on 01-06-2022 11:55
I was previously on the 350Mbps package with Virgin, getting speeds around 300Mbps consistently. Recently upgraded to 1Gig package and now seeing fluctuations in speed from about 70Mbps all the way up to about 600Mbps.
Had two engineers out already, both of them say fluctuations are normal with the 1Gig service. The first stayed until he eventually got 600Mbps recorded on speedtest.net (after trying dozens of times). Second engineer suggested waiting for the Hub 5 as Hub 4 just isn't capable of 1Gig speeds.
Unfortunately I'm paying about 50% more at present for a service which 99% of the time is slower than my 350Mbps package, which just isn't acceptable to me.
I contacted Virgin via chat and asked to downgrade as was still under the 14 day cooling off period but apparently since it wasn't a new contract, I'm not eligible to downgrade to my previous price - if I did, the price would double per month (and outstrip that which I'm now paying for 1Gig).
Is there anything I can do?
01-06-2022 13:25 - edited 01-06-2022 13:26
So, running through some of the tests with the router out of modem mode, SamKnows RealSpeed suggests the speed to my Hub 4 is over 1Gbps -
However, with a PC directly connected via Cat6 ethernet cable, speeds are around 200-250Mbps
Stats from the router page as below -
|Maximum Number of CPEs|
|Max Traffic Rate|
|Max Traffic Burst|
|Min Traffic Rate|
|Max Traffic Rate|
|Max Traffic Burst|
|Min Traffic Rate|
|Max Concatenated Burst|
on 01-06-2022 16:43
on 01-06-2022 23:42
Just to confirm the tests are all done using ethernet directly to the hub - no wifi involved. The only wifi devices on our network is a printer and mobile phones - none of these were connected when I did the test as I had reset the router (to disable modem only mode) in order to get the RealSpeed stats. I'm not expecting 1Gbps over wifi, but I would expect much faster than 200-300 on ethernet.
The laptop in question has recently been reimaged, only has the latest build of Windows 10, no antivirus or anything installed apart from Windows defender. Drivers are intel's latest, ethernet port is gigabit capable, and does get over 700Mbps on my work network, so I know it's definitely able to get more than 200-300Mbps that it gets currently.
Cable is a Cat6 cable, have tried two, both are new (Amazon Basics) cables.
Modem mode gives slightly faster speeds over wifi on my phone (as expected as I use Linksys Velops for mesh network) - 246Mbps. Wired ethernet direct to hub gives 332Mbps which is still well under what I would expect. Changing browsers (firefox, edge) does not make a significant difference ~13Mbps slower with Edge.
Safe mode + networking yields speeds in same range, as does Ubuntu live CD and Tails OS so I'm confident it's not an issue with software interfering.
on 02-06-2022 02:13
What speed do you get using the Ookla Speedtest app (not the Ookla web browser) ?
I'm only on M600, the https://samknows.com/realspeed/ shows full speed to my hub, but only between 280 and 330 to my PC.
Using the Ookla speedtest app on my PC it shows my speed is consistently around 650
on 04-06-2022 13:32
Thanks for posting and welcome to our community 🙂
Sorry to hear you're experiencing some slow speeds, have you tried the speed test that newapollo has suggested?
09-06-2022 01:05 - edited 09-06-2022 01:07
The Hub4 is only wifi5 and so is only capable of delivering ~600Mbps on a singke device connection. You weed wifi6 equipment to get up to the 1GB limit. The Hub5 has that but is not available yet to 1GB customers. Until it is - all you can do is get your own wifi6 router or access point.
Why the ethernet connectivity is not maxing out.....? can you try this for a clue
As you expect >100Mbps then connect a 1GB enabled computer/laptop (check the NIC card settings), with up to date drivers, via a NEW and working Cat5e/6a ethernet cable, directly to the Hub which you have put into “modem mode”
This ensures that NO other devices are connected
Test speeds at https://speedtest.samknows.com/ - try on 2 different browsers.
If they are still low – boot your device into Windows safe+networking mode - to disable any potentially interfering software - and try again.
There are many posts on here (I have a list of ~30!) where QoS software, unknown/flaky software, old network card drivers, corrupted browsers, bad cables or other connected devices are limiting speeds on tests.
Report back what that gets.
Just to chime in on what you’ve said, I don’t know the exact specs of the Hub 4’s internals, but it would seem its wireless components are inferior to those of the Hub 3.
I had my connection upgraded from the 500Mbps service to Gig1 a few weeks ago as a result of the Volt offer for existing O2 customers and was informed by an email after signing up for the offer that I would be sent a new Hub due to my existing one not supporting the speed boost (I presume the technical reason for this is the maximum number of downstream channels that the modem of Hub 3 can acquire being insufficient for the quantity needed to deliver 1Gbps and higher throughput). Anyway, as expected, I received a Hub 4 some days later, but I really wish I’d properly researched this model before proceeding to install and activate it as network performance has been rather poor ever since.
Even though 500Mbps is the marketed downstream speed, I was regularly able to achieve over 530Mbps download speeds, even during typical peak usage times, over WiFi connections alone on the Hub 3. I’ve always been intending to purchase my own high-performance router down the line and configure whatever Virgin combo router-modem I happen to have to be in modem mode, but since installing the Hub 3 back in 2020, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to have experienced no WLAN issues and the wireless throughput delivered by it has been excellent. From memory, the wireless link speed reported by the Hub 3’s ‘Connected Devices’ page of its admin site for most of my wireless devices was consistently 833Mbps and such throughput was demonstrable by running iPerf tests across devices on my network, which would give readings in excess of 700Mbps, so clearly the Hub 3 was very capable, even if there weren’t any broadband speeds on offer that could fully take advantage of this. My only complaint of the Hub 3 particularly (and the same sadly seems to apply to the Hub 4) is the rather poor UI and the fact it lacks several features present on the Super Hub 2ac
Since installing the Hub 4 back in early May, the experience in comparison has been underwhelming to say the least. The highest download speed over WiFi I’ve been able to achieve over a test was 581Mbps from one night a couple of days after installation, but that particular test result was very much an outlier. For the most part, endless downloads speed tests I’ve ran since have peaked at around 450Mbps. If I’ve been very lucky, on occasions around 520Mbps has been possible, but certainly no higher than that. Obviously, I’ve been rather disappointed that a brand new router-modem with a far greater incoming internet speed at its disposal seems to be incapable of even matching the performance of its predecessor in an identical wireless environment, given that the Hub 3 had no problems delivering downstream speeds up to 550Mbps–and no doubt would be capable of providing even more had a faster service been available that could utilise the hardware. While we’re at least not paying any more than what we already were thanks to the free upgrade, it seems to me rather laughable that I could obtain a considerably better service on a lower tier of broadband speed and a previous iteration of Hub than what’s possible now.
Initially, after repeatedly hitting a brick wall of sub-500Mbps in download speeds, I did wonder whether the newly installed Hub 4 had been activated with the incorrect configuration file or there was an issue with the incoming coax connection preventing gigabit speeds from being attained, however I confirmed from rummaging through the Hub 4’s status pages that the max downstream traffic flow rate was indeed correctly specified and no power levels of channels looked out of the ordinary. I subsequently discovered the SamKnows RealSpeed testing website after having only used the Ookla Speedtest app for most of my speed testing previously and was intrigued by its ability to directly test internet connection speeds at a router level for given ISPs rather than including the final hop to the device on the LAN as is otherwise always the case(I’ve never came across this mechanism on any other service). Much to my surprise, RealSpeed reported a downstream speed to the router of about 1150Mbps and has continued to record speeds in excess of 1140Mbps on nearly every occasion I’ve ran such a test. Unsurprisingly, however, the downstream speed to the device never rises much above 400Mbps.
Based on the results I could only have obtained through the RealSpeed service, the chance of there being any fault with my connection up to the stage of the Hub 4’s modem is therefore eliminated, given that according to their tests my Hub is perfectly capable of receiving downloads at well beyond 1 gigabit. My only conclusion can be that there is indeed a shortcoming with the WiFi hardware of the Hub 4. As I say, numerous tests across a few wireless AC devices have rarely yielded higher results for download speed beyond 450Mbps, bearing in mind that those same devices in an identical configuration could achieve at least 100Mbps more when maxing out the provisioned speed of my Hub 3. Whether these figures are particularly accurate is impossible to say, of course, but a curious observation I’ve made is that on that same ‘Connected Devices’ page I mentioned earlier, unlike what I witnessed with the equivalent on the Hub 3, is stating vastly lower link speeds for those same wireless AC devices. It does seem to fluctuate, but the highest figure I’m likely to see among the entries seems to be 526.5Mbps in the cases of my iPhone and iPad, although generally somewhere in the region of 100Mbps less if not more is common. On a few very rare occasions, I’ve observed that speed figure rise as high as 866.6Mbps, however, on such occasions, I’ve immediately ran a speed test on the device in question and encountered no discernible improvement. It would seem to me, however, that the link speeds stated on that page are accurate as I’ve noticed that whenever the speeds for each device are 400Mbps or lower, running a speed test on each at that time results in a proportionally lower result. On several occasions, link speeds have been listed lower than 200Mbps for those same devices, and unsurprisingly speed tests at such times have rendered very poor results. I could be completely wrong about this, but it almost seems to me as though there is some kind of glitch in the mechanism that negotiates what physical data rate a client can communicate at, as though the router is incorrectly deciding that devices are only capable of link speeds far lower than they can achieve in reality, especially given that I recall 866Mbps nearly always being reported for the same devices on Hub 3 and such throughput issues never being a problem. It really does seem to be luck of the draw as far as what link speed a device will be assigned at any given time. In cases where I’ve ran speed tests and the results have been particularly poor, as suspected when I’ve taken a look at what’s reported by the Hub 4’s UI, the data rate has been rather low. Sometimes if I disconnect the devices in question and reconnect a few times in succession, the apparent data rate will increase, but in other instances it becomes even worse than what it was originally and subsequent speed testing affirms as much.
Now, of course I am aware there are numerous limitations when it comes to WiFi data rates, but the point is that if an earlier generation of router also equipped with a WiFi 5 chipset could achieve such high performance, then I expect that of the Hub 4 to at least be able to be on par rather than significantly less. I know you’ve stated that the maximum throughput WiFi 5 can deliver is approximately 600Mbps, but that simply can’t be the case. Excluding some very high-performance 802.11ac routers that can exceed 1Gbps in speed if there are clients that can support that kind of speed, I understand the generally accepted limit to be 866Mbps. I believe the wireless AC chip of my iPad Air is of the 866Mbps variety and I know I’ve managed to obtain over 700Mbps in both directions when I’ve ran tests on networks I’ve known to have symmetrical gigabit internet connections, which sounds about right given that once the overheads are factored in devices will never achieve throughput as high as the nominal data rate in reality, but this proves the limitation doesn’t rest with my tablet for instance. As for my iPhone, it has an AX chip with a theoretical max data rate of 1200Mbps, so, again, in this scenario it can’t be the source of the limitation.
Due to time I’ve had available, I only managed to troubleshoot the Hub 4 more extensively over a hardwired connection for the first time last night to a gigabit Ethernet NIC, and although the first few attempts of a speed test yielded very poor results of below 200Mbps, after a reboot of the Hub, I started getting around 900Mbps consistently, which sounds about right for gigabit Ethernet accounting for connection limitations. I hoped at this point that a firm conclusion could be drawn that the issue is categorically poor performance of the WiFi components of the Hub 4 and nothing more, but now I’m not so sure. Although I’ve not been using it for any of my network setups here, I happened to have an Apple AirPort Extreme lying around, so having just proved that gigabit-grade performance was attainable over Ethernet from the Hub 4, I thought it would be worth connecting it up to the Hub 4 and switching that into modem mode to see what kind of throughput could be achieved with the AirPort taking over as the wireless router. I was anticipating download speeds of around 600Mbps if not more, but, to my surprise, after multiple speed tests across devices, I could only achieve speeds very similar to those delivered by the Hub 4 in the region of 430Mbps at the most. I could completely understand these sort of results if my devices had never achieved speeds higher than this in the previous setup, but that obviously isn’t the case. In fairness, perhaps the AirPort Extreme isn’t the best router to replace the Hub 4 with for testing purposes as, although it is a 802.11ac device, I realise it was released some years ago and it possibly doesn’t feature as capable a chip as more recent WiFi 5 routers, although I’m not actually sure what its maximum achievable data rate is.
Potentially the Hub 4 I have received is just faulty as I noticed immediately upon unboxing that it has signs of use, which I’ve never encountered with previous Virgin routers, so it clearly isn’t a new unit, or perhaps this issue is a design flaw common to all Hub 4s manufactured. In any case, what seems rather bizarre to me is why this combination of hardware has been selected as suitable for specifically gigabit and higher broadband services given that it doesn’t even have a WiFi 6 chip and only has gigabit Ethernet ports, meaning that if you want to connect clients hardwired or even bypass the poor WiFi performance of the Hub and use your own router, there’s no way you can even access actual gigabit speeds, never mind the considerably faster 1150Mbps that is in reality delivered to the modem, due to the real-world limitation of gigabit ports.
I really wish I’d been aware of the Hub 5 sooner. Disappointingly I completely missed an email Virgin sent to me back in March until very recently after already being upgraded to Gig1 that invited me to claim a Hub 5 for free (this was while I was still on the 500Mbps tier). I did try clicking the link in the email, but for whatever reason apparently the invitation was only open for a month, so I just received a message that the offer had expired. While I’m well aware that the wireless performance may well be fairly poor as is the norm to expect from ISP-supplied gear, what particularly drew me to the Hub 5 after reading further into it is that it is Virgin’s first router to feature a 2.5Gbps port, therefore it is actually feasible to connect an external router without having to sacrifice any of the available bandwidth.I don’t know if there is a specific order in which customers are being invited to receive a Hub 5 or it’s completely random. Anyway, given the wireless issues I’ve been having, last night I rang up customer support in the hope of being able to still acquire a Hub 5 and I spoke to someone in their technical department. I spoke to them at length about the issues and, to my surprise, they pretty much immediately admitted that there’s widespread issues with both the Hub 4 and Hub 5 being reported to them and that my exact scenario regarding WiFi speeds is a very common occurrence. In fact, they went so far as to say that, for the time being, it’s pretty much a waste of time and money being on the Gig 1 service due to the hardware supplied not being up to task and that they’ve been actively advising customers to switch back to 500Mbps due to it being the highest tier that can be supported by the Hub 3. In their opinion, the Hub 5 is even worse than the Hub 4 and that there’s a whole trove of software issues plaguing it, hence why it is still technically in its trial phase. They suggested the only option for most people they have dealt with is to send out whatever ‘WiFi pods’ Virgin supply these days to alleviate the wireless performance issues of the Hub 4, but I can’t see how they are going to solve anything, besides perhaps range issues, as if you’re starting out with subpar WiFi, then anything downstream of the router isn’t going to be somehow magically better than what you started with. They strongly advised me against opting for a Hub 5, but said if I really wanted one then the only means of doing so would be to register a fault condition and send an engineer out, who apparently keep stock of the newest Hubs on their vans. I’d much rather just have them send out a QuickStsrt box as has been the case for all of the kit I’ve been upgraded to for years, but if that is the only way of ditching my Hub 4, then so be it. I’ll see what happens when they turn up in a couple of days. If there’s no improvement, I may well do as the customer service agent suggested and switch back to 500Mbps so that I could at least have the stability of the Hub 3 while actually being able to get the full rated speed out of it, rather than a Hub 4/5 with 1.1Gbps speeds that can’t actually be accessed.
Out of curiosity, do you have any idea what internet throughput the Hub 3 is theoretically capable of? I did ask on the phone if there was any way I could just temporarily have my Hub 3 reactivated in place of my Hub 4, as I’d rather have a significantly better standard of WiFi connection even if the full internet service couldn’t be realised due to the Hub 3 not being able to bond 32 cable channels like the Hub 4 does, but they claimed it wasn’t even a possibility as the Hub 3 was no longer recorded on their system.
on 09-06-2022 09:39
Welcome back to the community and thanks for taking the time to describe your issues in such great detail and I apologise for the services that you have been given since you upgraded to our Gig1 service.
What the team have advised is correct that your hub 3 has been removed from the system and we wouldn't be able to reactivate it even temporarily.
15-06-2022 10:55 - edited 15-06-2022 11:08
Apologies, thought I addressed this in my initial post - yes, I've tried speedtest.net, the app, SamKnows...they're all the same. I'm using these mainly to prove to the engineers an issue exists... getting a faster reading on one specific speed test does not help me with my internet speed being slow.
on 17-06-2022 12:43
Thank you for that information EdwardTsang95.
I have taken a look on our side and it looks as though you have been in communication with the team.
Have you been able to get further assistance with this?