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Virgin Media Broadband Review 2024

Our Virgin Media Broadband rating: 3.2/5

Virgin Media offers incredible download speeds, as well as a varied mix of bundled TV and phone deals. But there are some downsides too, with reports of slow and awkward customer support. Find out more in our full Virgin Broadband review.

Virgin Media broadband review 2024

Speed Satisfaction 3.4/5
Customer Service  2.8/5
Value for Money  3/5
Reliability 3.5/5
Router 3.5/5
Overall score 3.2/5

If you’ve popped your address into our deals checker, there’s a high chance you’ll be told Virgin Media is the fastest broadband provider you can sign up to. As it owns and operates its own cable network, the availability of its service is separate to many other competitors. This is good news if you want the ultrafast speeds, but haven’t yet been connected to a full fibre network.

As well as broadband only deals, Virgin Media has plenty of options for bundled deals that include TV services and home phone. But this choice often comes at a cost.

Although its entry-level broadband only option (M125) comes in at under £30 per month, prices get a lot steeper once you start adding on other services.

Follow us in our review, as we look into whether Virgin Media broadband is worth the money.

To help us along, we’ll be finding out how Broadband Genie’s resident expert and long-term Virgin Media customer, Alex, has been getting along with his contract.

  • All about Alex, our Virgin Media reviewer

    Here's some information on his home broadband set-up:

    "I've been signed up to Virgin Media long-term, although I have always renewed my contract. Recently, after a house move, we made better use of Virgin's new customer incentives by starting a fresh contract under my Wife's name (previously, it had been under mine).

    I live in a 90s build, semi-detached house with three bedrooms. There are three of us, including my young son.

    I occasionally work remotely and need uninterrupted internet access throughout the day. I'm also a keen online gamer.

    The fastest broadband service available at my home is Virgin Media Gig1 (gigabit broadband). The fastest package available on the Openreach network at my address comes in at 74Mb. However, I would have the option to sign up to Vodafone full fibre served through a CityFibre network.

    I'm signed up to Virgin Media M125 Broadband Only (132Mb average download speed) on an 18-month contract and pay £26.50 per month. This is set to rise in the Spring, thanks to a mid-contract price rise."

We like We don't like
  • Very fast download speeds.
  • No traffic management or fair use policy.
  • You can get internet, phone, TV, and mobile from the same provider.
  • Upload speeds aren’t as impressive as download speeds.
  • You must be in a Virgin Media network area.
  • Can be expensive.
  • Poor customer service record.
  • High level of complaints in 2023

How fast is Virgin Media cable broadband?

Virgin Media offers a broad choice of speeds to suit any household, including those that need ultrafast broadband.

Download Speeds (Average) 54Mb / 132Mb / 264Mb / 362Mb / 516Mb / 1.1Gb / 2Gb
Upload Speeds (Average) 5Mb / 20Mb / 25Mb / 42Mb / 52Mb / 104Mb / 200Mb (2Gb option available)
Data Usage Limit Truly unlimited
Type of Broadband HFC and FTTP
Home Phone Line? Yes (optional)
Inclusive phone calls? Call bundles available as an add-on
Bundled Wi-Fi Router? Virgin Media Hub 3, 4, 5 or 5x (depending on package)

Here's a summary of the current options:

Virgin Media M50

  • Download speed: 54Mb
  • Upload speed: 5Mb

What’s this broadband speed good for? Virgin Media's entry-level M50 package will be enough for many homes. Especially if there is just one or two of you using the internet.

Virgin Media M125

  • Download speed: 132Mb
  • Upload speed: 20Mb

What’s this broadband speed good for? This is a good option for busier homes, although the slower upload speed could be a problem for some.

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Virgin Media M250

  • Download speed: 264Mb
  • Upload speed: 25Mb

What’s this broadband speed good for? The upload speed with M250 is comparable to the best upload rate available with many BT Openreach fibre services. This is something which a lot of Virgin's cheaper broadband packages struggle with. It also provides much better download speeds.

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Virgin Media M350

  • Download speed: 362Mb
  • Upload speed: 36Mb

What’s this broadband speed good for? This service offers upload speeds better than those available to most homes using fibre on the Openreach lines.

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Virgin Media M500

  • Download speed: 516Mb
  • Upload speed: 52Mb

What’s this broadband speed good for? These kinds of download speeds will suit homes where several people may be streaming and downloading at the same time.

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Virgin Media Gig1

  • Download speed: 1.1Gb
  • Upload speed: 104Mb

What’s this broadband speed good for? Few people truly need Gig1, but if you want to make short work of huge downloads while streaming multiple 4K videos at the same time, this will let you do that.

Virgin Media customers on the Gig1 package got an upload speed increase in May 2023 from 52Mb to 104Mb. However, comparable full fibre (also known as 'FTTP' or 'Fibre To The Premises') services can comfortably outpace Gig1 on uploads, with some offering a broadband connection where upload and download speeds are the same.

You can read more about this in our guide to upload speeds.

Virgin Media Gig2

  • Download speed: 2Gb
  • Upload speed: 200Mb

What’s this broadband speed good for? The same applies to Virgin Media's currently limited Gig2. We can't think of many instances where an average home will need a 2Gb service, especially at £84 per month. But if you can afford it, and you live in a busy household, this will make light work of all your online needs.

This package can be upgraded to increase the upload speed to a symmetrical service (2000Mb). This is something the likes of BeFibre and Hyperoptic do as standard.

How well does Virgin Media perform when it comes to speed?

In our 2024 Broadband Awards, customer speed satisfaction was middling, with around 69% of customers happy with their service.

In the latest Ofcom speedtest data though, it delivered an impressive 103.3%+ of its advertised download rate.

Unfortunately, Virgin Media has been plagued with a series of outages recently, so it's not surprising if this has made customers a little disgruntled.

Does Virgin Media offer good customer service?

Unfortunately, when it comes to customer service, there’s a great deal of room for improvement. In our 2024 broadband survey, only 59% of its customers were satisifed, and it has some very disappointing results from Ofcom, too.

In Ofcom's April 2024 Report: complaints about broadband, landline, mobile and pay-TV services, Virgin Media the most complained about broadband providers. Between October to December 2023, it received more complaints about complaints handling (43%) than the industry standard (32%).

Virgin Media’s Trustpilot score of 1.6 out of 5 doesn’t paint a pretty picture, either. For a lot of the recent feedback, the common trend seems to be that customers are having a difficult time cancelling their contracts.

Our Genie says...

“During my current contract, I’ve enjoyed a reliable service, so have not had reason to get in contact with Virgin Media’s customer support.

In my previous property, I did suffer from regular slow speeds and the occasional outage.

Unfortunately, I found the customer service live chat very slow, and it regularly timed out. However, when I was able to chat with an agent in the Virgin Media call centre, I received good advice, reminding me to alter the frequency on my Wi-Fi hub. It was a simple solution, but worked wonders!”

Does Virgin Media offer good value for money?

Virgin Media isn’t the provider to choose if you’re trying to get low-cost broadband. You’ll be able to get a much cheaper deal with a basic fibre package on the Openreach network.

But given the speeds, we think it represents pretty good value for money.

You can get 132Mb broadband for the same price as many 65Mb fibre deals, so you can't really get fairer than that.

The broadband and TV packages can be expensive, but you do get a really great TV box and a hugh choice of channels. There are cheaper TV and broadband deal out there, but only Sky can deliver the same kind of premium entertainment (and it can’t match the Virgin network speeds, unless you have access to full fibre in your area).

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Virgin Media Rewards

Virgin Media usually offers bill credits with its broadband, which can help with the cost effectiveness of a contract. You can also normally get a free setup when you sign up as a new customer.

You can compare the latest Virgin Media offers on our Virgin Media cashback and rewards page. For general help with rewards, visit our guide to claiming free gifts and vouchers.

Does Virgin Media increase prices mid-contract?

Virgin Media customers were affected by a mid-contract price increase in 2023, although this was slightly less steep than many of its broadband competitors at 13.8% (for example, BT, EE, and Vodafone rose prices by 14.4%).

Another rise is due in Spring 2024. Unfortunately, as other providers have chosen to base their price increases on the CPI rate, whilst Virgin uses the UK Retail Price Index (RPI) rate, in 2024 Virgin Media customers will see a steeper rise than many, at 8.8%.

Our Genie says...

“So far, I’ve been able to avoid any mid-contract price hikes from Virgin Media by starting my contract afresh. I currently pay £26.50 per month for my M125 deal. However, I’m on an 18-month contract, so nearer the end of my agreement I expect this will pass the £30 price point.

I’m determined not to ride along with this deal and let the monthly price continue to mount up, so I’ve put a note in my calendar to remind me to look for switching options as soon as I can.

Although I don’t have access to Openreach full fibre broadband yet, CityFibre is available in my area. If I were to switch now, there would be competitive, ultrafast deals available with Vodafone”.

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Does Virgin Media offer a social tariff?

Yes! If you’re receiving benefits including Employment Support Allowance, Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit and Universal Credit, you’re eligible to sign up to one of Virgin’s Essential Broadband packages.

Essential broadband is available for low-income customers on a rolling contract, although for this you’ll receive a relatively slow 15Mb (though this will still be fine for basic web browsing and emailing). For £20 a month, you can upgrade to ‘Essential broadband plus’ and a download speed of 54Mb.

For a one-off £20 set-up fee, it’s also possible to upgrade Essential broadband plus to include a streaming service. For this, you’ll receive a device that allows access to Freeview channels, plus any additional subscription services. If you choose to sign up to this, they’ll be added onto your monthly bill.

For more information on social tariffs, visit our guide to ‘broadband deals if you’re on benefits’.

Does Virgin Media offer a reliable internet service?

Unfortunately, in 2023 Virgin Media was plagued by a number of outages, some of which lasted hours at a time, leaving customers unable to get online or access their Virgin Media emails.

In our Broadband Survey, it scored an acceptable 71% satisfaction. However, we anticipate these scores to drop if these technical hiccups become a regular issue. For now, we'll give it the benefit of the doubt these won't carry on to be a regular occurrence.

Virgin Media has a clear service status page, so there should be no need to head to a third-party site such as Downdetector if you're having issues. Although this gives a good general overview of wider reports if you're choosing whether to sign up to a Virgin Media package. 

Virgin is signed up to Ofcom's voluntary Broadband Speed Code of Conduct. This means if report you're having problems with your internet, but it can't be fixed within 30 days, you must be able to leave your contract without paying an early exit fee. 

Does Virgin Media come with a good router?

All Virgin Media broadband deals include a free Virgin Media Wi-Fi router. Most customers will receive the Virgin Media Hub 3, while new Gig1 subscribers will now get the Virgin Media Hub 5 or 5x.

If you’re an existing customer, you can request a free upgrade from Virgin.

For more information on these Hubs, or a Virgin Hub 5 review? You can read our full Virgin Media router round-up.

Router installation

Setting up your Virgin Media Hubs shouldn't be difficult and, unless you need to have a line installed, you'll be able to do this yourself. It's estimated this should take you around 30 minutes. There are clear, quickstart instructions online, should you need them. If you do need technical support, you'll be able to make use of Live Chat, or call between 8am-9pm on weekdays, or 8am-6pm at the weekend.

Are there any other perks with Virgin Media?

Refer a friend

Virgin Media has a refer a friend scheme in place. For each friend or family member that signs up to its broadband service, you’ll get £50 cashback.


If you’re a Virgin Media Broadband customer, and you also have a mobile contract from O2, you can make use of exclusive Volt benefits.

You’ll receive a broadband speed boost to the next available level of Virgin Media fibre broadband, along with double the mobile data on your every O2 Pay Monthly plan in your household. You’ll also be able to use your O2 phone SIM in 75 destinations at no extra cost within the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone.

Volt members can make use of a Wi-Fi guarantee that supplies users with up to 3 Wi-Fi pods if needed.

You can also make use of perks, experiences and priority ticking, although you’ll need to register to get alerts for these special deals.

If you’re not a Volt member, additional perks are a little thin on the ground, although seasonal offers do come up.

Our Genie says...

“When I signed up for a new contract with Virgin Media, there was an offer to receive either three months free Amazon Prime or Disney+. However, it looks as if this was a limited time deal.”

Do we recommend Virgin Media?

Virgin’s biggest advantage is undoubtedly its excellent speeds.

There’s a massive choice of bundles that allow you to add premium TV services, a phone line with inclusive calls, and even mobile broadband and phone combos.

However, Virgin’s network isn't as widespread as the BT Openreach connections that dominate the UK. It’s available to approximately 53% of premises, but that means there are still many homes and businesses that can’t access it.

It is a shame that while it provides fast downloads, the upload speeds are slow compared to its download speed.

Our biggest area of concern is Virgin Media's aftersales care. The Ofcom data and our own survey suggest there are some major problems here, with a service that seems to generate higher than average complaints and can leave you waiting for long periods before someone picks up the phone. A very high level of complaints on complaints handling doesn't give much confidence and seems inexcusable.

Reliability was questionable in 2023, with customers experiencing widespread and lengthy downtime, and unable to access their Virgin Media emails.

Virgin Media user reviews summary

Here are a few customer reviews that neatly wrap up the mixed experiences of recent Virgin Media customers:

“There seem to be a lot of horror stories about Virgin Media, but I have had a broadband package with them for 3 years or so and never had a problem. The price is going up from next month (for the first time since the contract started)... I don't consider that unreasonable. There are occasional issues if you're too far from the router (standard) but the service is consistent and reliable with multiple devices connected all around the house.”
Stuart, Swindon - April 2023

“I was happy with Virgin until I had to cancel. Seems to be par for the course. Customer service deserves -5*. Emails, phone, WhatsApp, chat or whatever, it's nearly impossible to contact them.”
Graham, Belfast - July 2023

Switching broadband providers

Fancy Virgin Media’s fast speeds? You can easily check which packages are available in your area by popping your address into our deals checker.

Virgin Media Broadband Deals Checker

Don't forget to use our filters, so you can sort by price, speed or contract length. Our tables will also show you if there are any great reward offers available, too. You'll be able to see how much money these can save you in the long-run with our clear 'Effective Monthly Price' summary.

Check out our guide on ‘how to switch broadband and get an amazing deal’ for more hints and tricks, learn how to save money and upgrade your home's internet connection with little fuss.

More broadband reviews

We review every major provider we list on Broadband Genie. Here are some other provider reviews you can compare Virgin Media against:

  • Broadband Genie’s review policy

    When you’re looking to switch broadband, we know how important unbiased, balanced, expert reviews can be. As a dedicated broadband comparison and switching site, we are in a unique position to give you expert insight into whether or not we think a provider is worth your money. Read on to find out a little more about our broadband provider review process.

    Expert user reviews

    As the UK's broadband comparison experts, we've asked our team of Genies to provide a detailed review of using their broadband provider. While everyone has different packages and different requirements, we've asked our Genie reviewers to tell us how the package has lived up to their expectations.

    User reviews

    We ask users to review providers on our site, as part of our ongoing Home Broadband Survey project. We gather these reviews by promoting our survey to a broad swathe of customers. In doing so, we aim to get the most accurate and balanced customer feedback as possible. We believe this is preferable to advertising ourselves as a review service, which tends to attract a higher number of frustrated customers, skewing the results.

    We use these scores, in combination with other factors such as Ofcom research to inform our overall ratings (more on this below).

    You can leave your own review on our broadband survey, which also includes a monthly £100 prize draw.

    Overall ratings

    Our overall provider rating is decided upon by our editors, informed by the user feedback we have received, we will also take into account wider market research such as Ofcom’s speed and customer service research, along with other trusted review platforms such as Trustpilot, where appropriate.

    This allows us to create an informed, well-balanced review of a provider that’s ultimately the most useful way to determine whether or not a provider is right for you.

Meet the author:

Online Editor

Broadband Genie's Editor, Emma Davenport, has been contributing to the site since 2007. She has 20 years of experience writing articles, guides and tutorials on consumer technology for magazines and online.

Specialist subject: Broadband advice for vulnerable people

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