- Replacing feeble Virgin router with 3rd party one and Ethernet to second router
Our not exactly huge house (3 bed ‘30s semi) has very limited WiFi coverage from the Virgin router. We’ve now had a loft conversion with a micro-study for me so I need fast broadband up there. I’ve looked at swapping from Virgin and it seems that no-one else has fibre down our street and is thus far too slow, so we’re a bit stuck on that front.
So I think that means I need to take Ethernet from the router up to the top floor. And I’m sure there must be a better solution than the Virgin router for the ground floor. But I have no idea how to do this!
Please bear in mind that when I asked about setting up a network drive everyone on here told me it was really easy and it totally wasn’t (for someone who struggles with computers). So do talk to me like I’m entirely clueless – thanks!Posted 5 months ago
If the combined cable modem/routers are anything like what they used to be like, you can just straight up connect a wifi router using an ethernet cable. You’ll have two wifi networks in the house but just use one of them. We basically do exactly this albeit with a plusnet modem/router and a TP-Link wifi router. Dead easy. USe this for example, which even has a picture showing how to connect!
The older Virgin modem/router allowed you to run them in modem only mode via a setting in the modem/router interface. there’s a web link or ip address on the back of the hub to access the settings. Only go this route though if you want to disable the virgin wifi – you don’t actually need to.Posted 5 months ago
PS. I just put the tp link router towards the middle of the house downstairs, and it covers the whole house no problem – old stone house, all brick walls, three levels inc attic room.Posted 5 months agooikeithSubscriber
Would those plugs that run your internet around your house via the electric circuit not work here? ethernet cable into one near the router and ethernet into your upstairs device?Posted 5 months ago5labMember
Assuming you have a computer with an ethernet port today, try plugging that into the back of the virgin box. If it runs fast, a new router will help, if not you wont get much more value out of your spendPosted 5 months agojohnx2Member
Have you got the latest virgin hub thing? Ours is in the ground floor of a reasonable size four storey victorian terrace (high ceilings, thick walls) and gives strong signal everywhere through the house and basement, and also lets me stream GCN training vids to the shed of power at the end of our small garden f0r the rarely used turbo. Which sentence conveys more information probably than intended. Whatever, no blank spots.Posted 5 months agoHazeMember
Couldn’t ever get my VM router to reach our garage without leaving all the doors open and needed a WiFi connection for my iPad to connect to Zwift servers etc.
I’ve ran a homeplug from the router into the garage (you’d place yours upstairs somewhere), then an ethernet cable from the plug into a wireless extender in an adjacent socket set up as an access point with a different SSID.
Believe you can buy the homeplug/extender as one device so would be a neater and cheaper solution than mine (I already had the homeplugs).Posted 5 months agoTallpaulMember
Our VM router is in the extension and doesn’t give great signal upstairs and one bedroom is a complete black spot. I bought a £20 Netgear wifi booster and plugged it in on the landing, that secondary network now covers the whole house with no problem.Posted 5 months ago
exactly the same here, 4 floor victorian money pit.Posted 5 months ago
VM hub was okay but I bought a Deco Mesh network, much better signal spread now and it has some decent parental controls. ethernet backbone between the main unit and one of the others as I already had cat5 in. pretty happy with it.
So these plugs that extend the WiFi using the mains cables, does everything need to be in the same ring main? Our house has a mix of radial and ring wiring due to its age. What happens where one transmitter is on a different circuit breaker to the the thing that sends the data into the mains?
Right now we have scaffolding up so I could take an Ethernet cable neatly up the front of the house. The router is at the groundfloor front next to the party wall, so it’s a fair distance and through a few walls to get signal to the back of the house, though the original ground floor bar the hall is all knocked through (there’s a newer rear extension and it can’t get signal to the loo at the back).Posted 5 months ago
We have the Virgin ‘Superhub 3’ and it struggled with our 1970’s built house. I did tried network extenders, but ended up with extra networks and a weak signals. In the end I upgraded to a mesh network (Netgear Orbi) with a main unit and a satellite. Brilliant – get 200 Mbits across the house all on devices using Wi-Fi. Easy to set up (although I am an IT professional). Not cheap but solves the problem.Posted 5 months ago
“In the end I upgraded to a mesh network (Netgear Orbi) with a main unit and a satellite.”
So would I replace the Virgin router with the main unit and then place satellites around the house? How do you connect them? Would it look like a single network to the computers? (I tried a WiFi extender a while ago and it didn’t work with the Sonos because your phone could end up on the wrong WiFi network…)Posted 5 months agoavdave2Member
So these plugs that extend the WiFi using the mains cables, does everything need to be in the same ring main?
No just the same earth I believe and it would be very unusual if all your circuits didn’t go back the the same earth.
I had a Virgin hub which couldn’t cope once an RSJ had gone in the house. I linked an Airport extreme to it via a powerline adapter and it works perfectly and moving around the house is seamless.Posted 5 months agoJackHammerMember
The Mesh system sounds like what you want. You will have one wifi network everywhere then, no relogging on etc.Posted 5 months ago
We live a 3 storey victorian semi after of grief with the Superhub 3 it into modem mode and installed this a month ago
Its been flawless since, 5 bars on the wi-fi through the app has good parental and security controls. I got a fright a few weeks ago when a new device logged on the network and I got a notification from the app. Eventually worked out it was the babysitter walking by the house as i’ve kept the same address and passwordPosted 5 months ago
yup. Mesh is a winner.Posted 5 months ago
if you can stick in some cat5 certainly do that, it use it as a backbone for max wifis
Its been flawless since“
So do we just plug the main unit into the Virgin router and then place the satellites around the house, so they get signal from the master unit and then retransmit it? No extra wires etc?Posted 5 months ago
First you put your router into modem mode. Its pretty straight forward once you logon to it.
The tp-link units are identical plug one into your router and follow the instructions on the deco app.
Then just place the other two around the house switch on and again follow the app. Took about 15 mins to set a three up.
I wish I’d done it years ago.
The only extra cables I used was to plug the boys xboxes into one of the units but only because they were right next to each other.Posted 5 months agotomparkinMember
If you can easily run a cable to the loft now I would do it: it’ll be good as a backup if nothing else, and wired is almost always better than wireless! Make sure to put in a drip loop and ensure the cable is protected against UV.
I used to use Ethernet-over-Powerline (mains wiring jobbies) in my home office. They were fine for years, if slow. Then we built an extension and they went nuts: worked on the face of it, then fell over as soon as you asked them to transfer a large file.
I’m now planning to run an Ethernet cable up the side of the house 🙂
No experience with mesh networks.Posted 5 months ago
“We live a 3 storey victorian semi after of grief with the Superhub 3 it into modem mode and installed this a month ago
@Stainypants how many units do you need for full coverage, as it sounds like your house is a similar size?Posted 5 months agoFlaperonMember
Any mesh system should do the job nicely. I have the cheapest Tenda three-box setup which happily fires the 80mb BT connection over three floors in a stone cottage. Only 70 pounds at PC World, obviously faster and considerably more expensive options are available.
Might be able to get a good deal on the older Google Wifi in the next few weeks.Posted 5 months agont80085Subscriber
Can I jump on to this thread with a quick q? We’re having a new house built, what would be the ideal future proof cable setup for wireless throughout the house? Also need to link into a detached garage which will house an office. Cheers nickPosted 5 months ago
I’m thinking we might need four boxes because I can’t think of a way to locate the first box more centrally on the ground floor (the cable comes in at the front corner and we have wooden floors and decorated recently and stupidly I didn’t chase an Ethernet cable into the wall when I was adding mains sockets) and at the moment we don’t get full coverage on that floor, so we’d need two ground floor units and then one on each floor above.Posted 5 months agocheddarchallengedSubscriber
Another alternative would be the devolo “magic” powerline mesh Wi-Fi plugs – the internet connection gets routed over the electric cables but the solution has built in mesh Wi-Fi like the google and BT solutions:mytiMember
Can’t you just get one of those plug in range extenders? We have one as signal was poor from router in front room to back extension but with the extender in the kitchen i now get wifi at the end of the garden.Posted 5 months ago
“Can’t you just get one of those plug in range extenders?”
I’ve tried that but the layout of sockets and walls seemed to foil it and having two non-meshed networks doesn’t work with the Sonoses (Sonii?) Plus I need quite a bit of speed for work and my burgeoning YouTube stardom… 😉Posted 5 months agoeskaySubscriber
Went through the same recently, I put the superhub into modem mode and bought tp-link router for WiFi.
I am currently renovating our house and installing a hardwired network throughout the house as I go. I have a switch in the loft and have connected a tp-link access point in the roof plus a powerline extender in the garage. I now have good WiFi all over the property.Posted 5 months ago
“Another alternative would be the devolo “magic” powerline mesh Wi-Fi plugs – the internet connection gets routed over the electric cables but the solution has built in mesh Wi-Fi like the google and BT solutions:”
@cheddarchallenged – this looks good, best of both worlds? I’m totally confused by their website though! What would I need to order to get three or four WiFi transmitters? It looks like some of the units don’t have WiFi, which confuses me…Posted 5 months ago
That devolo kit is nearly 100 quid more expensive than the bt home kit, which is supposed to be the danglies, and 60 odd more expensive than Google.
Why is it better, I’m struggling to see the benefit? Their site is a bit pidgin English as well…
I’m gonna go mesh, just to decide between Google and bt….Posted 5 months ago
This may be outdated but after the travesty I suffered that was BT broadband I’m not sure I’d even vaguely wave at their stuff with an enormous barge pole, let alone buy it…Posted 5 months ago
Two different things though, their kit gets great kudos, at 170 on Amazon. 200 for Google at Argos, I always like using Argos for leccy purchases, so easy to return.Posted 5 months ago
@chiefgrooveguru we have 3 units. One by router in the living room on the ground floor. One in the bedroom above it which are both at the back of the house. The third is in the same floor at the front of the house. Between them they cover the whole house including the loft and also I can stream radio to the shed 100ft away at the back of the garden.
Also the parental controls on the app are great.Posted 5 months ago
We use an Orbi mesh with two Satellites. It’s expensive but it’s bombproof. We also have a spare set of the Tenda Mesh doing nothing, so if you want to give them a try and you’re happy to pay postage, I can send them over…Posted 5 months ago
@chiefgroovegrun – As I said earlier we have a VM SH3 and Netgear Orbi. Connected the Orbi router to SH3 via an Ethernet cable. I created my own Wi-Fi SSID (network name) on the Orbi, move the devices over to it and turned off the Wi-Fi on teh SH3. The painful bit was moving all the devices over, you’ll forget just how many devices you have connected. Management of the Orbi is very easy, either via the App (phone/tablet) or via a browser. It is a strong signal. With range extenders I was luck to get 6 Mbs in teh office, with Orbi 200 Mbs!Posted 5 months agoDelSubscriber
Just put the VM box in modem mode and plug a new, decent, WiFi router in. Thinking of a name for your network and a password will take longer than doing anything else. Done for 60 quid.Posted 5 months ago
No need to move everything over just give the new network the same name and password as your existing one.Posted 5 months ago
My plan exactly stainypants! 😁Posted 5 months ago
@Alex that would be great, thanks! How do you want paying for the postage?
It’ll be interesting to see what coverage can be achieved with three units – the problem we have is the house is a capital L from the side and the router is at the right angle, the far bit of the bottom of the L is an extension (without changing the original external walls) so I’m not sure that having the 1st floor repeater at the back will get signal out through the walls and down through the roof of the extension.Posted 5 months agojohnjn2000Subscriber
Having exactly the same issue with our “Virgins best router ever” wifi is shocking around the house but speed is ace if you are plugged in direct. Before reading this I was going to buy one of these https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-routers/RAX80.aspx but now thinking that this mesh thing might be the way forward. Currently have the socket based Netgear powerlines and a second router set up in another area of the house. It works OK but not flawlessly.Posted 5 months ago
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