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Superfast Broadband with al the extras you'll ever need
Member Name: upton66
Date: 11/12/10, updated on 23/12/10 (35 review reads)
Advantages: Shot of BT
Fastest Broadband, TV, Home Phone, Mobile Phone, Mobile Internet all with great courteous service.
I switched to a Virgin package as I was fed up with a mediocre broadband service down the old fashioned copper wires. The endless array of broadband providers all promise the earth but in all the sales spiel seem to conveniently ignore the physical limitations of your local BT telephone exchange. So despite their protestations I tell them, no, 10Mb broadband is physically impossible where I live, however good your introductory offer is. So hence my switch to Virgin.
My Virgin 10Mb broadband connection now gives me effectively instantaneous web browsing, the pages flick up almost before you finish clicking a link, no getting cut off, no "hanging". I'm very pleased. I have no requirement for downloading massive video files or music, but for my casual internet browsing and emailing occasional large files it is perfect. The fibre optic cables run down the pavement outside the house to a box about fifty feet from our front door and from there the cable has been run round to where we requested it.
The twin black cables were neatly pinned down the garden fence and up and round the edge of the house. The first stop is into a connection box for the TV, so that is in our front room. The cable then comes back out the wall, round to the side of the house and into the hall where we requested the main phone socket, out and round the back of the house and into another connection socket where we wanted the internet connection.
This was a long morning's work for Virgin but it all counted as a standard connection, which with the offer we accepted was free, or at least included.
Broadband Package - came with a free modem and wireless router and a usb dongle. This was all set up and tested for us on both our desktop and laptop. My 10Mb speed is called the "L" package and testing the connection on Speedtest.net I really am getting it.
Broadband cable emerging from the box is a very stout white co-axial cable that is connected to the small Virgin branded modem. This has to be plugged in to the mains via a all-in-one plug transformer but can be placed anywhere. A wire from this goes to the router, which also has to be plugged in unfortunately, and this needs to be placed to give you a decent wireless signal around the house. The wire provided to connect the two is a metre or so long. The D-Link DIR615 router offers up four direct ethernet connections if you want to plus straight into the back of a computer or you can just use it entirely wirelessly. To save cables I use it all wirelessly and with the desktop within fifteen feet of the router there is no difference in broadband and network speed between wireless or wired connection. The usb D-Link DWA140 dongle works perfectly. - Full price is £12.75 /mo though I am getting it for £6.25 for six months.
Phone Package - we went for the basic "M" package that gives us free weekend calls. Note that the free calls are actually between midnight Friday to midnight Sunday, rather than from Friday early evening. One bonus is that included in the free calls are calls to Virgin mobiles, So as we are a family all with Virgin this is a bit of a bonus. If you can also establish which of your friends are also on Virgin then there could be some savings to be made here. Virgin line rental is £12.74 /month, again getting half price for six months. One downside is you don't get free 0845 and 0870 calls and you have to pay £2.05 extra per month for caller display.
TV Package - we opted for the "XL" package because we wanted all the documentary channels in high definition. There are actually 17 HD channels on offer but in my opinion they are all drivel except BBC HD, BBC1, Discovery and National Geographic and very occasional occasionally ITV1 and Channel 4 & 5. For the bonus of the superb, enhanced picture quality on these channels, I had to take the top TV package. Pricey I know but a good program in HD is a pleasure to watch and makes the non-HD pictures look pretty ropey. To all the cynics I can assure you that you really do get photographic quality TV. Full price is £23.50 /month again getting it half price for six months. The HD box was free and there was no connection charge.
Virgin Mobile - As an unexpected bonus we discovered that as Virgin mobile users we could switch all the family to the "Virgin Media" package rather than the standard "Virgin Package". This just required each member of the family to phone up and request that their phone number is registered under the new home package. All phone accounts keep their independence ie same numbers, still get their own bills, still same payment arrangements, no change to package or cost - it just means that we all now get free Virgin to Virgin calls at all times, ie the minutes don't get lobbed off your minutes package. Also all free texting.
Virgin Mobile Internet - You can also request a dongle to stick in any usb port of any pc wherever you are. This is reduced to £8 per month with an 18month commitment and includes the dongle and 1Gb usage per month which should be adequate for average use. Mobile internet with a dongle will only be as good as the Virgin signal, but if you get good mobile phone connection you'll get good internet connection. The speed of the internet wherever we have tested this is superb. For those on the go this is a great add-on to your Virgin Media package. When we rang up for one they offered one at £5 /month, so can't complain.
Virgin Mobile Deals - As a Virgin customer they offer reduced price phones and packages - worth investigating.
Recommend Virgin - if a friend takes up a Virgin Media TV, Broadband, Home Phone package you can earn up to £30 per successful connection.
Ways to Pay - You pay for your Broadband. TV, Home Phone Package by direct debit to Virgin Media. Your Virgin Mobile package is paid to Virgin Mobile on a separate direct debit. Any dongle is paid by separate direct debit.
Note that if you pay for your mobile with top-ups bought from the shops either at the till or with your top-up card you will earn Virgin Rewards. You won't earn thee if you pay by direct debit. These rewards are worthwhile - for every £100 top you earn £10, these can be used against the purchase of your next phone bought directly from Virgin - just another bonus.
Overall I think Virgin have come up trumps - fair deals, good service, easy switchover from your current provider. Overall I have a hefty price package but it's great to be free of those dreaded and restrictive copper wires.
Summary: Unbeatable broadband speed
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