Virgin Media customers can improve to a brand new router with sooner WiFi speeds for FREE. That is the way it’s completed
Virgin Media O2 launched a brand new router called Hub 5 this week with faster WiFi speeds. The Hub 5, made entirely of recycled plastic, also ships with support for 2.5 Gbps speeds from one of its Ethernet ports – that’s twice as fast as Virgin Media O2 currently offers, suggesting that new faster broadband speeds could be on the horizon for the company. Best of all, the Hub 5 is available as a free upgrade for existing customers.
Up until this week, Virgin Media’s best router was the Hub 4, announced along with the launch of its Gig1 high-speed fiber broadband plans. This upright design router – not unlike the Xbox Series X – is designed to support the 1,000 Mbps speeds available with Gig1 plans.
Virgin Media’s Hub 4 supports Wi-Fi 5, also known as 802.11ac, and proactively checks your network connections to make sure Wi-Fi speeds are fairly shared between devices – and amplifies the signal to any devices that continue away from the router and may struggle with speeds. Hub 4 supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
The brand new Hub 5 comes with support for the latest standard Wi-Fi 6.
Wi-Fi 6 is used across the industry. So, if you’ve upgraded your smartphone, tablet, or streaming set-top box in recent years, chances are you already have a few Wi-Fi 6 enabled devices at home. If so, you should immediately see the benefits of switching to a new router with Wi-Fi 6.
By combining the latest wireless standards with more Wi-Fi antennas than the Hub 4, Virgin Media O2 says its new Hub 5 will be able to support more devices at the same time, while simultaneously serving those from the Wi-Fi. Signal covered total area increased and stability improved.
Wi-Fi 6 is capable of higher speeds. In laboratory conditions, Wi-Fi 6 can achieve downloads over a wireless network at speeds of 9.6 Gbps – that’s nearly three times the upper limit of Wi-Fi 5, which was a respectable 3.5 Gbps. Of course, you are unlikely to get these super-fast speeds on a single device.
However, the download speed of 9.6 Gbps is split between every device on your network. So you should see faster speeds with every gadget connected to the router.
This is particularly useful as the Hub 5 can connect to more devices than its predecessor. As more of us fill our homes with internet-enabled devices – from smart lightbulbs to Wi-Fi enabled thermostats, voice-activated speakers to streaming set-top boxes plugged into the HDMI port in every television – it is easy to see why older routers are becoming more and more overwhelmed by the sheer number of devices trying to connect to the same network.
To further improve connectivity, Hub 5 is designed to reduce interference from neighboring hubs and devices, says Virgin Media O2. This should be particularly useful for people living in apartments or townhouses, where signals from neighbors’ routers and smart gadgets could interfere with your experience.
In addition to increasing speed, Hub 5 relies on next-generation WPA3 encryption to improve security. All in all, this looks like a very exciting upgrade for existing customers.
Speaking of the Hub 5 announcement, Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer of Virgin Media O2 said, “At Virgin Media O2 we never stand still and are constantly working to bring the latest and most innovative technology to our customers to meet their digital needs to meet now and in the future. We’re excited to give our existing customers their first access to Hub 5 with WiFi 6 technology, which offers even faster WiFi speeds and helps bring the full potential of new devices from next generation game consoles to the latest smartphones in theirs Houses. “
If you want to get your hands on the Hub 5, you may need to be patient. Virgin Media O2 is currently offering the new hardware to existing customers for free, but it is slowly rolling out across the country. Eligible customers will be contacted and given the opportunity to upgrade shortly, announced Virgin Media O2 Express.co.uk, with a wider rollout of the new Hub 5 in 2022. New customers who sign up for Virgin Media O2’s broadband plans for the first time are likely to receive the new hardware by then.
Virgin Media O2 is the UK’s largest gigabit operator. By the end of this year, the broadband company will provide gigabit speeds across its entire network of 15.5 million households.
And that’s not all, the company is also pushing the limits of its current fiber network by delivering 2,200 Mbps broadband speeds for households in Edinburgh and Birmingham … which could explain why its brand new Hub 5 router supports wired broadband speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps – about 35 times faster than the average home broadband speed in the UK.