Best Virgin Media Router – Netgear R6260: A closer look

/ / Best Virgin Media Router – Netgear R6260: A closer look

Best Virgin Media Router

Netgear R6260 – best alternative Virgin Media router for your home

 

Using Virgin Media with the R6260 is a great experience, thousands of people have had great things to say about this router, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try it out for myself.

Some initial thoughts:

  • Video streaming, gaming, and online calling can be prioritized by configuring the router. This will help you stay on top of critical tasks. 
  • With its intuitive interface, this is a great tool for managing your network and making sure your devices remain productive while using bandwidth that isn’t slowed down by other devices.
  • Manage your Wi-Fi network seamlessly with the Nighthawk® App!

It delivers up to 300+1300Mbps* internet speed, simultaneous dual band WiFi, and less wireless interference so you can have a faster, more reliable WiFi connection. Up to 20 devices and 1600 square feet of coverage can be covered with No Lag Multiple HD video streaming and Multi-player Gaming. Setup and optimization of your WiFi is easy with Nighthawk® App.

Is a router upgrade really necessary?

Certainly not, in fact, we have entire guides on how you can improve your WiFi without spending a cent, one of which we did specifically for Virgin Media right here

The reality is that for many people it is far easier, and the results far more noticeable, to upgrade the WiFi router from Virgin’s lacklustre SuperHubs. This process does not replace your SuperHub entirely, but it instead uses the superior technology of the Netgear unit to do all the heavy lifting on your WiFi network (more about that further in the article).

I can personally say that after upgrading my own personal WiFi at home I have had far fewer disruptions, especially since I now work exclusively from home.

Since installing this unit, my WiFi is considerably stronger throughout the house. I get great speed on the 802.11ac WiFi from one end of my house to the other, and even service in the garden if I need it. No more buffering on Netflix for me!

Custom Firmware, Anyone?

Perhaps one of the most overlooked modifications that you can do with this router is that you can flash it with a custom ROM called OpenWRT, if you so choose. This allows you to turn your router into a fully fledged networking monster, with many options including VPN support and more.

The OpenWrt project develops Linux-based operating systems for embedded devices. The OpenWrt firmware provides a package-managed file system instead of a singular, static firmware. You can choose the applications and configure them to suit your needs instead of relying on the vendor’s selection and configuration. 

OpenWrt allows developers to build applications without having to build the entire firmware around it. For users, this means a full level of customization and a device that can be used in ways never imagined before. 

Find out more from their website if you’d like to do some research, and definitely check out our Virgin Media VPN Router guide to find out how you can get a prebuilt OpenWRT router of your own if you don’t want to go through the hassle of setting one up for yourself. 

Getting Connected

In order to connect your Netgear router to the Virgin Media Hub 3, you need to switch it to modem mode and plug it in with an Ethernet cable. We wrote an article about what you should consider when trying to find the best Ethernet cable for your Virgin Media setup, so check that out here when you are ready. 

The Netgear R6260 can only be connected to the Virgin Media Hub when it is configured in modem mode so be sure to run through that quick and easy setup once your new router arrives. 

An Ethernet cable is included with the R6260 but it’s not extremely long, so if you require a longer Ethernet cable then be sure to check out our article above.This will allow you to move the new router to a more convenient location if you so desire.

The Netgear’s WAN (yellow port in the image above) port must be plugged in with the Ethernet cable. Connect the other end to any Ethernet port on the back of the Virgin Media Hub.

If you are using the standard Netgear firmware, the Netgear Nighthawk app can be downloaded on your mobile phone (it is available for Android and iPhone). You can easily set it up with this.

Conclusion: Should you get a Netgear R6260?

For me it has been well worth the small investment of adding an additional router to my home network. Even without flashing the fancy OpenWRT firmware to the Netgear R6260 I have found the device to be exceptionally fast and it still offers some advanced network features such as port forwarding and QoS. 

The lack of frustration alone has been well worth it alone, even before considering how much more harmonious the house is now that everyone can get their fair share of the WiFi without accusations flying around about who is doing what to kill the WiFi.

On top of that, pricing is currently very good on Amazon and you can find this model right here.

Final Word: The R6260 from Netgear is a high-speed WiFi router that delivers up to 866Mbps for 20 devices, which is an incredible step up from Virgin Media’s rather (I’m sorry to say) mediocre SuperHub range of routers. Since the R6260 provides faster speeds and takes less time to set up, it has proven well worth the extra cost (and no longer having to contact Virgin’s Tech Support team which is probably worth the money on its own).

All of these factors add up to give you a home networking experience that punches way above its weight class in terms of functionality and cost. 

FAQ

Are Virgin Media routers any good?

As far as we are concerned, Virgin Media's routers are pretty good, BUT they are not perfect. There are far better options out there. With the exception of Gig1 customers, who will receive the Hub 4, all broadband customers receive the same router, the Hub 3. Those upgrading to Gig1 will receive a free Hub 4 router.

Will any router work with Virgin Media?

To connect to Virgin's broadband network with an external router, you need the Hub 3 modem. After selecting modem mode>enabling modem mode>applying the changes . Using a Virgin Super Hub is essentially the same process.

What router can I use with Virgin Media?

The Netgear R6260 router is the answer. Virgin Media's R6260 is an excellent wireless router in my experience

What is the fastest Virgin Media router?

The answer is the Hub 4. New and enhanced gigabit capable router * The Hub 4* will be available to Virgin Media Gig1 customers. Faster than Virgin Media's previous routers, the new router uses better WiFi hardware for customers' fast and reliable connections.

Why is Virgin WIFI so bad?

In addition to bad weather outside, interference from electrical appliances and thick walls is cited as a cause of slow WIFI. An estimated one in ten people's broadband access points have 10 or more devices connected.