Virgin Media Hub 5x vs 5 vs 4 vs 3 Compared

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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.

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Virgin Media Hub 5x vs 5 vs 4 vs 3 Compared

FeaturesHub 5xHub 5Hub 4Hub 3
Number of Antennae 7775
2.4 GHz WiFi Band3×3 11b/g/n/ax3×3 11/b/g/n/ax3×3 11/b/g/n
up to 450Mbps
2×2 11/b/g/n
up to 300 Mbps
5 GHz WiFi Band4×4 11ax
up to 2400Mbps
4×4 11ax
up to 2400Mbps
4×4 11ac
up to 1,733Mbps
3×3 11ac
up to 1300 Mbps
WiFi Spec6655
Dual BandConcurrentConcurrentConcurrentConcurrent
Network ConnectionXGS-PONDOCSIS 3.1DOCSIS 3.1DOCSIS 3.0
Ethernet1x 10 Gbps, 3x 1Gbps1x 2.5Gbps, 3x 1Gbps4x 1Gbps4x 1Gbps
WPS Push ButtonYesYesYesYes
Removable Password/QR CardYesYesNoYes
Default SSIDSingleSingleSingleSingle
Guest Network AvailableYesYesYesYes
Intelligent WiFi TechnologyYesYesYesYes
WiFi Pod CompatabilityYesYesYesYes
Launch Year2023202220192016

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

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