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  • FIRST POST
    • ftsos
    • By ftsos 4th Apr 18, 11:13 AM
    • 110Posts
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    ftsos
    Help and advice Virgin Media wifi issue and router
    • #1
    • 4th Apr 18, 11:13 AM
    Help and advice Virgin Media wifi issue and router 4th Apr 18 at 11:13 AM
    Hi Guys,

    I need some help and advice. If I say my worst broadband service has been with Virgin Media, I wouldn't be exaggerating. I have lived in my current house for more than 15 years, and in that time I have had broadband with various companies, and most recently with PlusNet. PlusNet wasn't great, but I didn't have to call them several times a week.

    My wifi is terrible. It's not usable most of the time. I work in tech, although I am not a networking guy, so I am reasonably comfortable with technology. Even though the service is terrible in terms of wifi, virgin media won't release me from my contract.

    After a lot of arguing and many calls, they sent me a replacement router, which was no better. Then they sent someone down to my house. The guy was honest enough to admit that the routers with virgin media were rubbish for wifi. I was shocked he was saying this given that he was a virgin media employee. Credit to him for being honest. He said there is nothing he could do to help me.

    I work partly from home, so my wifi is essential. Half the time I can't browse web pages properly. We are not talking about watching videos or downloading music, just your normal browsing.

    Now since virgin media won't release me from my contract, I have 2 options, either sign up with another broadband company, and also continue paying for virgin media or get a router of my own.

    I am considering getting a router of my own. I want to invest in a router that also have 3G/4G capability. I want to know from other users who have had wifi issues if getting your own router solved the issue with virgin media wifi?

    As far as I have been told, I do not know how true it is, but virgin media routers are supposed to be known for wifi issues.

    Does anyone have a router make model recommendations? This is one I am considering: ASUS RT-AC3200 Tri-Band Wireless Gigabit Router (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00Y2NVH4O ) any good?

    Any advice or recommendations would be highly appreciated.

    By the way, I tried to post on virgin media forum about this, but they have paid forum employees pretending to be customers, who weren't very helpful.

    Thank you.
Page 2
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 8th Apr 18, 2:21 AM
    • 3,977 Posts
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    Tarambor
    Hi Guys,

    I have tested it cabled its fine. All my devices are Macs, and they are the new Macs, so they don't have ethernet without using an adapter. Plus I have gadgets.

    Secondly, all the broadband companies before virgin had no wifi issues. I have lived at the house for more than 15 years. Its a house in Central London so internet coverage is good.
    .
    Originally posted by ftsos
    So there's nothing wrong with the router. Change the channel so its not on the same channel as other wifi networks in your immediate area. Best of luck on 2.4Ghz in London though.

    I've done work at clients in central London, I'd hardly call the internet access and speeds there stellar. At one client it was so bad I used my mobile phone.
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 8th Apr 18, 9:05 AM
    • 7,939 Posts
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    buglawton
    I am in Virgin Media. Main issue is that their router is located on one side of the house where the cable enters. I had been using the VM in modem only mode and an elderly Netgear wifi router. Even when a decent wifi signal is there that was prone to disconnect, get flummoxed by Apple photo syncing or just fail to assign an IP address when connected.

    I did 3 things, got a mid range dual band Asus router, about £100 several years ago. Then I used a length of Ethernet cable from VM router in modem only mode to a new site for the Asus practically at the centre of the house. Finally I surveyed the local wifi channels and set the Asus channels to avoid the neighbours ones. Since this time I’ve had excellent wifi and speeds.

    Don’t just use your new router as an access point, put your VM router in modem only mode and let the new router do the routing.
    • ChuckMountain
    • By ChuckMountain 8th Apr 18, 10:04 AM
    • 177 Posts
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    ChuckMountain
    As the other responses have said I still think you need to do some testing. Unfortunately IOS is really locked down these days and some of the apps don't run if you have an Android phone then you can still get the apps

    Have a look at this video, its a random one I found and it shows that his choice of channel in the 2.4GHz region is not good as lots of people are on it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW2b2yB69W8
    • glentoran99
    • By glentoran99 8th Apr 18, 10:09 AM
    • 5,473 Posts
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    glentoran99
    Are you operating the VM router on 2Ghz or 5Ghz WiFi? I'm guessing 2Ghz If that is correct try a change to 5GHz if your equipment will take it.
    Originally posted by RumRat


    you can even do both at once
    • RumRat
    • By RumRat 8th Apr 18, 11:14 AM
    • 2,981 Posts
    • 1,778 Thanks
    RumRat
    you can even do both at once
    Originally posted by glentoran99
    I could have worded it better, but his laptop will only connect to one or the other at a time and 5Ghz will probably give better results if he hasn't yet tried it.
    Drinking Rum before 10am makes you
    A PIRATE
    Not an Alcoholic...!
    • ftsos
    • By ftsos 8th Apr 18, 12:19 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    ftsos
    We have split the 2 and 5Ghz, its one of the first the tech support did. We have tried different VM routers. Its been replaced. We had a first media guy come to the house, he also confirmed that it must the wireless issue with this router model. All the various channels have also been tried.

    I could have worded it better, but his laptop will only connect to one or the other at a time and 5Ghz will probably give better results if he hasn't yet tried it.
    Originally posted by RumRat
    • ftsos
    • By ftsos 8th Apr 18, 12:29 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    ftsos
    Hi Chuck,

    This is the link for the product you gave me:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/UBIQUITI-NETWORKS-UBI-UAP-AC-PRO-5Ghz-1300Mbps/dp/B016XYQ3WK/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1522852913&sr=1-1&keywords=unifi

    And this link, I saw this below it which showed the newer version of the same product:
    https://ibb.co/joK34x

    The newer version does not include "POE Injector". I don't know if the older one does, the one you gave the link for. It doesn't relay say, unless you can clarify for me.

    To everyone, I appreciate your help on this. I do. I may not always say it. Thanks.

    Yes I own one of the AC Pros and its given a far better WiFi signal then anything else I have owned.

    Not sure what you mean about new model as couldn't see anything mentioning that the model above it is the UAP-HD and that is double the price.

    You need to make sure you get the one with the Power over Ethernet (POE) adaptor. That allows you to plug a little dongle inline with the ethernet cable that powers the WAP, hence you only need one cable to it and can mount it somewhere out of the way. They sell without in case you have another source.

    The only thing as far as I know is that you need to install the controller software to configure it and that did require Java on your machine. You only need to do this once or if you need to make changes.

    Alternatively you buy their cloud controller but that is another £70.
    Originally posted by ChuckMountain
    • ChuckMountain
    • By ChuckMountain 8th Apr 18, 12:44 PM
    • 177 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    ChuckMountain
    We have split the 2 and 5Ghz, its one of the first the tech support did. We have tried different VM routers. Its been replaced. We had a first media guy come to the house, he also confirmed that it must the wireless issue with this router model. All the various channels have also been tried.
    Originally posted by ftsos
    Which router do you have now?

    As far as I know there are no mass reported issued with VM routers and their wireless is not that bad, not to the symptoms you describe anyway. What they do suffer from and so do other ISP routers is when somebody has an issue with wireless it is the router that is culprit and thus changing it often seems to solve the problem.

    In the UK WiFi power transmit is limited by law and most routers will transmit at up to max. Also the client has to be able to transmit too as not much room in an iPhone for an aerial etc.

    Some routers have better software, some have better aerial design as well as MIMO. From a quick google the Super Hub 3 has 5 x 2.4GHz and 3 x 5GHz aerials so its not lacking in that department.

    Did you see him try the channels as I am not convinced that all the channels would have been tried as on 2.4GHz there are up to 13, which is doable though normally you want to try 1, 6 and 11 because of overlaps. On 5GHz though there are slightly more channels and its not a case of checking for 30 seconds and seeing if it is ok.

    The correct way to do is to scan what channels are in use already and avoid them. It's the equivalent of listening to the traffic report on the radio and saying right will avoid the main high street as there is an accident and everyone is trying to get down it. Result chaos.

    Channel width also can have an effect on performance so you need to check these settings.

    None of this is unique to VM though so worth getting your head around it and making sure no underlying.

    I wouldn't necessarily trust what a VM "Installer" says as some are quite biased and don't fully understand what's going on.

    Unfortunately tech support is not necessarily that much better either as they often follow scripts. Occasionally you might find somebody that knows what they are doing but its rare.

    Hence if you ask on these threads you will often get much better help
    • ChuckMountain
    • By ChuckMountain 8th Apr 18, 12:47 PM
    • 177 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    ChuckMountain
    Hi Chuck,

    This is the link for the product you gave me:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/UBIQUITI-NETWORKS-UBI-UAP-AC-PRO-5Ghz-1300Mbps/dp/B016XYQ3WK/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1522852913&sr=1-1&keywords=unifi

    And this link, I saw this below it which showed the newer version of the same product:
    https://ibb.co/joK34x

    Sorry must be going blind

    The newer version does not include "POE Injector". I don't know if the older one does, the one you gave the link for. It doesn't relay say, unless you can clarify for me.

    To everyone, I appreciate your help on this. I do. I may not always say it. Thanks.
    Originally posted by ftsos
    Am not convinced it is any newer other than dropping the POE Injector.

    The POE Injector in this case is for all intents and purposes the equivalent of a wall PSU. In your case unless you have a PoE Switch which my guess is you don't. Then you need to buy one with the PoE Injector
    • ChuckMountain
    • By ChuckMountain 8th Apr 18, 12:49 PM
    • 177 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    ChuckMountain
    Meant to add the UniFi software does scan for available channels and does try to use uncongested ones.
    • RumRat
    • By RumRat 8th Apr 18, 2:50 PM
    • 2,981 Posts
    • 1,778 Thanks
    RumRat
    My VM SHub 3 gives me very usable WiFi throughout the house with a variety of devices connecting (12) across 2 and 5Ghz. So it's not an inherent problem with the VM router.
    Drinking Rum before 10am makes you
    A PIRATE
    Not an Alcoholic...!
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 8th Apr 18, 6:29 PM
    • 7,939 Posts
    • 4,639 Thanks
    buglawton
    As the other responses have said I still think you need to do some testing. Unfortunately IOS is really locked down these days and some of the apps don't run if you have an Android phone then you can still get the apps

    Have a look at this video, its a random one I found and it shows that his choice of channel in the 2.4GHz region is not good as lots of people are on it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW2b2yB69W8
    Originally posted by ChuckMountain
    For this reason to do the wifi survey I use Inssider (free legacy version) on the laptop.
    • ChuckMountain
    • By ChuckMountain 8th Apr 18, 6:50 PM
    • 177 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    ChuckMountain
    For this reason to do the wifi survey I use Inssider (free legacy version) on the laptop.
    Originally posted by buglawton

    Thanks wasn't sure if (still) worked on the Mac or not
    • mart44
    • By mart44 8th Apr 18, 8:31 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    mart44
    I had trouble with the VM Superhub 3 wi-fi covering the far reaches of our bungalow so I put the hub into modem mode and installed a Netgear Orbi router and satellite. The Satellite is placed in the loft and now there are no more wi-fi dead spots within the property. Very happy with the set-up.
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    • ftsos
    • By ftsos 12th Apr 18, 11:31 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    ftsos
    @ChuckMountain I purchased and installed UBIQUITI NETWORKS Pro https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B016XYQ3WK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. By the way even the older model no longer comes with the POE Injector. I wish they told me. Anyway, although its made a difference, its still not great. The wifi is better. But there are times when its hard to connect. Its mainly upstairs. This is not a big house, and the previous ISP's or routers never had the problem. So I can now only think that because the VM is in the kitchen whereas all the other routers were in the storeroom - the location must be the issue. Because the WAP is in the same room as the router. I am assuming if it was in a different room it could make a difference? Would one of these be better? https://www.maplin.co.uk/p/tp-link-tl-pa9020p-av2000-2-port-gigabit-pass-through-powerline-starter-kit-a53wf

    Then the wireless signal could be placed upstairs.
    • buglawton
    • By buglawton 13th Apr 18, 8:47 AM
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    buglawton
    A quick way to resite your router without laying cable is to put VM router in modem only mode, connect it to one poweline adapter, then place the 2nd powerline adapter at a perfect central location (even in loft) and connect a new router (the ‘modem in’ Ethernet sock) to it. So you will have ‘virtually’ wired a router to a new location in the house without new cabling. This method allows you to try various locations on the house without wiring. Location of the wifi is even more crucial than brand or model.
    • ChuckMountain
    • By ChuckMountain 13th Apr 18, 10:04 AM
    • 177 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    ChuckMountain
    @ChuckMountain I purchased and installed UBIQUITI NETWORKS Pro https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B016XYQ3WK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. By the way even the older model no longer comes with the POE Injector. I wish they told me. Anyway, although its made a difference, its still not great. The wifi is better. But there are times when its hard to connect. Its mainly upstairs. This is not a big house, and the previous ISP's or routers never had the problem. So I can now only think that because the VM is in the kitchen whereas all the other routers were in the storeroom - the location must be the issue. Because the WAP is in the same room as the router. I am assuming if it was in a different room it could make a difference? Would one of these be better? https://www.maplin.co.uk/p/tp-link-tl-pa9020p-av2000-2-port-gigabit-pass-through-powerline-starter-kit-a53wf

    Then the wireless signal could be placed upstairs.
    Originally posted by ftsos
    Glad you have made some progress.

    It's as quite a few people including myself expected the location is the problem. Kitchens generally have a lot of metal fridge, oven, hob, cutlery drawer, tiles and pipework. This can have a very strange effect on WiFi. One of my closest rooms to my WAP is my downstairs loo which has some pipework running horizontally round it. My old WAPs (before AC Pro) struggled completely with this room, my UniFi does work but its a bit hit and miss and its no more than about 12 feet away.

    I actually have my WAP in my kitchen but on a back wall away from all the equipment, have no tiles and the cabinets are wood. Its actually positioned on top of one of the units pointing upwards, which I don't think is recommended. However this gets the entirety of my house with acceptable speeds everywhere. My house is a reasonable size.

    As they say location, location, location

    I come back to my original post if you had been able to move the VM router to the same place as the old ones I suspect you wouldn't have any of these issues.

    Ok let's solve this one. What speed is your BB? The reason I ask is that powerlines hardly ever get near their advertised speed.

    Check out this review on AVForums of the one you linked to

    https://www.avforums.com/review/tp-link-tl-pa9020p-powerline-starter-kit-review.12664

    It's lucky to get 1/10th of its advertised speed and in some cases nearer 1/20th.

    I disagree with Greg's statement of the 1200 one doing 430Mbps. It does it once on his other test the rest of the time it performs more like this one. It's a statistical anomaly and I think the ASA should look at the advertising of these products.

    If you are paying for 200 or more BB then I would avoid a PowerLine solution as that will become the limiting factor. At a 100Mbps you might be ok.

    I would try and hardwire by buying a long network cable, or installing a cable with a socket and using patch cables. That way guarantee of speeds and no issues. A 20m cable picking a random one on Amazon is £9

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/World-Data-WHITE-Premium-Network/dp/B009WWI1XU/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1523610228&sr=8-4&keywords=20m+network+cable

    You don't necessarily have to have in same place as other ones but is there anywhere you can put it that would give you better coverage. Even the other side of the kitchen.

    PS how does it get power if it does not have PoE injector, does it have a separate wall psu ?
    • ChuckMountain
    • By ChuckMountain 13th Apr 18, 10:07 AM
    • 177 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    ChuckMountain
    A quick way to resite your router without laying cable is to put VM router in modem only mode, connect it to one poweline adapter, then place the 2nd powerline adapter at a perfect central location (even in loft) and connect a new router (the ‘modem in’ Ethernet sock) to it. So you will have ‘virtually’ wired a router to a new location in the house without new cabling. This method allows you to try various locations on the house without wiring. Location of the wifi is even more crucial than brand or model.
    Originally posted by buglawton
    Yes but a couple of provisos, the fastest VM services will out pace most powerlines. A lot of the 1,200 - 2,000Mbps ones will struggle to get close to 200Mbps depending on the environment. So this will become a limiting speed factor in Internet connections so you could be paying for speed you could never use.

    He has bought a WAP which does not have routing capabilities.
    • ftsos
    • By ftsos 13th Apr 18, 3:56 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    ftsos
    Hi, Chuck, to answer your question, I bough POE Injector from Maplin. I am going phone Virgin and ask them what it would cost them to move the router and do new cabling.

    To make matters worse, they have automatically extended my contract by 12 months without letting me know. I only noticed when I logged in the other day.
    • ChuckMountain
    • By ChuckMountain 13th Apr 18, 4:03 PM
    • 177 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    ChuckMountain
    Yep hopefully you can argue that wireless is rubbish etc. and therefore move it pronto

    Any particular reason they put it in the kitchen? Do you have any other VM kit? If you do you could try it at that location too.

    It might be just worth buying a 20m cable if you get it under a tenner to see where the best location for the WAP is anyway.
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