devices for 12 months, including PCs and Macs, and Android tablets and phones. You also get Virgin Media's Web Safe parental controls tools.
  • Inclusive phone calls - Virgin Media provide the option of getting phone services along with your broadband packages. The phone inclusive packages are less per month than the broadband-only packages. These phone packages offer Talk Weekends, which means unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin Mobile numbers, and you can extend this to evenings and weekdays, or add international or mobile calls as optional extras for an extra cost. 087x and 084x numbers are subject to extra service and access charges.
  • Option of TV - You can also get broadband, phone and TV altogether as a combination package. These packages come in various sizes ranging from basic collections for lighter users to the VIP collection for those who want it all. These packages offer a wide range of cable and HD channels, with over 200 channels including most Sky channels with the larger collections. You also get a 1TB Virgin TV V6 box, which enables you to record up to 500 hours of TV.
  • Free tech support - If you experience any problems you can support over the phone between 8am and 10pm, seven days a week. Online chat is also avalable Monday to Saturday between 8am and 8pm.

What are the benefits of Virgin Media?

The benefits offered by an ISP may be what seals the deal in your decision to buy a package from them.

  • Fastest widely available broadband speeds - Virgin Media currently offer the fastest affordable consumer broadband speeds in the UK (excluding some full fibre services in limited localities) with ultrafast (above 100Mb) broadband available in all cable areas. Full speeds averaging 362Mb are in the process of being rolled out with many areas already upgraded and all areas can achieve average speeds of 213Mb.
  • Free hardware support - All Virgin Media broadband customers are entitled to free servicing and repairs on your broadband connection and Virgin Media Hub 3 router, and round-the-clock technical support for when things go wrong. However, because the equipment remains property of Virgin Media, and customers technically only rent it for free, any perceived misuse or mistreatment will not be covered by the free servicing and repairs.
  • Free London Underground wi-fi - Virgin Media customers are able to use wi-fi connections free of charge at over 250 London Underground stations, plus everywhere on the Galsgow subway.
  • All deals get the premium router - Virgin Media offer their very best router with the latest 802.11ac wireless on even their cheapest products. Equally, all TV customers get the same high-end V6 box regardless of how many channels they choose to take.

What are the drawbacks of Virgin Media?

Let's face it, not everything can be perfect, and even the best deals may have a downside.

  • Installation is more complex - If your house has never had Virgin Media before, then the installation will more complex. An engineer will need to run cabling from the connection point on your pavement to an outside socket installed on your outside wall, to a wall socket inside your house. Virgin says it normally takes around two hours, although could be longer in some cases. However, if your home is already set up for Virgin, a self install option might be available.
  • No fixed IP addresses - Virgin Media do not offer fixed IP addresses as part of their regular packages. However this is only likely to be an issue if you wish to set up a local web server, otherwise you are unlikely to notice the difference.
  • Slower upload speeds than most FTTC - Although Virgin Media's download speeds tend to outstrip fibre to the cabinet alternatives, their upload speeds don't tend to keep up. Many other fibre services offer upload speeds averaging around 19Mb while Virgin Media's M100 service offers only 6Mb average upload speeds, although their most expensive M350 service now offers 21Mb average upload speeds, and the new M500 service will offer 35Mb upload speeds.
  • High customer complaints - According to an Ofcom report, Virgin Media are the third most complained about of the major broadband suppliers.


Broadband.co.uk