BT broadband vs Virgin Media: which is better?


But which is the best? Both offer fiber optic connections, unlimited downloads, and home phone and television plans. Read on and we’ll compare the two so you can decide which one is right for you.

(And if you want more info and details, take a look at our full review of BT and that of Virgin Media.)


Since the two providers offer different types of packages, it’s hard to compare how much they will cost you both, but here’s the basic truth.

The prices aren’t much different between the two – but for the most part Virgin Media does slightly better. When you compare similar broadband plans, it often works out a bit cheaper than BT, although sometimes only a pound or two per month.

Of course, it gets more complicated when you factor in frequent specials, length of contracts, bundling, etc. And whether you compare costs per month or overall costs. Basically you have to see what is available at the time.

* Average speeds are based on download speeds of at least 50% of customers during peak hours (8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.). Speed ​​can be affected by a variety of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be slower than stated above. You can check the estimated speed of your property before you buy.

* Average speeds are based on download speeds of at least 50% of customers during peak hours (8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.). Speed ​​can be affected by a variety of technical and environmental factors. The speed you receive where you live may be slower than stated above. You can check the estimated speed of your property before you buy.


Honestly, the only way to answer that is to use our zip code checker. Select the filters that match your needs and compare prices for exactly what you’re looking for – it can go both ways.


Both providers offer multiple download speeds. BT broadband offers plans with average download speeds of 10MB, 36MB, 50MB and 67MB. This is not yet widespread, but BT Ultrafast with average speeds of 300MB is also available in some places. . Virgin Media Broadband has average download speeds of 54MB, 108MB, 213MB, and 362MB.


Well, this one is easy. Virgin Media offers faster broadband speeds. However, if you’ll actually get those speeds that’s another matter, especially since Virgin Media handles web traffic which can mean slower internet at certain times of the day.

Download Limits

All of BT’s broadband plans are truly unlimited and Virgin Media’s plans all come with completely unlimited downloads. Which means when it comes to download limits, the two are neck and neck!


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We can’t call this one; both offer unlimited broadband plans, so it’s a draw.


You can get a BT internet connection pretty much anywhere you can get a BT phone line. It’s extremely widespread, in other words. Unfortunately, this does not apply to fiber optic broadband, which is a bit more spotty, although the coverage is still quite wide.

The Virgin Media network can be found in most major cities, but there are a lot of gaps. And if you’re in the sticks, there’s even less chance your home can get it.


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BT is the most widely available, with a fairly large margin – even fiber optic coverage. Before making a decision between BT and Virgin Media broadband, we strongly recommend that you use our postcode checker to see if both are available where you live.

Whichever you choose, you’re in luck – BT’s and Virgin Media’s broadband plans both come with buckets of extra stuff.

With BT you get:

  • BT Visitor Center
  • Free access to BT Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide
  • Up to 500 GB of cloud storage depending on the plan
  • BT Virus Protect for some internet security
  • BT SmartTalk app, so you can use your landline minutes from your mobile

BT SmartTalk app

And with Virgin Media, you get:

  • Virgin Media Super Hub
  • 10 e-mail addresses
  • Web Safe and F-Secure SAFE for Internet Security
  • Free access to Virgin Media Wi-Fi hotspots
  • 100 free Snapfish photo prints every month


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Some of Virgin Media’s extras are way better than what BT offers – these 10 email addresses, for example. In contrast, one of BT’s most inclusive is particularly useful: access to its Wi-Fi hotspots. There are over five million of them across the country, which pretty much guarantees that you can use the internet from anywhere. almost anywhere.

If this is something you want to use, we highly recommend BT broadband; but if you are not picky you will get a little more from Virgin Media.


You can’t get a broadband deal only from BT – you can only get it with line rental included as well. Fortunately, BT’s landline is pretty good. It’s reliable, it’s widely available, and there are more options and calling features to choose from than virtually any other home phone provider.

Virgin Media broadband, on the other hand, is available on its own – it’s one of the few providers that offers broadband-only plans, in fact. However, there aren’t as many options and features as with BT.


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If you want a home phone, BT gives you the most options. If you don’t, Virgin Media lets you bypass having a phone line altogether.


The good news is that BT broadband and Virgin Media can also be bundled with TV, which means one less bill to handle each month.

BT TV works through a YouView box and offers you between 80 and 140 channels, depending on the package you choose. The bigger one, Max, gives you a YouView + Ultra HD box, with 600 hours of recording space – and that’s the only way to get BT Sport in Ultra HD.

Virgin Media TV, on the other hand, is known to be one of the most comprehensive TV services out there – up to 245 channels with the biggest package on that bad boy. The V6 TiVo box also has a ton of features, like a Netflix app and dozens of TV boxes. Oh, and you can get all Sky Sports and BT Sport services – but not BT Sport Ultra HD, of course.

Virgin Media TiVo


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Virgin Media has much, much more to offer in terms of the channels and services you can get, including the ability to get Sky Sports and BT Sport. But on the other hand, BT TV is the only way to get BT Sport Ultra HD, and the YouView platform is more flexible if you don’t need hundreds of channels.


Whether you need to get your broadband from BT or Virgin Media depends on a few key factors:

  • Is Virgin Media available in your area?
  • Do you need download speeds of up to 300MB?
  • What type of TV package do you want to include (if any) – and which sports channels do you want?

For super fast speeds and lots of TV go to Virgin Media. For cheap BT Sport and more consistent broadband speeds, go with BT.

And if you’re in a non-Virgin Media area… it’s worth taking a look at what you might get from other providers as well.

BT and Virgin Media both offer broadband for businesses.

See our other reviews:

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