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Virgin Media new Super Hub

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly



Our Score:


Virgin Media new Super Hub - Setup

A contentious part of the new Super Hub is that it is free to new customers taking 60Mbit connections and above, but incurs a £50 charge for existing customers looking to upgrade. This is because Virgin Media insists on setting up the new Super Hub with a home visit, but we’ve heard reports of customers successfully negating that if they can convince representatives of their technical knowledge.

Either way, setup is relatively straightforward: you plug the new Super Hub in and since it is for cable connections it takes a few minutes to ‘lock’. By default the 2.4GHz and 5GHz SSIDs have ‘2G’ and ‘5G’ differentiators for easy identification and their unified password is on the bottom of the router. To alter router settings and/or passwords visit in a web browser and log in again with a password supplied on the bottom (change it!).

Virgin Media UI

Happily, navigation is straightforward with the user interface broken up into wireless settings, Hub settings and device connection status - all fairly self-explanatory. In fact even the ‘Advanced Settings’ is merely a long clickable list and even newbies shouldn’t be intimidated.

For all the marketing hype, the new Super Hub is actually a simple router and Virgin Media has done well to keep the menus in keeping with that.

Virgin Media new Super Hub - Performance

So how does the new Super Hub actually perform? We have already explained that claims of being the fastest ISP supplied router doesn’t mean too much, but can it give the best 802.11n third party routers a run for their money?

5Ghz 2 metres

We are both surprised and happy to say the answer is yes. Testing the new Super Hub at our usual distances of two metres (line of sight), 10 metres (line of sight) and 13 metres (with two solid walls between) gave us average speeds over 5GHz of 17.5 megabytes per second (140Mbits per second), 11.6MBps (92.8Mbps) and 4.3MBps (34.4Mbit). All of these speeds will handle Full HD streaming video and transfer rates were also smooth and consistent as you can see from the graph showing the performance at two metres above.

These rates compete well with the fastest 802.11n router we have tested, the D-Link DIR-845L, which reached 19.1MBps, 12.5MBps and 7.1MBps under the exact same conditions meaning it only pulled away significantly at the greatest distance. Typically 802.11n routers will drop into 2.xMBps speeds here.

2.4GHz 13 metres

The new Super Hub also performed well at 2.4GHz hitting speeds of 10.1MBps (80.8Mbit), 8.5MBps (68MMbit) and 3.2Mbit (25.6Mbit) over these distances though speeds wavered more at 13 metres with solid walls (see the graph above). Again in comparison to the DIR-845L these are respectable as it achieved 10.6MBps, 10.5MBps and 5.5MBps.

Of course the caveat remains that 802.11n can’t compete with the newer 802.11ac models and the current next-gen champ is the Linksys EA6500. 802.11ac works purely at 5GHs (read more about the benefits of 802.11ac vs 802.11n) and it produced results of 30MBps (240Mbit), 25MBps (200Mbit) and 20MBps (160Mbit) in these identical test environments.

Virgin Media new Super Hub

Should I buy the Virgin Media new Super Hub?

If you are a Virgin Media customer then quite frankly you have little choice. New customers subscribing to 60Mbit broadband speeds and above will get it free and for existing customers the chance to ditch the troublesome original Super Hub should be grasped with both hands as even a third-party router is forced to connect to it.

We are also pleased to say the new Super Hub also isn’t just better than the old model, but competes well with best performing third-party 802.11n routers - even if it lacks their most expansive feature sets.

If you can afford it we would still advise you opt for an 802.11ac router for its substantial performance benefits given the impending wave of wireless ac hardware. Then again battling 802.11ac wasn’t really Virgin’s remit and the new Super Hub will be a substantial upgrade for most users. Equally, it should also end the nightmares of the original.


The new Super Hub is not only a vast improvement on the flaky original, but an impressive performing router in its own right. It doesn’t have a great array of features, but it is easy to use and affordably priced. 802.11ac routers won’t face sleepless nights, but should end most Virgin customers' needs for reliable third-party 802.11n alternatives.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Build Quality 7
  • Design 7
  • Features 6
  • Performance 8
  • Usability 8
  • Value 8


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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