Warning for Virgin Media Customers

lainey

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
We recently had Virgin media installed in our house. Our office is on the 3rd floor and we have the livingroom on the ground floor. Naturally, we didn't want wifi in the house so we intended to have ethernet cables to supply our laptops in both the office and livingroom.

When the Virgin installation team came to set up the package the router was placed in the office with something called a powerline adapter which boosts the internet signal I believe. We told the installation guys that we didn't want wifi in the house so he gave us a powerline adapter for the office without wifi (it has an ethernet port). We also asked them to put a powerline adapter into the living room so we could connect to the internet down there as well. He went off to look in his van for another adapter and installed that as well.

It was explained to us that we would have 2 network log-ins, one for the office and one for downstairs. As all routers come with wifi we were just going to log into our router and turn off the wifi manually and use ethernet for everything. Now, when the guys left and we turned off the wifi my phone picked up a signal from the second powerline adapter in the livingroom despite us having disabled wifi it on the computer.

As it turns out, Virgin installed a new "test" powerline adapter with 5G wifi which looks exactly the same as the one without wifi as part of a trial for new customers in the area. (The old wifi powerline adapters have big bulky ariels on them so it is clear that they are emiting a signal) It was intended to boost the wifi signal of not only us but of our neighbours as well to be able to give better service in the area. When this second adapter is installed the customer doesn't have the ability to control the wifi from the router. This was only discovered after a lengthy phone conversation with Virgin who initially tried to deny that the adapter was emitting a wifi signal.

Virgin then tried to have us pay £40 to have a non-wifi adapter sent out to us because we were "privilaged" to be a part of this test even though we explicitly stated that we didn't want wifi in the house and that we had signed the worksheet to say that we were happy with the installation. I explained that we were being used as a part of a 5G trial without our knowledge and that I wasn't going to pay for a new adapter as I had signed the worksheet under the impression the the identical adapter was also non-wifi.

I was put on hold on the telephone for some time and while I was on hold my partner asked if I had taken the name of the person I was talking to. I hadn't, but when the man came back on the line we entered another discussion and then offered his name. So it seems that even when a customer is on hold they can still hear what is being said even though we can't hear them. Again I was put on hold and while I was on hold I said to my partner that we were still within the 14 day cancellation time and that we would just cancel the entire package and then re-sign up under his name with the 2 non-wifi adapters this time. I asked aloud how much that would cost Virgin compared to just sending the new adapter.

Suddenly I was back off hold and they were being nice as pie, they granted us the new wifi-free adapter and it would be getting fitted the very next day with no charge.

So, if you are having Virgin media installed please be aware of this 5G trial that may be put into your home without your permission in order to boost their wifi signal in the area. Also be aware that you can't control the wifi settings on the adapters so even if you turn the wifi off your router, the signal will still be getting sent from the adapters.
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
lainey, powerline adapters that put internet signals on your electrical wiring are not good for you either, wifi or no wifi.

https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,28280.msg394312/topicseen.html#msg394312
 

flashgordonv

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
hlat said:
lainey, powerline adapters that put internet signals on your electrical wiring are not good for you either, wifi or no wifi.

https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,28280.msg394312/topicseen.html#msg394312

Hi Hlat. While that might be true, sometimes it is choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Cat5 cable runs have a limited length before they become reliable. I use a powerline adaptor in order to get internet to my wife's office which cannot sustain a decent connection via wireless and running cat5 is unrealistic. My choice was use a wireless extender or go powerline - I went powerline and the solution works.
 

lainey

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
hlat said:
lainey, powerline adapters that put internet signals on your electrical wiring are not good for you either, wifi or no wifi.

https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,28280.msg394312/topicseen.html#msg394312
Thanks for the link Hlat. My knowledge about this kind of thing is pretty limited so I'll give the thread a read.

Flashgordonv said:
Cat5 cable runs have a limited length before they become reliable.
Thanks for sharing that Flashgordonv. I'm a bit unsure what the above means though. It seems like you are saying the longer they are the better?
 

rs

Dagobah Resident
lainey said:
hlat said:
lainey, powerline adapters that put internet signals on your electrical wiring are not good for you either, wifi or no wifi.

https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,28280.msg394312/topicseen.html#msg394312
Thanks for the link Hlat. My knowledge about this kind of thing is pretty limited so I'll give the thread a read.

Flashgordonv said:
Cat5 cable runs have a limited length before they become reliable.
Thanks for sharing that Flashgordonv. I'm a bit unsure what the above means though. It seems like you are saying the longer they are the better?
Lainey: think about it simply. If there isn't a wire between point 'A' and point 'B' it's "wireless". Technically powerline connections use wires, but they do so by transmitting a high frequency signal so as not to have interference from all of the power. There really is no substitute for having to drill holes in your walls and pull cable.

I'm pretty sure Flashgordonv had a typo. Cat-5 is good for about 100 meters but longer than that, the error rate goes up and therefore the reliability decreases. If the length of the run is an issue, just use Cat-6, which is rated for gigabit Ethernet.

Very interesting that the supplier gave you equipment without your knowledge or understanding. Very disturbing too.
 

flashgordonv

Dagobah Resident
FOTCM Member
rs said:
I'm pretty sure Flashgordonv had a typo. Cat-5 is good for about 100 meters but longer than that, the error rate goes up and therefore the reliability decreases. If the length of the run is an issue, just use Cat-6, which is rated for gigabit Ethernet.

You are right, my bad. I meant unreliable. And I agree, using cable is the ultimate, but it isn't always practical. Using cable runs does mean drilling holes in the ceiling (or the floor) and crawling around in the roof space. When push came to shove I chose to use powerline rather than wireless, with fingers crossed that powerline would come in less harmful.
 

lainey

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
rs said:
lainey said:
hlat said:
lainey, powerline adapters that put internet signals on your electrical wiring are not good for you either, wifi or no wifi.

https://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,28280.msg394312/topicseen.html#msg394312
Thanks for the link Hlat. My knowledge about this kind of thing is pretty limited so I'll give the thread a read.

Flashgordonv said:
Cat5 cable runs have a limited length before they become reliable.
Thanks for sharing that Flashgordonv. I'm a bit unsure what the above means though. It seems like you are saying the longer they are the better?
Lainey: think about it simply. If there isn't a wire between point 'A' and point 'B' it's "wireless". Technically powerline connections use wires, but they do so by transmitting a high frequency signal so as not to have interference from all of the power. There really is no substitute for having to drill holes in your walls and pull cable.

I'm pretty sure Flashgordonv had a typo. Cat-5 is good for about 100 meters but longer than that, the error rate goes up and therefore the reliability decreases. If the length of the run is an issue, just use Cat-6, which is rated for gigabit Ethernet.

Very interesting that the supplier gave you equipment without your knowledge or understanding. Very disturbing too.
Thanks rs, that makes it crystal clear now! I can understand why the guy on the phone would think it wasn't an issue if everyone wants wifi these days but I find it a bit sneaky of Virgin to use existing customers to get new customers by being able to advertise better signal in an area.
My understanding is limited but would it not be like having lots of mini towers all round an estate?
 
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