Those nice (!) people at Virgin Media recently supplied me with a shiny new cable modem / wireless router.. On the face of it this would be a good thing. However, they have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of customer satisfaction victory. Let me elucidate …
- Shape. Its an odd shape, not flat so it can’t be wall mounted. The old device was designed to be mounted anywhere you wanted
- Cables. They connect in the back of the device, rather then under it as per the old one. This effectively stops you pushing the thing up against a wall, shelf etc
- Weight. Since it weighs next to nothing, its just about impossible to stand up as the coax drags it this way and that
- Blue LED’s. Yes, its another device with a bright blue light show that just annoys and tells you nothing useful
- Signal. What signal ? The range is truly awful, Reception barely reaches over two rooms. The signal from next door is stronger!
- Antenna. There aren’t any you can get to so no replacing them with something useful.
- Wireless band. You cannot run both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz at the same time. Useful. Not.
- Firewall. Would you believe settings of Low, Medium and High. Any idea what these do ? Don’t worry as nobody else does either
- Firmware. Obviously dumbed down for the oooh!, shiny big button iEverything generation. Even with the advanced (sic) settings, so much seems to be missing?
- DHCP. You can set the address range / mask and err … nothing. There is a bit more to DHCP you know? Try using Google, you may be surprised
- Address. The DHCP address is limited to 192.168..xxx.yyy. Want anything else ? Tough.
- Passsord. Can only use letters and numbers. Why ? Is it really that hard? ASCII has been around for while. It’s sort of standard you know?
These are just a selection of issues seen without actually using it to connect to anything yet. For more tales of woe, have a look here.
So there you have it, a classic example of form over function. It’s not an ornament but an item of technical equipment. I doubt if any of the creative types over at Virgin have the capacity to realise this from the evidence presented so far.
I am starting to think that Virgin Media’s only real role is to make BT look good.