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4G/5G cellular backup for Virgin Media SuperHub

On our wavelength

Can anybody recommend a good, automated 4G/5G cellular backup solution for Virgin Media SuperHub?

If I'm at home, I can use my smartphone's wireless hotspot mode to connect my laptop etc. to the internet.  But I also have lots of other devices which are connected to the internet - home alarm system, security cameras, Hive devices etc., and I they only connect to my regular home wireless network.  I don't want to lose the internet connectivity on all of those devices if my Virgin Media broadband goes down, or if somebody decides to maliciously cut my my Virgin Media coax cable, which is very easily visible.

I have a SuperHub 5, and it works fine.  But I can't see any way to add an additional backup internet connection.  My Virgin Media service has been relatively stable in the past few months, but I remember in the past when it was constantly dropping its internet connection, and I want to be prepared for that.  Some routers have a USB port which can be used to add a cellular USB dongle for backup internet service, but the SuperHub 5 doesn't have one.  Now that Virgin Media are under the same ownership as O2, hopefully this is something which we'll see in the future.  They are apparently already offering something like that for Business customers, but not for those of us on Consumer contracts.

I see that some wireless routers from companies like TP-Link now have a nano-SIM slot which can be used as a backup, with the router switching automatically from the WAN port to the nano-SIM if it loses its internet connectivity on the WAN port.  Right now, I'm thinking that my best option is probably to buy one of these kind of routers from TP-Link, Asus etc., take out a separate monthly subscription for a nano-SIM card to go in it, put my Virgin Media SuperHub 5 into modem-only mode, and connect the new router to the SuperHub just for modem functionality.  Is there any reason why this would not work with Virgin Media broadband?  Does anybody have any alternative suggestions?


Community elder

I use an Asus RT-AX86U, which has a 2.5Gbps ethernet port you can assign as WAN.

It then allows you to use one of the other 1Gbps ports as a second WAN to failover to in case of primary WAN failure, which is automated.

I got a B535-232 with a Three data only SIM deal a while back which was plugged into the secondary WAN.

Worked well when I used it.


So yes, it would work with the HUB 5 in modem mode.

Thanks, that's good to know.  I didn't realize that there were wireless routers where you can have two different WAN inputs.  But that Asus RT-AX86U is pretty expensive. £300 on Amazon!

Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

To get a good router with automatic failover/failback will be expensive. My Ubiquiti kit can do 2 Wan interfaces from different ISPs and 4G backup, but it’s expensive, something like £700.

There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't and F people out of 10 who do not understand hexadecimal c1a2a285948293859940d9a49385a2

Do you mind me asking which model of Ubiqiti hardware you use? Is it the kind of hardware which I might be able to pick up second-hand on eBay?

My backup 4G is with o2 by a Zyxel VPN300

Does anybody know whether the TP-Link Archer MR400 would be a suitable device?  I found it on Amazon here at only £76.99.  It's only 4G LTE, rather than 5G, but I would only ever need it as a back-up, so I don't think that's a big issue.  Also, it's only wifi AC, rather than wifi AX (wifi 6).  The Virgin Media Super Hub 5 is a wifi AX / wifi 6 device.  But I don't know whether there would really be a huge difference in wifi performance between this TP-Link Archer MR400 and the Super Hub 5?

Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

That would be a suitable backup. I have a 4G Three SIM and my eyes on one for that purpose.  You can usually get a used one off eBay for ~£40

Only "drawback" is that  - AFAIU - it doesnt "auto-switch" connections from a VM Hub when that drops out. You have to fire it up and reconnect all your devices to it's SSID (I think!).


I do not work for VM. My services: HD TV on VIP (+ Sky Sports & Movies & BT sport), x3 V6 boxes (1 wired, 2 on WiFi) Hub5 in modem mode with Apple Airport Extreme Router +2 Airport Express's & TP-Link Archer C64 WAP. On Volt 350Mbps, Talk Anytime Phone, x2 Mobile SIM only iPhones.

The RT-AX53U supports dual wan, only costs about £70ish pounds.

The downside it there is only 3 lan ports, one you would use for the back up wan leaving you only 2 to use.

Ah, that's a shame. I wanted something which would automatically switch from the Virgin Media broadband to the 4G SIM card, if the Virgin network failed.