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Virgin Media Preparing New Cloud UI for Hub 3 Broadband Routers

Friday, June 21st, 2019 (8:00 am) - Score 38,090

Customers of UK cable TV and broadband ISP Virgin Media may soon be getting a new User Interface (UI) for their Hub 3.0 wireless routers, which is currently being trialled. The new “Cloud Connect” UI is described as offering a seamless and real-time “Netflix like” cloud based experience.

The use of the word “cloud” tends to denote some sort of remote web-based management system (i.e. controlling your router remotely over the internet or via an app), which may well build on the changes that were introduced as part of their recent “Intelligent Wi-Fi” upgrade (here); the latter was similarly described as being a “smart cloud-based, adaptive system“.

Personally we’ve always been a touch nervous, from a local network security and privacy perspective, about the idea of sharing control of home broadband routers out remotely via the internet, although at present we don’t know enough about Virgin Media’s trial to judge. Likewise using “Netflix” as an example may result in a mixed response, since some people love that UI and others find it infuriating. Netflix is also rather different from a router.

On the other hand, depending upon precisely how they do this, a new cloud-based UI could give their support teams a lot more control to tackle common home network and broadband problems, which would be extremely handy. We just hope they allow customers the option to continue using a local UI (at present it doesn’t look like they will).

Our sources indicated that the current trial involves an update of the Hub 3.0 router to firmware v5.0.1 (older SuperHubs seem unlikely to get this upgrade), which may change before it reaches general release. We did ask Virgin Media yesterday morning if they could shed some extra light on all this but we’re still awaiting some official feedback. We may have more details on Cloud Connect later.

Leave a Comment
30 Responses
  1. Avatar Karl Betts says:

    They need to bin the hub 3.0 as soon as possible it’s a load of —-.

    1. Avatar Stewart says:

      Load of rubbish virgin already been on phone twice today tell you anything when u buying it worst service out of them all

    2. Avatar Lawrence Mckittrick says:

      Totally agree fix broadband and tv service first. They dropped me from 200 mb to 100 and increased price by 25%
      Contract ends in 3 months.

  2. Avatar Ian Happe says:

    Thing is, yes if you delve into the Hub 3 you quickly find out about its faults. But most people have it set up by the engineer and are blissfully unaware. They simply see 300mbs headlines re download and that’s that. Virgin realise most people are morons and happily exploit that

    1. Avatar HullLad says:

      I love how condescending certain tech-nerds are. Because the vast majority of people don’t understand what’s under the bonnet in a router, don’t speak in clicks and tweets, and don’t have a degree in electronics, they’re automatically ‘morons’.

    2. Avatar CarlT says:

      Indeed. You have to love how people who want to use their broadband and are content with a smooth online experience, be it streaming, gaming or whatever, rather than fixating on every detail of how it’s delivered, are morons.

      I suppose people who just use electricity without wanting to know the details of how it’s generated and distributed or how voltage and frequency flex with load on the grid are also morons.

  3. Avatar Ian Happe says:

    And God forbid you try to speak to customer services. Simply awful.

    1. Avatar Iain says:

      Yes I would totally agree with you on that on mate customer services is a absalot joke always speaking to someone in India or the likes really stressful for me and upsetting at the same time

    2. Avatar Jazzwood says:

      Ha. Yes it did take me ages to get through, but when I did I complained about the awful reception on from sky sports which we had three months free when we re signed up and he kindly upgraded to HD, now fantastic. Download speed supercharged.

  4. Avatar arundel says:

    As long as there’s still a button that allows me to put it in modem mode we’re all good.

  5. Avatar Sean says:

    I like Virgin SuperHub 3 is better speed working now just fine.

    1. Avatar Archie says:

      It’s better, but the general word seems to be that they’re hiding some of the issues. Hopefully we won’t have any of these ping spikes with the next router.

  6. Avatar Archie says:

    They need to scrap this and put out the new modem. Also, let’s start with the gigabit already! Need some super upload speeds for my PLEX server!

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      You aren’t getting super upload speeds when the gigabit is released, sorry.

    2. Avatar Archie says:

      We’ll see. 50 Meg is ‘super’ to me. So, I bet I will! Perhaps keep your optimism to yourself in future 😉

    3. Avatar spurple says:

      @archie if 50M is super to you, you just need to sign up for a TV package you may or may not need 🙂

    4. Avatar CarlT says:

      Whatever does it for you. The folks on 100, 200, 300 and 900Mb symmetrical services likely disagree but compared to VM’s existing offers it’s alright.

      Just FYI in Denmark people are getting 500Mb uploads over hybrid fibre coaxial network.

      That’s pretty super.

  7. Avatar John moat says:

    Get ready for for another price rise, sky here we come

  8. Avatar mike says:

    Nothing about this sounds good

    1. Avatar StevenNT says:

      I agree, from a security standpoint I can’t see this being a good thing. I see more cons than pros on this.

  9. Avatar Stuart Halliday says:

    I wish they’d fix the javascript bug which stops firewall rules stop working unless you enter them in port order (lowest first).

  10. Avatar Graeme Finlayson says:

    I sincerely hope they still give customers the option to shove it into modem mode and use their own network gear… The user interface is criminally slow and the wifi coverage was spotty at best on mine.

  11. Avatar Graeme Finlayson says:

    I’ve just re-read the article – if they pull the local UI and only give you a cloud-based UI, how in the heck can you diagnose a connectivity issue with no internet access…..?

  12. Avatar Jack says:

    Gives Virgin more control, even more than now. There one of the worst for control over their super hubs versus other providers and can see absolutely every device traffic and also ports. Speeds are fine but I see this as a security risk and also a big no no.

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      If they wanted to snoop on your activity they wouldn’t be using the Hub to do it.

      They have such control over devices for a really good reason, much as Openreach control the equipment you connect to their FTTP network through completely.

      Even in the USA where you can bring your own device as soon as you attach it to the network the cable operator immediately takes some control over it.

  13. Avatar Mr Bee says:

    I have been with Virgin for a few years now and to begin with the service was excellent and very fast. However last year my old SH2 packed up and although I had contacted Virgin support who run through the same tests as all other ISPs nothing improved. So I was planning to change ISP but they all seem to have various problems so I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do. Our biggest problem was WiFi. Constantly having to turn WiFi off and back on was driving me and everyone else crazy. So I decided to change to modem mode and buy a router from Argos for £24.99. It took no time at all to set up and the speed and results were instant. The WiFi range is better and the speed as in loading pages is much faster. It’s a shame that I have to pay out more money to solve what should be a Virgin issue.

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      Weird. They should be fine with replacing the device if it’s not working properly. They actually want everyone on the SH3.

    2. Avatar aIT says:

      Virgin don’t ensure WiFi throughout the entire property, anywhere in their contracts/T&C. They provide you with a Hub which does both WiFi & Ethernet and the Hub follows the regulation requirements.

  14. Avatar Josh says:

    All broadband routers are terrible, replaced mine with Ubiquiti

  15. Avatar Nick says:

    Hub 3.0 crashes twice a day at the very least.
    I have had the unit replaced and still we have the same problem as before.

    Obviously, we are not valued or wanted as customers.
    Time to say bye bye.

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