Virgin Media broadband - any good?


#1

I’m currently with PlusNet. The service is slow and often drops out. I’m not impressed.

Should I move phone and broadband to Virgin Media? Do they provide a reliable service?


#2

Ideally, I’d like Hyperoptic but they’re not in my area yet.


(Simon B) #3

I’ve been with Virgin for a few years now and by and large it’s all been great.

One word of warning - their Superhubs suck. They really do. Mine just stopped connecting to wifi. Had to reboot it, only for it to drop again 10 minutes later. So what I’d advise doing is purchasing a separate router and putting their hub into Modem mode. I got a decent TP-Link for about 30 quid and no problems since.


(James Murray-Ferris) #4

They aren’t bad. Although I would echo Simon that the router is awful and it’s best to be put in modem mode I only left as I work for a popular other provider who gives me free fibre broadband (although I’m actually probably going to switch back)


(Ian Lyon) #5

For the most part, I have absolutely no complaints. I’m on their ~300MB package and whilst their “SuperHub 2” was terrible, the SuperHub 3 has actually been alright for me. That said, the walls in my house are made of cardboard so I doubt it’s struggling to get through them.

The main problem I’ve had with them has been their online services; whenever I’ve wanted to do something online like pay a bill, I’m constantly hit with “internal error” pages and timeouts :unamused:


(Shaun McDonald) #6

Virgin make it hard to find the upload speeds, as they are so slow relative to FTTC. So if you’ll be uploading a lot then it’ll be something to consider.


#7

I have used Virgin for years and have to say the speed is great. I have 300mbs consistently. Probably had loss of service 4 times in 3 years.

Like the others I am having problems with WiFi due to the super hub. Didn’t think about switching it to modem mode. Anyone recommend a router to go with it?


(Kevyn) #8

I’ve been a Virgin customer since fibre was a mainstream thing. Hardly ever goes down (usually an exchange fault not Virgin’s) and excellent speeds at peak demand times (in my area anyway and I am close to the big green street cabinet). As has been discussed the hubs are not great, mine needs rebooting at least once per month and didn’t work when I recently upgraded to the latest Superhub so it needed replacing.

Watch their sales team on upgrading. My mum is also with Virgin and has the internet and TV combo thing and a sales member of staff convinced her into upgrading by offering something free which later turned out to be a limited 3 months free not a free addon as she stated was implied. That was a few years back and could have easily been a rogue salesman. Otherwise, I’ve enjoyed my time with Virgin and wouldn’t consider changing without something significant occurring (large price rises or better product elsewhere etc.).


#9

I find virgin whom I with the best for speed compared to the others In my area. However they do go down from time to time with issues. Also as the OP pointed out Above their routers can be fickle.


(Danny) #10

I have had Virgin since the days of Blueyonder/Telewest and never had any major problems with them, I have never used their wireless so can’t really comment on the hub as it has always been in modem mode.

I am getting Virgin installed here soon (can’t wait) and again that will be modem mode through to my Meraki AP’s.

Would love Hyperoptic though.


(Marcus Nailor) #11

Virgin media is great! On their 200mbps fiber, normally seeing 220mbps down :slight_smile: I agree with what a few people have said… The superhub is awful!

I set our superhub to modern mode and put 2x Google WiFi mesh routers down :smiley: WiFi and internet access is flawless across the entire home for a couple dozen devices :sunglasses:


(Marta) #12

I’ve been with VM for 4 years, on 50Mbps and now 100Mbps. Speed is usually as advertised. Few outages, but rarely longer than few hours. That being said, traffic management (throttling) is a thing and may affect your extensive usage.

I’m considering switching to VM’s VIVID 300 Gamers, where traffic management is disabled. It’s only a few quid more, so if I get a chance to knock off the price a bit, I’m defo going for it.

I don’t have landline or TV, so my high-speed broadband only options are extremely limited.


(Danny) #13

They throttle now??

Also I wasn’t gonna get a landline as I don’t need one but as per usual it is cheaper with one


(Marta) #14

They always did, well, at least since I became their customer. For the majority of the time, you don’t notice it. Throttle only kicks in after +1 hour of extensive usage in peak hours (rules vary, but that’s a general idea). So if someone wants to download big .zip of family pictures and that takes 30 mins, you won’t notice. But if you try to download with max speed for +1h, you’ll see yourself throttled.

https://help.virginmedia.com/system/templates/selfservice/vm/help/customer/locale/en-GB/portal/200300000001000/article/HELP-2320/Virgin-Media-broadband-traffic-management-policy


(Adam Williams) #15

Was with Virgin Media last year, and I’d never ever consider going with them again.

The actual broadband service wasn’t too bad. They increased the price whilst I was with them, but it wasn’t overly expensive. Download was really good (got around 110Mbps for a 100 Mbps plan), but upload was really poor and throttled if used a lot (e.g. 4Mbps which is then halved repeatedly if you use too much) and no IPv6.

When I tried to leave, however, they really took the piss. I did everything properly and wrote to them via recorded delivery with 30 days notice. They ignored the letter, so I phoned up instead and asked for the progress - at which point they did the cancellation on the phone and added an exit charge without informing me.

They then asked for the equipment back, and sent the packaging to the wrong address twice. I had no luck ordering replacements to a different set and they then wanted to charge me ~£50 for not returning the equipment. Despite my requests, they failed to provide an address I could use to organise my own returns postage.

A few weeks later, Royal Mail somehow managed to work out that the package addressed to “Adam Williams, Flat X, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire” (yes, they neglected to include the street address) was for me and so I did eventually manage to return the equipment.

The extra charge was another matter. I first sent them a written complaint (again via recorded delivery) which was ignored, then escalated to the EU alternative dispute resolution service. They refused to take part in the ADR process so my only real option left was to take them to the small claims court. For the amount, it wasn’t worth it.

About two or three months after all of this, I got a phone call from someone in their complaints team who thought my complaint “had merit”, and agreed to post me a cheque for the full amount they incorrectly charged me. They did actually follow through here and the folks at Monzo kindly cashed it for me - but I’d never ever consider giving them any business again.

I’m now with https://lchost.uk/ following a recommendation in the Monzo developer’s slack. Phil is great, I have a routed /56 v6, a static v4, 73Mbps download/~19Mbps upload and the support is excellent. The direct debits support Monzo’s sort code too :smiley:


In terms of equipment, I’ve got the VDSL modem hooked up to a little Debian box which does PPPoE + NAT/DHCP and RA for the v6. WiFi is provided by a Ubiquiti AP and there’s a gigabit switch for the computer and other wired devices.


(Danny) #16

Must be new as I don’t recall it being throttled about 2010


(Adam) #17

Only on uploads during ‘peak’ times unless you are on 200 Gamer or 300


(Marta) #18

You’re describing what’s in the contract:
https://my.virginmedia.com/traffic-management/traffic-management-policy-thresholds.html

But VM is known to ‘manage’ download speeds in some areas as a temporary measure when the network is overcrowded. I think they call it “deliberate utilisation of local systems” and it’s not the same as ‘throttling’/‘traffic management’. In some areas, it was a month or two, in some areas… years. :smiley: Here’s an article (with autoplay video, I’m warning) that describes one of those ‘deliberate utilisations’.


(Adam) #19

I know in over-utilised areas speeds will be slower than advertised especially during peak times - that’s just common-sense. Are you suggesting that VM deliberately slow down users in these areas?


(Marta) #20

Well, deliberate is just a word in this phrase. They know that they don’t have sufficient bandwidth to supply internet as per contract so they deliberately manage it, so all users have their internet limited (in an area) and service remains usable. If they had sufficient bandwidth, they wouldn’t be doing so. It’s a good solution if a company has supply problems, I’d prefer they go for it over having spotty and jumpy internet connection.

Question is what’s the reasonable amount of time user should be subjected to “deliberate utilisation” practices? A week, a month, a year? A contract is cleverly written, as they advertise speeds “up to” some number and separately outline upload throttling. It’s obviously protecting their best interests, not users. :slight_smile:

You can easily find stories of people who were paying for 200Mbps or 100Mbps, and downgraded to 30/50Mbps and still achieved same or marginally different speeds. That looks like a scam, doesn’t it? :wink:

I like Virgin Media, I use it and I’m moderately satisfied with their internet. The difference is that Energy or Water companies kinda have their services in black and white, you either have water or not. Temporary shortages or lower pressure is in majority of cases really temporary, and in the end, you only pay for what you use. That’s fair, even when there are some problems. With the internet, it’s absolutely wild, you can pay for one speed, but since it’s “up to”, you might never get it or very rarely get it, but pay the same fee nonetheless.

I kinda went on a full rant, that’s not towards you in particular, @walderston! :smiley: I had so much better experiences with the internet in Poland… Cheaper, faster and guaranteed speed is usually 90-95% of the purchased speed, not magical ‘up to’ phrase.