Been a Virgin customer/user for many years and since old docsis 2.0 days of 20/2mbps I've found the only modem to be absolutely reliable was the long gone VMNG300 (may it rest in peice)
Since then closest to reliable has been the Super Hub 2 made better with ac1300 wireless upgrade, now I've used the hub 3.0 on many occasions and although I and many others obviously like the modem for its capability of bonding many downstream and upstream channels it has been a major flop thanks to Intel's Puma 6 chip.
I've had this modem given to me many times but always managed to hold on to a Hub 2ac and later get it reconnected for better stability when gaming or doing packet & latency sensitive stuff.
I'm now however stuck in a stick situation, my area has been left without upgrades for many years, despite my warnings to the area manager and ceo team many times over the past 4 years. (mainly upstream channel upgrades which are now plagued with problems)
I'm now wondering if having the hub 3.0 reconnected would benefit me enough over the disadvantages of its plagued chip.
There was many announcements made by Virgin and other cable co's across the world that fixes for the Puma 6 faults where coming but that was long ago and nothing has really been heard since.
What's you experiences, has it improved or even been fixed.
My current situation is this, upstream is plagued with congestion issues, and when I spoke with local networks team was told the lack of upgrades to upstream channels (such as QAM 64 and more than two channels bonded) was due to the current head-end equipment lacking full support.
Based on the activity and reactions on the network this last week or so I can confirm I think they are right, they seem to have tried an upgrade from 16QAM channels but now ended up with wonky set of channels 1 operating at 64QAM and another operating at 32QAM with those connections having timeout issues and dropping completely leading to fall back onto 2 16QAM channels with different ID's which is only making upstream congestion worse.
Downstream is also now starting to deteriorate and with only the capability of locking 8 channels and today upgrading from 50/3 to 200/12 so I could do uploading at more than 0.9mbps without all inbound connections dropping.
(300/20 has been pulled from area since utilisation fault confirmed)
I'm probably going to downgrade to 100/6 in the next week or so but currently doing a cloud switch
Also has anyone found the Hub 3.0 to be better or worse in modem mode??
The SH2AC and older support 4 upstreams and 4 is the max amount that VM are upgrading upstreams to atm.
The "fix" that is still being tested by some simply routes all ICMP traffic through the dedicated processor chip, rather than the base CPU. In a way all it does is hide the problem on thinkbb graphs, nothin more, nothing less. TCP and UDP are still getting choked to death in the base CPU that goes into panic attacking mode every 2 seconds (hence the non-stop spikey latency.)
The hub 3.0 is only marginally better in modem mode, I personally seen only a tiny improvement. But that's to be expected because the problem is present in and out of modem mode.
Sure you'll get more downstreams, but over all the connection will perform worse in a myriad of different ways.
Thanks for that insight, I'm not personally the holder of any Virgin account at this address anymore, I shook them off earlier this year but mum only had them as a viable choice to go to as DSL here is around 2-3mbps if lucky...
However at the moment, due to the nature of the network failures I'm considering a backup DSL line,
though noticing a fair few providers now not offering DSL in my area either due to them removing there LLU kit from exchange (lack of customers and openreach investment aka. fibre) or 'presumably' due to the lack of potential speed in my line and it affecting their average customer speeds which they're soon being forced to advertise.
Will probably keep on with Hub 2 then and maybe look at mobile alternatives too, I've just taken a new agreement with Vodafone which has 32gb, extra £5 and I can have 60gb.
As I see it it depends on what you are using the hub for. I have been using the Hub 3 since it was made available for testing. I have never had a hub related issue since, or before for that matter.
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My interest is really in the modem, this will be used for pretty much everything...
Streaming upto 4K probably heaviest use but... also daily use of...
VoIP (Video + Voice)
Cloud back ups (though to be honest virgin is the let down where this is concerned)
I'm a heavyish user, I might start working from home so VPN and Real time remote file access will probably make an appearance, plus document collaboration, VoIP phone system, also have three mobiles in the house requiring WiFi calling due to poor coverage.
So quiet simply, I need minimal to no packet loss, stable latency...
However in the last week this topic for me has kinda gone out the window as Virgin has half **bleep** a fix for upstream congestion (light congestion) and now the channels drop daily and end up having to reconnect with more congested channels.
Review date is March, I'm sure before we know it we'll be looking at final fix being 2019....
So think I'll just focus on commuting to an area where investment has been made.
"So quiet simply, I need minimal to no packet loss, stable latency..."
Then your only hope is that VM roll out DOCSIS 3.1 in your area soon, with a Hub 4, and that is probably not going to be widely available until (guessing) Q4 2018. Even then we're assuming they specify a decent Hub 4, which seems unlikely - its all been downhill since Virginmedia started having their own branded devices, rather than proper OEM stuff like the old Motorola Surfboards.
Adding probable insult to probable injury, to get a Hub 4 you'll probably have to pay for a new contract at greater than >350Mbps, because I'll wager that there's a HUGE warehouse somewhere stuffed with the useless Hub 3, and VM will keep dishing these faulty devices out for at least another eighteen months until they've got rid of them.
That's as maybe, but I stand by my view that when a product has its real maker's name on it, it tends to be better than an "own brand" product. The companies demanding these own brand hubs try and get the manufacturer to make it as cheaply as possible, and that leads to compromises. Even putting the device in its own dedicated design of VM branded case costs money - that won't have been an extra investment by VM, it'll have been funded by cutting a corner elsewhere.
I know there's branded versions of Puma 6 cable modems, but even so, if VM hadn't been so determined to get such a cheapo product, they might have bought a Broadcom based modem. And the miserable, ineffectual quality of the Hub 3 wifi - that's purely down to cheapness.