If you have been with Virgin Media for a few years, you will likely have one of the older Virgin Media Hubs. I recently upgraded to Virgin Gig1 after 2.5 years, and I was on the older Hub 3 and therefore needed the new Virgin Media Hub 5.
The new Virgin Media Hub 5 is a significant upgrade and features Wi-Fi 6 and a 2.5GbE port allowing you to get faster than gigabit speeds in your home. This Hub is the latest router for anyone using the maid Virgin Media network, which is based on DOCSIS 3.1 technology.
Virgin also have a newer product called the Hub 5x which is designed for customers on their new XGS-PON powered Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network.
- Virgin Media XGS-PON vs DOCSIS 3.1 – Difference between Hub 5x & Hub 5
- How do I get a Virgin Media Hub 5 for free? Virgin Media FAQ & Troubleshooting
- How do I access Virgin Media router settings?
- How do I cancel Virgin Media without paying cancellation fees?
- Plume SuperPod Whole Home Wi-Fi Review – Is the £8 per month Virgin Media subscription worth it?
- Why is Virgin Fibre Internet Slow & How to Fix Slow WiFi?
Virgin Media Hub 5x vs 5 vs 4 vs 3 Compared
|Features||Hub 5x||Hub 5||Hub 4||Hub 3|
|Number of Antennae||7||7||7||5|
|2.4 GHz WiFi Band||3×3 11b/g/n/ax||3×3 11/b/g/n/ax||3×3 11/b/g/n|
up to 450Mbps
up to 300 Mbps
|5 GHz WiFi Band||4×4 11ax|
up to 2400Mbps
up to 2400Mbps
up to 1,733Mbps
up to 1300 Mbps
|Network Connection||XGS-PON||DOCSIS 3.1||DOCSIS 3.1||DOCSIS 3.0|
|Ethernet||1x 10 Gbps, 3x 1Gbps||1x 2.5Gbps, 3x 1Gbps||4x 1Gbps||4x 1Gbps|
|WPS Push Button||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Removable Password/QR Card||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Guest Network Available||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intelligent WiFi Technology||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|WiFi Pod Compatability||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Virgin Media Hub 5x Uses Fibre, Not Coax
You won’t see the Virgin Media Hub 5x advertised much, and this is because it uses the latest fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) based on XGS-PON. This means that the cable going into the Hub won’t be the coaxial cable used on the older hubs but using a fibre cable.
Hub 5x vs Hub 5 – XGS-PON vs DOCSIS 3.1
Around 14.3 million out of Virgin Media’s 16 million customers are currently still reached via their older HFC network using DOCSIS 3.1 technology. They then have over a million customers using “full-fibre” (FTTP) based on the older Radio Frequency over Glass (RFoG) approach to ensure compatibility.
For the HFC areas, Virgin has planned to upgrade the network to the latest 10Gbps XGS-PON powered FTTP technology which they plan to have rolled out by 2028. Apparently, this upgrade will cost £100 per home.
The new XGS-PON network will allow Virgin to increase speeds to 10Gbps, but you won’t see that for many years. They are currently trailing 2Gbps.
One big advantage of XGS-PON is that it should allow symmetrical connections, so in theory, you will be able to get gigabit for your upload and download. Currently, my Virgin Gig1 is gigabit download, but just 100Mbps upload.
Whether Virgin offers symmetrical speeds is another question, but you should see a big improvement.
Key Differences with Hub 5x and Hub 5 – No modem mode
The Virgin Media Hub 5x is largely the same as the existing Hub 5, except that it uses the new XGS-PON FTTP connection.
Because this has the capability to handle much higher speeds than the Hub 5, it then has a 10GbE port.
Because this is such a new router, some of the popular features of the Virgin Media Hubs are not available yet.
The big issue people are having with the Hub 5x is that it is currently not possible to put it in modem mode. This is when the connection gets passed through to your own router and avoids double NAT.
Some key details to keep in my mind with the Hub 5X
- The 5x Hub is different from the 5 hub.
- The 5x Hub is connected via optical cable, not coaxial.
- The new routers currently do not have a router mode (at the moment).
- Not all support team members are aware of this information when providing assistance.
- Wi-Fi extender pods are currently unavailable (at the moment), likely due to the router mode issue.
- 5x Hub is not compatible with the Virgin Connect App
I am James, a UK-based tech enthusiast and the creative mind behind Mighty Gadget, which I’ve proudly run since 2007. Passionate about all things technology, my expertise spans from computers and networking, to mobile, wearables, and smart home devices.
As a fitness fanatic who loves running and cycling, I also have a keen interest in fitness-related technology, and I take every opportunity to cover this niche on my blog. My diverse interests allow me to bring a unique perspective to tech blogging, merging lifestyle, fitness, and the latest tech trends.
In my academic pursuits, I earned a BSc in Information Systems Design from UCLAN, before advancing my learning with a Master’s Degree in Computing. This advanced study also included Cisco CCNA accreditation, further demonstrating my commitment to understanding and staying ahead of the technology curve.
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