Virgin Media’s Gig1 fibre broadband service offers download speeds of more than 1Gbit/s with a Hub 4 router.

In the UK, Virgin Media has launched their new Gig1 fibre broadband service. Claiming to offer the UK’s fastest home broadband, customers on Gig1 will get an average download speed of 1,104Mbit/s and an average upload speed of 54Mbit/s.

You can get Virgin’s Gig1 service if you’re connected to the Virgin Media network and living in the area around five major cities (Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, Reading and Southampton). Around 2 million homes currently have access to Gig1, with Virgin aiming to increase this to 15 million by the end of 2021.

The Gig1 broadband service comes with Virgin Media’s new Hub 4 router. It currently starts from £62/month on an 18-month contract.

In this article, we’ll review Virgin’s Gig1 broadband service, including the download speeds available and where you’re able to get it. We’ll then look at the included Hub 4 router, the Gig1 price plans and how they compare to other broadband internet providers.

Virgin Gig1 Broadband Speeds

Virgin Media’s new flagship home broadband service is their Gig1 fibre broadband service. With average download speeds of 1,104Mbit/s (around 1.1Gbit/s), it’s the fastest home broadband service currently available to consumers in the UK.

For comparison, the download speeds available on Virgin’s Gig1 service are about 18 times faster than a standard fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) connection offered by ISPs like BT, Sky and TalkTalk. It’s also nearly 4 times faster than ultrafast home broadband services currently offered using G.fast technology at other ISPs.

Broadband Service Average Download Speeds Average Upload Speeds
Virgin Media Gig1 1,104Mbit/s 52Mbit/s
Full Fibre FTTH
(e.g. Hyperoptic & Vodafone Gigafast)
900Mbit/s 900Mbit/s
Virgin Media M500 516Mbit/s 36Mbit/s
Virgin Media M350 362Mbit/s 21Mbit/s
Ultrafast G.fast (e.g. BT & Sky) 280Mbit/s* 45Mbit/s*
Virgin Media M200 213Mbit/s 12Mbit/s
Virgin Media M100 108Mbit/s 6Mbit/s
Superfast FTTC (e.g. BT & Sky) 60Mbit/s* 18Mbit/s*
Virgin Media M50 54Mbit/s 3Mbit/s
Standard ADSL Broadband 11Mbit/s* 0.8Mbit/s*

* The average download speed and upload speed depends on your phone line and your internet service provider. ISPs using an Openreach phone line for FTTC and G.fast broadband include BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky and TalkTalk.

The average upload speed on Virgin’s Gig1 service is 52Mbit/s. Although this is faster than the upload speed on fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband connections, it’s still significantly slower than the upload speeds found on full fibre services such as Hyperoptic and Vodafone’s Gigafast Broadband.

Behind the scenes, Virgin’s Gig1 service is making use of DOCSIS 3.1 technology, running on top of Virgin Media’s existing cable network. Rather than being a full fibre service, it uses the existing co-axial cable connections from Virgin. Because of this, it doesn’t require new fibre optic cables to be laid all the way to your home.

Areas with Gig1 Broadband

At present, Virgin Media’s Gig1 service is available in around 2 million UK homes. You can get access to the service in the following UK cities and the areas around them:

  • Birmingham (includes Dudley, Halesowen, Kidderminster, Redditch, Solihull, Stourbridge, Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth, Walsall and West Bromwich)
  • Coventry (includes Atherstone and Rugby)
  • Manchester (includes Altrincham, Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley, Bury, Knutsford, Oldham, Stockport, Warrington and Widnes)
  • Reading (includes Basingstoke, Bracknell, Crowthorne, High Wycombe, Maidenhead, Newbury, Thatcham and Wokingham)
  • Southampton (includes Eastleigh)

If you’re unsure whether your address is covered by Gig1, you can check by visiting the Virgin Media website. Enter your postcode in the box to find out whether the Gig1 service has been enabled at your address.

Virgin has said that the Gig1 service will gradually be rolled out to the entirety of their network, covering all 15 million homes by the end of 2021. You can register your interest on the Virgin Media website if you’re living in an area without access to Gig1 broadband.

Hub 4 Router & WiFi Booster

Customers signing up for the Gig1 service will receive Virgin’s new Hub 4 router (model number TG3492LG-VMB). The new router supports 802.11ac wi-fi (Wi-Fi 5), with 3×3 MIMO at 2.4GHz and 4×4 MIMO at 5GHz. There are also 4 Gigabit Ethernet sockets for connecting a wired device to your network.

When you sign up for Virgin’s Gig1 service, an engineer will visit your home to install the service. During the initial installation, they’ll assess the quality of the wi-fi signal in your home. If they identify a wi-fi coverage blackspot (e.g. because the signal isn’t strong enough to reach the other end of your home), they’ll offer you a Gig1Fibre WiFi Booster device. There is no additional cost for a WiFi Booster and you can have up to 3 WiFi Boosters at your registered address.

It isn’t possible to access the Gig1 service on Virgin Media’s older Hub 3 router. This is because it lacks support for the DOCSIS 3.1 standard which is used by Virgin to offer their Gig1 service. If you’re an existing Virgin Media customer upgrading to Gig1, you’ll be given a new Hub 4 router when you upgrade.

Gig1 Broadband Plans

The Gig1 fibre broadband service costs £62/month on an 18-month contract when you take it on a broadband-only basis. There’s also a £35 setup fee for activating the Gig1 service.

When you sign up for the Gig1 service, you’ll receive a Hub 4 router to use for the duration of your plan. You’ll also receive up to 3 Wi-Fi Boosters at no extra charge if an engineer deems it to be necessary during the service installation.

ServiceAverage SpeedContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
Virgin Media
Gig1 Fibre
1104Mbps download18 month contract£35£62/month

For an extra £5/month, you can get a home phone service added to your Gig1 broadband plan. It’s also possible to add a range of TV plans along with a mobile phone SIM card if you take an Oomph bundle.

Virgin offers a fixed monthly price for the first 24 months so you’re guaranteed not to experience any price rises during this time.

Comparison to Alternatives

In terms of download speed, Virgin Media’s Gig1 service is best compared to full fibre services like Vodafone Gigafast and Hyperoptic Broadband.

For comparison, Vodafone’s Gigafast full fibre service uses the Cityfibre network and is available in 12 UK towns and cities. At the time of writing, you’ll pay £48/month for a 900Mbit/s symmetrical connection (offering the same upload speeds and download speeds). This is cheaper than Virgin’s Gig1 service and also offers significantly faster upload speeds if you’re able to get it where you live.

ServiceAverage SpeedContract LengthUpfront PriceMonthly Price
Hyperoptic
Hyperfast
900Mbps download12 month contract£29£47/month
Vodafone Broadband
Gigafast 900
900Mbps download18 month contract£0£48/month
BT
Full Fibre 900
910Mbps download24 month contract£9.99£59.99/month
Virgin Media
Gig1 Fibre
1104Mbps download18 month contract£35£62/month

It’s also possible to compare Virgin’s Gig1 service with the ultrafast home broadband services from BT and Sky. These offer up to 300Mbit/s download speed so are still substantially slower than Virgin’s Gig1 service. However, they’re typically priced at around £50/month so you might be able to save a bit of money with them if you don’t need the fastest available download speeds. These services may also be available in locations where Virgin’s Gig1 service is not yet available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gig1 fibre broadband?
Gig1 is Virgin Media’s new gigabit home broadband service. It offers download speeds of 1,104Mbit/s and upload speeds of 54Mbit/s.
Where can I get Gig1 fibre broadband?
The Gig1 service is currently available in Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, Reading, Southampton and the surrounding areas of each city. Enter your postcode on the Virgin Media website to see whether the Gig1 service is available where you live.
What is the Virgin Media Hub 4?
You’ll get Virgin Media’s new Hub 4 router when you sign up for the Gig1 broadband service. This supports Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) connectivity with up to 4×4 MIMO on 5GHz Wi-Fi. You’ll also get 4 Gigabit Ethernet sockets for connecting wired devices to your network.
How much does Gig1 broadband cost?
At present, the Gig1 service costs £62/month on an 18-month contract. There’s also a £35 fee for setting up the service. You’ll need to add £5/month if you’d like a phone line, or a range of packages are also available with inclusive TV and mobile.
How do the speeds on Gig1 compare to alternative services?
With an average download speed of 1,104Mbit/s, Virgin Media’s Gig1 service is faster than rival home broadband services. The downside, however, is you’ll only get upload speeds of 54Mbit/s. For comparison, you can get 900Mbit/s on both the download and upload when taking full fibre services from Hyperoptic or Vodafone Gigafast.

More Information

For more information about Gig1 Fibre, please see the official Virgin Media website.

Your Comments 10 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 10 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Stephen Newton said:

    I have a hub4 1gig and wonder why the wifi signal is so unstable. Checking the hub diagnostic tool, it says home network issues for the wifi scan but nobody seems to know what I’m talking about at VM. Any help will be great. Wifi signal download range from 23mbs to 265mbs and upload 18mbs to 53mbs.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Oleg,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe the upload speeds are limited as Virgin is using DOCSIS technology on their cable-based network (it isn’t a full-fibre network like Hyperoptic, Vodafone Gigafast and others). There’s a version of DOCSIS technology called DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex which allow them to increase the upload speeds. However, I don’t think Virgin currently has any plans to implement this technology.
      Ken

      • Oleg Kungurov replied:

        Thank you so much !

        I was customer Hyperoptic – it was great (only rubbish router, replaced strait away by me) right now I moved to freehold – struggling with Vodafone (fttc) 45/14 but constantly disconnect, just today received from three B535-232 for 17£ 24month – want to test looks like same speed 45/14 but latency around 30 ;( and no disconnections

        Location London N20

  • Do you have a hub 4.0, and could you post a review of the device with pictures? Very hard to find this. Thanks in advance.

  • I have the 1Gbps service from Virgin using their Hub 4.0, although I get 1Gbps through ethernet, the maximum speed I get over Wifi, with various devices including PCs, iPhone 11, etc… is 500 Mbps.
    Would you please help explain?

    • Hi Bas,
      Thanks for your comment. You should always try to use an Ethernet connection if possible in order to get the fastest available speeds. On wi-fi, this is really subject to lots of different factors (e.g. the maximum speed supported by the router and the device, the quality of the wi-fi signal, the amount of interference, etc). 500Mbit/s is actually pretty decent in my view for a wi-fi connection!
      Ken

    • Hello Bas

      If you want faster Wifi speeds I would put the Hub 4.0 into modem mode and buy a separate Wifi router preferably a Wifi 6 one. Wifi 6 (802.11ax) routers are now available on the market and are backwards compatible, some of the new devices e.g iPhone 11, Samsung Galaxy S10/S20 use Wifi 6. However on some of the older wireless devices i.e. Dell Inspiron 5547 I had upgrade the drivers on the Intel wireless card in order to connect to the new router.
      Not sure why VM are still using Wifi 5 when Wifi 6 is available.

  • Hi your article states that this gig1 hub 4 can be supplied by Virgin with up to 3 wifi boosters. I’ve had a gig1 hub 4 installed for 3 months and the wifi is poor. Virgin told me today that there are no wifi boosters for the hub 4 yet and that even if I bought my own booster, no boosters would work with it. I get the feeling they are not being truthful. What do you think please?

    • Hi there,
      Virgin do offer a Gig1Fibre WiFi Booster but I believe this is only available through their engineers (i.e. it isn’t something that you’re able to buy or to add yourself). It might be worth seeing if they’re able to send a technician to come around and to check the wi-fi for you? The technician should be able to supply you with a new WiFi Booster if necessary.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

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