If you’ve been a Virgin Media broadband customer for some time, you might have a Virgin Media Hub 3 or even older router. That’s since been replaced by the Virgin Media Hub 4 and, more recently, the Hub 5.
What’s the benefit of upgrading your Virgin Media Hub and how do you get a new one for free? Find out here.
What’s the difference between a Virgin Media Hub 3 and Hub 4?
The Virgin Media Hub 4 is a better all-round router, especially if you rely on Wi-Fi instead of wired Ethernet connections, as the vast majority of households do.
Apart from the physical design, the main difference between the two is the Wi-Fi antennae. The Hub 3 has only five internal Wi-Fi antennae, whereas the Hub 4 has 11 antennae, which should help increase the strength and speed of the Wi-Fi signal in more remote parts of the home. It’s worth noting here that both the Hub 3 and Hub 4 are compatible with Virgin Media Intelligent Wi-Fi, small plug-in extenders that can boost Wi-Fi signal around the home.
Aside from that, the two routers share pretty much the same spec. They both have four Gigabit Ethernet ports and they both use the older Wi-Fi 5 standard (802.11ac). If you want the newer Wi-Fi 6 standard, you’ll need a Hub 5, although they won’t be in wide circulation until 2022. (See more on the Hub 5 below.)
How do I get a Virgin Media Hub 4 for free?
Virgin Media has been offering customers free upgrades to the Hub 4 for some time. If you go to the company’s Hub Upgrade page, you’ll be given the option to sign and see if you can get an upgrade.
The prime time to strike a deal for a free upgrade is when your Virgin Media contract is coming up for renewal. If you’re about to renew, insist that the company sends you a new hub as part of the bargain. It’s always worth haggling at contract renewal time, as you’ll be amazed what discounts and free upgrades companies such as Virgin Media will offer to keep you on their books for another 18 months.
If you’re having problems getting a Wi-Fi signal in all parts of the house, the company might also be willing to send you a Hub 4 to see if that improves the situation and to get you off their support lines. They will doubtless try and sell you the Intelligent Wi-Fi kit first, but stick to your guns and see if you can score a free upgrade on the router before you resort to paying for Intelligent Wi-Fi.
Can I get a Virgin Media Hub 5?
The recently announced Virgin Media Hub 5 ups the ante even further. It supports Wi-Fi 6, as previously mentioned, and also includes a 2.5Gbits/sec Ethernet port for even faster wired connections. That could come up in handy as Virgin continues to upgrade its speeds beyond a gigabit.
The Hub 5 has only recently been announced (October 2021) and Virgin says it will offer the router to “existing customers first at no extra cost”.
It goes on to say that “eligible customers will be contacted and given the option of upgrading ahead of a wider launch in 2022”. Reading between the lines, that likely means customers coming up for contract renewal (and those on the fastest, most expensive packages) will be offered the Hub 5 first. However, if your deal is coming to an end, it’s definitely worth asking about an upgrade to a Hub 5.
If Virgin doesn’t have any stock of the Hub 5, the Hub 4 will probably be fine for most customers who aren’t on the top tier gigabit connections. It’s definitely a step up from the older Hub 3 or earlier routers in terms of range and performance.