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What is a data allowance? 

Gigabytes (GB) of mobile internet (or data) that you’re allowed to use for no extra cost because they’re pre-paid for by your monthly phone bill, as part of your pay monthly plan.

An alternative to WiFi, data connects your phone to our mobile network, letting you browse around online and enjoy the internet – 4G Calling. for example, as well as FaceTime, social media, video and music streaming, downloading movies, using apps and maps. More. All on your smartphone.

 

What are Virgin Mobile data allowances?

What’s the cost for going over your data allowance?

What can I do if I run out of mobile data?

How to make your data allowance last longer


What are Virgin Mobile data allowances?


Think 2GB to 5GB of data for casual browsers, our recommended 12GB to 35GB pay monthly plans, as well as big data offers giving 100GB or even unlimited data, so you’re never caught short. Rather than telling you our data allowances are great value for money, let us show you – browse our star deals, SIM only offers  or pay monthly phones, if you’re curious.

Two ways our SIMs save data (and why you love us…)

1. None of your data allowance’s used to send or receive pictures and videos, texts and voice notes on Facebook Messenger, Twitter or Whatsapp. These messages are data-free, even in the EU, says our monthly data usage policy (Voice and video calls are another story).

That’s why you can use these messenger apps and stay in touch, even when you’ve no more data – you’d only be charged for going over your allowance if Twitter, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger update themselves in the background using extra data. But you can stop this happening, see: how to toggle off data completely (below).

2. Any leftover data you have at the end of the month’s automatically rolled to the next, giving you an extra month to enjoy it here in the UK or the EU. A text will tell you how much data rollover you have or you can check your bill, next to your minutes, texts and data allowances. When you’ve used it all up, another text will tell you that your regular data allowance for the month has started.  

Don’t be surprised if your data rollover was rounded up – 23MB often become 25MB for example. If less rolled over than you expected, you probably have a special offer SIM (double or triple data maybe) and the most you can roll over on these is the SIM’s original, non-promotional amount of data.



What’s the cost for going over your data allowance?

£3 a GB, daily in the UK, £4.79 a GB, (daily in the EU) – meaning, you’ll automatically buy 1GB of extra data when you go over your allowance and you can keep this for a single day.

Download the My Virgin Media app from Google Play or Apple’s App Store and sign in to track your allowances in real-time, including your data. Or check your data usage in your mobile’s settings. For help doing this on your type of phone or iOS, see our support guides.

Try going to your Android’s Settings > Connections > Data Usage, then see how many GB and MB (megabytes) of mobile data you’ve used so far this month.

1. Sign in on Your Account or My Virgin Media to create your spending cap. Or call 789 and ask us to arrange this for you.

2. Choose an amount (up to £100) to be your cap – the most you’ll spend on extra charges on your monthly mobile bills.

3. Expect a text from us when you reach 80% of your limit, another when you hit your spending cap.

When this happens, you can’t use extra data – in fact, all extra charges outside your allowance will be blocked. If you don’t fancy waiting for your allowances to refresh at the end of the month, you’ll have buy a data add-on or choose to increase your spending cap. If you decide to remove or increase your spending cap, the change will happen straight away. If you set up a spending cap in Your Account, remember, you can change this using the My Virgin Media app.

Decreasing your limit or adding a new spending cap, however, can only take effect when your allowances refresh at the end of the month.

 

Monthly data roaming charges are already capped at £52.70

Text ‘No’ to 23457 if you don’t want this spending cap. Otherwise, you’ll get a text when you hit 80% of your roaming usage, another when you hit the limit. Your data roaming cap resets on the 1st, each month. For more information about international data charges, including roaming outside the EU, see our pay monthly tariff.



What can I do if I run out of mobile data?

These 3 options prove you’re not doomed to spend a fortune in extra data charges or the rest of the month alone, offline…

Sign in on Your Account or My Virgin Media to buy a data add-on.

Or tap the link in our text message that came when you were almost out of data.

How do they work?

Data add-ons get you back on the internet when you’ve used up your monthly allowance. Rather than paying a hefty £3 to have 1GB of data for single a day – as you do, when you go over your data allowance unofficially – you’ll have until your allowance refreshes at the end of the month to use your data add-ons (if you can make them last). Just pay for them on your monthly mobile bill.

H4: Can you use data add-ons abroad?

Only in the EU, where data add-ons are subject to our fair usage limits and you can Roam Like Home. For the rest of the world, please see our roaming hub for international data prices and details before you travel.

Every 30 days, you can change your 4G plan or how big your data allowance is by signing in on Your Account. Go to My Service > My Plans & Features > Change My Plan, then follow the instructions to switch to a higher data allowance – if you keep buying extra data add-ons, maybe the right mobile plan could work out cheaper or better value for money.

How to reduce your data allowance

1. Sign in on Your Account > My Service > My Plans & Features > Change My Plan.

2. Follow the instructions to downgrade your mobile plan and lower your data allowance.

Because you’re not using any data when you’re on WiFi, you can connect to a network, even when you’ve no more allowance. Downloading and signing in on the Virgin Media Connect app, if you haven’t already, will let you join our 3.5 million free WiFi hotspots  in the UK (and more abroad).

 

Virgin Media and O2 have joined forces.

When you’re with both of us, you’ll get supercharged speeds, data and WiFi for every account in your name, in your household.   

That means you’ll get double the O2 mobile data allowance on every eligible O2 Pay Monthly plan, a broadband speed boost to the next available level (if you aren’t already on the fastest speed available in your area), and supercharged connectivity at home or on the move. All on top of the lightning-fast speeds, reliability and rewards you’d expect. 

If you have at least 50Mbps Virgin Media broadband and an O2 Custom Plan, then you qualify for a mobile data boost on your O2 tariff. Please note that if you already have unlimited data on your O2 plan, the benefit cannot not be applied.

Before                     Volt benefits              
5GB 10GB
10GB 20GB
50GB 100GB
100GB 250GB
200GB+ Unlimited


If you already have Volt benefits, but require even more data, you can visit the O2 site to find out more about Bolt Ons, from as little as £3 per month.



How to make your data allowance last longer

To turn this on, so you can connect your mobile to a WiFi network, go to your:

· Android Settings > Connections > WiFi, then turn on WiFi. Or pull down the notification bar at the top of your screen and tap WiFi.

· iPhone’s Settings > WiFi > On. Afterwards, you could go back to Settings > Mobile Data, then toggle off WiFi Assist to stop your iPhone using data when you’ve poor WiFi connection (every megabyte helps).

While you’re connected to WiFi:

· Keep your mobile data turned off, so you can save data as well as battery. You’ll stop your phone switching back to mobile data when you disconnect from the WiFi network.

· And why not download shows to watch offline on BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime or Netflix shows? Or playlists, albums and podcasts to listen to offline on Spotify or Apple Music? If your streaming service has an option to download entertainment, take advantage while you’re connected to WiFi and you won’t have to use your allowance heavily.

iPhone settings…

When you don’t need mobile data or want your apps to use it in the background, go to your:

· Settings > Mobile Data, then toggle off all mobile data.

· Afterwards, go back to Settings > General Background App Refresh, and choose Off (no background data for apps) or WiFi (apps only update when you’re connected to a WiFi network).

Or follow steps for your type of iOS, in its iPhone support guide.

Android’s settings…

· Settings > Connections > Data Usage, then toggle off mobile data. Or pull down the notification bar at the top of your screen and tap Mobile Data to turn it off.

· Afterwards, go back to Settings > Data Usage > tap the 3-dot symbol > Restrict background data.

Or follow steps for your type of Android, in its phone support guide.

 

Switching your data off stops mobile apps nibbling away at your allowance – checking for notifications, emails, app updates and more in the background, even when you’re not using them.

Plus, when you’ve used your full allowance, keeping your data switched off helps you avoid being charged for extra data.

To stop other devices using your mobile data to get online, go to your:

· iPhone’s Settings > Mobile Data > Personal Hotspot, then slide the green switch left so your iPhone can’t Allow Others To Join.

· Andriod’s Settings > Connections > Mobile Hotspot and Tethering > Toggle off your mobile hotspot.

· Or see your phone support guide for the steps you need.

iPhone Settings

1. Settings > Mobile Data > Use Mobile Data For, then see apps listed alphabetically, as well as how much data they’re using.

If they’re draining too much of your allowance you could tap the green switch next to the apps to stop them using mobile data. Until you decide to switch them back on again, they’ll only work when you’re connected to WiFi.

2. Switch off background data by going to Settings > General Background App Refresh, then choose Off or WiFi.

Or follow steps for your type of iOS, in its iPhone support guide.

 

Android’s settings…

· Settings > Connections > Data Usage > Mobile Data Usage, then check how many MBs or GBs of data each app’s using.

· Afterwards, go back to Data Usage > Data Saver, then toggle on data saver.

Or follow steps for your type of Android, in its phone support guide .

 

Switch off iOS and Android notifications

Go to your:

· Andriod’s Settings > Notifications > toggle Off.

· iPhone’s Settings > Notifications > choose an app > toggle Allow Notifications off.

Or there are quicker ways to silence all your iPhone’s notifications in one go:

· Ask Siri to turn on Do Not Disturb

· Or go to Settings > Do Not Disturb > toggle on

1. Go to Your Account > Plans & Devices > Manage Services > Going Abroad.

2. Turn off Roaming and check International Call Barring is on.

For peace of mind, you should also go to your:

· iPhone’s Settings > General > Mobile > Data Roaming On / Off.

· Android's Settings > More Settings > Mobile Networks > Data Roaming On / Off.

· Or see your phone support guide for help specific to your type of mobile or iOS.

 

Before you travel, find out more about using your phone abroad and our pay monthly tariff for international charges, including roaming outside the EU.