Replacing Vigin Hub 3.0 - Devolo users

burnssimon

Active Member
Hi there,

I currently have Virgin Media as my ISP and have Devolo Magic 2 set up.

The Virgin Hub is a pain, constantly needs restarting and having done some googling suspect this isn't just me who has these issues. The general advice is put it into Modem only mode and buy a separate wireless router which I'm likely to do.

Any recommendations for one which plays nice with the Devolo Mesh / Wifi would be greatly received, budget c. £200.
 

GaryGorilla

Standard Member
Hi there,

I currently have Virgin Media as my ISP and have Devolo Magic 2 set up.

The Virgin Hub is a pain, constantly needs restarting and having done some googling suspect this isn't just me who has these issues. The general advice is put it into Modem only mode and buy a separate wireless router which I'm likely to do.

Any recommendations for one which plays nice with the Devolo Mesh / Wifi would be greatly received, budget c. £200.
What did you do in the end? I have devolo magic 2 wifi next and I'm not convinced the 'mesh element works well with the virgin hub 4
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
A lot of people who advocate "putting it into modem mode" don't really know what they are talking about and don't understand the consequences of so doing. Just be weary about whether they are recycling Internet memes.

If you VM hub is needing restarting, then I think the first thing you should do is contact your ISP and get it replaced. Aren't VM one of the ISP's that supply the equipment on a "service" basis (ie you don't own it) - if so it's up to them to replace faulty gear not you.

But first off, I'd want to do a bit more forensic analysis - when you say it needs restarting, how are you determining that is what's required...? What are the symptoms...?
 

burnssimon

Active Member
Well the advice to regularly restart comes from Virgin direct! What tends to happen is the internet starts dropping out, you'll lose connection for a minute or two, then it'll reconnect - happens on both wireless and wired devices, regardless where in house you are. In my experience, restarting the Hub "fixes" this every time and i won't have a reoccurrence for a week or two.

Again, and this is only my experience, the hub is terrible at traffic management when used as a router and the Wifi is very patchy. I've had two routers sat in front of it and when the hub was in modem only mode there was a marked improvement, signal strength and coverage on WiFi particularly so.

What compounds the issue I suspect, is Virgin's support is truly, truly awful. Good luck getting through to anyone if you have a problem.

I have the 350Mbps package and went with them as at the time my current provider (Sky Fibre who I'd been with for years) couldn't offer anything close to that speed.

Currently the hub is in modem only mode and I bought the Netgear Orbi RBR350 with a couple of satellites - most of the time it's fine, but the amount of time it's not is blooming frustrating!
 

chukwe

Well-known Member
A lot of people who advocate "putting it into modem mode" don't really know what they are talking about and don't understand the consequences of so doing. Just be weary about whether they are recycling Internet memes.

@mickevh What are the consequences of putting SH in modem mode? I was planning on putting my SH3 in modem mode anytime a purchase the UDM Pro
 

Will I Aint

Active Member
I'm another advocate of putting the SH3 into modem mode. Apart from the god awful UI, wifi coverage was unstable and devices would regularly drop connections. I opted for a pair of Asus RT-AC86U in mesh with a wired backbone and it's been rock solid ever since.

I had tried a wired AP downstairs but again there seemed to be stability issues with the SH3. The other advantage I found with a mesh solution was to be able to specify which devices connect to which mesh node rather than swapping between mesh nodes on the same SSID. I've got a sonoff watering control in the garden which is on the edge of the range and this keeps the wifi connection stable.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
@mickevh What are the consequences of putting SH in modem mode? I was planning on putting my SH3 in modem mode anytime a purchase the UDM Pro

Everything except the modem stops working, including the Wi-Fi AP and all but one of the ethernet ports. Of course, you then need to deploy a router somewhere else and additional ethernet switches and AP's depending on which you are using.

A mistake often made is that people think you need to use modem mode just to disable the Wi-Fi AP - generally they are trying to "fix" a Wi-Fi problem. If you don't want to use the SH built in AP but everything else is working well enough, you can just disable the SH Wi-Fi but leave everything else doing it's thing - router/NAT/firewall/ethernet ports/ISP link, etc. It's rarely more than a couple of clicks to turn off the Wi-Fi radios. Thence you don't need another router, you can keep using the SH LAN ports and you only need replacement/additional AP's to address Wi-Fi issues.

If you want to use an alternate routing device, then modem mode is appropriate. Or bin it off altogether and buy an after market stand alone modem or something else with a modem built in (that can talk to VM.)
 
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Will I Aint

Active Member
If you want to use an alternate routing device, then modem mode is appropriate. Or bin it off altogether and buy an after market stand alone modem or something else with a modem built in (that can talk to VM.)
I didn't think VM allowed you to use anything but their own hardware as the modem. I'd be happy if they would.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I don't know - it'd be worth checking; for example, it might even be a breach of the T&C's.
There are very if any suitable modems available in this country. Often is a case of looking at Amazon Germany for something suitable and at usually around 150 or so no one has risked it yet. You also need to clone your existing MAC address which some models don’t allow either.

Modem mode is a lot less hassle assuming you have a router to replace. Also you can have more than one port connected in modem only mode now :)
 

burnssimon

Active Member
I didn't think VM allowed you to use anything but their own hardware as the modem. I'd be happy if they would.
My understanding is VM uses the MAC address of their hub as part of the authentication process, haven't found any reports of any one successfully removing the hub completely from the chain.
 

JulianDS

Active Member
Like @Will I Aint I also use modem mode and an Asus RT-AC86U.
much better, especially managing multiple clients, wi if also more stable

i have a small rack and patch panel, switch etc, so one more box no big deal
 

DavidT

Well-known Member
A lot of people who advocate "putting it into modem mode" don't really know what they are talking about and don't understand the consequences of so doing. Just be weary about whether they are recycling Internet memes.
Bit of a sweeping statement.

The VM SH3 is generally regarded as a poor router compared to an aftermarket router from the likes of Asus.

I have mine in modem mode and it is rock solid and hasn't been rebooted for months and only then when I moved it.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Bit of a sweeping statement.

The VM SH3 is generally regarded as a poor router compared to an aftermarket router from the likes of Asus.

I have mine in modem mode and it is rock solid and hasn't been rebooted for months and only then when I moved it.

You rather make the case for me: What is "poor" about the SH and by what objective metric is it being measured in what test facility...? Are you measuring like for like or comparing apples and oranges? A vauxhall krappee might be fine car, but it isn't a Ferrari; but if the Vx is working well enough to do what it was designed to do, one can't infer that is is somehow inferior because isn't a sports car. For every one person bemoaning their SH, I'll bet there's 100,000 using them without a problem.

A lot of Internet Myths, once they take off, are really hard to combat. To paraphrase an old joke - a myth gets half way round the world before the truth has got it's boots on. Look at all the flat earthers, tinfoil hattery, clueless "greens" and anti-vax nonsense.

However, the main point I was making is "don't think you need modem mode to fix a Wi-Fi problem." If your SH is routing/NAT/firewall/switching OK and it's just Wi-Fi that's inadequate, there's no reason to not keep using your SH. Fix what's broken, no need to chuck baby out with the bathwater.

For any equipment, if it's not working properly then the first port of call is the supplier to get it "fixed." If your new car won't start, do you immediately conclude "throw it away and buy a Mercedes" ('cos Dave down the pub said that's what you should do.) Or do you take it back to the dealer and require them to remedy it to perform as described (or get your money back.)
 

Will I Aint

Active Member
I think the case specifically with the SH2/3 and possibly 4 is the ongoing puma bug where the CPU is simply not powerful enough to manage everything to the point where it can open security flaws with sustained attack. Switching the device into modem mode reduces the overhead on the system which then reduce the chance of those exploits. That's why i believe it's better in modem mode and I let my own hardware do the heavy lifting.

Firmware changes address the issue to some degree but as this is a physical hardware issue they are robbing peter to pay paul and other functionality on the device suffers as a result. The device was simply not powerful enough to cope with all that it claims to be able to do. At least with the latest firmware they now hide your password when logging on which was always a bugbear of mine.
 

chukwe

Well-known Member
I think the case specifically with the SH2/3 and possibly 4 is the ongoing puma bug where the CPU is simply not powerful enough to manage everything to the point where it can open security flaws with sustained attack. Switching the device into modem mode reduces the overhead on the system which then reduce the chance of those exploits. That's why i believe it's better in modem mode and I let my own hardware do the heavy lifting.

Firmware changes address the issue to some degree but as this is a physical hardware issue they are robbing peter to pay paul and other functionality on the device suffers as a result. The device was simply not powerful enough to cope with all that it claims to be able to do. At least with the latest firmware they now hide your password when logging on which was always a bugbear of mine.

What can a modem do that the SH3 can't do? I have had my SH3 for many many years and never had a single issue with mine. We connect up to 50+ devices to it simultaneously with any problem so far.

Since I moved to a bigger house 9 months ago, the SH3 WiFi can't reach 2 bedrooms upstairs because it's in the front lounge of the house. I'm currently using homeplugs but looking for a permanent solution if modem mode and a modem will help.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
If you put the SH2,SH3 or SH4 into modem only mode, it basically has one job to do which is convert the signals coming down the coax cable into your house back into normal ethernet signals. You then have a replacement router connected to one port on the SH with all other ports disconnected (usually).

However as @mickevh states this is not necessarily a fix for a WiFi issue. You could simply get another Wireless access point or mesh system and plug it into the router and disable WiFi.

The thing to watch with this solution is that to benefit from the "fast" speeds that you get from VM you need whatever equipment you add in to be capable of supporting the speeds in question. Otherwise you potentially end up with a bottleneck and paying for something you can't use. Powerlines are a good example of that.
 

TheHighFlyingBirds

Distinguished Member
Like @Will I Aint I also use modem mode and an Asus RT-AC86U.
much better, especially managing multiple clients, wi if also more stable

i have a small rack and patch panel, switch etc, so one more box no big deal
Same setup as me; currently running Merlin on my asus.

The SH3 is crap, I'm on my second as first kept dropping internet for a minute or so regularly, so got it replaced. My replacement after a week defaulted to a red light which means overheating, however it doesn't seem to be and still works as a modem.

As a router, manual IP assignment didnt always work,scheduling didn't work properly, and struggled with numerous devices connected. Also the puma bug and latency spikes.
 

Will I Aint

Active Member
What can a modem do that the SH3 can't do? I have had my SH3 for many many years and never had a single issue with mine. We connect up to 50+ devices to it simultaneously with any problem so far.

Since I moved to a bigger house 9 months ago, the SH3 WiFi can't reach 2 bedrooms upstairs because it's in the front lounge of the house. I'm currently using homeplugs but looking for a permanent solution if modem mode and a modem will help.
You cannot currently use anything other than a superhub as your modem for Virgin media and i was only stating that there are reasons why it is often better to use your own devices for managing the network rather than the hub.

There are going to be a lot of factors that might impact your wifi performance, some you can change and some you cant. It will also depend on how confident you are at some cabling. I have quite a few steels in the ceilings which affect the wifi performance.

First thing i would say is get a free wifi analyser app on your phone, this will tell you whether or not you have other traffic on the same channels your wifi is set to.

Virgin also have an app you can use to check the coverage in those 2 bedrooms.

Depending on your layout you might want to thing about where the hub and any access points might be. For example, i'm my old house I ran an access point in the loft as that had better coverage to the top floors.

Do you have any options to run some Cat5/6 cables upstairs from your hub, as you could have a wired access point with just a short hop on the wifi? If you aim for a repeater then you would lose half the signal on the back channel.
 

chukwe

Well-known Member
Do you have any options to run some Cat5/6 cables upstairs from your hub, as you could have a wired access point with just a short hop on the wifi? If you aim for a repeater then you would lose half the signal on the back channel.

I do want to run cables around my house but I need to find someone or tradesman that can do that. Also, I don't know whether it requires breaking walls etc which I don't want to do at this time.

If they are any installers on this forum that cover SE London, I'll be interested in their service.

I'll check the phone app. Thanks
 

Will I Aint

Active Member
It's not a difficult DIY job if you are up to it, you just need to buy the CAT cable and terminations. It can feel daunting if you have no idea about it but the rule is, solid core cable for inside the walls and stranded core for creating patch cables.

depending on the cables you buy there is a way to wire them in. If for example you wanted to create ethernet outlet in the wall you would buy the relevant wall socket and then you push down the 8 cables into the back, much like you would a phone line extension.

Making the patch cables is fairly straight forward but can be hit and miss. you have to strip the cables and get them into the terminal. I have found that the 3 piece RJ45 connectors work 100% of the time. you also need a cable tester (£13 from screwfix) that will check each wire to ensure they are wired in the right order and connected but if you spend a couple of hours practicing then it's a breeze from then on.

I enjoyed learning a new skill but if it's a one off then you might be better off getting someone in. Sparks don't normally deal with networking so make sure whoever you get knows what they are doing.
 

chukwe

Well-known Member
It's not a difficult DIY job if you are up to it, you just need to buy the CAT cable and terminations. It can feel daunting if you have no idea about it but the rule is, solid core cable for inside the walls and stranded core for creating patch cables.

depending on the cables you buy there is a way to wire them in. If for example you wanted to create ethernet outlet in the wall you would buy the relevant wall socket and then you push down the 8 cables into the back, much like you would a phone line extension.

Making the patch cables is fairly straight forward but can be hit and miss. you have to strip the cables and get them into the terminal. I have found that the 3 piece RJ45 connectors work 100% of the time. you also need a cable tester (£13 from screwfix) that will check each wire to ensure they are wired in the right order and connected but if you spend a couple of hours practicing then it's a breeze from then on.

I enjoyed learning a new skill but if it's a one off then you might be better off getting someone in. Sparks don't normally deal with networking so make sure whoever you get knows what they are doing.

Thanks mate. I'll try and watch some YouTube videos and have a go at it
 

oneman

Well-known Member
The reason I switched mine to modem mode is that it's so locked down you can do any sort of advanced tuning.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
I personally would just buy pre made patch leads as they are cheap enough and you don’t need the crimp tools. Just do the in wall Socket IDC connections as they are easier to do that patch cables IMO.
 

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