back to article Virgin Media to issue firmware update after Superhub slows to crawl

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 …

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  1. djack
    FAIL

    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!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    additional problems?

    I'm on their lowest broadband package, it pretty much ground to a halt over the weekend, I expect they have more extensive problems.

  3. Reality Dysfunction
    FAIL

    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.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    and bridge mode firmware?

    Still no sign of updated firmware to allow the superhub to work in bridge mode with your own router.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Affected

    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.

    1. frymaster

      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.

    2. Reality Dysfunction
      Pint

      no theres an idea

      I may give that a try tonight.. cheers

    3. Ian McNee
      FAIL

      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.

    4. Reality Dysfunction

      now theres an idea

      I'LL GIVE THAT A TRY

  6. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Soon(tm)?

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

  7. Ilmehtar

    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.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    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.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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 :)

    1. frymaster

      indeed

      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

    2. davenewman

      DD-WRT

      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?

  10. Cookiesworld
    FAIL

    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.

  11. Tech Hippy
    FAIL

    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...

  12. Ravenger
    FAIL

    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.

  13. DirkGently
    Thumb Down

    Unusable

    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.

  14. Juillen 1

    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..

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    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!!!

    1. adavidm
      Thumb Down

      Agreed

      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.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Today, I learnt the word "cupidity"

    Thank you, fatalnowfox.

  17. CD001

    Pffff

    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.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Thumb Up

      Same here

      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.

  18. XMAN
    Grenade

    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 :(

  19. drongo

    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.

  20. Paul_Murphy

    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.

    ttfn

  21. Tony Barnes

    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

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Beardy Weirdy.......

    Will balloon in and save the day, not.

    Typical from one of Branson's franchises.

  23. B Parnell
    Boffin

    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!

    B.

    1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      How ironic

      "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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      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...

  24. Conrad Longmore
    FAIL

    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!)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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 ....

  26. andy gibson

    strange reasoning

    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).

    1. Reality Dysfunction

      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)

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New Customer

    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:

  29. Steve Loughran

    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.

    1. Richard North

      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

      1. Bristol Dave

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Coat

          Might I offer

          that you're all talking a lot of BS?!?

          I'M SORRY, I'm sorry.......... i'll get my coat.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    crippled DNS

    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.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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.

  32. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge
    FAIL

    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.

  33. Drefsab

    Product manager fail

    I really would love to know who the product manager is for their broadband and sit down and have a little chat with him, sure they may have a market for the fisher price broadband, hide all the options keep the numpties from breaking it, but their 50mbit flagship product is going to attract people who actually know how to use their pc's as well they will want basic functionality.

    Don't support it, thats fine we will figure it out, just don't put up road blocks.

    Its band enough that they force you into using their branded hardware when any cable modem that supports the euro DOCSIS 3 standard technically could work fine on the network.

  34. Neonin
    FAIL

    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!

    1. Thorney
      Thumb Up

      I'm alright Jack

      Well I upgr\ded from 10mb to 50mb 2 weeks ago, I was on 20mb before but I cut back to 10mb as it was actually slower, no surprises I guess.

      But the 50MB has been fantastic, I had a small issue with IP flooding which meant I couldnt play online games at first but once I got a fix its been flying ever since. I nearly always get 5mbt/s downloads which I am happy with

    2. CD001

      Technically...

      Technically, in legal wiggle-out-of-it kind of terms, even when traffic is managed it's still "unlimited" - they don't impose a limit on the amount you can download just the speed at which you can download it once you hit the cap.

      I suspect putting forward the argument that the amount of data you can download is a function of download speed and time and that, therefore, by limiting the download speed for a given time they are effectively limiting the amount you can download in that time, wouldn't hold water because that would mean that, for any given period of time, the service is limited (i.e. the amount of data you can download is only unlimited if you have an infinite amount of time).

      Still, it's better than some other providers and at least they let you know what the "acceptable usage" policy actually is on their website - when I was on BT years ago about all you could find out about their policy was that they'd limit your access and levy a charge for exceeding an unspecified amount of data in a given month... and you only found that out when you got a stroppy phone call from them.

  35. AaronG

    Flood Control

    Superhub - Switch off flood control

    Superhub - Switch off flood control

    Superhub - Switch off flood control

    Superhub - Switch off flood control

    Superhub - Switch off flood control

    Superhub - Switch off flood control

    Thanks to a poster on the previous Superhub article and the phonecall from the installer to the VM helpline this fixed ALL my connection issues in Southampton.

    Packet loss went from 85% to 0% and a rock solid 20Mbps connection.

  36. TechnoTechno
    FAIL

    It's utter crap

    Not to mention the connection in the bag is utter tripe - Ours was "professionally" fitted by some slack jawed nob head whilst I was at work. The attenuator isn't even held in with anything, nor is the pin on the inside actually physically connnected to the board, it just lies there against a tiny contact pad. The thing fell off and VM wont replace it depsite it being utter crap.

    Signed

    Pissed off 50Mb customer

    1. Reality Dysfunction
      Thumb Down

      Flood Control → #

      Superhub - Switch off flood control - First thing I did.. doesn't help bad power levels down the line

      Superhub - Switch off flood control - First thing I did.. doesn't help bad power levels down the line

      Superhub - Switch off flood control - First thing I did.. doesn't help bad power levels down the line

      Superhub - Switch off flood control - First thing I did.. doesn't help bad power levels down the line

      Superhub - Switch off flood control - First thing I did.. doesn't help bad power levels down the line

      Superhub - Switch off flood control - First thing I did.. doesn't help bad power levels down the line

      MY packet loss is ONLY 18-30% ( hah can't believe I would ever say ONLY to that) its the total unavailability of VM's network for large portions of the day that are pissing off user round my way.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        didn't mean to downvote you

        because the next page button was just below the downvote button, so i upvoted you too.

  37. a_mu

    30 Mb dowgrade from 10 Mbit, and up stream throttling as well as downstream

    fantastic that the reg is on this, Virgin might listen now, they appear to ignore the forums and helo line is useless, I was told that I had to change my wifi channel number, and how to do it, when I said I was not using wifi and had a ethernet cable plugged in.

    In the end I just went along, and we proved after 15 minutes and a few re boots of the pc into safe mode that it was not the wifi.

    from the engineer that came round, it seems cambrindge does not have enough capacity for all the 30 / 50 Mb lines that have 'suddenly been installed'

    I went from a constant 9 Mb using the 10 Mb router, to 3 to 12 Mb using the new more expensive 30 Mb router.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Intermittent Virgin broadband in GU15 1**

    I am still on the (advertised as) 20Mb Virgin broadband and since the beginning of February have had a strangely intermittent connection. Most times are OK (well, 4M instead of the advertised 20, but then I'm not into video or gaming so that's not too much of a problem). But about once a week the service becomes intermittent (up for a minute, down for five minutes ...) and stays that way until well past midnight (no idea when it fixes itself, but the following morning is OK). And that's still with my original VM modem and my own wireless router.

  39. David Lucke

    Lucky escape

    I was planning on giving Virgin a ring and start the upgrade tonight. Then I read this...

    Best to leave it a few months, I reckon.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    NETWORK

    This what I had to do get 50Meg working.

    Phone them up again and again:-

    1) They would send an engineer (I would use term installer) with new modem. That didn't fix the problem.

    2) Send another engineer with great idea of another modem. Didn't fix it again.

    3) Send another engineer to relay the cable modem cable in the house. Didn't fix it again. Told about NETWORK.

    4) Send another engerner to relay the cable modem cable in the house again. Didn't fix it again. But told about lot about called NETWORK. (NETWORK is a magical virgin code or something)

    5) Send another engineer to relay to cable between cabinet and my house. Didn't fix it again. The engerneer phone Virgin and told them need NETWORK to look in to problem.

    6) Amazed that NETWORK do exists, been ever so happy since.

    If there problem and no one else can fix it at Virgin then you sould call and demand NETWORK.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    A figment of my imagination?

    OK, now I'm confused.

    I had my 30Mbps line installed on Friday along with a Tivo and a Superhub. The Superhub is plugged into the WAN port of my router, and all I've done is change its IP address, turn off its wireless radio and disable flood control.

    With my PC connected to my own router I have an (apparently) rock solid >30Mbps download speed, and 3Mbps upstream. By all accounts I should be dropping packets left, right and centre, crying out for bridge mode and finding it worse than the flaky ADSL service I've just ditched. But I'm not - it just works. Maybe the fact that I don't own an Xbox helps?

    The Tivo is buggy, but that's a different story entirely...

  42. J Lewter

    Months away

    They have posted a update and said that a new firmware will roll out within the next few months, but that they would work on it to get there quicker.

    If your using either the VMDG280 or VMDG480 then your best option is to turn off all security, all filtering, disable the radio(s), and set up an IP for DMZ and put your existing router to have that fixed IP for the DMZ zone.

    Another big issue at the moment is that some SIP phones are being blocked!....

    The tech who came to my house tried to give me one of these units ,and I begged him for a old modem.. Eventually he budged. They have been "told" that the 50meg modem (the one used for 200 meg trials) isnt good enough for the 30 meg service.

    Yet something else customers should be aware of is the free "Upload" increase..

    10 and 10 (medium and large) customers will NOT receive the upload increase if they are on older modems. VM will try to give you a VMDG280 if you need a new modem.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    How to turn off Flood Control?

    Where do you do that? Looking at Advanced Settings I see "IP Flood Detection" on the Services menu?

  44. ebbysantos
    Thumb Down

    The super hub is a complete pile of wank!

    I was happily on 20Mb with a little modem and decided to go for the 50Mb because I have no self control. The engineer came out and all was well for a couple of hours (or so my gf tells me cos she was working from home and let the engineer in), then I got home and decided to check out this superhub... Not very super is what I decided. I have a Linksys WRT320N which is a decent router, this superhub doesn't let you do half the stuff router can so I tried to get them to work in harmony, it is at this point that everything started going downhill.

    Problem 1. The superhub does not allow bridge mode; I know, should have googled it before I got the f-ing thing. The bit that frustrated me most about this is that I've been with Virgin since they were Telewest and they had ALWAYS handed out modems hence me forking out £90 (at the time) for something that did what I needed. Oh, and BTW, part of the reason I went for the 50Mb is because a friend of mine got it before the superhub so he just has a little modem he can plug is OWN ROUTER IN TO. If according to Virgin the superhub is not to blame, then why is it that people with the little 50Mb modem don't seem to be piping up as much?

    Problem 2. At this point I decided to get on the phone to Virgin to see if I could get a 50Mb modem sent out to me... oh my sweet jesus christ the amount of resistance to this is just unbelievable. I fail to believe that there isn't a single one of these 50Mb mdoems in a warehouse floor, van, engineers home that they couldn't send out to me to keep me happy. After speaking to several departments, including the HORRIFIC technical desk in India that I hung up on everytime through frustration I got through to someone in customer care who told me they could send a 50Mb modem out. Happy days... in theory...

    The "50Mb modem" gets to my house, I have a look at it, this is not a 50Mb modem. I call Virgin to activate this modem and see what happens (worse case scenario is it doesn't work) they insist that it is a 50Mb modem, despite the fact that I have checked the event log on the thing and it clearly states that it does not support DOCSIS3.0. Funnily enough the activation for this thing never works.

    After much frustration I call up and ask to be downgraded back down to 20Mb, that was 2 days ago and still doesn't seem to have happened. The really frustrating thing is that no one tries to appease me and they just go ahead and downgrade me, not at any single point has someone gone "this customer is really pissed off, we should really find a way of making him happy.". I have worked in a Broadband Tech desk as an escalation point and I would have taken something like this as a personal escalation, got on the phone and tried to find out SOMETHING that could be done, but there just doesn't seem to be any kind of procedure like this with Virgin media.

    I've filed a complaint and am waiting to hear from someone in their complaints team, I'll keep you guys posted if anything does get resolved.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    50Mb is fine for me

    but I got a SACM and router. I tried DD-WRT but not all devices would connect (Belkin wireless bridge) so back graded to the stock VM firmware. (The stock Netgear code was also fine).

    One issue with letting customers use their own network kit is that they are not all equally competent at setting things up and then still want full support when there are issues. (And yes I have had problems where my kit was at fault as well as trying to convince 1st line that in another case it couldn't be at my end (speed/ping/other sites all OK or the server end (other users fine) and that it was something (routing in this case) in VM land).

    20Mb before that was also fine. There have been issues but they were all sorted out.

    (I do work for VM but am replying here just as a customer.)

  46. Mark Hayden

    Forget Netgear F/W go DDWRT

    I converted from 20meg service to 50meg a few months ago, and had a lot of trouble with the supplier modem and router, it would not keep a steady and reliable speed.

    The router came in a white box, and Netgear's website had no firmware for it, as it was a VM special. Remembering that DDWRT may have a firmware image, I tried that and it did solve the problems I was experiencing.

    Lately, the upload speed remains stable, but the download speed can vary anywhere from 1meg to 40meg. As it is so intermittent, it's not worth my time trying to get help from VM. I'll just switch to BT Infinity when my year of 50meg is up.

  47. peterbr

    SuperHub, NOOO, SimpleHub

    How on earth is Virgin getting away with the marketing phrase super hub. It should be branded as simple hub. I turned the service engineer away, when I had no choice in the type of mode to use and terminated the contract without having started it.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/flame_32.png

  48. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    @ebbysantos

    Have you actually logged into your device and checked the latest version? 5.5 supports DOCSIS3.0 and the event log on mine clearly says it does. I suspect most of you complaining just want a bridge and nothing more, and your failure to actually read what the new device did is now your own undoing and you need to get a grip.

    I've got a patched cable across my front garden which they'll be here in next 2 days to replace and I'm reliably getting 15-20mbps even with that, and it's rock steady as I'm running a VPN to work. I know my neighbour over the road is getting 45mbps ++ all day long, versus BT not being able to deliver 1mbps in our area 31.

    1. ebbysantos

      @ Anonymous Coward

      I logged onto the modem they sent me out after a 2 hour phone call and it only supported DOCSIS 1.0/1.1/2.0, that was the first thing I did when i got home. So I'm still using the Superhub as I currently have no option.

      I just turned off the IP Flood Detection which has made my connection much more stable, however because I cannot setup DDNS on the superhub my NAS box has become quite useless.

      As for "getting a grip"... I would agree with you were this not being sold as a premium service! At the end of the day if they were putting in modems on site and allowing people to use their own routers 3 months ago, I really don't see why it's so hard to accomodate the users who do have their own routers now. It's the lack of flexibility and awful customer service I received that have really pissed me off, I've spoke to some terrible call centres but the last week has been so frustrating when no one seems to listen to me or is able to provide me with a solution or apology.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        force a SW upgrade on your SH

        It sounds like some of you are on older versions of the SH SW....

        Standard Specification Compliant EU DOCSIS 3.0

        Hardware Version 2.00

        Software Version V5.5.2R20

        I'm having -0- problems like all of you are describing.....!

  49. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    I wont be a new Virgin Customer now

    I've been hearing all sorts of bad things about Virgins BB service, not just here but on other forums, I was going to ditch my Be 24Mb ADSL connection, SKY and BT and have VM installed.

    Not now, at least my current setup works, it isn't 50Mb, by by the sounds of things you never get that anyway!

  50. DirkGently

    RE: I wont be a new Virgin Customer now

    You're better off with Be - I play online PC games and the people with the best connections are on Be.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Mine works just fine!

    I bit the bullet and installed a Superhub today.

    I went from 19.55Mbps to 30.65Mbps with no packet loss and a 14ms ping.

    I have no complaint but I'm very lucky.

  52. David Barr
    Grenade

    Doh!

    They come tomorrow to upgrade me from 20meg to 50meg. My Tomato router is going, my virgin modem is going and the 'orrible Netgear I bought to replace the Tomato but just ended up using as a gigabit switch is going. I wonder if I should be doing an Admiral Ackbar...

  53. XMAN

    dns issues

    For those complaining that the router firmware doesn't allow you to specify DNS servers. You do realise that you can also specify them on your computer itself? It may not be the ideal solution but it's a temporary one at least for you to continue torrenting :p

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And finally ...

    I thought this might round this story off appropriately:

    Last night I rang the Virgin activation line to fire up my new Superhub (now working well as I've reported). I said to the genuinely pleasant and helpful woman who answered that I needed an activation and that I was a bit worried about starting up the Superhub after all the recent stories in the press, and here's the relevant bit, she then replied: "What? Negativity?"

    I paused for a moment to consider why the Virgin tech team don't seem to have noticed that the world and it's dog is a tad nonplussed about the quality of their kit and asked her if she'd seen the story on 'The Register' and the various other forum threads. "No" was the reply.

    Discuss ... or not.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Another Lost Sale

    I just wanted to post another FAIL icon for the awful thing. I began to research this hub tonight after discussing a tv,phone and 50 meg offer with customer services during the week. I have now made the decision not to go ahead.

    I feel like Im being bullied into having it, my control is being taken away.

    All I want is a modem, this bridge mode wont be till May, will it work out of the box after the wait? Then we have what? An over sized over engineered dust trap that eats power. What a waste. I find it inconceivable that they cant keep supplying the original 50 meg unit on request, but then, this is VM.

    This is serious when an issue causes many customers like myself to baulk at the point of order and in the worst case (seen above) actually send techs away at the door because they try to impose this monstrosity on us. This isnt just a few awkward ones being unhappy about a change, its a rebellion under their noses, but they play it down as usual. Why oh why does this company always have to be at war with its customers over one thing or another?

  56. Steve Farr
    Unhappy

    Me too!

    All of the above.

    It's been a couple of months of hell and lost productivity for us. Finally went for the the "thinking of leaving Virgin" option after dialling 150. The guy on the other end of the admitted the firmware issue and agreed to send out an Ambit 300 (DOCSIS 3) modem so i could use a proper router.

    Yesterday an Ambit 256 (DOCSIS 1/2) modem arrived which is realistically only capable of around 20Mbps. I'm on the XXL package which is meant to be 50Mbps.

    At the end of the month we have the option of switching to BT Infinity, a 40Mbps service with an upstream limit which, i am told, is more generous than Virgins. Crucially BT (who i assume are following the Virgin debacle with great interest) will be supplying customers with separate modems giving customers the choice of a free router or using their own - especially important when running a small business LAN off a decent gateway configuration.

    For now i've stopped updating the Virgin Forums on the issue because the responses i get don't really go anywhere. At best i get sent around the same old loop by staff who are trying to be helpful but alas don't really have a solution.

    Methinks it's time for managers further up the chain at Virgin to be more honest with their customers. Me, honestly, i am not one for slagging off companies (unless you count one or two frustrated rants on social networking sites), especially ones with sincere goals, but i think Sir Richard needs to take some responsibility here in light of his recent campaigning on broadband speeds.

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