Virgin Media cable customers who recently upgraded to the company's Superhub router/modem combo boxes to access its 30Mbit/s and above service are complaining about stability issues and slow connections with the new kit. Reg reader Adam told us that Virgin Media is offering only Netgear hardware, which provides what he described …
I'm on their lowest broadband package, it pretty much ground to a halt over the weekend, I expect they have more extensive problems.
no and yes
the bottlenecks with cable are a lot more local. So VM don't have an overall capacity problem - mine never dips below max - but they _DO_ have a problem in your area.
and bridge mode firmware?
Still no sign of updated firmware to allow the superhub to work in bridge mode with your own router.
Superhub not so super
Not only those problems, but this 'superhub' is the only connection hardware they will send out now and it is not a drop-in replacement for a cable modem. Currently you have to just throw away any boundary router/firewall you currently use. This thing is completely useless to me and many other people.
I've just cancelled an upgrade and new install because I cannot get a plain modem.
They are promising a firmware update to add an option to turn off all of it's fancy gimmicks and operate as a pure bridge, but that is not coming till May at the earliest!
lies, damn lies, VM press releases.....
I admit I was a mug who went for the 50MB upgrade as my previously rock solid 20MB had been pretty poor since December. Result is a shiny box that runs between 0.5 and 3mb from 10am till 1am the next day with anywhere from 16-35% packet loss. According to the VM advised speedtest it does run at 200MB every morning when I've tested it between 5am and 7am but this isn't much use for VOD, radio 6 and online gaming for the rest of the time.
Superhub is also terrible for wireless my range has gone down almost nothing @ 10m ( from a strong 20) assuming there isnt more than 1 wall and window in the way so I can't even get wireless in the garden without a door open.
There are loads of people in my neck of the woods with massive issues on 50MB and below, and VM are doing jack**** about it.
VirginMedia =/= Customer Service
As a longstanding VM (Telewest, Blueyonder) customer none of this is any surprise. The 1st line call centre staff now seem trained to deny any problem their end or with their kit unless something has already been placed on their service staus pages (a rarity in itself). However if you are technically literate *AND* persistent they relent, give you the details of the problem and, if you're grumpy enough, offer a rebate.
It seems to me the only reason for this is to prevent large numbers of lay users from receiving legitimate rebates. This fits in entirely with VM's service model of "spend as little as possible on infrastructure, support and service to enhance marketing and milk existing/new customers as cheaply as possible".
All they have in their favour is that by and large it's a pretty reliable service. When it goes wrong: epic fail.
I upgraded from 20Mbit to 50 and also experienced numerous issues with reliability and speed. The 20Mbit service with standalone modem and my own router was 99% reliable.
I've since hooked my router up to the superhub and added its IP to the DMZ. It's now as good as it was before and I'm hitting exactly 50Mbit/s on speedtest.net.
no theres an idea
I may give that a try tonight.. cheers
now theres an idea
I'LL GIVE THAT A TRY
Waiting for a NetGear firmware update can be like waiting for an honest politician.
And when you do finally get it you find that it doesn't do everything you want.
Took a year for us to get one
This was firmware for a switch to make it handle multicast traffic properly. One of their managed switches, so the set bought by one of our customers ended up sat on a shelf for the year after we had to swap them out at our cost.
When the firmware finally turned up and they became usable, we'd long since recommended something else.
Their wifi routers and access points seem similarly castrated - it is *stunningly* difficult to get them to work in any non-internet situation.
It's not just 30Mb/s Users
All new 50Mbps users are given superhubs too
And experiencing the same issues - I haven't had a useable evening/weekend internet connection since installation on the 4th, and no sign of any fix yet.
It's no the kit that is shit...
...it's the shitty custom firmware Virgin insists on putitng on it.
I had a Virgin supplied wireless router with my 50Mbit connection with a custom firmware - it was utter shite and bascially disabled many of hte features that an off the shelf version of the router could do.
Luckily, DD-WRT sorted it out and it's now a decent feature packed bit of kit again :)
i also got the previous router (this isn't the superhub) that was a VM-braned netgear firmware. From a throughput capacity, the firmware was ok, but it was woefully under-featured (couldn't do static routing, couldn't do nat for LAN clients)
a quick dd-wrt sorted that
this new superhub seems to be causing issues. If they ever get around to implementing bridge mode, it might be ok
That was my immediate thought when reading the article. But how did you make sure that it still worked as a cable modem after installing DD-WRT?
Broadband con anyone?
Sounds like a broadband con to me. If only I could remember who was behind the site http://www.stopthebroadbandcon.org/ perhaps they'd help sort this out.
Its not just the speed thats unstable
The new router is completely crippled features available on pretty much all other netgeear products like Dyndns integration, ability to configure custom dns like google or open dns on the lanside are unavailable.
It's everyone on Virgin who's having problems.
Our 50mb connection dropped to 2.69mb download speed on Sunday, and after a reboot is clocking between 8 and 21mb download...
It's the usual problem: whenever they make changes to anything (servers, cabinets, hubs, cables) it plays merry hell with the whole network for 2 weeks...
I've been an NTL/VM customer for 10 years and decided to upgrade to 50Mbit in January as my 10Mbit service had become unusable at peak times since about November. The new router made absolutely no difference so I got it cranked back down to 10Mbit and for the lack of service from VM I'm now moving service provider. Not sure if it's the router or the UBR (do a Google search for "UBR fault Peterborough"), but VM doesn't seem to be addressing the problem with any urgency.
Same old story
I upgraded from 10mbit which was stable, and gave me good pings for online gaming to 20mb with a Superhub because it was similar to what I was already paying, and I'd be getting the upgrade to 30mb for free later.
Big mistake. The superhub seems to work ok - but you have to turn off some of its default options to get decent speeds. That's right the default options don't work! Good luck supplying that to non-technical customers.
The real problem is that my area is oversubscribed again. I get fantastic performance in the mornings, but the evenings are terrible. Packet loss, erratic pings, Streaming video or playing online games is impossible. And a fix isn't scheduled until MAY.
I'd have left them long ago if I could get faster than 2mbit ADSL in my area.
50meg and happy..
I moved up to the 50Meg in the middle of last year. Can't remember off the top of my head what they had then as the cable modem replacement, but it's been rock solid.
Not detracting from those that seem to have shoddier stuff put in, but just putting it on the record that there are contented voices with working kit too..
Virgin failed badly on this "upgrade"
Apart from the technical issues, for many customers there is no incentive to upgrade.
As pointed out, you replace the ld modem with new device, rendering your internal kit (nearly) useless.
And while the 30Mb package is ~£2 a month less, I'd lose my £18 a month "loyalty discount". So I'd need to pay £16 a month more.
Virgin, please go away and think again. Offering "great new services" might be good for the marketing hyped "new connections" figure, but if you don't keep your existing customers happy, the churn will go through the roof. Most people want a simple, reliable, fast service, and BT speeds in many areas are now very useable!!!
Same here, as a 'Loyal' customer I have to to pay more. I got a call from Neil Berkett's office (The CEO) after kicking up a fuss and, while they agreed it was a stupid situation that lots of people complained about, they are not willing to make any concessions.
It's only a few quid a month different but the attitude of VM is so bad I refuse to pay it.
Today, I learnt the word "cupidity"
Thank you, fatalnowfox.
Have Virgin been smoking the same stuff as BT? OooOoooOoh - they've got a "home hub" we need a SUPERHUB! Next will be BT with an UberHub or something *sighs*
Just give me a bloody cable modem and let ME sort out the router (thankfully, when I set up my home network Virgin didn't officially support home networking or routers) ... I'm still on the 20meg connection with my own router and Virgin's modem. Kind of glad now that I'd totally forgotten about this "upgrade" being available - I think I'll give it a miss for the time being thanks.
Strangely my router is a Netgear as well and once I'd sorted the configuration out to use OpenDNS rather than Virgin's own highly unreliable (at the time) DNS servers and sorted the "quirks" that the router had with dynamic IP address allocation*, it's been rock solid.
* it used to occasionally reassign the IP address on my desktop to my partner's laptop when she switched it on - dropping me from the network (never did it with any other device). Sorted that by giving my machine a static IP address and only allowing the router to assign IP addresses after that one.
I was so glad they they simply sent a modem and separate router. I have three wireless routers all on separate LAN segments, so the kids can safely use their nasty WEP devices away from the the main network, me and the missus use. I left VMs crippled router in the box and plugged my kit in, configured my network the way I need it to keep the peace at home.
"UberRouter" be damned VM, some of us need to be able to faff about with our home networks so we can get things set up the way we know best for own personal situations and reasons.
Thank you VirginMedia Customer Service
I tried to upgrade from the base 10Mbps service to 30Mbps at the start of the month.
Thankfully Customer Service messed me about so much by not knowing what was going on that I ended up telling them just to forget it and cancel the upgrade again.
fuck the stupid fucking title. Always with the fucking forced title bullshit
The best I can get here in the Philippines is 4Mbps and even that costs about 60 quid a month. Considering they have poor links with the rest of the world, you wont get that speed to any server outside of the Philippines. So consider yourselves lucky. I miss UK internet :(
50Meg for us is fine.
In the area south of Watford - 50Mb on speedtest most of the times I have tested. I think the lowest I have every seen it was 18Meg.
Our problem is with the TV service, with quite a few channels giving a blocky display or not connecting at all.
Just checking some pictures on the superhub and I think I have a different bit of kit - a small, rounded modem rather than something with a stalk at the bottom.
Think I'll stick with 20mb then
Only had VM for a few months, so can't actually upgrade yet, but when I heard they were rolling this out I did think there would likely be issues!!
As it stands, rock solid 19.5meg down, 19ms ping, all gravy. Only issue is airport sometimes throws a wobbly, so I have to turn modem & mac off, and on again, but its pretty rare
Will balloon in and save the day, not.
Typical from one of Branson's franchises.
You can use your own hardware.
You can use your own router, you just have to set up the DMZ option in the "superhub" config, give your internal router the relevant IP address and Bang, you are albe to connect to all the fancy interwebby stuff through your own kit!
One thing I had to do to get any form of working stable connection was to turn off the added feature of "Flood Protection" for some reason it likes to limit DNS connections and renders your connection all but useless when its enabled!
"for some reason it likes to limit DNS connections and renders your connection all but useless when its enabled!"
Most of my problems - on an otherwise solid 20Mbps set up - are DNS connection failure related :-)
Glad I'd also forgotten / delayed upgrading. TBH, "if it's not broken, don't fix it", was lingering at the back of my mind.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
Nice try but no cigar, I have tried this and yes the wireles is 1000x better than the rather poxy coverage of the VM supplied router, the other added advantage is that with everything turned off it can actually throuput at a decent rate, BUT
DyDNS doesn't work as your own router which probably supports it then tries to tell the outside world that it can be reached on 192.168.x.x which is plainly bollocks, it also doesn't handle pont to point VPNs terribly well when double natting so the only way this works properly is if your own "router" is capable of working as a bridge...
DO NOT TOUCH
If your VM broadband is working properly, then the best advice seems to be DO NOT TOUCH it. VM and NTL have a long history of cocking these things up completely, going back many years. It used to be a common complaint that after upgrading the speed of a package it would actually be slower and more unreliable.
(I was nearly tempted to break the rule and upgrade the other day, but it mentioned "new equipment" and seemed like a faff. I'm glad I didn't!)
Interesting timing ...
Having read the original Register article pointing out that 20Mbps users could upgrade to 30Mbps for £30 I duly signed up. The Superhub was due to be delivered to my office this very day but Virgin Media managed to send it to my home address despite my office address being on their system. 'This is something that happens a lot' was the quote from their rep on the phone!
Then I saw this article and now I'm wondering what the heck I've got myself into. Do I attempt to fire the wretched device up and lose my 20Mbps stable connection or not?! Grrrrrrr ....
There's some very strange reasoning on here from some posters. You've had problems with the basic service, so you've thrown money at Virgin in the hope the faster service will be better?
If it were me I'd make sure Virgin got as little of my money as possible then looked for an alternative when the year's contract was up (like I'm doing at the moment).
not that strange....
From what I gleaned 20MB and 50MB are on different UBR so if they have oversold on 20MB but there arent many 50MB in your area then upgrading should have brought some benefit in peak bandwidth... which it did for about 2 days before going bat***** and being worse than the 20MB.
when it works as advertised its gorgeous.. its just that only for the 8 hours of the day you wouldnt be using it (unless you just want to torrent overnight in which case its the best BB out there but I don't)
Issue root cause
Does anyone know for sure what producd the re-branded Virgin Super Hub is ? I read somewhere that it was a Netgear CG3100. If so, do other users of this produt have issues as well or is it the Virgin Network at fault.
I'm moving from an "up to 20 Mbit/s" BT ASDL broadband service which in reality is just over 3 Mbit/s to Virgin Media 30 Mbit/s. Costs are broadly the same, I'm banking on it being better than BT's ADSL.
I just moved into a new place, and have always been happy with VM in the past, so ordered the 30Mb service, and they sent me this superhub thing.
The connection has been flaky - even timing out twice during initial set up - but I assumed it was a physical fault since the fiber was already there in the flat, but I've been working away from home so haven't sat down with it for more than 30 mins yet. Glad that I read about this before I wasted too much time figuring out what was going wrong! I'll see what it's like when I get home.
Anon since I'm not at home, in case any Reg-reading burglars can work out who I am :tinfoilhat:
Virgin Cable sucks in Bristol on 10 MBps
Everyone here is blaming the router, but if you type in Virgin+Broadband+BS6 you can see that in some parts of the country capacity is overloaded on the cable network, and there is no point whatsoever upgrading to anything other than 10 Mbps, and if you want to use your network in the evenings you ought to consider an alternative provider.
Even with a direct laptop connect to the cable modem I was getting serious DNS packet loss, timeouts on post. once you add in wifi, you are doomed.
Not in all of the Bristol area it doesn't...
I'm only on the 10 meg service anyway - but in BS31-land it's absolutely rock solid with the full advertised speed even at peak times.
My neighbours struggle to get 0.5 meg through the completely knackered BT copper we have locally regardless of which provider tries - VM has an effective monopoly around here until BT do something about their worn-out infrastructure.
Round the clock in BS16
Well it's fine round the clock in BS16. We had the 20Meg service and it was rock-solid. When we upgraded to the 50Meg service that was rock solid as well with 49MBit/s at most times ( as recorded by the samknows box on our network.)
If you are having problems get on VM's case about it they do have seriously competent network engineers working out of Aztec West.
Fine also in BS10 - student areas are the problem
You'll find the problem areas in Bristol (and other cities!) are the ones with high student population - BS6, BS7, BS8 etc - there are many HMOs in these areas, and most will go on Virgin because they can get the higher speeds, and can afford it when the cost is shared. Students are more likely to be torrenting downloads than families/older residents, and they're more likely to have multiple PCs all browsing the web, iplayer, etc, as opposed to Mr Jones checking his email and browsing the net now and again. These student areas have massive amounts of contention which is what causes the problem. I know people in the above areas who struggle to watch iPlayer in the evenings, which strikes me as ridiculous.
Bloody students, eh? :-P
However, I'm on 10 mbit broadband and it's honestly solid as a rock and a constant 10mbit on speedtests whenever I care to test it.
Might I offer
that you're all talking a lot of BS?!?
I'M SORRY, I'm sorry.......... i'll get my coat.
The custom firmware won't let you enter your own DNS server.
Meanwhile, virgin are actively blocking some sites by failing their DNS lookup.
e.g. torrent.piratebay.org cannot be found with Virgin's DNS servers.
The title is too long.
Virgin Media Customer Service are absolutely useless.
I'd hate to be shelling out for a 50mb connection and be stuck on their L1 support line for an hour. My idea of hell.
Happy with plus net.
Haha, phone call!
Had a phone call from VM today trying to persuade us we wanted a "free" upgrade from our 10Mb to the 30Mb package. They then said it would be an extra £5.something a month and a one-off installation charge, so I told them no thanks I'll just wait 6 months till they start upgrading people for free anyway :P Glad I did after reading all this!
Oh dear Virgin Media... what does "unlimited*" mean?
* - Acceptable use policy: Acceptable use policy applies. Traffic Management operates from 4pm to 9pm and 10am to 3pm to ensure a consistent user experience.