Home Tech Virgin Broadband: Super Hub and Apple Airport

Virgin Broadband: Super Hub and Apple Airport


This summer Virgin Media is upgrading many areas of the UK from ~120Mbps to 150Mbps and my turn came this week. I opted for self-installation, which turned out to be straightforward, so the only charge was the £6 delivery cost of the new, much larger “Super Hub”. In an example of unusually good service, Virgin gave me a delivery day and a specific one-hour timeslot. This eased the usual pain of waiting around for couriers.

Within an hour I had everything sorted out and a check through Speedtest.net proved the 150Mpbs download speed but a relatively disappointing 11 Mbps upload. Hearsay evidence from friends abroad, particularly in the USA, is that upload speeds are much higher relative to the download figure.

Installation of the new Super Hub was easy; simply a matter of unplugging the power, co-axial broadband input and the ethernet cable which leads to my Apple Time Capsule router. The instructions were at pains to warn against using the existing power supply from the old hub; instead, the new PSU is obligatory. 

Once I had plugged everything in I had to phone a Virgin freephone number, which was answered surprisingly promptly, and an activation signal was sent to be new hub. The broadband signal was then coming through loud and clear on ethernet but, for some reason, the Apple router was not generating a wifi signal and the warning light was flashing amber.

Investigation in Airport Utility disclosed I had a “double NAT problem” and I followed the straightforward instructions to put the Apple router in bridge mode. Previously it had worked without problem without being in bridge mode but it seems the new Virgin Super Hub (which is a Netgear device) requires the change. Once this was done, everything was up and running.  

This upgrade from 120 to 150Mbps is free and involves no administrative charges. For once, something for nothing.