At the request of Virgin, Farncombe and the University of Bristol independently rated the throughput and reach of potential devices and compared them against other operators’ Wi-Fi devices. A new version of Virgin’s Super Hub was introduced in May.
The testing helped prove that the new Super Hub is the best performing 5GHz router with three antennas currently available from UK operators.
Farncombe tested the new Super Hub alongside hubs from BT, Sky and TalkTalk and found the new Super Hub to be the fastest Wi-Fi device, outperforming competitors on speed and range.
“Today’s Wi-Fi chips are powerful devices. With such clever technology you don’t expect to have to twiddle the antennas to improve reception, just like the aerial on a 1970s TV set. Yet that is still often the case,” said Professor Andrew Nix of the University of Bristol. “By pooling the resources of academia and business, we provide a service that combines hardware and theoretical analysis. The result is the first-ever rigorous scientific approach to Wi-Fi testing.”
The number, type, position and angle of the antennas relative to the chips, power supply and casing all impact on the efficiency of the Wi-Fi signal.
The next generation Super Hub new customers on up to 60 Mbps or up to 100 Mbps broadband speeds. It joins Virgin Media’s wireless hub family alongside the original Super Hub, which will continue to be supplied to customers on up to 30Mb speeds.
Farncombe launched the industry’s first Wi-Fi product benchmarking service for the connected home in 2012. It is designed to help service providers understand the effectiveness of Wi-Fi-enabled set-top boxes, gateways, routers and clients.