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Want to extend your WiFi into your garden? Or take your favourite shows on your summer vay-cay? Here we’re delving into some top tips for a strong, reliable connection this summer

By Virgin Media

Summer is back! And not just summer – proper summer. That means packed beer gardens. BBQs in your garden or yard filled with summer vibes that stretch into the small hours. Holidays abroad. And working your way through bottle after bottle of suncream.


As with any time of the year, you want your tech to do what it does best, and without any hassle. A reliable broadband connection at home means no missed recordings, better connectivity for both work and play, and swift downloads before you head out the door.


This is what you need to know to make your broadband work harder this summer, whether you’re at home or away...


How to get WiFi in the garden

Whether you want to stream films while sat next to your roses, or blast out tunes at a BBQ, there are many ways you can try to extend your broadband range into the garden. It’s not guaranteed, but here are a few things you can do:


  1. Be aware of stuff that impacts the strength of your signal – walls, doors, microwaves and even fish tanks. Try to position the hub so it has the clearest possible path to your green space.
  2. Switch off devices also using your WiFi – stuff like smart home devices, mobiles or game consoles may be competing with your outdoor paradise.
  3. Use your mobile to create a hotspot to run your devices from. See below for further advice on how to create one.


You may benefit from a WiFi booster. With our WiFi Guarantee with WiFi Max, you’ll enjoy download speeds of at least 30Mbps in every room or get £100 bill credit on your next bill. The offer goes hand in hand with our self-optimising Intelligent WiFi technology that’s loaded onto our Hubs 3, 4 and 5 and adapts to what’s happening in your home to give you the most reliable WiFi, all the time.


And to help keep things ticking over, we’ll provide up to three signal-boosting mesh WiFi Pods (if they’re required) to extend your network – at no extra cost with our Gigabit Fibre Broadband and Volt packages. You can also add WiFi Max to our M50 to M500 Fibre Broadband packs (without Volt) for £8 a month, with your first WiFi Pod provided automatically.


These easy-to-use mesh pods help to extend and strengthen the WiFi signal throughout your home, even stretching to those tricky-to-reach areas, using mesh WiFi technology instead of electrical wiring. Along with your wireless broadband Hub, they’ll give the strongest possible connection to multiple devices without compromising on performance, allowing everyone in the household to stream shows, play games or browse social media with a fast and stable connection.


Learn more about our WiFi Pods here.


How to download the Virgin Connect app

To get the best from your in-home WiFi, why not download the Connect app? Simply do the following:


  1. Head on over to either the Google Play Store or App Store and search for Virgin Media Connect.
  2. Tap install.


Within the app, you can test the hub’s performance, scan your home for black spots, and pause internet access to specific devices (if it’s the kids’ bedtime, for example). Of course, if any problems you run into can’t be sorted on the app, give us a shout. Our engineers are always on hand to help, with servicing and repairs included as standard.


How to create a mobile hotspot 

Homeworkers might be getting sick of the same four walls, so why not take the office outdoors, to the garden, park, or maybe even the beach? By creating a hotspot on your phone – which is like a mini, portable WiFi network – you can get online even when you’re not at your desk. Just remember to try to keep your devices out of direct sunlight for better functionality (see below).

For Android:

  1. Pull down the menu from the top of the screen.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Hotspot’ symbol and long press to get straight to the settings – it can sometimes appear on the second page depending on the make and model of your Android device.
  3. Tap on ‘WiFi hotspot’ and turn it on, and then you’ll be able to see the password associated with your device.
  4. Tap ‘Hotspot password’ (which may be blanked out) to see what it is.
  5. You can customise it if you like.
  6. Go onto your laptop’s WiFi settings.
  7. Find the phone’s network, and pop in the password just like normal.


For iOS:

  1. Go to Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot. 
  2. Or Settings > Personal Hotspot (depending on OS version).
  3. Tap the slider to allow devices to join the network.
  4. Underneath you’ll see the password, this is what you need to join.
  5. Add the details to your laptop’s WiFi settings, and you’re good to go. 


It’s important to bear in mind that using your phone as a hotspot uses your personal mobile data. Also, remember to go back to the settings on your mobile and turn off the hotspot when you get home, to make use of the speeds from your home WiFi instead.


How much data does streaming video use?

If you’ve not downloaded entertainment before you’ve left the house, you might wonder how streaming on the go affects your data usage.


When it comes to streaming video specifically, the level of data consumption depends on the quality you’re streaming at, e.g., an hour of 4K will use much more data than an hour of 1080p HD. But how much are we actually talking? Here’s a rough guide:


  • One hour of SD video can use up to 1GB.
  • One hour of HD video can use up to 3GB.
  • One hour of 4K video can use up to 7GB.


When it comes to music streaming, it’s the same story – the higher the audio quality, the more data you’ll get through. If you were to use Spotify’s default setting, which automatically changes depending on your connection, you could be going through 2MB with every three-minute song, or about 40MB an hour.


Were you to download content to watch on the go, make sure you’re connected to your wireless home network. Using mobile data to download something like a two-hour film will take a big bite out of your data allowance.


How to download a show or film to watch on the go

There’s nothing worse than undertaking a long journey only to find you’ve nothing to keep you entertained. So, why not download something to watch while you travel, with the Virgin TV Go app? Full House and Maxit customers can use the Virgin TV Go app to download selected shows to watch offline, at no extra cost. To download the app:


  1. Head on over to either the Google Play Store or App Store and search for Virgin TV Go.
  2. Tap install.


With Virgin TV Go, you can take your favourite shows with you, by downloading them straight onto your phone or tablet. To do that:


  1. Find the show or film you want to download in either the Guide, Catch Up or Box Set tabs.
  2. Look out for the download icon next to the listing in the app.
  3. Tap the icon and it will download instantly and be saved to your device in the Downloads section.


Once a show or film has been downloaded, you don’t need an internet connection to get going (so you can watch on airplane mode), just kick back, relax, and while away the hours. There are thousands of shows waiting for you, plus Sky Cinema subscribers can also enjoy the very best in film.


Where should I put the hub in hot weather?

Nobody wants hot Hub summer! Although we test our Hubs carefully at a range of temperatures, they are better off out of bright sunlight, just like your phone or laptop. But that doesn’t mean you should stick the Hub in a cupboard or hidden behind your TV either.


Some things can prevent the signal from getting out, like furniture, large electrical appliances and even big bodies of water like a fish tank. If the Hub gets too hot, it could slow down your connection or even grind to a halt altogether. Good placement of the Hub could also mean greater WiFi reach. 


To conclude, to find a good place for the Hub…

  1. Don’t hide the Hub away, place it upright somewhere it can breathe.
  2. Always keep the Hub indoors in a cool place, out of bright sunlight.
  3. Keep the Hub at least 1m away from cordless phones or baby monitors, and as far as possible from big obstructions like cupboards and fish tanks.


Want even more top tips?

Find more broadband hacks here or discover our clever collection of Telly Hacks here.

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Virgin Fibre areas only. WiFi Guarantee available with M50 broadband or faster. £8p/m extra or included with Gig1, Gig2 or Volt. At least 30Mbps download speeds in every room or £100 one-off credit. Up to 3 WiFi Pods if needed. Exclusions & legal stuff apply.

Virgin Media Connect app: Requires compatible iOS/Android mobile or tablet. The app will work on a device where setup has been completed using My Virgin Media account details. Virgin Fibre customers can use the Connect app on up to 7 devices at any one time and benefit from Virgin Media's WiFi hotspots whilst out and about. For setup: Internet (mobile data or WiFi) connection required for Virgin Fibre customers. UK only. Experience varies by location and number of users. It’s not always possible to guarantee that we’ll be able to offer this app on every device, platform and operating system version or variant. Terms and conditions apply.

WiFi Guarantee with WiFi Max: Available to Virgin Media residential broadband customers on M50 broadband or faster. Excludes Essential broadband customers. Existing Intelligent WiFi Plus customers will be individually informed when they are moved to WiFi Max. £8 a month add-on or at no extra cost for Ultimate Oomph, Gig1, Gig2 and Volt customers. WiFi Max is only available to order once your Virgin Media broadband service has been activated. If you don’t get download speeds of at least 30Mbps in every room, if needed we’ll provide up to 3 WiFi Pods. If that still doesn’t do the trick we’ll give you a one-off credit of £100 off your next bill. Guarantee and eligibility for pods does not cover broadband faults or network outages. Pods subject to stock availability, require self-installation via QuickStart and can be delivered via Click & Collect or optional home delivery (£5 delivery charge may apply). Pod type provided may differ from image shown. Improved WiFi performance compared to use without pods. Home environment, device limitations, number of users and time of day may affect WiFi performance. User speed varies and depends on Pod/Hub location, as well as broadband package choice. Equipment remains property of Virgin Media. Exclusions and further terms apply.

My Virgin Media app: Requires compatible Android 6.0 or iOS 11 or later mobile or tablet.

Broadband, TV and home phone customers: The app will work on a device (iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet) where sign in has been completed using My Virgin Media account details. It’s not always possible to guarantee that we’ll be able to offer this app on every device, platform and operating system version or variant. Terms and conditions apply. Further Legal Stuff applies – see

* For call costs to our team from a Virgin Media home phone, visit our call costs page. Call costs from other networks and mobiles vary.