All about Virgin Media
Virgin Media is one of the UK’s most popular home broadband and TV providers. It is also incredibly important because Virgin operates its own network, and so represents the only major nationwide competition to BT (Openreach) network services which make up the vast majority of broadband deals.
Virgin has used its technology and position in the market to upgrade broadband speeds at a far greater pace than other providers and as a result, it’s now the fastest mass-market ISP in the country. It offers a unique package of very fast broadband and premium TV, plus optional home and mobile phone services.
Virgin Broadband: superfast fibre broadband
Virgin Media broadband is a unique superfast service that for many of us is the quickest broadband available.
The majority of ISPs in the UK utilise the BT Openreach infrastructure. They are reselling BT network services delivered over a telephone line, which is why most ISPs offer the same choice of either ADSL with an average speed of around 10Mb, or fibre optic with an average speed of around 35Mb or 65Mb.
But Virgin Media broadband is different. Virgin operates its own network high-speed network and can provide incredibly fast broadband with average speeds up to 1Gb.
Virgin currently offers packages with speeds of 54Mb, 108Mb, 213Mb, 362Mb, 518Mb, and 1Gb.
And another unique aspect of Virgin broadband is that it can give you broadband without a phone line. While you do still need a Virgin network line, you do not have to pay phone line rental to get broadband from Virgin.
Virgin Media TV
As one of the leading premium TV operators in the UK, Virgin Media TV is able to offer an incredible wealth of features to satisfy even the most demanding viewers. Whatever your interests, you’ll find something suitable with a Virgin package.
Virgin delivers its TV content over the same coaxial cables it uses for broadband. This means you don’t need anything bolted to your house, and if you can get their broadband service you’ll also be able to sign up for a TV package.
The choice of channels is extensive, and in addition to broadcast channels, you’ll also benefit from loads of extra on-demand and catch-up content. All Virgin TV packages also come with the highly-rated Virgin TV box.
Here are some of the Virgin TV bundle deals currently available:
Virgin Media home phone packages
You don’t need to get phone service with Virgin Media, as it’s one of the few ISPs which can provide fixed-line broadband without a phone.
But if you do want a phone, you’ll find a choice of inclusive call bundles that can help you save money.
Virgin Media offers the following home phone packages:
- Talk Weekends: Inclusive weekend calls to UK landlines, Virgin Mobile numbers, and 0870 numbers. Included with all phone and broadband bundles at no extra charge.
- Talk More Weekends: Adds inclusive calling to any UK mobile number, and 0845 numbers. £1 per month.
- Talk More Evenings & Weekends: Adds inclusive evening calls. £5 per month.
- Talk More Anytime: Free calls at any time of the day to UK landline and mobile numbers, and 0870/0845 numbers. £8 per month.
- Talk More International: All the features of Talk More Anytime, plus inclusive calls to 50 international destinations. £15 per month.
In addition to home phone, TV, and fast broadband, Virgin also offers mobile deals, making it one of the few quad-play providers - one that can offer a complete range of home entertainment and communications services.
Virgin Mobile is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) which uses the EE network. Which is good news because EE is one of the fastest networks, and has the best coverage of all mobile operators.
Virgin offers quad-play bundles which give you broadband, TV, and phone and mobile services for one monthly price, potentially delivering a significant saving compared to paying for each individually.
Virgin customers also get exclusive access to unlimited, data, texts, and minutes deals which are only available if you have broadband, TV, or home phone from Virgin.
Virgin Business broadband
As well as being a major home broadband provider, Virgin is also a leading business broadband ISP.
As with its home services, Virgin Media Business can offer a unique business broadband service that is much faster than many competitors on the Openreach network, with download speeds up to 500Mb and upload speeds up to 35Mb.
While faster broadband speeds can be achieved with a leased line, that is a specialist service which involves a significant cost. For many small and medium businesses, Virgin Media will be the quickest broadband available at an affordable price.
Virgin Media pros and cons
What we like about Virgin Media
- Very fast broadband
- Quad-play bundles can save money
- Exclusive unlimited mobile SIM deals
- Get broadband without a phone line
- Premium TV service with hundreds of channels
What we don’t like about Virgin Media
- Virgin network has smaller coverage than Openreach
- Fastest speeds aren't available everywhere
- Not the cheapest provider
Still not sure if Virgin Media is right for you? Read our full Virgin Media review for more detail about its pros and cons.
The best Virgin Media deals
Ready to buy Virgin Media? Here are some of the top deals currently available:
Frequently Asked Questions about Virgin Media
How expensive are Virgin Media deals?
Virgin Media is more expensive than many other providers, however, it is also offering much faster speeds than many. Assuming you’re making full use of that fast broadband, then it represents good value for money.
Cheaper deals are available, but they’re also much slower.
Can I get Virgin in my area?
Virgin Media’s network has a more limited coverage footprint than the Openreach telephone network; it’s currently available to just over 50% of homes.
When comparing broadband, enter your postcode into our comparison table to check availability. This will show whether you can get Virgin, as well as other providers.
Does Virgin offer existing customer deals?
Virgin offers upgrade deals to existing customers who want to move to faster broadband.
If you’re currently out of contract and looking to save money, it’s always worth contacting Virgin and trying to haggle as this will often get you a new deal that is cheaper than simply letting the existing contract roll on. Before you do this, always compare existing offers so you’ve got an idea of what else is available.
Can I get Virgin Media TV without broadband?
While Virgin did previously offer a basic standalone TV package (known as Mix TV or Player TV) it no longer does this; now you can only get Virgin TV as a bundle with broadband.
For standalone premium TV, you can get satellite from Sky TV. Or there is NOW TV, which provides access to Sky TV and other channels via flexible monthly passes.
What router comes with Virgin broadband?
Most Virgin broadband packages include a Virgin Hub 3.0.
In some areas, Virgin is offering gigabit speeds (the ‘Gig1Fibre’ package), and customers who sign up for that ultrafast service will receive the newer Hub 4.0.
What TV box does Virgin offer?
Virgin currently offers the Virgin TV V6 box with its TV bundles.
In addition to giving you access to Virgin’s cable TV channels, the smart V6 box includes integrated streaming and catch-up services (such as iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix). It also offers live pausing and rewind features and can record hundreds of hours of TV to its built-in hard drive.
How long are the contracts with Virgin Media?
All Virgin Media packages have a 12-month minimum contract term.
Early cancellation can be expensive; if you think you might need to leave a contract early it might be better to choose a short term contract deal instead.
While Virgin doesn’t usually short term deals as standard, it does sometimes provide student broadband deals on a nine-month term.
How do I contact Virgin customer service?
Call Virgin customer services on 0345 454 1111.
For more information about contacting Virgin, visit our Virgin Media customer services guide.
Can I leave Virgin for free?
You can leave Virgin for free if you are outside the minimum contract term (which is currently 12 months).
There can be other circumstances where Virgin may let you leave for free, but this is not guaranteed. For more assistance read our guide to cancelling Virgin Media.