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Virgin Media new Super Hub review

Gordon Kelly



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Virgin Media new Super Hub
  • Virgin Media new Super Hub
  • Virgin Media new Super Hub 2
  • 5GHz 10m
  • Advanced
  • Virgin Media UI
  • modem mode
  • settings
  • new super hub rear
  • 2.4GHz 13 metres
  • 5Ghz 2 metres


Our Score:



  • Impressive 2.4GHz & 5GHz 802.11n performance
  • Simple setup
  • Intuitive user interface


  • Lacks IPv6 compliance, QoS & Dynamic DNS
  • Faster 802.11n routers at distance
  • Should be free to existing as well as new customers

Key Features

  • Integrated cable modem & wireless router
  • 2.4GHz & 5GHz dual band wireless
  • 802.11b/g/n standards
  • Modem-only mode
  • 4x Gigabit Ethernet Ports
  • Manufacturer: Netgear
  • Review Price: £50.00

What is the Virgin Media new Super Hub?

The latest router from Virgin Media targets the company’s higher speed customers (60Mbit and above) and is the first to offer dual band 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless support. This is important because 5GHz is a less congested spectrum and allows 5GHz Wi-Fi equipped devices to operate at faster speeds with less interference.

Furthermore the new Super Hub is a vital upgrade after the original Super Hub suffered numerous performance and reliability issues. Like the original, the new Super Hub is made by Netgear, but this time Virgin is confident it is not only bug-free but also the fastest router supplied by an ISP.

Virgin Media new Super Hub 2

Virgin Media new Super Hub - Design & Features

Routers aren’t famed for their jaw dropping design and the ‘new Super Hub’ (thanks ‘new iPad’) won’t be causing fashionistas to have a rethink. That said its matt black finish and simple curves have an understated elegance and it is solidly constructed. At 215 x 195 x 69mm and 520g it isn’t the most compact router, but it is stable - a vast improvement on the old Super Hub, which perched on a wobbly stand.

The new Super Hub also has far more subtle lighting with LEDs along the front to indicate power, data transmission, broadband status and the operation of 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless modes. This means Virgin wisely omits the garish glowing Virgin Media logo slapped on the side of the old Super Hub, though both it and the new model can dim or switch off the lights completely.

Far more important than the new Super Hub’s looks, however, is its functionality and in adding dual band Wi-Fi Virgin has effectively stepped into 2011. This isn’t a slight, many ISPs have yet to do this with their routers, but third-party dual band routers have been around for years now and are rapidly moving onto the next generation 802.11ac standard while the new Super Hub is moored in 802.11b/g/n.

There are many reasons 802.11ac routers are desirable, too many to list here at least. Read our feature: 802.11ac vs 802.11n Wi-Fi: what's the difference? for all the details.

new super hub rear

Still, Virgin is doing its best to eek out every last drop of from 802.11n. It has equipped the new Super Hub with three 5GHz spatial antennas for a theoretical top speed of 450Mbit and there are two 2.4GHz spatial antennas theoretically capable of producing 300Mbit. On paper this puts it ahead of every router supplied by an ISP (including the BT Home Hub 4, which we will be testing soon) and in line with the best third-party 802.11n routers.

Virgin ticks other boxes too: there are four Gigabit Ethernet ports, support for WPS wireless security, MAC filtering, port forwarding and UPnP. You can also set up two guest networks per band each with separate passwords for visitors that keep them off your main network. Should you wish to use a third-party router (for example an 802.11ac router) Virgin also offers a ‘modem mode’ that switches off its Wi-Fi to avoid interference, though when you connect another router it also disables the new Super Hub’s remaining three Ethernet ports.

modem mode

Despite all this the new Super Hub is far from an A to Z of networking functionality. There are no dynamic DNS settings, no Quality of Service and no parental controls (note Virgin does offer parent controls via its free 'Virgin Media Security' software). Surprisingly, the new Super Hub is also not IPv6 compliant, though Virgin Media confirmed this should be corrected in a firmware update.

Needless to say the new Super Hub also lacks a Cloud platform like Linksys’ Smart WiFi or D-Link’s mydlink, which lets you control the router remotely. On the plus side, the new Super Hub can be set to allow Virgin Media technical support to access your router settings, but sensibly this is disabled by default to keep security tight.


July 8, 2013, 11:51 am

@Gordan. Thanks for the great review.

Just one question I am on the old super hub but in modem mode connected to the

Linksys EA6500 would it be advisable to upgrade to the new modem even though modem mode would still be used. I.e. are there any reliability improvements, e.g. less rebooting of the modem. Thanks

Gordon Kelly

July 8, 2013, 12:46 pm

Hi Zeus, that is a very good question (and a fine choice of router btw ;)

The old Super Hub did improve significantly with firmware updates so it isn't vital if you're just going to use the new one in modem mode. That said I did find the new Super Hub to be extremely reliable throughout my testing and it may offer a more solid connection.

If VM will do you a deal I'd say go for it, but the new Super Hub is more applicable for those who are using the old model as their main wireless router.

Ian Stirrups

July 9, 2013, 1:07 pm


Will i be able to import settings from my previous superhub's .cfg file?


July 9, 2013, 1:51 pm

Thanks Gordon. Great answer. I will think about it. I bought the router after reading the review :) as usual TrustedReviews is my first port of call.

Gordon Kelly

July 9, 2013, 1:54 pm

Very kind of you to say. By complete coincidence we are just finishing our review of the EA6700 - but it is an incremental upgrade, so don't worry too much :)


July 9, 2013, 8:33 pm

If you are using the Superhub in modem-only mode then I doubt there is anything to gain from the new Superhub. Modem-only mode, as I'm sure you know, is not simply switching off the wifi to 'avoid interference',but means you are ditching the entire router/switch/wifi components of the Superhub and using only the cable modulator/demodulator part. Thus all the improvements made in the new Superhub's wifi etc will all be out of circuit.

That said, most people used modem-only mode as an escape from the truly abysmal wifi/router performance of the original SuperHub, or because they needed router features which it lacked. If the new SuperHub puts all those to right, then maybe one fewer PSUs to plug in is nice?

Gordon Kelly

July 9, 2013, 11:46 pm

No you won't, it needs to be setup again but the new Super Hub's settings are very straightforward and even complex settings shouldn't take long.

Gordon Kelly

July 9, 2013, 11:54 pm

toboev, thank you for your assumptions but you assume incorrectly.

As I explain in the review the modem mode does more than switch off the WiFi, it also disables every Ethernet port except the one used for the Internet supply to a third party router. You have a modem and nothing more... as the name spells out.

That said what I also make clear to Zeus (and you seem to have missed) is that the new Super Hub is an altogether more stable product than the old Super Hub - whether set up as a router or a modem.

Given the old Super Hub can require multiple reboots in any given month the role of the new Super Hub as a steadfast and reliable modem has merit even when used with a third party router.

Again as the review also points out the performance of the new Super Hub means upgrades for 802.11n routers are no longer necessary unless specific additional functionality is required (integrated parental restrictions, for example). And as I conclude, for most users an extra router (and be definition an additional PSU) now won't be needed.


July 10, 2013, 6:49 am

Hi Gordon. My apologies.
I think I have said just about everything for which you upbraid me, right down to the nicety about fewer PSU's.
My only assumption is that you have any meaningfoul basis for saying that the new Superhub is more stable than the old. That would require at least a month or so of use, and preferably more than one sample. Sorry if I wrongly assumed you had tested only one device over a short period.

Gordon Kelly

July 10, 2013, 9:51 am

No problem, you were contradicting an answer I had already given which is what frustrates.

You are right we don't have multiple review samples, but routers are put through the wringer during prolonged testing which typically brings stability issues to the surface. So far the new Super Hub has been rock solid.

The new Super Hub has also replaced the old Super Hub in our Virgin setup (we have both DSL and cable) and will continue to be tested long term. We will update the review if any issues arise.


July 10, 2013, 1:59 pm

:( lol thanks for that :), love my Router, would be nice to have some actual kit that can utilise the AC though...mmm maybe a reason to get the new mac book pro when they come out...can usually come up with a reason :) although my 2011 17" rocks still :)


July 10, 2013, 2:01 pm

Gordon Kelly toboev Thanks guys, Considering I do have such a good AC router anyway, even if I did get the new super hub would stay in modem mode so nice to know its reliability in modem mode is improved.

Gordon Kelly

July 10, 2013, 2:08 pm

802.11ac dongles should appear before too long. They don't work as well as integrated wireless, but better maybe than a full MacBook Pro upgrade! (Unless you don't need an excuse :)


July 10, 2013, 3:11 pm

:) Put it this way received a Onkyo 818 and Monitor Audio RX6 5.1 set recently so better wait till next year (although I say that now). Thats all attached to my 5 year old or so Sony KDL46X2000 TV...hope you see the trend...alll reviews on the site :) which I visit multiple times a day. My wallet/bank balance probably hates the site though.


July 10, 2013, 9:07 pm

"The new Super Hub also has far more subtle lighting with LEDs along the
front to indicate power, data transmission, broadband status and the
operation of 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless modes. This means Virgin wisely
omits the garish glowing Virgin Media logo slapped on the side of the
old Super Hub, though both it and the new model can dim or switch off
the lights completely."

Wait a minute, how do you dim the lights on the existing superhub !? Even VirginMedia engineers (both phone-engies and physical-engies dont know how to do that !

Nate Ebner

July 11, 2013, 9:09 am

I think I'll go for a motherboard and CPU upgrade and get the Asus Z87 Deluxe with internal ac wireless.

As you are great at responding, and seem to be the man in the know, have you any experience with the Asus ac router (promise I'm not a rep).
It's just that their n router was widely considered the best. I'd love to see a TR review for it.

Nate Ebner

July 11, 2013, 9:11 am

Unless there is a super secret edit function I've missed, then you have both been saying almost exactly the same thing, differing only on whether the new modem components make it more reliable.

Gordon Kelly

July 11, 2013, 9:17 am

Hi Nate, we actually haven't tested the Asus ac router - good point, we'll chase it up.

I'd have high hopes, though for me the D-Link DIR-845 http://www.trustedreviews.c... and Linksys EA4500 were the best of the 802.11n routers.

Nate Ebner

July 11, 2013, 10:37 am

Did you test their 11n router? I couldn't find a link for that either.

Gordon Kelly

July 11, 2013, 12:46 pm

I've used it but a loan glitch meant we didn't have it long enough to review it. From the time I had was definitely one of the better n routers, but wasn't up to the performance of the D-Link or Linksys.

Nate Ebner

July 11, 2013, 2:48 pm

Thanks for the info.


July 24, 2013, 1:55 pm

Hi Simon,
Ye there's no way to dim/disable the LED lights on the original Super Hub.

Che Bramley

July 26, 2013, 11:08 pm

Trusted reviews state the LEDS can be turned off, no they can only be dimmed TR as there is no option in the control panel only 3 choices of LED Brightness can be chosen

Andy Race

August 4, 2013, 11:21 am

After half a dozen arguments with Virgin over the phone, they have now given in and are installing a new SH2 free of charge. My argument was why should I have to pay for new kit when the kit the have supplied me (SH1) isn't fit for purpose. I have had nothing but trouble with it since day one. Keep annoying the hell out of them and you will get one for nothing.

Bilal Khwaja

August 16, 2013, 12:54 am

Why no QOS!!!!!

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