Simple WIFI extension for Virgin Media Hub 3.

DJT75

Distinguished Member
Hi

I've looked in the relevant forum but they're all talking a different language to one I understand, and I can't seem to locate search features on this new website, so I'm trusting my fellow GC pals to help, in non-Techie talk.

I have very limited technical knowledge on these things. I have a Virgin Media Hub 3, I need to extend the wifi to the front of my house as neither my daughter's bedroom or my new Ring doorbell have a very good connection.

A couple of years ago I bought some dish looking thing that you put on the ceiling that someone on here was recommending - I sent it back as it was way to complicated to configure (for me). Then I bought a pair of Orbi things from Costco, but after reading up on them a little, I was worried it would through my Sky Q out, so I returned them too.

I'd like something straight out of the box, easy set up (and by that I mean guided set up in an app or something), that actually works.

And if I get one, does it mean I have to reroute everything (18+ devices + SkyQ) to this, or can most of it stay the existing Hub 2 wifi (which works perfectly fine elsewhere).

thanks
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
Thanks. Had one of them too (the 850 model, bottom right). Bought that years ago to try to each her bedroom, still got it, it's never worked
 

stuart07970

Well-known Member
You're not gonna like me, but here's my suggestion.
Turn off the wifi on the Virgin Media Hub (and just use the VM Hub as a modem).
Next be the master of your own destiny by installing your own wifi, and thus making any change of
service provider in future a lot easier.
Too many choices???
Without knowing your budget its difficult to recommend, but I'm sure you're referring to Ubiquiti, but if you can get help to set it up I promise its worth it. (We've had it at work for about four years and its been absolutely faultless).
At the other end of the scale, if you use any iOS devices, you could put in a couple of Airport Extreme's - CEX have them for only £30! These in my experience are also rock solid - but they are not a MESH system but that may not matter to you depending on use.
Just make sure to turn off DHCP on the wifi, if its already 'ON' on the VM Hub.


You could keep the VM Hub wifi and put in home plugs - some have wifi on one end.

Good luck!
 

stuart07970

Well-known Member
I'm sure someone will chip in who knows more than me and may suggest one of the many MESH systems.
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
Thanks

I'm unlikely to change provider unless someone can compete with Virgin. I work from home with constant Skype video calls and loads of applications that need the speed (probably). + Sky Q in 4 rooms (3 at a time max) means the 200mbs Virgin broadband is a must really.

No problem turning off the Virgin Wifi if the alternative is as easy to use and reboot etc. Budget would be something like £200 max if it works like a dream.

I think it was an Ubiquiti, yes. Horrible software though eh. I wouldn't even know where to start if Wifi went down or SkyQ crashed.

Homeplugs I fear wouldn't work as it's an old house with dreadful wiring (in the original part, which is the part I need the coverage for).

We do use iOS devices (didn't know this would make a difference). I'll have a read up on Airport Extremes now

thanks!
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
Just to clarify, we use iPhones, iPads and Apple watches. We don't use Macs, or Apple TV and any other iOS devices. PC's only in this house.
 

Munzz

Active Member
For ease, your best bet is Google WiFi or even Bt Whole home WiFi. You'll need some technical knowledge but there will be resources online to support with install.
 

stuart07970

Well-known Member
There's some Apple Airport's in the classified's
(the cheap ones are 802.11n dual band, the newer one is 802.11ac)

You don't need to use macs - there's a super easy iOS app that joins them together.


classified ad
 

stuart07970

Well-known Member
just for clarity the Apple devices are discontinued, but will be supported for years.
Eg. Airport Express discontinued years ago, got an Airplay2 update out of the blue earlier this year!

Also my IT guy mentioned that the new Ubiquiti software is now easier to use.
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
So do the Airports work alongside the Virgin hub? Extending? Or do they replace the wifi feature?
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
There's some Apple Airport's in the classified's
(the cheap ones are 802.11n dual band, the newer one is 802.11ac)

You don't need to use macs - there's a super easy iOS app that joins them together.


classified ad
So these work with anything, not just Apple iOS devices? ie.: my SkyQ, my PCs, Hue lighting, Ring doorbell, heating, everything?
 

stuart07970

Well-known Member
Yes - it’s just their wireless router, all WiFi devices can connect
Using mine with Hue, Nest, Kasa (but the rest are iOS or macs in my house)
 

dib

Active Member
I use Tenda MW6, three cubes, a mesh system. It was a doddle to install. If you need help I'm sure I can give you pointers.
The plus point is that it is independent of your broadband supplier, if you move on.
Dave
 

neilball

Well-known Member
Another option is to look for someone who can set up and configure your Unifi access points to work with a Unifi Cloud Key, and provide remote support if you need it. Remote management of the Unifi kit is great, and there tools to manage/configure are some of the best. But as tou’ve found, they are designed for industry professionals or techy DIYers, and are definitely not plug and play!

For example, I supply and fit Unifi for my customers, and have, on occasion, set up a simple package of 2-3 Unifi APs (either with a suitable POE switch or individual POE injectors) with a Clod Key (micro computer running the Unifi controller software), fully tested it and made it accessible via a Unifi cloud account, then shipped it to the customer to fit. Once installed I was able to reconfigure (if/when necessary) and see how they were performing via the cloud management connection. This was simply because their installations were too far away to make it economic to travel to site and set it all up locally. However, for more than one AP and a Cloud Key plus shipping it would be more than £200.

Otherwise, as others have stated, take a look at the online/YouTube tutorials for some of the “mesh” wifi systems that are out there and see if you think you could cope. If even these confuse you then you really do need to consider either finding a tech friend to help or calling in a specialist to set up a system for you. If you have to go down the latter route then don’t buy anything first, most specialists will only want to set up/support network/wifi kit they supply themselves to keep any issues surrounding warranty clear and straightforward.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
@Bl4ckGryph0n what MESH solution did you go for?
I went for the Tenda MW3. I got 5 access points to build the mesh for £126 :) The Tenda MW3 is absolutely sufficient for when you have standard broadband up to 76Mbps. It easily supports several Netflix and Youtube UHD streams, together with a bit of HomePod music streaming and me doing work aka browsing avforums.

If you have one of the superfast fibre to the home broadband connections then the Tenda MW6 series may be worth it, but otherwise, it is just a waste of money and not necessary.

Hope that helps.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Thanks @Bl4ckGryph0n. We went for a Linksys one that was much more expensive :( and not that simple to set up.
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
The easiest thing I can think of is a Wi-Fi range extender, such as these from TP-Link:


However, I've never used one myself.
That's all you need - use the same here and also homeplugs - what's the problem setting your extender up?
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
No worries @IronGiant it was a hard choice as normally I would go for something like Linksys or Ubiquity and the other big names. I was even considering BT. But I took a chance, used Amazon for easy returns and it has proven to be super stable. Had it without issues since earlier this year. No need to restart, integrates nicely with the existing router/switch, also with my second 24 port switch, airprint printers etc all works without any hassle. An absolute bargain.
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
That's all you need - use the same here and also homeplugs - what's the problem setting your extender up?
The general problem with extender is that they need a very good signal in order to do their job. And ofcourse most people buy them because the signal is not good. So they actually need to be much nearer to the original router than one thinks. And then they still communicate hub/spoke. The benefits are marginal in my experience.

If the wiring is good then a homeplug with wifi access point can work really well. But I wouldn't get anything below the 1200 models for a decent two way connection. Considering that a good quality mesh system can be had for 5 nodes for less the same a 2 plug (1 wifi) Devolo 1200 starter kit I'd know what I would choose :)
 
Last edited:

IronGiant

Moderator
No worries @IronGiant it was a hard choice as normally I would go for something like Linksys or Ubiquity and the other big names. I was even considering BT. But I took a chance, used Amazon for easy returns and it has proven to be super stable. Had it without issues since earlier this year. No need to restart, integrates nicely with the existing router/switch, also with my second 24 port switch, airprint printers etc all works without any hassle. An absolute bargain.
I installed the Linksys about the same time, I wish I'd gone for the system you got. Adding nodes was a right pain after the first few, and they randomly drop out for no apparent reason. When up and running it's awesome.
 

Dony

Distinguished Member
I'll be going for the Tenda as well. I remember when @Bl4ckGryph0n first bought them and thinking I'll hold off until he has time to evaluate.
Still sounds good, and simple for someone like me to setup. I'll probably go for the 4 pack. Got a little project to take care of first!
 

shotokan101

Distinguished Member
The general problem with extender is that they need a very good signal in order to do their job. And then they still communicate hub/spoke. The benefits are marginal in my experience.

If the wiring is good then a homeplug with wifi access point can work really well. But I wouldn't get anything below the 1200 models for a decent two way connection. Considering that a good quality mesh system can be had for 5 nodes for less the same a 2 plug (1 wifi) to Devolo 1200 starter kit I'd know what I would choose :)

Beg to (possibly) differ ;)

Whilst true (obviously) that the simple extender solution requires the extender to be able to detect the source WiFi ssid it can still work pretty well if the extender is positioned properly and that is quite easy using a free WiFi detector app on your phone

As I said am currently using this setup here in an old thick walled house without problem and of course you can could use multiple extenders if required to boost signal further - also absolutely no need for anything like 1200 homeplugs to provide much faster transfer speeds than wifi
 

Bl4ckGryph0n

Distinguished Member
Beg to (possibly) differ ;)

Whilst true (obviously) that the simple extender solution requires the extender to be able to detect the source WiFi ssid it can still work pretty well if the extender is positioned properly and that is quite easy using a free WiFi detector app on your phone

As I said am currently using this setup here in an old thick walled house without problem and of course you can could use multiple extenders if required to boost signal further - also absolutely no need for anything like 1200 homeplugs to provide much faster transfer speeds than wifi
In that case we differ. Putting extenders on extenders is simply no match for the kind of coverage and bandwidth you create with a mesh solution.

And yes you do need those speeds for a home plug if you want reliable consistent throughout. I’ve got them all from the original to 200, 500 and 1200. Never had faster than 43Mbps broadband and it is measurable and noticeable when testing the speed and throughout.

My three 1200 plugs with WiFi worked well with the base plug. However the throughout of the mesh system is noticeable. And at half the cost.
 

Si01327

Active Member
+1 for an Ubiquiti Unifi system. The software has massively improved recently and the whole setup (sufficient for all but the most techy of users) can be done from an app on your phone now once it's plugged in. You would need to be able to get a network cable from the current location of your router to wherever you want the device located but other than that it's very straightforward.

I installed one a month ago at my local gym for the owner. Longest part was routing a cable from the back office out into the main gym area onto a joist and mounting the unit. After that it took about 5 minutes from powering it on to fully set up (the app walks you through it) and then I just logged into the existing router and turned off the Wi-Fi on that to stop interference. Full strength on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands in all areas of the gym now (previously the signal strength dropped off noticably when you were halfway down the gym floor and disappeared altogether right at the far end!).
 

cosmicma

Active Member
i have a virgin hub 3 and had similar problems with it's WIFI range
to keep things simple i just added a BT WIFI extender upstairs where the signal was weakest
one of these

very simple to set up and has been pretty reliable
 

ruffage

Distinguished Member
+1 for Ubiquiti. I have one AP Pro in the middle of the landing of a 4 bed 1930s house and everywhere gets a decent signal.
 

Similar threads

Trending threads

Latest news

Master & Dynamic introduces MW07 Go and MW07 Plus wireless earphones
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
New Nvidia Shield devices 25 percent faster and add Dolby Vision
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Netflix gets subscriber boost ahead of rival's challenge
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Samsung Galaxy S10 bug unlocks phone for anyone
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Apple TV app now available on Roku devices
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Latest threads

Top Bottom