Aaron Howdle | November 1st, 2021
If you’re a customer of Virgin Media and thinking of upgrading, or you’re thinking of joining Virgin Media, it’s a good idea to have some notion of the equipment you’ll be getting. We have everything you need to know about Virgin Media routers present and past.
Virgin Media offers the UK’s fastest widely available broadband. If you sign up for a Virgin Media broadband package you will receive a free router as part of your package. Although the broadband speeds Virgin Media offers are the fastest around, its routers are fairly limited in terms of extra features.
For example there are no USB ports for connecting networked printers and to get the fastest WiFi experience, you may want to connect your own WiFi router instead of using the WiFi built into your Virgin Media router. Despite this, it is worth bearing in mind that most customers want a simple router which is easy to set up and use.
Your router is an important link in the chain which connects you to the internet. A bad router can stop you getting the most out of an otherwise fast internet connection, while a good one will really take advantage of the full speeds available to you, broadcasting powerful WiFi to every room in your home. With that in mind, how do Virgin Media routers shape up? Let’s take a look.
If you want to get your hands on a Virgin Media broadband router, you will need to sign up to one of its broadband packages. Virgin Media offers the fastest widely available broadband in the UK so it is certainly worth considering if you are thinking of switching or setting up a new broadband supply.
At the time of writing all Virgin Media broadband packages come with its Hub 3 router, including their high-end, Gig1 package. Gig1 is 1Gbps fibre broadband and is only available in a few cities in the UK at the moment. Gig1 customers have the option to upgrade to the latest Virgin router, Hub 4, which can handle the high speeds on offer in this package. Some Virgin Media broadband customers have been offered an upgrade from the Hub 3 to the Hub 4 router, a very worthwhile upgrade if you can get it.
You can expect your new Virgin Media router to arrive in the post within a couple of weeks of signing up to a new Virgin Media package. Installation timescales may also depend on the availability of an engineer to install your service.
The Hub 3 is the standard router received by Virgin Media broadband customers on most packages. However Gig1 customers can opt for the far superior Hub 4 at no extra cost. Let’s take a look at the difference between these two routers and dig into the pros and cons of each.
The Hub 3 is a perfectly adequate piece of equipment, however it has received criticism from users and reviewers. The main criticisms centre around the speed and WiFi range. Although Virgin Media offers the fastest widely available broadband speed, the Hub 3 is not always up to the task of passing those speeds onto the user. Its WiFi can be relatively slow, which wastes some of the fast internet connection being piped into your home, especially if you have the fastest Virgin Media broadband packages. To get the full benefit of Virgin Media’s fastest packages you can connect to your Hub 3 by connecting your computer or console via an ethernet cable.
The Virgin Media Hub 4 is available as a free upgrade to customers with its Gig1 broadband package. Gig1 is its superbly fast 1Gbps service. A significant improvement on the Hub 3, the new Virgin Media router has also sparked interest from existing Hub 3 users looking to upgrade. Virgin Media have offered a limited number of existing customers an upgrade to the Hub 4, currently only available to Gig1 customers.
If there are any unfamiliar terms you'd like a more in-depth explanation of, check out our jargon-busting guide.
If you are not already connected to the Virgin Media cable network, an engineer will visit your home to get you connected. The engineer will also set up your broadband router.
If you are an existing customer upgrading your service, you will receive your new Virgin Media Hub 3 or Hub 4 in the post. Set up is quite simple. You need to disconnect your old router. The coaxial cable will need to be unscrewed using a spanner which is supplied with your new router. The next step is to connect the coaxial cable to your new router and secure it using the supplied plastic spanner.
Next, connect the mains power supply to the router and plug it into the wall. Now you should be up and running. WiFi details are printed on the underside of the router. Or you can connect using a gigabit ethernet cable to one of the ethernet ports on the back.
Once your router is up and running, we'd suggest you start making it as secure as possible. Our guide to securing your WiFi router can help.
As well as the Virgin Media Hub 3 and Hub 4, there are still plenty of older Virgin Media broadband routers still in use. The older Virgin Media Super Hub 2 and 2ac can still be found in homes around the country. Let’s take a look at their features.
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No. Virgin Media equipment must be returned if you are leaving Virgin Media. You may be charged for the equipment if it is not returned.
Yes. Virgin Media has its own cable network and its broadband is not provided through the telephone network. This allows customers to sign up to a broadband only deal with no need for a phone line.
At the moment the Hub 4 only comes with Virgin Media’s Gig1 package as a free optional upgrade. Some customers on other packages have been offered an upgrade to the Hub 4. However the only way you can be sure to get one is to upgrade to the Gig1 package.
The Virgin Media Hub 4 is the latest addition to Virgin Media’s range of routers. It features 11 antennae, next generation WiFi and download speeds up to 1Gbps when using its Gig1 package.
A few selected customers have been offered an upgrade to the Virgin Media Hub 4, and now Virgin offer it as a free optional upgrade for all Gig1 broadband customers. In other cases it may be possible to upgrade from your current package to Gig1 broadband for a small extra monthly fee. The extra cost will depend on which package you currently subscribe to.