Dan Howdle | May 16th, 2022
The Virgin Media 'M' series of broadband packages are pretty easy to understand compared to most. The '500' in M500 equates to roughly the downloads speed you'll get in megabits per second (actually a little higher in reality). And you'll get the same Hub 3.0 router as with the M350, M200, M100 and M50 packages. In this quick guide, then, we'll go over the finer details, who M500 is for, and what we think of the package overall.
Here’s a quick summary at what you can expect to find with Virgin Media M500.
|Price||£37 per month|
|Broadband||Fibre to the premises (FTTP)|
|Home phone||None, Evening & Weekends, Anytime|
|Parental controls||Yes: WebSafe|
|Packages available||Broadband only, Broadband & phone, Broadband & TV|
|Contract length||18 months|
The short answer is everybody, provided you are able to make use of all that speed. Sure, it costs a bit more than slower packages, but generally speaking, provided the cost isn't prohibitive for you, the faster you go, the more you can just switch it on and forget about it. And 516Mbps is one heck of a lot of speed.
Here's a quick rundown of who the types of household think the M500 is primarily geared towards:
|Average download speed||108Mbps||213Mbps||362Mbps||516Mbps||1.1Gbps|
|Average upload speed||10Mbps||20Mbps||36Mbps||36Mbps||52Mbps|
|Router||Hub 3.0||Hub 3.0||Hub 3.0||Hub 3.0||Hub 4|
|Contract length||18 months||18 months||18 months||18 months||18 months|
|Prices from||£25 per month||£29 per month||£33 per month||£37 per month||£60 per month|
The Hub 3.0 is a pretty capable router with a good range. Probably our only gripe is that, as with most 'free' routers supplied with packages from providers, particularly techy homes may still have to buy and use their own router. Most households shouldn't worry about this, but if you have 40+ devices, you may need to budget for an additional, more capable router.
We wouldn't normally bother to mention this with most packages. After all 50Mbps, say, is hardly ever likely to be split between 40 devices. But at 516Mbps, the M500 really is aimed at those sorts of homes. Here's a quick rundown of the Hub 3.0 specs.
As with all Virgin Media packages, you'll get Virgin Media's WebSafe parental controls package. An excellent way of controlling who can view what from a central dashboard. In addition, you'll get a free copy of Virgin Media's Internet Security – a version of F-Secure's excellent software. You'll need to install this on your PC if you want to use it, though – it's not something that automatically works via your router.
You'll also get unlimited access to 20 million wifi hotspots up and down the UK, including most London Underground stations. Pretty handy if your laptop goes everywhere with you, but maybe not as useful as it once was, since most people now have generous, if not unlimited, allowances on their mobile phones.
The big optional extra with Virgin Media Broadband is known as Virgin Volt. It adds a 10GB mobile SIM on the O2 network, and offers the ability to fall back on 4G broadband if your existing Virgin Media connection goes down for some reason. It's a pretty good deal provided you are in need of a mobile SIM.
All of the Virgin Media 'M' family of broadband deals are among our most highly recommended. Broadly, they provide excellent value for money (speed to cost ratio), and decent equipment. In the case of the M500, this is especially true. Speeds are ludicrous and it won't break the bank. Ultimately it just comes down to whether this kind of oomph is something you either want or need.
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