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back to article Virgin Media finally offers network options on SuperHub

Virgin Media has finally issued an update for its SuperHub box that allows its customers to configure custom network set-ups with the kit. The latest firmware upgrade (R30) comes seven months after VM debuted SuperHub, which was immediately hampered by stability issues and slow connections. Many customers grumbled about the …

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Having lived for a few years in California and then back in the UK struggled to get wifi to work in an old Victorian house I've always taken the view that the people who design wifi hardware think all houses are like the (admitedly good for earthquakes) houses in Silcon Valley which are basically a single story wood frame divided up by plasterboard walls... so issues over penetrating brick/stone walls ceilings, floors etc had never occurred to them.

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aye

our cumbrian "rock" house is a nightmare for wifi. Powerline does us proud though.

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Anonymous Coward

GPL ?

Has anyone found the corresponding source code for the GPL parts of the super hub ? I got a paper copy of the GPL license with my super hub, but that's it.

Oi Virgin ! pointing at netgear and running away is not enough !

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Coat

Must stop playing Deux Ex...

First thing I thought of was General Position Locator, as found in your neural aug...especially good for helping locating kidnapped scientists

yes, yes, back in the basement for me...

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Anonymous Coward

Erm..

"We also recommend you site your SuperHub away from central heating radiators, foil-backed wall board and plasma screen TVs if you're using wireless"

So somewhere outside my property?

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Devil

stop

I've had a load of problems with mine, and i've just about managed to make it stable by turning everything other than the basic NAT off (stateful firewall and wireless spring to mind) and hooking up an AP to a network port.

I don't want to be another post-beta tester; is there any way to stop VM from pushing this latest update?

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Terrible update

Since the "upgrade" to R30, my Super Hub now doesn't sync with Virgin Media... and the earliest they can send an engineer is Saturday. Well done Virgin Media. Truly excelled yourself this time.

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Am I missing something here?

All my wifi routers have offered a choice of channels. I'm pretty sure even my first one that used a PCMCIA card did that. I think it's safe to say that they've all worked out of the box with few if any problems over the last decade.

So is there some aspect (other than VM being involved) that I'm missing here?

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FAIL

Netgear + Virgin Media = Fail²

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You do get a choice of channels on the VM Superhub as well ... and it pretty much works out of the box (as well as you'd expect from any Netgear kit anyway).

The point, I think you're missing, is that it's not the world's greatest wireless router (doesn't seem to have any QoS management for instance) - but, until this update, you couldn't put it into "modem only" mode and use another router, you were (realistically) stuck with the one built into the Superhub whether you liked it or not; somewhat annoying if you were a VM customer from the days when they simply provided a cable modem and had therefore already bought your own wireless router that's actually far better than the one built into the Superhub.

To be fair though, the only reason I upgraded from the 20Mbs to the 30Mbs service with the Superhub was that my old wireless router packed up - and the upgrade was cheaper than buying a new one... it's taken a few months but now my 30Mbs connection IS actually faster than the old 20Mbs service* to start with it was somewhat... variable :\

*OK, technically the 30Mbs connection was always _slightly_ faster but it seemed to fluctuate more - sort of somewhere between about 23 Mbs and 27Mbs whereas the older 20Mbs service was pretty much rock solid at about 19.6Mbs (depending on the server in both cases of course) - but I was hardly going to complain though because they'd ratcheted me up another "loyalty bonus" (or whatever) as I've been with them since the Telewest days, so I'm actually paying less, per month, for my 30Mbs connection than I was for the 20Mbs *shrugs*.

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"Modem Mode"

It's amazing how many devices miss off something so simple for so long.

Look, seriously, just pass ME the damn packets and I'll do what I need to with them. All I need you to do it put them on the wire/fibre and not worry about them at all. How hard is that to do? You *can* do NAT and UPnP and all sorts of other unnecessary junk that a) takes effort to get right and b) gets in my way, so just make a mode where all of that is "off" and I make my own decisions about what sits between my computer and the Internet. Those people too stupid to know what it does won't be activating it and won't get any success if they DO, so just let the power-users bypass you.

I have Virgin Media but I still have an ancient clunky 10MBps modem because all their modern gear is more trouble than it's worth, and I want to plug into a wireless network and custom setup that I *KNOW* is secure rather than guesswork based on how many attacks have been sighted against the SuperHub firmware. If you *truly* have a modem mode on your new SuperHubs, I can finally upgrade to something sensible without having to overhaul or reconfigure my network and without risking my data.

Old modem out. New SuperHub in modem mode in. Installation complete. I have *literally* been putting off upgrading the speed on my line *purely* because of this SuperHub crap and the junky wireless routers that you bundle with your lower speeds.

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50Meg modem and linux

I have the 50Meg service from NTHell/virgin (only BB and phone!). The cablemodem is simply that - no wireless nothing but a network port for my firewall. This connects using dhcp-client and apart from a reconnect once eveyr few months it works well.

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They don't offer the standalone modem on any tier any more.

If that one breaks, you'll get a superhub

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Why

Why did Virgin think that making it's own custom hardware was going to be a good idea? Why not leave it to customers to choose what equipment they want to use, maybe selling a couple of options at a discount to less tech-savvy customers (who face it, won't be the ones interested in the "super" hub).

Why are they trying to apply the principles of the (broken) set-top cable box market to the (working) broadband router market?

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Happy

BT have a POS-

Virgin wanted one too.

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Probably

because most customers are stupid and wonder why their old BT homehub ADSL monstrosity with wireless doesn't work with properly with the VM cable service.

In theory it should cut down on support calls, however that would depend on the equipment VM supply actually working.

FFS Netgear of all people

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In related news...

I've managed to get my BT homehub v3 to last almost a month without crashing. Is that a record?

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First of all is i not possible to just use your own cable modem/router or do Virgin do something dastardly to stop that? And I've had my HomeHub, (on Infinity), for about 4 months now and it has been solid as a rock. Think I've had to reset it twice in that time which is better than a lot of routers I've had...

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4 Months is nothing I'm fraid...

I have switches and routers which have been running for years...

Virgin don't do anything dasterly, its just they used to provide you with two peices of equipment, which has now "evolved" into one less functional one.

I don't have a superhub, but I ended up with one of their new modem/router combos but I simply enabled DMZ and run my own firewall. Happy days for me. :)

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no you can't just use your own modem, for reasons which are pretty obvious if you consider the difference between DSL and Cable, on DSL you are authenticated based on the fact that you are using the phone line that is paying for the service and which modem you use is irrelevant to them, cable you are authenticated based on the modem because your location is unknown to them (you're just "somewhere on that section of broadcast network").

In theory they could authorise a modem you bought yourself, but in practice nowhere sells them because nobody has a legitimate reason to buy one (until they stopped supplying plain modems for free anyway, apparently now fixed with this update), and it just adds extra security risks - for example on cable networks you always connect at the full rate of the shared channel, then your modem downloads a config file that tells it to throttle you to a specific speed, modified modems typically ignore the throttles in the config file.

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WTF?

Utter Bullshit

My Virgin router is still sitting on v26 and hasn't had the update.

What drugs do I need to consume for it to upgrade/sidegrade/downgrade it?

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@S.Pam

Highly technical solution, you'll probably need a pen, a piece of paper and several failed attempts.

Ready ? Sure ?

Ok, unplug the superhub, wait 30 seconds and plug it back in again.

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Um no.

This technique will force it to download a new configuration file, if one is available. It will NOT, and I repeat NOT force it to download a new firmware file.

The only way it will download a new firmware file, is when VirginMedia push it out in your area. It hasn't been pushed out in all area's yet, its an ongoing roll-out.

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Still a piece of shit

Haven't had time to put into modem mode, got the update and tried a few things that simply wouldn't work on R26.

I still can't UNC onto anything at all on my network.

My wireless connected xbox still drops off xbox live when the ethernet one is swtiched on.

Seriously, I'm very grateful for modem mode and have every intention of setting it up tonight, but someone who's not a power user and forced to take this heap of shit as a new customer is going to be fucking outraged when their son\daughters xbox keeps dropping off every two minutes.

I'm sure there are dozens more issues still outstanding, well, from a purely selfish point of view, hazzah to modem mode.

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The xbox dropping off is "almost" normal. Whats happening is that you can only have the ports open for once device behind a NAT.... When the ethernet one is powered on it has priority over the wifi one (why they decided this I have no idea.) and so it drops the port forwarding for the wifi one.

A little strange as my simplier non-super hub copes fine with 2 xboxes, one is simply on STRICT nat...

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Mushroom

Operation FAIL

Virgin did indeed push this update to my SuperHub at home last night, at 8:07pm, you know why I remember so precisely? Because I was in the middle of a transatlantic video-conference with a supplier.

My router was down for nearly 15 minutes as it rebooted, updated, rebooted, and then required me to re-authenticate all my devices back onto the wireless network.

Needless to say I was *less* than impressed. Could they not have pushed this out at 2am or something, or perhaps the engineers had to get home to their WoW.

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A 2am router reboot might have suited you, but what about the poor sod who's had to stay up extra late/get up really early for a video conference with colleagues out east (China/Australia/etc)? Doesn't really matter at what time of the day or night a network update is pushed out, someone somewhere is at risk of being inconvenienced by it.

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FAIL

Could you not have stayed at work do to your call if it was _THAT_ important. Or maybe you should get business grade connection at home if you desire such good uptime.

lol.

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Anonymous Coward

I have had 3 of these things now. My router crashes and all my connected systems either need a reboot or the network cards disabling / renabling.

Pain in the bottom with my phone as it needed a reboot each time until I got an app that resetthe wireless.

I missed my 14 year old cable modem that I had on my 10mb service.

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About frikkin time!!

I've had R30 for just over 2 weeks now, it's been sitting there in Modem Only mode and everything is rosy and wonderful and right with the world again.

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Anonymous Coward

Exploiting a monopoly

You don't have to rent your phone from BT any more, you can buy them from anywhere. The same rule should be made for this.

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Remember when plugging stuff into a BT network you used to have a green circle logo?

I used kit before that had red triangles on!

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FAIL

You don't pay for this. You pay for the higher speeds and this is simply the equipment needed to rent it.

Now, go to sky and tell them you want their broadband. Oh look your REQUIRED to have a BT line. The fact this costs you an extra £10/mo is far more stupid/illegal feeling than a free device which is required to connect you to their network.

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Flame

They can pry my modem

out of my cold, dead hands.

Until they start bundling a modem-only option, I'm staying on 20mb until they serve a court order requiring me to surrender to an upgrade!

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Facepalm

I think the jist of this article is that 'modem only' mode is now available.

I think you can start to release your grip.

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Angel

Far easier just to disable the mac address of it? ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm

....I'm on a Virgin 30mb and I'm still on r26. I wonder what's up with that?

It is a Virign-push thing isn't it?

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Yes

They don't push it out to all areas instantaenously. They push it out to each area one by one, to minimise any problems.

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And I just got upgraded

It's not failed (yet), be interesting to see how things work when I switch it to modem mode later on.

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Anonymous Coward

They seem to f*ck people over rather too much to be called Virgin. Toothless 60-year-old whore found down the local market, maybe.

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Anonymous Coward

FYI

Huwaei should soon be announced as second source supplier to Virgin for the Super Hub (if they haven't already).

No comment as to if this is a good or bad thing.

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