What are the best alternatives to Virgin?
Not only does Virgin Media offer very fast broadband, but it's one of the few “quad-play” services. That means a provider who offers fast broadband, premium TV, landline phone, and even mobile phone deals.
But Virgin isn’t unique in that regard. There are several providers who offer very similar deals. You’ll also find there are some cheaper options that can help reduce your costs while still providing a comparable service.
Alternatives to Virgin Media Broadband
There are two providers which directly compare to Virgin Media in terms of the range of services offered:
BT has great value TV and broadband bundles. While it doesn’t have as many channels as Virgin, there's still a good choice of entertainment, sports, and movies. BT also has a mobile service, with bonuses for broadband and TV customers.
However, it has a hard job matching Virgin Media for broadband speed. The fastest download speed available to most customers on BT will be 67Mb fibre using a regular telephone line.
In some areas, there's the option of speeds up to 900Mb if you have access to a full fibre network, but BT’s coverage for this service is currently limited.
- Switching from Virgin Media to BT Broadband
- Switching to a broadband provider on the Openreach network
What’s full fbre?
Full Fibre broadband is also known as ‘Fibre To The Premises’, ‘Fibre To The Home’. This is often shortened to FTTP or FTTH. They’re all the same thing!
Instead of copper telephone wire making up the final part of the journey from that green cabinet on the street, fibre optic cables are installed right up to your home.
It’s amazing the difference in speed this small data journey can have. With full-fibre broadband you can expect to receive speeds of 1Gb+.
The downside is full-fibre is only available to a small percentage of homes in the UK, and it’s taking a good while to get everyone up to speed.
Sky TV is a direct competitor to Virgin Media TV. It has a similar number of channels, and the Sky Q TV box provides similar features to the Virgin TV box.
For more information, see our guide - 'Switching from Virgin Media to Sky Broadband'.
While Hyperoptic doesn't offer a TV service, it can provide very fast broadband up to 1Gb. That nearly matches Virgin Media’s best speeds. It operates its own network, although that's largely limited to some addresses in larger towns and cities.
Like Hyperoptic, there are plenty of other smaller, alternative network providers that could turn out to be a great alternative to Virgin Media for you. Use our deals checker to see what else is available in your immediate area.
Broadband Genie deals checker
Cheapest alternatives to Virgin
You get a lot with Virgin, but it's one of the more expensive ISPs. Save money with a cheaper deal from one of these providers.
TalkTalk offers cheap broadband and TV bundles. You don’t get as many channels as Virgin, but there’s still a big selection. Broadband speed is limited to 67Mb unless you’re in an area with ultrafast broadband coverage.
See our guide: 'Switching from Virgin Media to TalkTalk'.
As well as being one of the cheapest home broadband providers, NOW also has a TV service that uses short-term streaming subscriptions to give you access to popular Sky TV channels without a satellite dish or long contract.
Alternatives to Virgin TV
Sky TV is the best choice for an alternative to Virgin TV. It has roughly the same number of channels and an excellent TV box with useful features such as multiroom, recording, and built-in streaming support. Like Virgin, Sky TV is available as a standalone TV package without broadband or phone.
This is a flexible and affordable alternative to other TV services as all you need for NOW is a compatible net-connected device (such as a smartphone, computer, tablet, TV box, or smart TV) and a NOW TV pass. You don't have to commit to a lengthy contract, and you can trial the service for 7 days without paying a penny.
Expert summary: top three Virgin Media competitors
If you’re looking for a service that can deliver (almost) everything that Virgin has, then Sky's your best bet.
TalkTalk is a great budget alternative to Virgin with some cheap broadband and TV bundles. BT TV is also very similar, but TalkTalk does have the edge when it comes to sports as it’s able to get the full selection of Sky Sports channels.
NOW is our favourite option for a cheap broadband and TV service with minimal hassle. Its broadband is great value, and the TV package doesn't require you to sign up for a lengthy contract or get any special equipment. You almost certainly already own a compatible device to view the NOW TV streaming service.