Virgin Media installation: Here's what you need to know

Dan Howdle | April 3rd, 2023

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So you've decided to join Virgin Media, or you're in the process of deciding, and you want to know the ins and outs of the installation process. You've come to the right place. We'll tell you how long it takes, what you'll need, and what to expect.

If you haven't already picked out a Virgin Media deal, you can do so using our comprehensive Virgin Media comparison tool. It'll not only show every deal and special offer available right now, but also check for you that you can indeed get Virgin Media services where you live – important when you consider that unlike other providers, Virgin Media isn't available everywhere.

Virgin Media is completely unique in the technology it will be bringing into your home, and thus the requirements of the installation of your services are equally unique. Sky needs to bolt a satellite dish onto your home, while most broadband providers are able to use the phone line coming into you home to get you online. Virgin Media has its own, unique cable network which uses a hybrid copper/fibre-optic coaxial cabling system – the same one that used to deliver cable TV in them olden days.

On the plus side, Virgin's cables are able to deliver quite insanely fast internet speeds and a broad range of TV services through a single discreet cable. On the negative side you have to have said cable running past your home to get it, and Virgin Media will need to drill a hole in your outer wall all the way through into your home to install your services.

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Virgin Media broadband and TV installation

Virgin Media broadband installation process can vary depending on the type of service you choose and the existing infrastructure in your area. Generally, the process involves the following steps:

  • Check availability: Before placing an order, you should check if Virgin Media's broadband services are available in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on their website or calling their customer service team
  • Choose a package: Once you have confirmed availability, you can choose a broadband package that suits your needs. Virgin Media offers various packages with different speeds, data allowances, and prices
  • Book an installation appointment: After choosing a package, you need to book an installation appointment with Virgin Media. You can select a date and time that works for you, and their team will confirm the appointment via email or phone
  • Installation day: On the day of installation, a technician will visit your property to install the necessary equipment, such as a hub and cables. They may also need to drill holes and install sockets if you don't already have them
  • Testing and activation: Once the installation is complete, the technician will test the connection and make sure everything is working correctly. You may need to activate your account online or over the phone before you can start using the broadband service

Overall, Virgin Media aims to make the installation process as smooth and hassle-free as possible, and their customer service team is always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Virgin Media routers

The situation with Virgin Media routers is rather tumultuous at the time of writing. Existing customers will have a mixture of the older Hub 3 and the newer Hub 4, depending on how long they've been a customer, and which broadband speed they receive. But it's even more mystifying than that, because Virgin Media is currently rolling out its latest Hub 5 router to those subscribing to its top speeds, but getting one may also depend on where you live, since the Hub 5 requires your local Virgin Media network to be upgraded to supply it. Confused?

Well, Virgin Media will be able to tell you which router you're getting. It won't be the Hub 3 as that's now discontinued. But in the following table let's compare the three anyway so you can see what's what.

Virgin Media Broadband router specifications

Features Hub 5 Hub 4 Hub 3
Number of antennae 7 7 5
2.4 GHz WiFi band 3x3 11/b/g/n/ax 3x3 11/b/g/n 2x2 11/b/g/n
5 GHz WiFi band 4x4 11ax 4x4 11ac 3x3 11ac
WiFi spec 6 5 5
Dual band Concurrent Concurrent Concurrent
Network connection DOCSIS 3.1 DOCSIS 3.1 DOCSIS 3.0
Etdernet 1x 2.5Gbps, 3x 1Gbps 4x 1Gbps 4x 1Gbps

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Virgin Media TV set-top boxes

Virgin Media offers a range of set-top boxes to suit different viewing habits and preferences. In terms of installation, if you've already got a Virgin Media broadband connection up and running, Virgin Media will simply post you the box and you can just plug it in and go. If you're new to Virgin Media it'll be set up the same day as your broadband.

Virgin TV 360 box

The current set-top box is the Virgin TV 360 box, which is a compact and sleek device that offers seamless integration with Virgin Media's TV and broadband services. The Virgin TV 360 box supports 4K resolution and HDR content, and comes with a voice-controlled remote for easy navigation. It also offers features such as catch-up TV, on-demand content, and the ability to pause and rewind live TV.

Unlike previous set-top boxes from Virgin, the TV 360 only needs a Virgin Media broadband connection either wired or over wifi. Previous boxes relied on the same coaxial cable that delivers your broadband being routed to wherever you have your TV, which could cause some installation headaches. The fact you now only need wifi makes installation of the TV 360 much, much easier.

Virgin V6 box

Prior to the Virgin TV 360 box, Virgin Media offered the V6 box, which was introduced in 2016. The V6 box was an upgrade from the previous TiVo box, and offered a faster processor, 4K resolution, and the ability to record six shows at once. The V6 box also featured a range of apps, including Netflix and YouTube, and allowed users to pause, rewind, and record live TV.

Virgin TiVo and V+ boxes

Before the TiVo box, Virgin Media offered the V+ box, which was first introduced in 2008. The V+ box offered features such as pause, rewind, and record live TV, as well as the ability to store up to 80 hours of content. The V+ box also supported high-definition content and offered a range of on-demand content. Overall, Virgin Media has continually updated its set-top boxes to offer users the latest technology and features, ensuring that its customers have access to the best possible viewing experience.

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Pre-installation checklist for new customers

If you're new to Virgin Media and having your services installed for the first time there are a few things you should look to do both prior to sign-up, and during the (usually around) two-week wait to having your services installed.

  • Book the right slot: It may seem obvious, but you'll have to be at home when the engineer arrives to set you up. Having apoken to a fair few Virgin Media technicians in our time, we can tell you you would be amazed how many people either forget or simply book a time that was never convenient in the first place
  • Know where you want to put your router: Where the technician drills a hole into your home from the exterior wall will be determined by the spot you choose to have your router. Try to choose somewhere as close to the middle of the house as possible to minimise wifi dead zones at the extremes of your home
  • Get permission from the landlord: Because installation involves putting a hole in your home, if you're a renter you will need permission from the landlord before work can be carried out. Sometimes Virgin Media will want to see this in writing
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Frequently asked questions

How does Virgin Media installation work?

Once you're signed up to the package of your choice, it's generally a one to three week wait to have your services installed. Be aware that a hole will need to be drilled in through your exterior wall and if you don't own your home, you will need to get permission for the work to take place.

How does Virgin Media get the cable to my house?

Unless you already have Virgin Media equipment installed at your home, the technician will need to drill a hole in through your exterior wall. If you don't own your property, you will need permission from your landlord.

How long does Virgin Media installation take?

It takes on average two weeks to get your connection up and running with Virgin Media. This can be shorter if they are not particularly busy in your area, or longer if they are, because the time you wait is decided by the availability of Virgin Media's technicians.

Do I need an engineer to install Virgin Media?

Yes. Even if you already have Virgin Media equipment installed in your home from a prior service either you or your home's former residents had, a technician will still need to visit to get you set up. However, if you do already have the cabling running into your home, you may not need to be home when they arrive. Virgin Media will make it clear the situation when you sign up.

Is Virgin Media installation free?

Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. It depends when you take out your package and whether free installation is currently being offered.

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