Virgin Media's Intelligent Wi-Fi - everything you need to know

Virgin Media Intelligent Wi-Fi

I understand Virgin Media recently rolled-out a feature called Intelligent Wi-Fi. What's it all about? And, more to the point, how much will it cost me?

- Andrew, via email

Recently, Virgin Media announced plans to boost the in-home Wi-Fi connection of millions of its customers.

Indeed, the aptly named ‘Intelligent Wi-Fi’ was created to bring faster speeds to more areas of the home, and from what we’ve seen so far, it’s a really clever feature.

Let’s take a look at what it has to offer:

What is Virgin Media's Intelligent Wi-Fi?

In a nutshell, it’s a free update that Virgin Media claim will improve broadband connectivity throughout the home by as much as three-times in certain rooms.

Interestingly, it works from the cloud to measure Wi-Fi speeds and generally improve performance. Right now, the feature is only available on Virgin Media’s Hub 3.

How does Intelligent Wi-Fi work?

Impressively, Intelligent Wi-Fi works by applying features like band steering and channel optimisation to ensure the best internet performance.

You see, according to Virgin Media, the channel optimisation feature works over 300,000 times per day, automatically switching devices to less congested Wi-Fi channels to safeguard the quickest speeds, and improve overall broadband experience.

What is band steering?

Put simply, band steering decides which bandwidth frequency your devices operate on at any given time. For instance, older devices will support a 2.4GHz frequency, while newer gadgets support 5GHz.

Often, without the help of band steering, the 2.4Gz frequency will become blocked, and the more devices that compete for bandwidth, the more vulnerable your Wi-Fi signal is to interferences.

People on laptops

In short, then, all of your high-end devices - laptops, tablets, games consoles - which require a quick internet connection should, in theory, see an upshot in speeds thanks to Intelligent Wi-Fi.

Virgin Media connect app

In conjunction with Intelligent Wi-Fi, Virgin Media also released a new connect app that allows customers to scan each room of their house to find broadband ‘black spots’.

If you do find a dreaded black spot somewhere in your home, the provider will send a booster with dual-band Wi-Fi and ethernet ports to improve speeds in the affected areas.

However, customers who aren’t on Virgin Media’s Full House or VIP packages will need to pay £3 per month for the first booster, and £2 for the second, while customers on the aforementioned packages will get up to three boosters free of charge.

The app is also jam-packed with extra features like videos, FAQs, and quick access to Virgin Media’s trained customer support team.

How can I get Intelligent Wi-Fi?

Chances are, if you’re an existing Virgin Media customer with a Hub 3, you’ll probably have the update already, as it was rolled-out on March 12. And, the best of it is, you won’t be charged a penny for it!

Moreover, if you’re interested in joining Virgin Media, you’ll get the Hub 3, complete with Intelligent Wi-Fi update, as standard.

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