Home  ›  Guides  ›  TalkTalk vs Virgin Media

TalkTalk vs Virgin Media

Wednesday, August 2nd 2017

With both TalkTalk and Virgin Media offering broadband, digital TV, landline and mobile phone bundles, it can be hard to decide which is right for you, especially if you are looking to have one provider cover all bases.

It’s important to consider all the pros and cons of both providers, as each takes a very different approach to its broadband, TV and home phone services. Both Virgin Media and TalkTalk are quad-play providers, offering TV, broadband, home phone, and a SIM card.

At a glance

Virgin and TalkTalk both offer broadband, phone and TV packages. Virgin is known as a premium provider, but TalkTalk has budget pricing on its side. TalkTalk offers standard and fibre broadband, whereas Virgin only offers fibre – with speeds starting at 100Mbps. TalkTalk boasts greater availability as it runs on the BT Openreach network, whereas Virgin runs on its own network, which currently reaches around 50% of UK properties.

  • TalkTalk Faster Fibre 38Mb + TV

    TalkTalk
    • Freeview channels
    • Pay nothing today
    • TV Box & Super Router
    £27 .50
    £25 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal
  • Virgin Media The Player TV Bundle

    Virgin Media
    • Freeview channels
    • Pay nothing today
    • Weekend calls
    • Free 500GB TiVo Box & WiFi router
    £30
    £20 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal

Broadband speed

TalkTalk broadband speed

TalkTalk broadband packages start at £18.95 per month.

TalkTalk offers standard broadband or two levels of fibre optic broadband. TalkTalk Faster Broadband provides speeds of up to 38Mb, while the second option offers speeds of up to 76Mb. This is enough to stream HD content, download files and play online games on several computers at once. Standard broadband comes on a 12-month contract, and fibre comes on an 18-month contract.

Virgin Media broadband speed

In contrast, Virgin Media doesn’t offer standard broadband services, just three different levels of fibre broadband with advertised speeds of 100Mb, 200Mb and 300Mb. The latter speed, also known as Vivid 300, is by far the fastest widely available in the UK.

With 300Mb, dozens of computers can be online at the same time, each one streaming video or playing online games without a hint of slowdown.

Download speed 76Mbps
up to
300Mb
up to
Upload speed 19Mbps
up to
20Mbps
up to
Usage options Unlimited Unlimited
Fair usage policy
Traffic management
Static IP
Contract 24 Months 12 Months
Public wi-fi
Prices from £18.95 per month £27 per month
Compare deals Compare deals
TalkTalk
Download speed
Up to 76Mbps
Upload speed
Up to 19Mbps
Usage options
Unlimited
Fair usage policy
No
Traffic management
No
Static IP
No
Contract
24 Months
Public wi-fi
No
Prices from
£18.95 per month
Virgin Media
Download speed
Up to 300Mb
Upload speed
Up to 12Mbps
Usage options
Unlimited
Fair usage policy
No
Traffic management
Yes
Static IP
No
Contract
12 Months
Public wi-fi
Yes
Prices from
£27 per month

TV services from TalkTalk and Virgin

TalkTalk TV

If you want TalkTalk TV, you have to take TalkTalk broadband. There’s no getting around it. There are two TV packages to choose from: TV alone has over 70 channels, whereas TV Plus comes with over 80 channels, including seven Sky channels. TV alone is free to add to any TalkTalk Broadband package. There is only a £25 charge for the box. TV Plus costs an extra £6 per month on top.

Both packages include 10 HD channels. It’s worth noting that you will only be able to record content with the TV Plus Box.

With every package you also get a mobile SIM that gives you 200 minutes, unlimited texts, and 500MB of data to use with your smartphone each month.

Virgin Media TV

Virgin Media’s TV packages can be taken alone or with a phone plan, or with broadband in a bundle. There is a variety of TV packages available. Mix TV has over 150 channels, Fun TV has over 190 channels and Full House TV has over 245 channels.

If you take out a Virgin bundle, you will receive a TiVo box with 500GB of storage space as standard. If you just want Virgin's TV services, you will receive a V HD box as standard, which has no recording capacity at all, but you can upgrade to a TiVo box for £5 per month.

Standard channels 80+ 60+
Maximum channels 110+ 245+
HD channels 10 50+
Digital recorder Youview+ TiVo box
Recording space Up to 180 hours Up to 500 hours
Pause, rewind, record    
Catch-up TV    
TV on demand    
Prices from Free £26
Compare deals Compare deals
TalkTalk
Standard channels
80+
Maximum channels
110+
HD channels
10
Digital recorder
Youview+
Recording space
Up to 180 hours
Pause, rewind, record
  •  
Catch-up TV
  •  
TV on demand
  •  
Prices from
Free
Virgin Media
Standard channels
70+
Maximum channels
245+
HD channels
50+
Digital recorder
TiVo box
Recording space
Up to 500 hours
Pause, rewind, record
  •  
Catch-up TV
  •  
TV on demand
  •  
Prices from
£26

TalkTalk and Virgin home phone packages

TalkTalk home phone

There are two basic home phone packages with TalkTalk: no calls or Anytime UK calls.

You can add the Anytime UK Calls to any package from just £7.50. Each free call is restricted to 60 minutes, so if you want to carry on talking, hang up or redial to avoid incurring any extra charges.

Virgin Media home phone

There are four home phone packages with Virgin Media: Talk Weekends, Talk More Weekends, Talk More Evenings and Weekends, Talk More Anytime. The Talk Weekends package, is included as standard with broadband and Virgin Media bundles. It comes with unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles. Ideal for those who don’t rely on their home phones.

The Talk More Anytime plan is the ultimate call package from Virgin Media. It comes with unlimited free calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles, 0845 numbers and all UK mobiles.

1471 feature Free Free
Voicemail Free Free
Call waiting Optional Optional
Caller display Free Optional
Call diversion Optional Optional
International options Standard rates Talk International add-on
TalkTalk
1471 feature
Free
Voicemail
Free
Call waiting
Optional
Caller display
Free
Call diversion
Optional
International options
Standard rates
Virgin Media
1471 feature
Free
Voicemail
Free
Call waiting
Optional
Caller display
Optional
Call diversion
Optional
International options
Talk International add-on

TalkTalk and Virgin mobile plans

TalkTalk mobile plans

TalkTalk’s SIM-only plans are 3G-only and come with a range of different allowances. The most basic plan has 200 minutes and 500MB of data. The top-tier option has unlimited minutes and unlimited data. All TalkTalk plans come on a 30-day rolling contract.

To get a TalkTalk mobile plan you have to be a TalkTalk customer. There’s simply no getting around it. Furthermore, you can only get a maximum of three mobile SIMs, so if your family is large or you enjoy sharing SIM cards with strangers, some are going to miss out.

Virgin Mobile plans

Virgin Mobile has several SIM-only plans available to both new customers and those who already receive a Virgin Media service like TV or broadband. Plans range in size from 250 minutes and 500MB of data at the most basic to 5000 minutes and 10GB of data at the top level. All Virgin Mobile plans are 4G.

When you join Virgin Mobile you can download the Wi-Fi Buddy app to your smartphone for free. Virgin has over 22,000 hotspots around the UK and the app will connect you to their networks, automatically, whenever you are in range. You can also use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for free.

How good is TalkTalk’s and Virgin Media’s customer service?

TalkTalk customer service

TalkTalk doesn’t have the best customer service record in the world and it remains below the industry average for customer satisfaction this year, according to a report by Ofcom.

Virgin Media customer service

Virgin Media’s customer satisfaction levels are markedly better than TalkTalk’s. While TalkTalk currently has a 53% customer satisfaction level for its broadband service. Virgin Media has a much better 70% – compared to the industry average 67%.

The story is the same with landline and phone services. Virgin Media’s satisfaction rating sits at 72%, and TalkTalk comes in at 56%.

Package Comparison

  • Broadband
    Max download speed38Mb
    Max upload speed10Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Digital TV
    TV channels132
    SD channels118
    HD channels14
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls11.50ppm
    Evening calls11.50ppm
    Weekend calls11.50ppm
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£25
    Contract length18 months
    First year cost £427

    £33.50
    per month
    includes line rental

    0800 083 4313 0800 083 4313
  • Broadband
    Max download speed100Mb
    Max upload speed6Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Digital TV
    TV channels179
    SD channels169
    HD channels10
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls9.94ppm
    Evening calls9.94ppm
    Weekend callsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£20
    Contract length12 months
    First year cost £572

    £46
    per month
    includes line rental

    0808 168 4947 0808 168 4947

Conclusion

Although TalkTalk is generally the cheaper option, we would argue that you should go for Virgin if you can get it. With a far faster download speed and a more reliable service, if you have Virgin cabling in your area, it should be your first choice. In addition, Virgin's TV packages are vastly superior to those offered by TalkTalk.

Compare TalkTalk deals Compare Virgin Media deals

Why do we need your postcode?

Once you enter your postcode, Cable.co.uk will perform a live lookup and check all the available providers in your area.

This ensures you receive accurate information on the availability of providers and packages in your area.

Your information is safe with us. We won't share your postcode with anyone. Guaranteed.

Close