Opinion

The Virgin Media saga, the phantom firewall

Good news to report on the broadband front this morning. We are now up and running after an exhaustive trawl of the Virgin Media community forums and a couple of tweets back and forth traced the source of the issue.

Turns out that Netgear's firewall is a bit rubbish, and is blocking connections left right and centre.

In our initial phone call to their customer service team we experienced the tired old: "It's your computer, it's your browser, it's your fault" routine.

However, the online Virgin customer community is dripping with genuine technical expertise, and it didn't take long to figure out what was going on.

I hope that the growing volume of complaints within the community will mean that Virgin takes a serious look at this issue alongside Netgear and with any luck there will be a firmware upgrade in the near future.

I would also love it if Virgin took this as a signal that its offshore phone support teams are badly trained, technically inadequate and unfit for purpose, but I am one customer among many and I can't see that happening.

Meanwhile, disabling the router's firewall and enabling individual firewalls on each connected device (gotta think of security, after all) has, touch wood, worked.

A victory, I think, for the social network.

This was first published in September 2010

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