Question Thinking of ditching BT landline/BB and going Virgin Media, am I mad?

drinkturps

Well-known Member
For over half a year my BT Broadband (FTTC) is struggling to reach its advertised speeds. I've logged multiple faults and they do something and it works great for a month or so and then slows down again, it's been re-wired, tested inside and out twice now. They guarantee a minimum service and I'm not hitting it. I'm at a point where I'm getting sick of it, yes it works but I'm paying a lot of money for something that is not working as advertised. Also planning on ditching the landline totally as with unlimited calls on the mobiles what's the point of keeping it? It cost me 50p on the landline to order a takeaway on a local call!!

I don't have many suppliers in my area but what I can get is Virgin Media M350 or M500. It looks a significant improvement but wanted to know, how is it for online gaming (good pings?), downloading games, streaming TV and gerneral quality of service. Is it reliable?

Just wanted to understand other peoples experiences with Virgin as the good folk here are more likely tuned to my broadband usage than some other forums.
 

nofear01

Active Member
I have never had an issues (other than when locally it's down), I have the 350mbs, I find it stable and would recommend it.
 

maghouse

Active Member
I have VM - 200mpbs speed - regularly get 220/230 & 15/20 - very rare it drops out altogether.
It does sometimes drop during peak hours as most providers do - sometimes down to 50-100 ..
Generally - very good service.
I am a city dweller so probably helps ;)
 

maghouse

Active Member
PS - I stream a lot of HD music and use SkyQ through broadband with no issues ...
 

Will I Aint

Active Member
I had BT for years and for remote working it was a nightmare with the amount of outages i experienced. I've been a VM customer ever since and not regretted it, outages are rare and when they occur are fixed quickly in my experience.

To be fair to the other providers, i think alot of reliability issues stem from overhead wires. My street has no telegraph poles so assume as service from BT would be much more stable than i had previously.
 

Hampy1972

Distinguished Member
Broadband, you can't touch the speeds of Virgin Media, i'm running over 400 mbs.
For TV, Sky are the best if you can afford it, personally me, I rather have the high bandwidth speeds than have Sky ( I can do what I like, just need the bandwidth)

BT?, I know some folks are happy with their service, they can't match VM on speed but it is suppose to more reliable.

I call VM around March every year (renewal time) give them the usual ( I am thinking of leaving blah blah blah) get sky sports free for 6 months sometimes or a discount...

You don't ask!
You don't get!

:)
 

Will I Aint

Active Member
i've got virgin for 200m BB and Sky Q as i just couldn't get on with the virgin media tv box and lack of 4k content.

For the OP i think in terms of getting advertised speeds it also matters how many customers are in your area. I've just run a speed test and got 201 down 21 up and 7 ping, I don't need speeds above 200 and i chose a gamers bundle as there are no download limits or throttling.

The Superhub 3 is crap in my opinion, awful GUI and unresponsive so you could put in modem mode and add your own wireless access point. I ran wired connections down to my main area with managed and unmanged switches. If you are simply after a turn it on and leave it person then the superhub will be fine for an average user, might just be me whinging but there is no way any respectable software would have visble password on entry as default.
 

Hampy1972

Distinguished Member
i've got virgin for 200m BB and Sky Q as i just couldn't get on with the virgin media tv box and lack of 4k content.

For the OP i think in terms of getting advertised speeds it also matters how many customers are in your area. I've just run a speed test and got 201 down 21 up and 7 ping, I don't need speeds above 200 and i chose a gamers bundle as there are no download limits or throttling.

The Superhub 3 is crap in my opinion, awful GUI and unresponsive so you could put in modem mode and add your own wireless access point. I ran wired connections down to my main area with managed and unmanged switches. If you are simply after a turn it on and leave it person then the superhub will be fine for an average user, might just be me whinging but there is no way any respectable software would have visble password on entry as default.
Superhub 3 is what I have, I was thinking off replacing it with my own one (Like a decent ASUS) but thought nah, it's OK, does the job. Running a Cat 6 back of the house downstairs to some gigabyte switches, Hub3 is upstairs in the study.
Wired is the best way, for laptops and tablets sticking to wifi. For heavy duty media streaming from the NAS drives, gotta be wired. Agreed about the Tivo box, tits on Tarzan would have more use LOL! :)
 

Will I Aint

Active Member
waiting for the new nvidia shield, don't think it will have wifi6 but would allow for wireless streaming from NAS. I've got steels downstairs and the wifi is a bit ropey, not sure about investing in mesh or justing running a AP from the wired point.
 

sykotik

Distinguished Member
It's all good and well saying VM can hit speeds of XXXMbps which is better than BT
but what you may have to consider is your line from the cabinet to the house! ,
can the line/cable handle the higher speeds ?

i had loads of trouble with one ISP's ( sky) a few years a go, i should of been getting speeds of about 37Mbps but was only getting 23/25 by the time it got to my house , ( most house's in my street hit the 34/36 speeds)
after countless calls to sky and engineers coming out to try and find a fault ( which their couldn't find ),
i ditch sky and went with Vodafone , which at first was great , i was getting speeds of about 35/36 ( not sure how )
but over a few months or so , my speeds had dropped to 25/27 , after speaking to vodafone about it , they sent an engineer out , who basically said ( and he seemed to know what he was talking about ) Is that my line/cable to house was degrading and that the 25/27 was the limit i was going to get ,
until my line/cable is knackered totally , there isn't anything i can do , as im getting over the guaranteed speed ( 21Mbps) with vodafone ,


so before taking the huff with BT , just make sure ( not sure how you could go about it tho ) that the line/cable is working perfectly !.. :)
 

Will I Aint

Active Member
also if you are running speedtest from windows also run it again in safe mode with networking. Windows can knock 10mbs off your download speed.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
I've been with BT for years and very happy with the service. No issues with disconnections and have not had any downtimes that I can remember at all.

Speed wasn't as fast as it could be, but disconnected a cordless phone attached to a second connection at the weekend and suddenly had 10meg more speed! :laugh:

It also recently improved by about 5meg without me doing anything, so they must have upgraded something at the local box.
 

Foster

Distinguished Member
I've had VM for about 6 months now and it's never dropped below 220, and I've had 0 disconnections or issues so I would recommend it!
 

drinkturps

Well-known Member
The latest from BT is that the speed coming out of my Exchange is poor and the speed I'm getting at home is pretty much what is coming out at the Exchange end.

Local cabinet and wire into the house is all ticketyboo from previous engineer visits. I've had 4 engineers now and also been totally re-wired into the home. Good thing is they refund me £8 a day for each day I have the problem which is a nice touch but I'd rather receive an advertised service.

Got another engineer coming today and I've been told that they can increase the bandwidth limit on my line to improve things. Not sure I believe that so I'll see what the engineer says if he comes out during the agreed time this afternoon.

I think coupled with the fact I am also paying for a landline I never use I may bin BT off. In their defence their customer service has been top notch and they have really been helpful. I'll see what happens this afternoon.....

EDIT: I've been told that there is a cap on my line (for reasons unkown) and the relevant team in BT will get in contact.
 
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moonbeam120

Well-known Member
It's all good and well saying VM can hit speeds of XXXMbps which is better than BT
but what you may have to consider is your line from the cabinet to the house! ,
can the line/cable handle the higher speeds ?

i had loads of trouble with one ISP's ( sky) a few years a go, i should of been getting speeds of about 37Mbps but was only getting 23/25 by the time it got to my house , ( most house's in my street hit the 34/36 speeds)
after countless calls to sky and engineers coming out to try and find a fault ( which their couldn't find ),
i ditch sky and went with Vodafone , which at first was great , i was getting speeds of about 35/36 ( not sure how )
but over a few months or so , my speeds had dropped to 25/27 , after speaking to vodafone about it , they sent an engineer out , who basically said ( and he seemed to know what he was talking about ) Is that my line/cable to house was degrading and that the 25/27 was the limit i was going to get ,
until my line/cable is knackered totally , there isn't anything i can do , as im getting over the guaranteed speed ( 21Mbps) with vodafone ,


so before taking the huff with BT , just make sure ( not sure how you could go about it tho ) that the line/cable is working perfectly !.. :)

Not sure what your point is.

VM cable broadband uses co-axial cable to deliver broadband from the nearest fibre node to the home.

99% of the time most providers (except VM) use local loop unbundling which put simply, it's a form of technology that allows multiple providers to use a single telecom network. Which in this case is the BT network. - some of which is over 50 years old.

BT uses a single twisted pair line from the exchange (or in the case of so called "fibre broadband" the nearest fibre node - street cabinet) to the home, which has much poorer transmission capabilities than co-axial does.

VMs network usually has a fibre node within 1.5km - 2km from the home. BTs exchanges can be as much as 8km from the home. Hence much slower BB speeds available to the consumer. Fibre node street cabinets help mitigate the distance issues from the exchange but still rarely deliver more than 150Mbit/sec bandwidth.

So you're comparing apples and oranges here.
 

Downinja

Well-known Member
Mad not to IMO

I get 350Mbs, never drops below 35MB using reliable download sources.

Think I have had maybe 1 day downtime in 3 years

Don't own a landline, they actually offered me free calls forever for £1, turned it down as we don't own a landlane device (do people still used them??)

Equipments pants, but so are all ISP free routers.
 

sykotik

Distinguished Member
Not sure what your point is.

VM cable broadband uses co-axial cable to deliver broadband from the nearest fibre node to the home.

99% of the time most providers (except VM) use local loop unbundling which put simply, it's a form of technology that allows multiple providers to use a single telecom network. Which in this case is the BT network. - some of which is over 50 years old.

BT uses a single twisted pair line from the exchange (or in the case of so called "fibre broadband" the nearest fibre node - street cabinet) to the home, which has much poorer transmission capabilities than co-axial does.

VMs network usually has a fibre node within 1.5km - 2km from the home. BTs exchanges can be as much as 8km from the home. Hence much slower BB speeds available to the consumer. Fibre node street cabinets help mitigate the distance issues from the exchange but still rarely deliver more than 150Mbit/sec bandwidth.

So you're comparing apples and oranges here.
That i didn't know ,
up north ere , so we don't get VM ( well at least where i live) ,
so yea, bit pointless what i wrote then haha
 

Tate53

Active Member
I would say go for it. I have had fibre for nearly 18 years at different properties through Blueyonder which changed to NTL which then changed to Virgin. Always got the full advertised speeds and can count on 1 hand the amount of times I have turned the computer on and its not been working. Fibre to modem really is a godsend.

There really is no comparison, my parents have Sky fibre now, where I used to have Virgin before I moved out, and it never fails to wind me up how terrible it is in comparison.

Like others have said, the superhub aint the best, but it does a job and you can always throw your own on if required.
 

Our Year

Distinguished Member

daneccles

Active Member
From my point of view, Virgin's broadband service is first rate. When they say they'll deliver xxx speed they hit it with a little over, e.g. 54mb/s, 108mb/s etc.
But billing is appalling. Every other month I seem to be calling them because they keep putting the price up. You threaten to leave and they ask why, then when you tell them the price has gone up they go away and put the price down again. This means that even if you wanted to leave you'd have to pay a termination fee that is calculated on how much of your contract is left.
And if you only have the weekend calls, for heavens sake never ever call out in the week as charges are ridiculous.
Oh, and when they offer you a speed upgrade or other little addon, ever wonder why they do that? It's because then your contract starts afresh and they've got you for another year. Despite being with them for years they got me last March with that one, and since then they have really piled on the price rise pressure.
My contract runs out next March and I cannot wait to leave them.
 

Gregsta

Active Member
Am getting 37.20mbps with BT, I don't think its that bad am pretty happy with them speeds. :lesson:

My router did die the other day after 8 years worth of use, they had a new one with me within two days.

Am very happy with the service they provide.

Am moving house next week, But am thinking about using sky, because I think with Nowtv films
and entertainment pack plus BT its going to cost about the same.
 
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WhiteHartMart

Distinguished Member
I've just switched from BT to Virgin 500Mbps service as part of taking up their £99 TV/Phone/BB/Mobile bundle. I've been very happy (and the kids haven't moaned about gaming issues) since joining - adding my own router was a must and running the Superhub in Modem mode but get a solid 500-540Mbps download and 37Mbps upload now.

Plenty of capacity for the whole family now - three of us gaming at the same time and the other two streaming video etc without any issues at all.

I'm sure there will be the odd issue, there was when I was with BT but I'm happy so far.
 

Our Year

Distinguished Member
I've just switched from BT to Virgin 500Mbps service as part of taking up their £99 TV/Phone/BB/Mobile bundle. I've been very happy (and the kids haven't moaned about gaming issues) since joining - adding my own router was a must and running the Superhub in Modem mode but get a solid 500-540Mbps download and 37Mbps upload now.

Plenty of capacity for the whole family now - three of us gaming at the same time and the other two streaming video etc without any issues at all.

I'm sure there will be the odd issue, there was when I was with BT but I'm happy so far.
Ohh thats interesting re router
Which did you buy?
 

mikeysthoughts

Well-known Member
@mikeysthoughts The sorry was meant as an apology. As in sorry for originally making the assumption you weren't trying to help!
do it
i grabbed it at 99 and thought it was a good price
Agreed. I got it at 89 but would be satisfied if it was £99. Notwithstanding the relatively poor HD picture image (see my other rants for details), the broadband, SIM and tv channels all add up to making this package very good value indeed.
 

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