I decided to upgrade by fibre from 10Mb/s to 30Mb/s because the cost was almost the same from Virgin media (£25 and £28). I filled in the relevant part of their website and awaited a call to be told the price. The first problem was that they processed this query as an order and the next thing I knew, they had shipped a “superhub” and sent me an email saying that would be £37 a month, thank you very much. Strike one.
As soon as I noticed this I phoned them up and they did reduce the price to £28. The next thing that happened was that my 10Mb/s broadband stopped working because they had altered the circuit before my new hub had arrived. That’s strike two.
The “superhub” duly arrived and I plugged it in, turned it on and phoned in the activation. This all worked quite smoothly, at least, but left my network in an odd configuration. As I already had a Netgear wireless-N router which was previously connected to the modem, it had become redundant by Virgin’s router and modem in the “superhub” package. My own router ended up with an I/P address from the “superhub” via DHCP as it was now on the LAN side of a network. My router acted as a DHCP server for the 20 or so devices in the house. Luckily the range I had set up on my router did not overlap with the range on the “superhub”. Nevertheless it was an odd config so I decided to transfer by DHCP scope to the “superhub” (the hardware is arguably better).
However, as soon as I tried to add a host to the superhub DHCP scope, it rebooted. A second host add rebooted it again. This would take all night. In an effort to speed up the process, I disabled DHCP. This totally killed the “superhub”. I could no longer connect via any method on the LAN side although the WAN side was working fine (according to the helpdesk). So now I have no internet for a couple of days. Strike three.
Despite many hours of fiddling and factory reset attempts, the “superhub” did not want to play so I had to wait for the engineer to turn up and reach the same conclusion as me: it was broken. He quickly put in a new “superhub” which worked straight away.
My conclusion is that the hardware of the “superhub” is good but the software is very flaky. I’m leaving my router in the LAN, keeping all my devices attached to it (I use the wireless only for special circumstances) and touching the superhub as little as possible. Hopefully it won’t add too much latency to my network. DNS lookups might be slower, or it might be my imagination. In any event I wanted to set up a home DNS server anyway. A pity neither hub offers this functionality. I guess I will have to do this on MacOS, as the machine which is up the most.
Hopefully can blog on my progress with that.