Virgin Media Super Hub – How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

The Setup

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 …

The Performance

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Weight.  Since it weighs next to nothing, its just about impossible to stand up as the coax drags it this way and that
  4. Blue LED’s.  Yes, its another device with a bright blue light show that just annoys and tells you nothing useful
  5. Signal. What signal ? The range is truly awful,  Reception barely reaches over two rooms.  The signal from next door is stronger!
  6. Antenna. There aren’t any you can get to so no replacing them with something useful.
  7. Wireless band. You cannot run both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz at the same time. Useful. Not.
  8. Firewall. Would you believe settings of Low, Medium and High. Any idea what these do ? Don’t worry as nobody else does either
  9. Firmware. Obviously dumbed down for the oooh!, shiny big button iEverything generation. Even with the advanced (sic) settings, so much seems to be missing?
  10. 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
  11. Address. The DHCP address is limited to 192.168..xxx.yyy. Want anything else ? Tough.
  12. 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.

The Prestige

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.