Broadband review: Virgin Media

Continuing our look at Britain’s top broadband providers, we now look at what Virgin Media Broadband has to offer.

Clearly Virgin Media Broadband will change their broadband services from time to time and we will endeavour to keep the information up to date. This article was last updated on 4 January 2010.

You can link through directly to the Virgin Media Broadband website for their latest offers.

Like many broadband providers, Virgin Media Broadband offer particularly good deals on broadband when it is bundled with other services, such as phone or digital TV. However, for the purposes of this article we look at the broadband-only packages provided by Virgin.

Using Virgin Broadband

As seems to be the industry standard, Virgin offers three broadband packages all with attractive introductory prices.

All of Virgin’s broadband packages are subject to a minimum contract and services ‘are available in Virgin media cabled streets only’, so coverage may be limited. However, you can easily check your postcode to see if you can get the services.

Sign-up for Virgin Media broadband and what do you get?

Free Wireless router – If you sign up for a Virgin broadband package you get a wireless ‘G’ router as standard. This simple to set up router has a good wireless range and it’s got built-in wireless encryption to make it secure. You can share your connection with other users or stream music.

Free email – You get your own email account, with up to 15 email addresses.

Free online storage – You get online space to create your own website and online and phone help if you need it.

Free internet security – PCguard Total also comes free which includes anti-virus software, firewall and a pop-up blocker.

With Virgin broadband there are no download limits on any of three three packages, although there is an acceptable usage policy.

You don’t need a BT phone line as the service is provided through Virgin’s fibre optic network.

For peace of mind, there’s a 28-day money back guarantee so you can try it out and if it’s not to your satisfaction, you can give it back or swapit for another service.

So, let’s take a closer look at the three broadband packages on offer from Virgin, namely – L, XL and XXL.

  • L – Up to 10Mb speed. This is Virgin’s cheapest broadband option at £12.50 per month, currently with the first 2 months free. Get more details.
  • XL – Up to 20Mb speed. The charge is £20 per month, currently with the first 2 months free. Get more details.
  • XXL – Up to 50Mb speed.  The monthly charge is £28 per month but currently you get the first 2 months free. Get more details.

Since Virgin Broadband is delivered by cable, your distance from the telephone exchange is not an issue here.

Virgin Media state that ‘it’s at 2 least time faster than BT, Tiscali and Orange when you compare average actual download speeds.’

We give Virgin Media the thumbs up for allowing unlimited downloads on all its packages.

Virgin Broadband comes under the more general Virgin Media label which also offers television, home phone and mobile phone services.

It seems that the best deals come in bundle form when you combine two or more of these services.

For example, you can get over 65 digital TV channels, broadband and free landline calls all weekend for £18 per month. This does need you though to take a Virgin phone line for £11 per month, but when you upgrade to fibre optic broadband you don’t need a BT landline.

We will not go into the permutations of all the bundles and combinations available from Virgin Media here, but it seems the real value lies in signing up for more than one service.

We will review Virgin media bundles in future MoneyHighStreet articles.

Meantime if you want to know more about Broadband bundles, you may find our article ‘Broadband bundles – what are they and should I get one?‘ useful

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