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abrar-mohammed
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New Customer - Broadband Speed & Reliability

Dear Community Users

This is my first post so apologies if the question has already been raised by other users before.

At my current property I have BT Fibre BB which has been very reliable in terms of speed, WiFi coverage and connectivity.

In a couple of months time, I am moving into a new home which doesn't have any Fibre Broadband Connectivity except for Virgin Media.

I work in IT and have 2 young kids. Due to COVID, I am currently working from home and kids also spend a lot of time online for their education as well as for leisure. 

I have read some really worrying reviews about the quality of BB service offered by Virgin Media. Customers have complained about the speed, network reliability as well as lack of customer services despite spending hours on the call to VM customer services.

I am hoping if you could share some experience (good or bad) in helping me make a decision. Worst case scenario, I will have to go with a 4G mobile BB (which indeed isn't as great as fibre BB but hopefully can offer consistent 20 mbps speeds - which is essential for my work as I am online and on Skype calls most days during the week).

Any feedback you can share would be most gratefully appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Abrar

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jbrennand
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Re: New Customer - Broadband Speed & Reliability

A few comments. VM works fine for the vast majority of their 5.5m customers - including me.

However there are some things to be aware of.

One thing worth doing if you can is ask people who live in the same postcode whether they experience issues related to "overutilisation" - that is too many people connecting on it and exceeding maximum capacity at peak times. Those can be long standing problems for VM to solve but are thankfully uncommon. In fact the best thing would be to ask the current occupant what their VM connectivity is like - if they use VM of course.

Most people complaining on here are complain about poor wifi connectivity - which is a real problem in some densely populated locations (lots of "interference"). If it turns out there is a connection issue the VM Tech's can usually sort it out. If it is just a wifi problem then fortunately that issue is easily solved if you budget to invest some funds into better quality wifi equipment of your own (like I have).

Finally, VM "installs" usually go ok - but on occasion there can be unforeseen problems, particularly if the current occupant is not on an active VM connection and it has been dormant for some time. When that happens there can be unforeseen delays in getting the installation up and running. As an insurance policy I would consider getting a 4G BB deal on a monthly contract that would cover that eventuality and you could just cancel it once the VM service is installed and running to your satisfaction.

Others will chip in with more comments i'm sure.

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John
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I do not work for VM. My services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router +2 Airport Express's. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.
Christy_D
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Re: New Customer - Broadband Speed & Reliability

Good Morning @abrar-mohammed 

Thank you for your post and considering joining us. 

I will check the utilisation in the area for you to ensure that you hit the ground running with great speeds if you consider joining us! 

Please keep an eye out for my private message as I will need to take your details

Thanks

Christy 


Here to help! I'm a technician helping out whilst working from home. Find out more


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abrar-mohammed
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Re: New Customer - Broadband Speed & Reliability

Thank you John.

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Andruser
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Re: New Customer - Broadband Speed & Reliability

Another view.  In my experience VM is acceptably reliable, perhaps a tiny bit less so than Openreach, and it offers great bandwidth, which it usually delivers consistently.  @Christy_D has kindly offered to check out the utilisation issue, so hopefully you can be confident about that.  The forum staff are great and helpful, but they're currently spread VERY thinly.  As long as you don't have to contact the company, it can be a good experience.

Where VM lets itself down time and again is poor customer service.  As you will have seen on sites like Trustpilot, ISPReview, dealing with VM can easily become difficult.  There's a total inadequacy of proper chat or telephone support quality and capacity, and the on-line account management capabilities are like something from 2004. The combination of VM's telephone menus and a complicated and often fault-ridden web presence cause some customers to tear their hair out.  Whilst I don't often have to do it, any occasion where I have to contact VM by telephone fills me with dread.  One further thought is that the quality of wifi from VM's hubs is sometimes ropey, you may want to budget for (or consider) investing in a mesh wifi system, as I've done.

Putting that all with your circumstances, though, seems like you've not really got any better option?  A 4G router might work, I'd be surprised if it were capable of supporting a family's needs. 

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abrar-mohammed
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Re: New Customer - Broadband Speed & Reliability

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond. Just out of curiosity, which mesh wifi have you got for yourself?
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Andruser
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Re: New Customer - Broadband Speed & Reliability

I've got a TP-Link Deco M4, and it's been absolutely excellent.  At the time I bought it, I was worried I was spending a lot and wouldn't see any improvement, in fact it was great value, and I wish I'd done it sooner.  https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Networking-and-WiFi/Hub-3-0-compatibility-with-Mesh-systems/m-p...  After writing that a need did arise to buy a cheap gigabit etherent switch, it's slotted in after the primary mesh unit, and all has worked perfectly.

But there's plenty of choice.  I'd stick to TP-Link, Asus or Netgear products if I were you - good makers with products that between them cover value pricing through to premium products.  Avoid anything that doesn't have gigabit ethernet ports, otherwise you'll constrain the internet speed to about 90 Mbps.

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sayekm
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Re: New Customer - Broadband Speed & Reliability

I think places like Trustpilot does not reflect a true picture of VM. Only the unhappy customers make the loudest noise while the happy customers sit quiet enjoying the service:

I had 2+ years of Talktalk FTTC before switch to Virgin M100. TBH I had a rough start and was regreting the switch. But but VM did send engineer swiftly and been great since. You will get occasion dropouts but its a small price to pay for much better bandwidth. The added benefit having options to increase the bandwidth if needed later.

IMO 9/10  complaints are Wi-Fi related. If you spend £100+ on a 3rd party device thats sorted. I know how lame hub3 Wi-Fi is as I suffered 3 months before investing in BT whole Wi-Fi 2 disc.

Virgin can be very expensive outsite the promotion period so be ready to negotiate a new 18m deal otherwise you be paying £50 for basic M100.




xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
M200 Oomph - 5GB SIM + 3 extra SIM family plan - BT whole Wi-Fi - Sky Q
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Don't cry over Virgin price increase instead speak to retentions team and negotiate a better deal.
abrar-mohammed
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Re: New Customer - Broadband Speed & Reliability

Thank You. Do you have any recommendation on good WiFi router to help avoid the issues related to WiFi
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jbrennand
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Re: New Customer - Broadband Speed & Reliability

A bit like asking to recommend a good car 🙂

-------------------------- some comments posted before-----------------------------

It depends on your requirements for... better routing features, your house layout, size, construction materials, your tech abilities, and of course, budget, ~£60-80 will get a decent introductory wireless router but 'may' not alone solve the wifi in your house, but spending up to ~£500 will get the “Rolls Royce” solution of a high-end Wifi6 Router & WAP's or a top end Tri-band Mesh system. You'll probably want something suitable - somewhere within that range - I reckon ~£100-150 is around the “sweet spot” for most standard users, and where you would probably need to start for a standard 2/3-story house if it has brick walls. Less for a one-bedroom modern build flat, more for a stone built 8 bedroom mansion

Good options for Access points/Wifi routers/Mesh systems come from Ubiquiti, Asus, TP-Link Deco's M4/M5, Linksys Velop's, Tenda Nova's, Netgear Orbi's (and others) – I would stick with these companies whose business this is - rather than “newcomer” and data-driven” companies like Google, Amazon, etc. Also be sure the router or Mesh specifically says that they have 1GB ethernet ports - some of the cheaper ones only have 100Mbps ports.

Recently, just as an example... two of my friends who both live in brick built 3/4 bed semis, both just got TP-Link Deco M5 3-packs (~£150) and both told me it is - “absolutely brilliant with full wifi speeds in all rooms, the attic and the garden, and the App is a doddle to use”. The first Mesh unit becomes the new router - you need to check whether the one you look at has all the "features” you need. Ethernet ports are usually limited to 1 or 2/unit , so you “may” need to add in an unmanaged GB port switch (<£20) in there as well. My mates also get "full speeds" from the ethernet ports on the Deco's in the remote locations. Finally if you get a 2/3-pack of any Mesh system, which doesn’t cover dead spots everywhere, you can just add in extra unit(s).

Take a look at what fits your needs, tech ability, house layout and budget. Use sites like Techradar & Techadvisor for reviews of "Best Routers" or "Best Mesh". Post again if you want personal recommendations from others on your short list


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John
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I do not work for VM. My services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired 2 WiFi,) SH2 in modem mode with Airport Extreme Router +2 Airport Express's. On VIVID200, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.