This is to all intents and purposes the ‘Super Hub 2’ but Virgin Media are keen to call it the ‘New Super Hub’. I’m not going to argue, basically, it’s a brand new device that was released at the end of May 2013. New 60Mb+ customers will automatically get this device when they have an installation, existing 60Mb, 100Mb, and 120Mb customers have to pay £49.95 to have it installed (more on that later). New 30Mb customers get the ‘Old’ Super Hub.
The ‘Old’ Super Hub is nothing short of terrible, the WiFi is appalling and prone to drop outs, and it cries like a baby when put under any load. I found myself constantly having to disable / re-enable the WiFi on my phone to get it working, more often than not, the Super Hub needed rebooting, it’s appalling.
When I got wind of the new Super Hub I called up and spoke to a nice Indian person who was able to offer me £20 credit off the £49.95 charge. That’d do! I got an installation slot 3 days later. The engineer came and switched old for new, and I was off! The New Super Hub is meant to be the ‘FASTEST’ out of all the competing hubs (ie. Home Hub 3, Sky’s Router, and the one Talk Talk provide). On top of this, it is ‘Dual Band’ so it works at 2.4GHz and 5GHz at the same time (the old Super Hub could do one or the other), the 5GHz is used in newer Wi-Fi devices, and promises high speeds (at a slight cost of range). The Home Hub 3 maxes out at 300Mbps with the two 5Ghz antennas, you can in theory you can get up to 450Mbps with the three antennas on Virgin Media’s new Super Hub.
The New Super Hub has all the connectors at the back now (rather than the stupid side on arrangement of its sibling), and you’ll be pleased to hear the LEDs on the front are dimmable too! The old Hub could be wall mounted with a special bracket from Virgin), but it doesn’t look like this one can. It will just stand there. The UI is very similar to the Old Super Hub, there are additional settings in the WiFi bit for all the 5Ghz stuff, and the dimming of the LEDs. Interestingly there is no need for a ‘username’ to login, just a password (the default is ‘changeme’).
So how is the performance? Well, in my limited testing time this weekend, I’ve been bowled over by how much better it is. I’ve been running it like mad, with the WiFi on both frequencies and via my LAN and it’s fantastic, no WiFi dropouts, no need to reboot, it’s working beautifully! Here’s a speedtest via the LAN.
Here’s a speedtest over WiFi (5Ghz) from the other side of my house.
Using 2.4Ghz was still pretty fast on my phone too (the upload seems a bit dubious!)
Obviously it’s very hard to give you a long term verdict after having the device for such a short space of time, there is no arguing the WiFi range / stability has increased dramatically. I’ll obviously keep tinkering and report and findings here, but so far, so good!
Any questions, just comment below and I’ll try and answer!
You can get Virgin Media via Quidco for a hefty whack of cashback too!