Dan Howdle | May 16th, 2022

Virgin Media M500 fibre broadband

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.

Virgin Media M200 fibre broadband

Key features

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

Price £36 per month
Download speed 516Mbps
Upload speed 20Mbps
Broadband Fibre to the premises (FTTP)
Home phone None, Evening & Weekends, Anytime
Parental controls Yes: WebSafe
Router Hub 3.0
Packages available Broadband only, Broadband & phone, Broadband & TV
Contract length 18 months
  • M500 Fibre Broadband
    Virgin Media
    • 516Mb average speed
    • Unlimited usage
    • No phone line
    £50 Bill Credit
    £36 p/m
    Zero one-off cost Get Deal

Who is Virgin Media M500 for?

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:

  • Households with 5+ occupants – The more people there are in your home, the more stress it's going to put on your internet connection. More people, more speed
  • A house full of gamers – Playing games doesn't actually require a lot of download speed. However, downloading games will take whatever you can throw at it. Next time you want to download that new 100GB blockbuster, you'll be glad of 516Mbps
  • Houses with two or more 4K TVs – 4K (UHD) streaming can hog up to 50Mbps in a single stream. If you're doing this on more than one telly at once, it'll quickly eat upo that bandwidth
  • Because you can – If you're not particularly price-conscious or worried about keeping costs down then there is a lot to be said for 'why not?'

How does M500 compare?

M100 M200 M350 M500 Gig1
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 £24 per month £28 per month £32 per month £36 per month £62 per month
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What's included with M500?

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.

Virgin Media Hub 3.0

Virgin Hub 3.0 router specification

  • Next generation WiFi – The Hub 3 uses the latest wireless standard (802.11ac)
  • Smart channel selection – The Smart Hub automatically connects your devices to the fastest WiFi channel and frequency available
  • Intelligent WiFi Technology – The router checks your network connections, ensuring WiFi is shared fairly between devices and boosts the signal to devices which are further away from the router
  • Dual band – Like many modern routers, the Hub 3 uses both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands
  • Four gigabit ethernet ports – The Hub 3 has four gigabit ethernet ports, so you can use a wired connection for up to four devices
  • Five antennae – The Hub 3 has five antennae. This is fewer than some of its competitors, so WiFi coverage may not be perfect throughout your home

Extras

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.

Virgin Media Volt

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.

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What we think

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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To order by phone, call Virgin Media on
0800 211 8144 0800 211 8144

Lines open 8am-10pm Monday to Sunday

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