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smokie
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Hub3 and mesh networks

I had a hotchpotch of cheap Chinese repeaters which were giving me an adequate WiFi connection anywhere around the house. Amazon has he BT Whole Home Mini at 4 for £90 or similar a while back so I thought I'd "upgrade".

I now get quire regular occasions when my WAN connection is fine (proven on a wired device) and the WiFi is fine (proved by pinging other devices) but the WiFi connection reports unable to access he internet.

Is anyone else seeing this? I can find a number of threads about very similar occurrences some months back. It seems a problem was identified and new firmware was going to be issued for the hub but I couldn't see that anyone said that had fixed the problem.

I checked my firmware version and it's 9.1.1912.302, but I see .304 is now out. I called Virgin and after about an hour with two different people I got nowhere as they said they can't update individual devices. That has to be untrue, but the suggestion was to factory reset, which I am not about to do as I have a number of settings I'd sooner not lose ( - I've had experience of the backup not working).

I'm looking at putting a router in between the Virgin hub (configuring it as modem) to exclude it as an issue but I thought I'd ask first.

And to the guy who says the BT minis are rubbish, throw them away - I already read this a number of times and it isn't the answer I'm after 🙂

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Andrew-G
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Message 2 of 13
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Re: Hub3 and mesh networks

No point in relying on the hub's pound shop router, which has weak capabilities even just as a router, and you're continually vulnerable to VM issuing another firmware update that introduces new bugs, or messes up capabilities that worked before.  I think your plan to try using your own router with the BT disks is a sound one. 

Having said that, you'll have a "sort of mesh" system because the BT disks might play nicely, but you'll not have a router designed to work with them?  Try it if you want, but given the cost of a decent router, you might want to consider buying a credible entry level mesh (eg TP-Link Deco M4 or S4 or M5) to act as router+mesh, put the hub in modem mode, and sell the BT Disks on eBay, where they'll probably get a good price.

I'm a happy user of a TP-Link Deco M4 with hub in modem mode.  Not a single whine from the household luddites about wireless since I bought it, although it can't stop them finding other technology to complain "isn't working".

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smokie
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Message 3 of 13
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Re: Hub3 and mesh networks

Thanks. I do understand rather a lot about networking and computers, and chucking more money at a problem is very much a last resort for me. There's nothing to say that the BT minis are that bad, they have, after all, been selling them for a while now and I can't find many bad reviews on them. When the connection is OK they perform very well.

Seeing as you cast aspersions about it too, there really isn't much wrong with the Virgin router either. It is simple enough for many to use and does what it is supposed to, and has done for me for quite some time, without missing a beat. Excepting when problems have been identified it has outperformed spec. My plan to put another router in is purely a temporary measure to try to isolate the issue by breaking a direct link between the router and mesh. I have a cheap old router which will do the job perfectly.

So back to the original question - does anyone else with a similar configuration see the error where everything is still connected to the WiFi but it says no internet?

I suppose I should also have asked - did anyone who had previously reported the problem get new firmware, if so, what was the version and did it resolve the issue? If not, have you resolved it somehow else?

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Brava210
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Message 4 of 13
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Re: Hub3 and mesh networks

Yes I had the exact problem - Connected no internet-

Started using a TP - Link MESH  system and absolutely no issues for over a year now.

I would avoid the BT system as it does not play nicely with the Hub 3

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Virgin BB 200, Hub 3, 3 x V6, TP-Link Deco AX20 x1, M5 x2 - United Artists/Telewest/VM Since 1990
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smokie
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Message 5 of 13
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Re: Hub3 and mesh networks

Thanks, yeah I get that people say it doesn't play nicely but at £100+ I'd like to try to fix it before ditching it. It turns out that next door neighbour has a different brand mesh and has similar problems.

I found tonight that the connection to the router seems to be drifting off to sleep, and issuing a ping to the router wakes it up again. I may have assumed too much there but I need to research what that implies.

Meantime did anyone with mesh problems get the firmware update and did it fix it?
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Andrew-G
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Message 6 of 13
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Re: Hub3 and mesh networks

You've read the great BT Whole Home thread?  The issues were supposedly fixed by the 9.1.1912.302 firmware, and reportedly as generally working (see pages 13 and onwards).

However, you need to bear in mind that QC of VM's firmware changes is demonstrably very poor, and each firmware release seems to come with new bugs that any competent testing would have identified in the first few minutes.  So, whilst you appear to be on firmware that addresses the known issue, there's nothing to say that 304 will carry over that BT disks fix, and nothing to say it won't introduce exciting new faults.  And nothing to say that you haven't found a new issue that may require a further update.  

In terms of getting 304, it'll be on general roll out.  For a circa 4 million strong fleet of Hub 3's that's a long, staged process over several months.  As you'll see in the thread referenced above there's a capability that support (most likely third line specialists) can "kick" your hub onto a newer firmware, whether they'll do that when the firmware is on general rollout I couldn't say.

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smokie
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Message 7 of 13
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Re: Hub3 and mesh networks

Yep, thanks, I'd read that thread, that was essentially where my firmware questions came from.

Tbh without slotting a router in between the hub and the mesh I can't say for sure it's a Virgin problem. But the ping outcome has given me an idea. I have a number of devices I can do it from but one is a 24x7 Raspberry Pi and I'm going to set that up to ping continually and see how that affects the problem. It may even turn out to be a semi permanent fix for me if it works.

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smokie
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Message 8 of 13
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Re: Hub3 and mesh networks

That's ping once every 30 seconds or so, not looping!! A keep-alive...

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smokie
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Message 9 of 13
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Re: Hub3 and mesh networks

Seem to still have problems.

Does anyone know how I could get a couple of pods for free to provide a proper signal around the house and ditch the mesh? It does seem crazy to be bolting on additional kit at my cost to deliver what VM should be doing within my contract...
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lotharmat
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Message 10 of 13
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Re: Hub3 and mesh networks

VM don't guarantee wifi as there are so many variables. The pods are free on the UO and 1GB packages but apart from that they're £5 per pod per month! For that rental fee, I'd be getting my MESH system.

BT are similar, they'll, for £10 per month supply a MESH system and if that doesn't cover the property - you send it back.



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Hub 3 - Modem Mode - TP-Link Archer C7