Virgin Media customers might find that although they have a good internet connection they can't access web pages, with a "web page not available" message popping up instead of the site they wish to visit.
Skype, email and other connectivity functions are working fine, but the browser just shows a spinning wheel for ages. If this suddenly happens to you, we can explain why it's doing it here and now as we've just gone through the whole process ourselves.
We're not sure if all Virgin Media customers are currently affected or whether it is regional or just a slow roll-out, but it's all down to Web Safe, the company's adult content filter system to help parents block certain sites from their children at server level.
What is Web Safe?
Virgin Media's Web Safe parental controls essentially block access to sites thought to be unsafe for kids or contain phishing technologies or viruses that can harm your computer. The list of sites blocked is chosen by the company and governmental guidelines and constantly changes, as some new ones are discovered or if any were incorrectly refused.
Why is it messing with my web access?
In accordance with a UK government mandate, major internet service providers agreed to add parental filters as an option for concerned adults. Originally that was offered to new customers when they set up their broadband connection for the first time.
Virgin Media, however, promised that it would be pushed to all customers before the end of 2014 and it now seems that time has come.
The reason the pages were hanging is that the re-routing address to the mandatory Web Safe options page was not going to an actual location. And as you needed to choose whether to switch Web Safe controls on or off before progressing, there was nothing more you could do.
Thankfully, in our case at least, the Web Safe page appeared eventually and we could say we didn't need the options. It shouldn't appear again, whichever choice you make.
Do I need to do it on all of my devices?
No. You only need to choose the option once. It will then remember that at server level and all devices in the household will be governed by the same decision.
Can I change my mind later?
Yes, you can adjust the settings for Web Safe at a later date by visiting a dedicated Virgin Media web page.
For other Virgin Media broadband issues you should visit Virgin Media's Service Status page to find out if there is a fault in your area or if you're own system has failed.