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New Virgin Media 1300Mbps WiFi SuperHub 2AC Router Leaking Out

Sunday, November 16th, 2014 (1:55 am) - Score 40,506

Back in June 2014 we revealed that Virgin Media were preparing to introduce a new generation of SuperHub cable broadband router (here) and recently we’ve learnt that some customers have already started to receive the kit, which looks almost identical to their existing SuperHub 2 router (VMDG485 pictured) except for the addition of Gigabit WiFi (802.11ac).

As reported before the new SuperHub (VMDG490) appears to be based off a modified version of NetGear’s own kit (C6250 DOCSIS 3.0 Wireless Gateway), complete with Virgin’s custom styling and firmware etc. But rather than describe this as the SuperHub 3, as we initially did, it’s probably more accurate to call it a SuperHub 2AC, since the addition of 1000Mbps+ capable 802.11ac WiFi appears to be the main difference.

Virgin’s business division already has a document for what seems to be a virtually identical router (here), although officially the top kit for Virgin Media’s residential focused division is still their vanilla SuperHub 2 that sports the last generation of 802.11n WiFi technology at 2.4GHz (Qualcom Atheros AR9344 – up to 300Mbps) and 5GHz (Qualcomm Atheros AR9580 – up to 450Mbps).

Virgin Media have already confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk, in July 2014, that “small group of Virgin Media triallists are trying out a piece of equipment that features 802.11ac WiFi technology“. Since then we know that the trial has expanded and quite a few customers appear to have gotten their hands on the kit, with most reporting improved WiFi performance (though some have had the opposite experience).

Recently several customers have also reported receiving the new SuperHub 2AC as a replacement, usually after reporting a fault with their existing kit. This marks the first time that the devices have been distributed outside of a trial environment to home users, which suggests that Virgin Media has a high degree of confidence in the kit and so the final release may not be far off.

Naturally we queried this quite specifically with Virgin Media and a spokesperson for the ISP responded to say, in more general terms, “We can confirm we have on occasion replaced some Super Hubs with a newer model, depending on the requirements of the service each customer has.” Meanwhile the trial is on-going and apparently “more information will be available in due course“.

In the meantime Virgin’s rivals, including BT, TalkTalk and EE, already have 802.11ac capable WiFi routers. However Sky Broadband seems to be the ISP furthest behind on the technology front, their top SR102 Sky Hub kit can’t even do 5GHz WiFi let alone 802.11ac and the lack of Gigabit Ethernet ports doesn’t help. Some Sky customers tell us that this is the reason they’ve held off upgrading to FTTC because they don’t want slow kit.

Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Avatar Glenn says:

    Virgin Media. Super hub ac as been rolling out for at least 6 months now as this is only modem what I cary on my van

    1. Avatar Richard Courtman says:

      We’re long term Virgin customers with the 152mbps package and the engineer who just replaced our modem put in the wireless-n model (VMDG485) and not the ac. We have patchy wi-fi in our house so that has annoyed me quite a bit.

  2. Avatar dave says:

    Plusnet are one of the FTTC suppliers that use crappy kit too, they have an 802.11n 4x100mbit port router (Technicolour TG582n) and a seperate modem, one of the 4 ports is required to connect it to the router, so only 3 available.

    When Sky and Plusnet upgrade their kit the FTTC suppliers will be more competitive. I would have thought that Plusnet would be using the same kit as BT since they are the parent company.

    1. Avatar dave says:

      forgot to add that the 802.11n router is 2.4ghz only now dual band.

    2. Avatar dave says:

      not* dual band. I hope ispreview either adds support for us to edit comments or switches to a comment system like Disqus.

  3. Avatar adslmax says:

    I agree that Plusnet router is crappy kit. I use my own router!

  4. Avatar stuart says:

    We have the Virgin vmdg490 superhub2ac on 1gb, this works fine, except with one device, a new, Tech Vision CCTV 8000 DVR, as soon as an ethernet cable is plugged into the DVR, after about 2 min it the DVR reboots. I have changed the DVR with another brand new DVR, & the store first tested DVR as OK when connected to their network.

    My Virgin speed, also shows constantly varying 56meg / 105 speed, yet I pay for 1gb, In ealy hours 2am – 4am its always around 105, but during day 35 – 60
    I have an 8core athlon pc, Asus sabertooth FX900 s2, 1gb system, so it can handle the speed. my tel network area 0161 284

    Virgin engineers, have via post changed replaced hub2ac box to the same when it would not accept the changeme password. Virgin via telephone changed the settings inside the hub, in the 2 minutes before re-boot, he could remotely see the DVR, he gave it the exemptions, & ports, ip’s, but nothing stopped it rebooting, when all else failed, he said we will try it in modem mode.

    In modem mode & direct connected router modem port to the DVR, it would not see the DVR. Engineer said, the new hub is broke, as it was not doing what it should do. Engineer said, he is reading, others have had same fault with re-booting these DVR’s, yet the spec on my DVR was perfectly fine, something in the netwook was telling the DVR to disconnect & re-connect after 2 minutes.

    I even tried it, via ethernet mains power unit’s 500mb, still reboots just seeeing any internet connection. I am using cat 6, & cat 7 cables, & straight patch cables, exactly as per DVR shop says to use.
    DVR does not re-boot with no net cable connected, it works fine constantly.

    His answer was to try another router plugged into the superhub2ac, it set as a modem, but the superhub2ac, was not allowing it to work as a modem connection.
    He said, I could not do this as the hub is not working in modem mode.

    I find it hard that mine is a one off problem, any idear’s

  5. Avatar Sarah Tell says:

    Someone commented at http://talktechnews.co.uk/2015/05/11/virgin-medias-new-super-hub-2ac-how-super-is-it/ that they managed to get one as an existing customer, so it is worth phoning Virgin Media.

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