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Virgin Vivid 300 broadband review

Wednesday, November 4th 2015

Virgin Media has once again taken its fastest broadband speed and made it even faster by upgrading 200Mb to 300Mb. As a result, its top package - now called Vivid 300 - remains the fastest, widely available fibre broadband service in the UK. But does the big red company deliver on its big red words?

More importantly, is being the fastest really the defining factor when determining whether a broadband service is worthwhile? For most, that much bandwidth is pure overkill. We need to see past the big number and get to the bigger picture. Here’s everything you need to know about usage, technology, extras and value for money.

Cable.co.uk overall rating
4

This is the fastest widely available broadband there is. If you have a big family or a lot of housemates, each with multiple devices, it may be for you. However, for everybody else – no, really – up to 300Mbps is just too much internet. We can barely think of a regular situation where that much bandwidth would be useful, but, if you're reading this, you probably just want the fastest and the best no matter what. Well, this is it.

Get Virgin Vivid 300 broadband Compare all broadband deals

Speed & usage

Rating

5

The first thing you’ll notice about Virgin Vivid 300 is the speed. At up to 300Mb, this is the fastest advertised fibre optic broadband speed widely available in the UK, so if you’re looking for a faster way to get access to your favourite downloadables, you’ve come to the right place. To give you a sense of just how fast that is, up to 300Mb is ample to stream 15-20 HD movies to 15-20 different devices – all at the same time.

Ofcom's study into the actual average speeds – both off and on peak times – don’t disappoint, as you would expect with Virgin. Worthy of note is the fact that Virgin operates a traffic management policy on uploads, so if you’re a rampant file sharer, you could find your upload speed throttled at peak times.

Advertised download speed Up to 300Mbps
Average downloads (off-peak)
Average downloads (peak)
Advertised upload speed Up to 20Mbps
Monthly usage limit No
Traffic management Yes (uploads only)
Static IP No
Minimum contract From one month
Router Hub 3.0
Public wi-fi Yes, London Underground only
Prices from £44 per month
Info

Scroll horizontally for more information.

What you can do with it

Advertised

Actual

The ‘Actual’ speeds are those reported by Ofcom.

Call plan

Rating

5

The best feature of Virgin’s broadband, other than the speed, is that the call plan is optional. If you don’t want a call plan, you won’t get a landline to your property. There are so many more ways to communicate now, both online and with mobile phones, it’s no big surprise that so many of us want to avoid having to pay for a landline. However, the price of broadband-only with Virgin is fractionally more expensive so you may decide it is not worth it.

If you do still want a call plan, however, Virgin Media has plenty of options for you to choose from. You will automatically receive the Call Weekends plan, and this can be upgraded to Talk Evenings & Weekends, Talk Unlimited and Talk Unlimited Extra – plenty of scope if you like a good natter, are at home a lot and have fairly limited minutes on your mobile plan. On top of that you can add a range of handy extras, including Talk International, which significantly reduces the cost when calling abroad.

Extras

Rating

3

Virgin Media is a premium provider, so we expect premium extras. Virgin Media offers free public wi-fi on the platforms and about the stations of the London Underground, but not on the trains, which might have been more useful when you consider the short waiting times. You’ll also receive free online security in the form of F-Secure SAFE, protecting up to five devices from viruses, spyware/hacker attacks and identity theft.

Other than the free software, you can also pay for additional help with Virgin’s Live Expert Help, which gives you round-the-clock telephone technical support for a whole host of devices, software and general technical issues. You can also pay for one-off fixes for anything you’re having problems with. Virgin states that it can fix 90% of problems remotely, which is reassuring if you’re not very technically-minded.

How much value you feel you're getting really depends on whether your household will fully utilise all this speed. Otherwise, it's a pretty high price for a service that could be surplus to your needs.

Virgin Media adds more value to the package with the range of extras and tech that it provides, all stuff you’d expect from one of the top-end providers, but it’s great to receive it all for no extra cost. Let’s take a look at how it stacks up against its Virgin Media siblings.

  • Broadband
    Max download speed300Mb
    Max upload speed20Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls9.94ppm
    Evening calls9.94ppm
    Weekend callsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£20
    Contract length12 months
    First year cost £548

    £44
    per month
    includes line rental

    0808 168 4947 0808 168 4947
  • Broadband
    Max download speed200Mb
    Max upload speed12Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls9.94ppm
    Evening calls9.94ppm
    Weekend callsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£20
    Contract length12 months
    First year cost £488

    £39
    per month
    includes line rental

    0808 168 4947 0808 168 4947
  • Broadband
    Max download speed100Mb
    Max upload speed6Mb
    Monthly usageUnlimited
    Home Phone
    Daytime calls9.94ppm
    Evening calls9.94ppm
    Weekend callsInclusive
    Pricing & Contract
    Set-up cost£20
    Contract length12 months
    First year cost £428

    £34
    per month
    includes line rental

    0808 168 4947 0808 168 4947

As a Virgin Media broadband customer you'll receive a Hub 3.0 free of charge. The Super Hub 3.0 uses wireless N technology, which gives you a fast connection with better-than-average signal penetration throughout your property. It's dual band, which means it works on two frequencies, enabling you to connect more than 20 devices at once. Finally, it’s equipped with the latest secure encryption technology, so your wi-fi is safe from unwanted access.

Installation costs just £20. Virgin Media makes the process of switching as painless as possible, switching you over the same day you cancel your old supplier.

Virgin Media Router

Overall Rating

4

You have to need some pretty serious internet to justify Virgin Media’s up to 300Mb broadband service. We’re talking ten devices, at least six household members, all of them heavy internet users. For everyone else, Virgin's "measly" 100Mb or 200Mb is more than enough.

Virgin Media’s pricing makes the speeds extremely tempting. They compete fiercely with other providers such as BT and Sky on price and still outtrip them on speed. Then there’s the fact that you don't have to have a landline. However, don't choose Virgin broadband-only as a money-saving excercise - it is actually marginally more expensive than taking a weekend call plan.

Get Virgin Vivid 300 broadband

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