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Virgin Media Claim New 1.3Gbps WiFi SuperHub 2ac Router is the Fastest

Friday, March 27th, 2015 (12:41 pm) - Score 30,625

Cable operator Virgin Media has today officially launched their new SuperHub 2ac (VMDG490) router, which has been leaking out to customers for quite a few months (here) and includes support for the latest 1300Mbps Gigabit WiFi (802.11ac) standard. According to Virgin’s research, the WiFi is now faster than all of the other big UK ISPs.

Broadly speaking the new device isn’t that much different from the vanilla SuperHub 2, except for the addition of 802.11ac spec Wi-Fi of course. Apparently Virgin worked with researchers at the University of Bristol’s Communication Systems & Networks Group to maximise the performance of their antenna.

Joe Lathan, Director of Broadband at Virgin Media, said:

Data usage is growing by around 60 per cent each year as customers connect more devices to their home networks than ever before. Our Super Hub 2ac has been designed to help our customers enjoy every megabit of their Virgin Media connection, giving them the fastest wireless speeds on our unrivalled ultrafast network – even when lots of devices are being used around the home at the same time.”

Just in case anybody doubts the claims, Virgin says their WiFi performance has since been verified by independent testing via Farncombe (the speeds below are all download). The testing was conducted between October to November 2014 using the devices default mode for WiFi.

2.4GHz Test Short range
average
Medium range
average
Long range
average
Avg. SuperHub Faster By %
Super Hub 2ac 103.3Mbps 97.0Mbps 56.3Mbps
BTs Home Hub 5 93.8Mbps 55.4Mbps 35.6Mbps 39%
Sky Hub 2 84.2Mbps 53.2Mbps 31.8Mbps 52%
TalkTalks Super Router
95.5Mbps 60.2Mbps 50.4Mbps 24%
5GHz Test Short range
average
Medium range
average
Long range
average
Avg. SuperHub Faster By %
Super Hub 2ac
752.9Mbps 270.1Mbps 31.6Mbps
BTs Home Hub 5
408.6Mbps 59.9Mbps 0.0Mbps 125%
Sky Hub 2 N/A N/A N/A
TalkTalks Super Router
360.0Mbps 191.2Mbps 17.1Mbps 86%

It’s worth pointing out that Sky’s router doesn’t even have basic 5GHz channel support and so unsurprisingly they don’t show up in the second table. On the other hand Virgin Media only pitted their router against those supplied by the other major broadband ISPs and not the market as a whole (better kit can be purchased third-party), but they’ve still put in a good result.

As usual Super Hub 2ac is available at no extra cost to all new customers who sign up for a Virgin Media cable broadband package and the devices spec sheet can be found below. The router itself is still based off a NetGear model.

SuperHub 2a Specification

· Cable Chipset: 8×4 Doscis 3.0 channels

· WiFi Radio: Qualcomm Atheros AR9880

· 2.4 GHz Antennas: Two Spatial streams (2×2)

· 5 GHz Antennas: Three Spatial streams (3×3)

· 4 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports

· USB connectivity

· Multiple SSID (up to three unique network names for each frequency band)

· Multiple security options

· Softbutton WPS

· Backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n wireless standard protocol as well as ac

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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