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Monday, February 20, 2017

Great Wifi Speeds with Virgin Media Hub and TP Link AV600 Wifi Extender - Eventually!

Categories: General, How To


Our house is pretty much built with solid brick walls throughout. Whereas that's nice for the longevity of our home, it has been giving me a major headache with bad wifi in many areas of the house, especially upstairs.


I finally have a great set-up that works!

Recently, I was contacted by my ISP Virgin Media and was offered a new router - their so-called Media Hub (Virgin Media Hub - https://www.virginmedia.ie/…/learn-about-broadba…/equipment/) to replace my old one. It claims to have the fastest ever Wifi signal and the upgrade was offered for free. No strings attached, no new contract to sign. How could I say no to that?

When the new equipment arrived, I did not immediately install it because I was working on a client rush job and completely forgot that I had been advised that once the new hub arrives, my old router would be cut off from the network within a certain period of time (I can't remember if it was 24 or 48 hours). So there we were on Saturday night chilling out in front of the tv, and suddenly I hear shouting around the house from the various teenage occupants that the Internet was down! So Mum to the rescue and I quickly installed everything as per the instructions. It does take quite some time to get up and running as the hub has to download a bunch of software and settings on first connection which can take a couple of hours.


But even when we did get back online, the speeds were terrible and unfortunately nothing like the super speeds that I had been promised. I tried to put the old router back in place but of course this one was now cut off. I contacted Virgin Media and it turned out that that one of the lines coming into the house wasn't up to scratch for the new equipment. But in fairness to Virgin, they had an engineer with us right after the weekend who performed the upgrade quickly and for free.

Speeds picked up again and were certainly a bit better throughout the entire house. But still not quite where I had hoped they would be (around 80Mbps, up from around 55Mbps in my office upstairs, on my Limitless 240Mb contract) ! So off I went and invested in a TP Link AV600 Wifi Extender kit purchased at PC World for €55 (http://www.pcworld.ie/product/tplink-av600-wireles...). It is super easy to set up - just:

  1. Plug in one extender into a socket beside the Media Hub and connect it with a short Ethernet cable.
  2. Then plug in the Wifi extender in any socket upstairs (or wherever else in your house you need faster wifi).
  3. Press the "Pair" button on the extender beside the Media Hub for 1 second and within 2 minutes also press the "Pair" button on the wifi extender.
  4. Then press the "WPS Pair" button on the Media Hub for 1 second and within 2 minutes press the Wifi Pair bar at the front of the wifi extender. This will clone the Media Hub's Wifi settings to the extender

For the most advanced user, you can also download utility software for the TP Link equipment.


And my speeds now? Generally between 170 - 190Mbps which is pretty great! Here is my speed test from this morning:






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