Virgin Media reveals simple fix for 'sluggish' broadband speeds for millions of customers

a virgin media wi-fi router pictured with a colourful swirl in the background

Virgin Media has shared an easy tip that should improve your broadband speed within 10 minutes

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 22/05/2024

- 04:30

Virgin Media admits that power cycling your Wi-Fi router could be the key to faster download speeds

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Suffering from sluggish broadband speeds? Virgin Media has shared an easy fix that should restore your internet speeds in under a minute.

Virgin Media has its own full-fibre broadband network completely separate from BT-owned Openreach, which maintains the infrastructure for companies like Sky Broadband, Vodafone, TalkTalk, BT and EE.

With 16 million households connected to Virgin Media broadband, the firm offers maximum download speeds of 1,130Mbps. That's over 16x faster than the average download speed in the UK. In some areas, Virgin Media has doubled broadband speeds to an eye-watering 2,000Mbps.

If you've noticed a dip in the speed you're seeing from your Wi-Fi router, Virgin Media has published some "clever little hacks" designed to restore your broadband to its former glory. It says: "Virgin Media customers already get fast broadband, but there are plenty of clever little hacks that can bring some extra oomph to your service."

virgin media hub 5 wi-fi router is pictured on a wooden shelf with dried flowers and photo frames nearby   Virgin Media offers full-fibre broadband speeds to all of its 16 million customers, with top speeds sitting at around 1Gbps — that's 14x faster than the average broadband speed across the UK VIRGIN MEDIA PRESS OFFICE

First up, Virgin Media suggests rebooting your Wi-Fi router.

"If you find your broadband is unusually sluggish, the first port of call should be to power cycle your Virgin Media Hub – in other words, the classic 'turn it off and on again' method," the team at Virgin Media reveals. "It might seem simplistic, but power cycling your Hub (especially if it hasn’t been done in some time) can help to clear the Hub’s memory and CPU of older and no longer needed data and processing."

While it might seem bafflingly simplistic, there are a number of reasons why power cycling works so well. First off, it enables the Wi-Fi router to wipe its short-term memory, known as the "cache". Removing that data will boost performance since the Wi-Fi router will no longer need to take time to remove data to free-up its cache.

When your Wi-Fi router starts up, it analyses its surroundings to determine the least-crowded channel for each frequency to avoid interference with neighbours, other gadgets in your household, and more. If it's been a few months since its last reboot, your Wi-Fi might not be using the best channel anymore — causing Wi-Fi issues.

Virgin Media has offered detailed instructions to restart its Wi-Fi router.

  1. On the back of your hub, turn the A/C power switch into the off position (with the “O” pressed in)
  2. Leave it off for about 10 seconds
  3. Turn the hub back on by turning the A/C power switch into the on position (with the “I” pressed in)
While you're waiting for the blinking lights to return, Virgin Media says it's a good time to check over your equipment for faulty or damaged cables, which can cause problems with your network and slow down your internet speed. It adds: "Also make sure your cables are tightly connected to the hub (finger-tight is all that is required, do not over-tighten as this could break the connector)."

It can take a maximum of 10 minutes for a Virgin Media Wi-Fi router to reboot.

When the connection is back up and running, a white light will be visible on the front of Hub 3 and Hub 5. If you own a Hub 4 mode, look for the light ring around the Wi-Fi hub instead.

With everything back up and running, Virgin Media users should perform a quick broadband speed test to check they're receiving the correct internet speed. Netflix and Ookla both offer popular speed tests.

It's worth remembering that if you're not getting the download speeds that you're paying for, you could be eligible for compensation. Virgin Media is signed up to an Ofcom scheme that offers automatic payouts for those suffering a number of common broadband headaches. Earlier this month, Ofcom increased the compensation payouts broadband suppliers like Virgin Media, BT, Sky and others were required to pay.

Virgin Media also recommends checking for viruses and malware, since it could be an issue specific to one of the devices in your household — and not a glitch with the entire Wi-Fi network.

The broadband provider says: "There are lots of reasons to protect your devices from viruses or malware, including blocking virus-ridden websites or sites with unsuitable content. "But viruses and malware can also significantly slow down your internet speed, giving you even more incentive to invest in reliable antivirus software that will scan your devices for hidden dangers."

Virgin Media offers malware protection for all devices on your network for an additional £3 a month. The antivirus solution bundled to its broadband customers is powered by F-Secure.

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