Dan Howdle | February 10th, 2024

Virgin Media M50 fibre broadband

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? Virgin Media M50 fibre broadband

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.

Key features

Here’s a quick summary at what you can expect to find with Virgin Media M500.

Price (from) £28 per month
Download speed 54Mbps
Upload speed 5Mbps
Broadband Fibre to the premises (FTTP)
Home phone None, Talk Weekends
Parental controls Yes: WebSafe
Router Virgin Media Hub 3
Packages available Broadband only, Broadband & phone
Contract length 18 months

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Who is Virgin Media M50 for?

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:

  • Households with one to two occupants – Each device in the home with an active internet connection uses up bandwidth. M50 should comfortably support a small household, with one to four devices in use at any given time. However, as services like Netflix & Disney+ build their 4K content libraries, streaming services will more often require higher speeds to run smoothly. Too many devices streaming HD film & TV at once may cause connection issues on this package
  • Tech-lite living – If you’re not a gamer, reckon you won’t be downloading large files often, and have no need for smart assistants like Alexa or Google Nest, a package with more modest speeds may be perfect for you. M50 is great for casual browsing, solo streaming, and staying connected with family and friends via Zoom or FaceTime
  • Short term lets – The M50 is one of the packages Virgin has available for short-term, rolling monthly contracts. If you’re staying somewhere short-term, and don’t want to commit to an 18 or 24 month broadband contract, this package offers you flexibility and an easy out, with a 30 day notice period

How does M50 compare?

Broadband Package Download Speed Upload Speed Monthly Cost
M50 Fibre Broadband + Calls 54Mbps 5Mbps £28 per month
M125 Fibre Broadband 132Mbps 20Mbps £29 per month
M250 Fibre Broadband 264Mbps 25Mbps £33 per month
M350 Fibre Broadband 362Mbps 36Mbps £37 per month
M500 Fibre Broadband 516Mbps 52Mbps £41 per month
Gig1 Fibre Broadband 1.1Gbps 104Mbps £48 per month
Gig2 (coming soon) 2Gbps Up to symmetrical £84 per month
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What's included with M50?

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.

Virgin Media Hub 3.0

Virgin Media Hub 3 router specification

  • Robust, reliable wifi – The Hub 3 included in this package utilises the standard wifi 5 (802.11ac) introduced in 2013, and common across many router options
  • Smart channel selection – The Hub 3 strives to offer you the best wifi connection, automatically connecting your devices to the fastest available channel and frequency
  • Intelligent wifi Technology – The router keeps track of all network connections, boosting the signal to further away devices, ensuring equitable wifi experience between all devices in the home
  • Dual band – Now a norm for home routers, the Hub 3 offers two frequency bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz respectively
  • Four gigabit ethernet ports – The Hub 3 sports four Ethernet ports, offering wired connection to up to four different devices for a stronger connection
  • Five antennae – The Hub 3 has five antennae. Though outnumbered by some of its successors, wifi coverage remains sound, in practice

Extras

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.

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What we think

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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To order by phone, call Virgin Media on
0333 210 1126

Lines open 8am-10pm Monday to Sunday

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