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Virgin Media is turning customers’ routers into WiFi hotspots

VIRGIN MEDIA has announced plans to follow in the footsteps or rival BT by turning customers’ routers into makeshift hotspots in a bid to boost its public WiFi network.

This feature, which Virgin first started trialling last year, isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Only customers using firm’s newest SuperHub v3 router will be roped in, and Virgin Media has said that it will alert all those affected by the change and that customers to be given the chance to opt-out of the scheme.

If you don’t choose to opt out be connected automatically, but this shouldn’t have a detrimental effect on your broadband. As ISP Review reports, that’s because “additional, separate” bandwidth will be allocated by the provider.”

What’s more, Virgin Media is promising that data available to the public is also kept separate to that running through the home connection. 

In a FAQ, the company says: “Virgin Media WiFi uses a separate connection on your Hub to access the internet than the one used by your home broadband network. The data from your home network is completely separate from Virgin Media WiFi traffic, meaning the broadband connection you pay for is exclusively yours, and just as secure.

“A Virgin Media WiFi user can’t see anything on the home broadband network they’re connected to. Likewise, someone using the home broadband network will not be able to see if anyone is connected to the separate connection in their Hub, or what they’re doing.”

The FAQ confirms that Virgin will “complete the rollout” for SuperHub v3 routers later this year and that it’s also planning a similar switchover for Super Hub 2ac routers. This is only a pilot for now, though. 

Virgin Media’s new feature is similar to BT’s FON WiFi service. However, while BT allows non-customers to connect to its public WiFi service, it appears Virgin’s offering will be made available to its paying customers only. µ

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