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Old 10th Dec 2012, 18:51   #1
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Virgin Media

Hi All,

I'm looking for peoples thoughts on Virgin Media. I could well be moving house.... again. Going from 2 people (1* 360, 1* Laptop) to 5 people (3* 360's, PS3, 4* Laptops & 1* PC) and the current ADSL connection is rather limited to just under 1.5mb.

What i'm looking at doing is signing up for Virgin Media upto 120mb, but reviews i've read are very, very mixed, many being reasonably happy with the service, and most being unhappy with Tech/Customer Support.

I appreciate most of the reviews will be Negative, People are happier to complain than compliment, so what are your thoughts?

Also, is it worth waiting for Infinity? It's due to be active in the area from December 31st, with speeds upto 60mb.

Will be looking to use a Draytek 2850Vn for the main network.

Many thanks,

Sam
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 19:10   #2
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Never had a problem with them when I had the 50 meg service a few years ago, but since then they have put in place some limits which when hit, reduce your speed by 50% for 6 hours.

Don't know how their CS is as I never had to use it.

If you do go for it, make sure to use a cashback site, it's like free money!
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 19:44   #3
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My experience of virgin has been very mixed.

Relatively up and down speed wise.
CS has been weird. Phoned up twice, both times the person has been really helpful etc, however after I spoke to the first person, when I called again after something we'd agreed on hadn't happened, it looked like nothing we'd talked about had been done?
So can't tell if the original person was useless, trying to be annoying or whatever, but that annoyed me since it cost me another £20 on the phone or something ridiculous.
Also, even after the 2nd phone call I never got my £50 free credit
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 19:45   #4
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We have their 100mb service (soon to be upgraded to 120mb for free :-) )
It has not fallen down once since being installed and I only have positive things to say about it.
We get between 85-95mb based on time / day of testing but we are almost sat on the cabinet.
I'd say go for it :-)
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 19:59   #5
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I've had VM for the past 2 years, originally on the 50mb service. That was good, low ping, and almost constantly 50mb.

It did then stop working, the man came out to fix it 2 days later, found that it hadn't been installed properly or something (Wasn't around to ask) and as such, since it was their fault, they upgraded us to their 100mb package for free, soon to be 120mb.

However, the 100mb seems to have way more variation in the ping than my 50mb did, oddly.

Mind you, I'm pretty much the one and only user, save for some occasional web browsing, and I'm connected via a 30m cat6 cable.

A quick speed test at the moment (Peak time) reveals:



I'm pretty impressed with it. Also was suprised when I downloaded 300GB of data in the first month not to get a letter telling me off. (Because of course, I owned the rights to said data )

So, in conclusion, Wholeheartedly reccomended. It was a bit of a shock to have such a fast connection to when previously, I was just about managing 256k on talktalk.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 20:05   #6
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Im on the 30Mb and getting around 31/32 Mb at all times so from my opinion they are good
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 20:25   #7
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Only had one problem in 4 years, and it was resolved by an engineer within the week.

I get exactly what speeds I'm supposed to/quoted/promised and their traffic management policy is fair, transparent, clear, and quite frankly amazingly generous; I hit the criteria everyday and I get throttled to 50Mbps for a few hours... that's it!

Moving to "fibre" from what you have now will be a revelation... do it!
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 20:30   #8
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You will see a mixed bag of comments from people when you ask about Virgin Media's Broadband.

The main issues people experience is as follows:

1: Slow speeds
2: Intermittent drop's in connection
3: Poor gaming performance
4: Poor wireless from Superhub
5: Poor Youtube viewing


Now all it takes is for a fault to be in one area and a grumpy customer to make it out that Virgin are the worst ISP in the country, but that can be said for most ISP's without it being true but Virgin seem to get it more than others due to the speeds they claim to offer.


Most issues are generally caused by over subscription on a UBR, which means as soon as someone who manages to get there full speed start's to download it basically cripples it for everyone else.

I can tell you that this issue is being looked at and will take a while to resolve for all areas through out the country because there is allot of work involved, and it's also extremely expensive.

They are starting to bond upstreams and downstreams on the Superhubs, and whilst some areas are already seeing this and seeing the improvements it brings there are some areas that have had the work carried out but it has, not resolved the issues and they are now working on the next part to fix it but again this is extremely expensive, allot more than people will realise but I cannot give prices out.

The drops in connection that some experience are mainly due to faulty equipment in the cab's, which are the small cabs at the end of the road and sometimes faulty equipment in the large cab's that are dotted around.

Where I live we had a severe issue, where even on a 100Mb connection regardless of the time of day and how many users were using there connection, we could not get more than 10Mb and it was all down to a faulty connector in a cabinet and once, that was swapped it went back to getting 105Mb according to the Speedtest.net site and the connection, was not dropping out all the time like it was previously.

The slow speeds and drops are not always down to the area being over subscribed or faulty equipment out in the streets but, sometimes it is down to the Superhub and generally you just phone up Tech Support (I know) and, eventually you will end up with either a Engineer coming out or a replacement hub being sent out to you.

The poor gaming performance is usually down to the Upstream that you are connected to, and I did suffer for 2 months from intermittent lag spikes etc and I tried all sorts to get it fixed including swapping, network cards, leads, main drop cables to the house, new superhub, modem only etc etc and it didn't fix it and in the end we found that it was down to the upstream channel that my superhub connected to, and once that was changed it was perfect after that I was getting pings of 5ms up to 20ms in Battlefield 3 for UK servers and pings to Spain of 55ms up to 80ms.

What I will say is that Customer Services cannot change your upstream channel though, but I will tell you how you can do it yourself if anyone should need to but it will be abit further down in the post.

The wireless I would suggest not using, because even though they claim to have fixed it with the last Firmware update for the Superhub there are still, people experiencing the wireless drops whilst most people don't suffer it.

That could be down to a faulty Superhub or it could be down to another wi-fi signal causing issues, or Cordless phones etc as they can cause wi-fi drops, but I would suggest buying a decent router and putting the superhub in modem mode, to save allot of messing around.


The poor Youtube performance will be resolved at some point, but I cannot say when as I do not know however it's down to Youtube and Virgin Media and Bandwidth allocations and Caching Servers



Dependent on what area you are in depends on what sort of experience you are going to receive to be honest, although I will say it's going to get better a whole lot better with what is planned but please don't ask what or when because I cannot say.


I will just say, that whilst other ISP's will offer speeds similar to Virgin and may also look better they are now starting to realise and suffer from the same issues that Virgin have been dealing, with since they started with broadband speeds of 10Mb+.

All I can suggest is if you know someone in the area of where your moving to then ask them what it's been like for them, and see what they say because I do not know what it's like for the whole country but I do know, most areas are being upgraded or are ready to be upgraded to resolve allot of issues.



***Edit***

Forgot to type this part out.

To change you upstream frequency do the following.

Log in to the superhub using either of the 2 ip's below dependent on what mode you are in.

Modem Mode = 192.168.100.1

Router Mode = 192.168.0.1

Username and Password will be as standard unless changed:

Username: admin
Password: changeme

Once logged in you will face a screen with 3 options

Wireless network settings
Superhub Settings
Device connection status

You will also have a 4th option which is just below the Device connection status button called

Advanced Settings

Click that and then scroll down to the option called


Network Status and click on it

Then scroll down to the bottom and and make a note of the Upstream Channel ID


Then scroll back to the top of the page and click the grey box labelled as Advanced Settings again

The scroll down to

Reboot/Reset Device

Click that

Then click the option for Restore to factory default and then click Yes and do this till the channel frequency ID changes and try it for a few days.
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Last edited by damien c; 11th Dec 2012 at 08:41.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 20:33   #9
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Awesome, thanks for the comments.
@CrazyJoe, yes, i was planning on ordering it through Quidco. Not interested in TV or Calls as it's already there.

Sam
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 20:53   #10
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VM is...alright. My parents have been with them for nearly 13 years (well, was NTL) and the service has changed significantly over time.

Headline speed is high, which is great, but ping is pretty poor (they have 60mbit, ping of around 40ms on average, whereas my Infinity is 78mbit and ping less than 10ms) and the network as a whole can suffer from the large number of customers at times. They don't notice this, of course, but I've had some dodgy service when I've gone round.

The Superhub isn't great either, and I'm pretty sure they're having the wireless drop out problem, but they need their access point moving to sort this out.


Personally, I'd go for Infinity if it is in your area, but VM isn't a bad choice.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 20:57   #11
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Infinity is just BT retail's name for their FTTC offering, many Isps offer it and if VM is poor in your area you are moving too look to go with FTTC.

Check on the VM forum to see what the service is like in the area you are moving too.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 21:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damien c View Post
Dependent on what area you are in depends on what sort of experience you are going to receive to be honest, although I will say it's going to get better a whole lot better with what is planned but please don't ask what or when because I cannot say.
I'm guessing you also work for VM then?
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 21:31   #13
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I'm guessing you also work for VM then?
Yes I do, in the business section but we also deal with upgrading the residential side of the network.

All I will say is whilst VM is great for downloads, the gaming performance is the killer for me and at the moment I am in the middle of looking in to a ADSL connection for gaming only, and using my VM connection for downloads and uploads.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 21:37   #14
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My best mate is a network tech for them, they use a DLink router as well, which he said is better than the superhub, cause yes the superhub is 'crap' in his words. When they come to install ask if you can have the Dlink instead
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 21:42   #15
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Overall I've been happy over the years. Been on the same basic setup since Blueyonder days.

Got the 100mb package now, downloads are great, have no major issues with gaming speed (odd laggy day but its so hit and miss, and mainly an xbox gamer so with no pure servers to connect to the host connection is a roll of the dice anyway). Only gripe is the tech support sucks. On two occations I've ended up finishing up the install myself because they can't do basic fault finding and anything over the phone is purely down to if you land on someone who hates the job or not. Superhub has its tantrums, especially for wireless but easily solved by adding a decent AP to your network

I'd say I'm happy to recommend it based on having no better support from anyone else and a consistance performance over the years.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 22:28   #16
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Had VM for many years, Telewest line before that etc etc

Recently went up to the 60meg line. Had issues with over utilization in my area. This was of course there problem. Posted on the support forum. Got a VM Rep reply. He passed on the issue to the network team. They replied and said a fix was due next year.

Since then an automated call said it had been fixed and had up to 60meg all the time.

Solid connection gaming with two other laptops on the network. I am wired via homeplugs and they are wireless. The superhub is pants. So we use a router and the SH in modem only mode.

No issues. Recently had an increase in upload speed. YouTube has been great to upload content too now. 1gb+ uploaded in half the previous time. 60 minutes instead of 120mins+.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 22:31   #17
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Loved my parents VM line, they had it since Cable and Wireless days and somehow he always had the fastest line going. I only remember it letting me down on several occasions in all those years and the speed was incredible when they upped it to the 50meg. Now on some shite sky line, I don't have the choice and it sucks balls in comparison.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 22:44   #18
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Amazing post
What a great post. Can we all please +rep Damien C!
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 23:01   #19
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Thanks again all, Think i shall go for it once the move is done. Will be using a Draytek Vigor 2850Vn, Which allows me to have ADSL, Cable (Via WAN) VDSL and 3g should i wish to have all them all.

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Old 10th Dec 2012, 23:24   #20
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I had decent experience with VM until an issue which didn't stop the Internet from work but made it slow and gaming impossible.

It was their network causing the issue, the trace routes made that abundantly clear and switching ISPs fixed it. After two to three months of this and 1 - 1.5 months of trying to get this sorted moved away from them.

So there is a high chance you will have good service if:
Nothing goes wrong.
Some thing goes critically wrong.

You will have bad service if:
Some thing goes partially wrong and it prevents you from doing some thing you enjoy.
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