The Virgin Media saga, the router strikes back!

Opinion

The Virgin Media saga, the router strikes back!

My Virgin Media installation came and went without a hitch last Friday - evidently somebody got into those blocked ducts with a leaf-blower or something - and since then we've been enjoying the perks of music videos on demand and BBC iPlayer through the TV.

I should add that the ability to pause and rewind live TV came in very handy on Saturday evening when two X Factor contestants started fighting on stage.

Obviously we also have broadband now, which is what the point of this whole exercise has been, and I'm happy to report that Virgin Media's claims on speed are by and large, and taking into account the fact that any network experiences a slow down at peak times, pretty damn accurate.

According to the various speed tests we've run, our 10Mbit/s service does pretty much exactly what it says on the tin.

This is all well and good, but not everything is quite right yet and I am by no means a happy camper. A speedy connection is all well and good, but if you can't connect to the speedy connection, it renders the whole exercise a bit pointless.

The problem I am experiencing seems to stem from the Netgear VMDG280 router supplied by Virgin.

The wi-fi connection on this router is hands down HORRIBLE. It struggles at the best of times, crawls along when asked to deal with photos and times out when loading every other page. It has rendered the browsing experience worse than anything I ever experienced on other networks (except possibly OneTel dialup) and it is very disappointing, particularly given Netgear's reputation.

We are working on solutions to the problem and I am sure it won't take long to resolve, but to be let down at the last mile - no, the last yard - by dodgy equipment is a huge annoyance to say the least.

This was first published in September 2010

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