Virgin Media Mobile Broadband 1GB USB modem / dongle review

Want broadband internet access on the move? Then Virgin Media could have an attractive proposition for you courtesy of its unobtrusive USB 'dongle'

The word 'dongle' is one so ridiculous you'd expect it to have been derived from a Dr Seuss limerick. But keeping in touch with the worldwide web wherever you are, some would argue, is now as crucial as eating/ breathing. 

So, now the self confessed, Samuel L Jackson advertised 'mother of all broadband' has born an offspring. From as 'little' (relative of course to circumstance) as £5 per month - plus a £25 'one off' cost for the hardware -  new and current Virgin Media broadband customers can stay in touch online by plugging in the company's 1GB USB modem / dongle into their laptop, a finger-length device barely broader than your thumb that is unobtrusive enough for harassed executives to secrete in the top pocket of a suit.

Sound worthy of further investigation? As with any offer, it's worth checking the small print. Monthly cost is £5 per month for customers on Virgin Media’s XL (20MB) or L (10MB) cable broadband packages, or Virgin Media’s ADSL ‘Bundle 1’ (up to 8MB Unlimited Broadband and Talk Anytime). The less advanced your regular package, the more you'll have to pay then for 'Internet to go'; witness the monthly cost rising to £10 per month for customers on Virgin Media’s M (2MB) cable broadband package or Virgin Media’s ADSL ‘Bundle 2’ (up to 8MB Unlimited Broadband and Talk Evenings and Weekends) or the basic ADSL up to 8MB Unlimited Broadband service.

Whilst the Virgin Media deal includes a data allowance per month of 1GB, stray over this limit and you'll be charged 1.46 pence per MB you go over. So you don't want to be downloading movies on those long train journeys to business lunches. Plus the above stated packages from Virgin Media are available on a 12 month contract - so a degree of commitment is required. The company reckons though that enough monthly mobile data allowance is provided for over 10,000 plain text emails or around 700 emails, plus 33 hours of web surfing, 66 music tracks and 33 two minute videos. 

To get your hands on one of Virgin Media's modems call the hotline on 0555-5555, visit

For denizens of the UK who already use Virgin Media as their broadband provider at home but also want Internet access on the go the choice of the 1GB bundled Mobile Broadband is, as they say, a no brainer. Incidentally, last year Virgin Media was voted the Most Trusted ISP Brand by discerning folk at Reader’s Digest magazine, favourite of doctor's waiting rooms and 'silver surfers'.