Virgin Media Super Hub review
Virgin Media’s previous Super Hub modem router had one fatal flaw: while it was dual-band, you could use only one at a time, rendering the 5GHz band effectively useless for anyone with any 2.4GHz-only devices. The new Super Hub fixes that problem, delivering simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks.
What does this mean? Simply that when you power up the router, you see two wireless networks instead of one. Compatible devices can hook up to the 5GHz network, while older devices can connect to the 2.4GHz network at the same time.
As with the older Super Hub, there are four Gigabit Ethernet sockets, and you can disable the wireless radios if you want to use your own router. There’s a single USB socket, but this has been stickered over and deactivated, so you can’t share a printer or storage.
As before, the feature set is basic. There are no user-definable QoS settings and no dynamic DNS. While it’s possible to block access to IP and MAC addresses at designated times, there’s no URL-blocking, whitelisting or website-filtering.
Performance is solid. Over 5GHz at close range, we measured a peak transfer rate of 24.2MB/sec – up there with the fastest routers we’ve tested. The router is set to use single-width channels on the 2.4GHz band by default, so speed was a sluggish 9.41MB/sec at close range over 2.4GHz; with double-width channels enabled, it hit a respectable 12.2MB/sec.
Long-range performance is less impressive. At a distance of 40m, with a wall and window in the way, speeds dropped to 1.6MB/sec over 5GHz, and 1.4MB/sec over 2GHz. That’s below average, but the Super Hub’s ability to maintain a connection over 5GHz is notable – many simply fail this test.
Overall, we’re impressed with the new Virgin Media Super Hub. It’s quick at close range, good enough for browsing at long range, and the simultaneous dual-band is a boon for congested 2.4GHz areas. It’s free only for new customers, but existing customers can buy it for only £50. It’s an upgrade we thoroughly recommend.
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Gigabit LAN ports||4|
|MAC address filtering||yes|
|Web content filtering||no|
|Dimensions||70 x 193 x 214mm (WDH)|