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Fresh as a Daisy
StStu
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎30-10-2009

Using a non-Virgin Media cable modem - possible?

[ Edited ]

My modem appears to have died, a fact confirmed after speaking to Virgin Media customer service last night. Unfortunately, it's going to be a good few days until they can get an engineer out to replace the modem, and for work-reasons I need internet access this weekend! Therefore, rather than wait for an engineer, I was intending to purchase one myself from PC World or simliar.

 

So, my question is this - can I use a cable modem purchased myself, or do I have to use a Virgin Media-supplied modem? Unfortunately, after subsequent calls to Virgin Media, I've been given conflicting answers to this question, so hopefully those more tech-savvy than the call centre folks may be able to help!

 

I should add that my setup is not wireless, and I use an ethernet cable.

 

Cheers!

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Superuser
BenMcr
Posts: 12,703
Registered: ‎11-08-2009

Re: Using a non-Virgin Media cable modem - possible?

You have to use the one Virgin supply you. There is nowhere you can legally buy a cable modem
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I work for Virgin Media - but all opinions posted here are my own
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Fresh as a Daisy
StStu
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎30-10-2009

Re: Using a non-Virgin Media cable modem - possible?

[ Edited ]

Thanks for your quick response Ben. When you say "There is nowhere you can legally buy a cable modem", I'm assuming you mean a Virgin Media-configured cable modem, or else every PC peripheral distributor in country is in trouble! Even if this is the case, I find it frustrating that Virgin  Media cannot provide customers with the means to use third-party modems to access the service, and at the very least provide some form of documentation to assist in configuration.

 

I've spotted a modem sold in Argos that states on the packaging that it is compatible with all Broadband cable providers, with Virgin specifically mentioned - can anyone confirm this? Unfortunately, I don't have the details of the specific make/model to hand.

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Superuser
BenMcr
Posts: 12,703
Registered: ‎11-08-2009

Re: Using a non-Virgin Media cable modem - possible?

You are confusing a modem and a router.

 

You can use a 3rd party router with Virgin cable services by connecting it to the supplied modem. Argos only sell routers for cable services.

 

However as I stated you cannot buy legally buy a cable modem for use with Virgin services

**********************************
I work for Virgin Media - but all opinions posted here are my own
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Making Waves
jd83jd83
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎07-02-2011

Re: Using a non-Virgin Media cable modem - possible?

Lies and **bleep** lies. When NTL started one had a choice of using an NTL modem (and no I am not ignorant and referring to a router) or buying one's own.  I bought my own, a Terayon.  This was on NTL's recommended list.  IT IS LEGAL unless Virgin have changed the law.  NTL to my mind broke the contract I had with them by taking away the discount that they had agreed for not using one of their modems.  I hope the almost non-existent broadband that I have experienced for the last week or so in the Headington area of Oxford is not some Virgin miscoding that in error is not recognising my modem and saying it is illegal.  There are rather vague ideas on this thread about configuring.  I have not played with my modem at all and I expect Virgin to configure it including setting its speed by downloading a configuration file on to it.  The real question is, "Are Virgin going to roll out DOCSis 3 so we can all use new modems and get 180Mb?".

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Human Answer Bank
VMCopperUser
Posts: 2,982
Registered: ‎01-02-2011

Re: Using a non-Virgin Media cable modem - possible?

In the old days you could buy your own modem, and they would supply you a fairly hefty discount for doing so.  These days they want only their modems, I think this is because your bandwith limitations are managed within your modem and using non-supplied hardware means that you could modify your own configuration file.  It would be possible to probably buy one off of Ebay or the Ilk, modify the MAC addy, and have it work.  The big issue then will be when the TFTP servers have a new configuration file that your modem will not work with it.  While it's not "Illegal" to buy a modem, There really isnt any reason for you to buy one because VM will not allow it on their network.

 

What confuses a lot of people is that when someone stops a contract VM will often tell the customer to just throw the modem in the trash (last year or so they told customers to take it to a recycle centre).  These modems often show back up on ebay or other trade sites, but except for cloning or theft of service they have no use. 

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I do not work for VM, but I would. It is just a Job.

I would also make websites for them, because the job never seems to require the website to work.

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Freakishly Helpful
jhuk
Posts: 1,397
Registered: ‎02-02-2011

Re: Using a non-Virgin Media cable modem - possible?

In the UK you could NEVER use your own Cable Modem on CableTel/NTL/Telewest Blueyonder (not talking about Dial UP/56K)!

 

It may be different for Cable providers in other countries.

 

You can however use your own bought ADSL Modem for ADSL providers in the UK.

 

I have intentually skipped talk of routers as this is about modems.

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Human Answer Bank
VMCopperUser
Posts: 2,982
Registered: ‎01-02-2011

Re: Using a non-Virgin Media cable modem - possible?

From about 2000 (when ntl went docsis) to about 2003/2004 (I think) you could buy your own modem if you didnt wish to pay "Rental" on the modems.  The upshot was that after the first year or so you were saving money, the downside was that the older modems couldnt take the higher speeds and ofc there was no real warranty ;P...

 

Some sales reps said you HAD to buy, others said it was up to you to pick Buy or Rent.  I THINK the discount was about 5$, you had to have phone, and you had to have TV (as ntl SAID that all 3 services came down the same cable).  I think the discounts were pulled in about 2006 or so and users were slowly phased in to be given free modems.

 

I might dig around and see if I still have the letter where it says removal of "owned" modems is happening.  Knowing how bad the churn is at vm towers, I doubt anyone there was around during that time :smileytongue:

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I do not work for VM, but I would. It is just a Job.

I would also make websites for them, because the job never seems to require the website to work.

Read or Not ....
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Superuser
horseman
Posts: 7,216
Registered: ‎15-09-2009

Re: Using a non-Virgin Media cable modem - possible?

 


VMCopperUser wrote:

From about 2000 (when ntl went docsis) to about 2003/2004 (I think) you could buy your own modem if you didnt wish to pay "Rental" on the modems.  ….

 you had to have phone, and you had to have TV (as ntl SAID that all 3 services came down the same "Siamese" cable). ….


 

I took the liberty of nitpicking with a minor correction!  :smileywink:  I suspect this was also franchise/area dependent as initially BB was mainly deployed in many ex C&W, NTL areas via Pace 1000/4000 STB's and not SACM's. 

Regards Tony
"Life is a Binary Inspired Turing Computed Hologram"(don't PM or @Mention me - in case ignoring you offends)
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Freakishly Helpful
jhuk
Posts: 1,397
Registered: ‎02-02-2011

Re: Using a non-Virgin Media cable modem - possible?

[ Edited ]

I was not with NTL but buying the modem from them instead of renting is not the same as a customer buying their own choice of modem elsewhere as the OP is asking !

 

You can buy the V+ box to save rent but you cannot go and by another brand of PVR and use instead of the V+ (pure example) !

 

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