Dan Howdle | February 10th, 2024
Virgin Media’s ultrafast broadband packages make it a leading provider in the UK, now touting speeds as high as 1Gbps with competitive landline, O2 mobile SIM and TV bundles, for the increasingly ‘smart home’. But what if you don’t need such high speeds, or aren’t looking to commit to a fixed-term contract?
The M50 fibre package is one of Virgin’s entry-level packages, ideal for those with lighter broadband needs, who only need a short-term solution thanks to its monthly rolling option. This quick guide outlines the key features of the package, to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Here’s a quick summary at what you can expect to find with Virgin Media M500.
|£28 per month
|Fibre to the premises (FTTP)
|None, Talk Weekends
|Virgin Media Hub 3
|Broadband only, Broadband & phone
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Virgin Media typically directs customers looking for an entry-level broadband deal to its 100Mbps package, ideal for small households. However, the lesser-known M50 package offers bite-sized broadband, averaging 54Mbps, best for those who live alone or who don’t use many devices at once. Download speeds should suffice for streaming TV & movies at home, but limited upload speeds rule out gamers, and Zoom users may struggle if other devices are sharing the connection.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of who we would recommend the M50 broadband package to:
|M50 Fibre Broadband + Calls
|£28 per month
|M125 Fibre Broadband
|£29 per month
|M250 Fibre Broadband
|£33 per month
|M350 Fibre Broadband
|£37 per month
|M500 Fibre Broadband
|£41 per month
|Gig1 Fibre Broadband
|£48 per month
|Gig2 (coming soon)
|Up to symmetrical
|£84 per month
As with Virgin’s other packages and those of most UK providers, this package offers unlimited downloads and uploads with no quotas or data restrictions. Take note of the 5Mbps upload speed you receive with M50 however, which could prove challenging if your work requires uploading large files with frequency.
As one of Virgin’s entry-level offerings, the M50 package is supplied with the Virgin Media Hub 3 router. With Hubs 4 & 5 on the market, bundled with Virgin’s larger broadband packages, Hub 3 doesn’t have as many features as its successors. Nevertheless, with solid wifi coverage - even in larger homes - the kit is well-suited to this specific package and its likely uses. Customers aren’t tied to using Virgin’s hardware, so you can upgrade and enhance your connection with better wifi and more advanced networking features, by purchasing your own additional router if you wish.
Broadband customers can add Stream from Virgin Media to their purchase, to receive a set top box which plugs into your TV, and gain access to over 40 free channels and on-demand apps like iPlayer and All4, for a one-off £35 activation fee. Further, customers who subscribe to paid streaming services such as Netflix & Disney+ through their Virgin Media Stream box currently get 10% of those subscription fees back as Stream credit on their account.
Parents & families can take comfort with Web Safe, available with all of Virgin’s broadband services, offering both parental control (also referred to as Child Safe) as well as a safety net against suspicious sites that may pose a threat (Virus Safe). Child Safe’s customisable features allow you to block social media platforms, or indeed any other websites, with ease. These content blocks can also be deployed only at certain times of day, keeping content safe for the kids before bedtime, without blocking your own access thereafter. Please note that Web Safe is a local feature, applicable only to your home network and devices connected to your router. Your Web Safe settings will not apply when using Virgin Media WiFi public hotspots when on the move.
All Virgin Media broadband customers can benefit from a free, three month trial of Virgin Media Internet Security, powered by F-Secure. The software protects an unlimited number of your devices against viruses and malware, protects your banking and financial details from hacking, and blocks websites at risk of phishing activity. Where Child Safe can only be deployed in the home, Virgin Media Internet Security can be installed directly onto Windows, MacOS, Android and iOS devices, with customisable parental controls per device. After the trial, the service costs £30 per year, or £3 per month on a rolling basis.
Virgin Media WiFi is the supplier’s public wifi service, to help you stay connected on the go, without eating into your mobile data. Offering over 3.5 million wifi hotspots across the UK allowance, Virgin Media WiFi can be found everywhere from high-streets to airports, and even in London’s Underground and Overground stations. Virgin Media has over 20 million hotspots worldwide, all of which can be located via the Virgin Media Connect app, so you can stay connecting even whilst traveling.
Overall, we highly recommend Virgin Media broadband packages. With its ultrafast packages at competitive rates, Virgin Media offers value for money at more advanced bandwidth speeds. When it comes to entry-level packages though, we’re split on the M50 deal.
For those who need flexibility and control in the short-term, and whose bandwidth demands are low, the M50 package on a rolling monthly could be the ideal solution. However, if you are comfortable where you are, and simply don’t need the lightning speeds of Virgin’s other fibre packages, there are better fixed-term deals for you at Virgin Media. For nearly £20 less per month when bundled with calls and without any installation fees, there is no reason not to opt for the supplier’s more popular M125 broadband package.
The M50 package can be purchased as a monthly rolling contract, as a standalone broadband only supply, and can also be bundled with a landline supply, with free weekend calls. Virgin Media’s services can also often be packaged with Virgin TV and/or a mobile SIM deal, depending on your needs. Frequent discounts on other Virgin Media services mean a more advanced package may end up cheaper long-term, and we’d certainly encourage you to compare its current offers, if considering the M50 package for your home.
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