Virgin Media trials new Hub 5 smart security

23 November 2023 13:12   By Lyndsey Burton

Virgin Media are trialling a new Internet security protection layer on their Hub 5 routers for connecting smart devices.

Virgin Media are trialling a new Smart Security service, which aims to offer additional protection to connecting smart devices, like video doorbells and wireless speakers.

The new system will allow customers to monitor and manage their smart devices in real time, as well as alerting them to potential threats.

The trial will be rolled out to all new and existing Virgin Media customers with Hub 5 routers, although customers can choose to opt-out at any time.

virgin media hub 5

Smart Security

The Smart Security update will automatically download to all Virgin Media Hub 5 users at no extra cost to them.

Once available, customers can activate the trial using the Virgin Media Connect App, where they can access the update through the new 'Smart Security' dashboard.

The update aims to offer additional layers of protection on home wireless networks for connecting smart devices like video doorbells and wireless speakers, with users able to monitor them in real time.

Often, these smart devices have access to personal information, including home recordings of video and voice, and can leave users vulnerable to hacking attacks as well as cyber-security threats such as malware.

The security update works by actively fending off cyber-attacks such as ransomware or hacking to attempt to steal personal data. Customers will be able to see how the software is protecting their devices, as well as what's blocked on web browsers.

Who gets a Hub 5?

The security update should be a welcome upgrade for many Virgin Media customers, especially considering how widespread the use of smart home gadgets has become for home security.

However, it's disappointing the upgrade is so far only available to Virgin Media Hub 5 customers, although we could see it rolled out to the Hub 3 and Hub 4 routers if Virgin feel the trial has been successful.

Virgin Media's Hub 5 router was released in late 2021, yet is still generally only available to customers who take their fastest Gig1 package.

Other Virgin broadband customers are provided with either the Hub 3 or Hub 4, depending on availability, with older existing customers possibly still using a Super Hub 2.

While the Hub 5 supports the latest WiFi 6 protocol as well as the newer WPA3 security encryption, older Hub 3 and Hub 4 routers only support WiFi 5 and WPA2.

It's somewhat frustrating then, that Virgin Media have yet to update the routers of all customers, especially as even budget brands like Shell Energy Broadband are now moving to WiFi 6 and WPA3 for their routers.

WiFi security tips

In addition to the security update, Virgin Media have also published a number of tips to help customers keep their smart devices safe. This includes:

  1. Avoid hoarding your data: Security video or doorbell recordings should be regularly deleted if it contains old footage that's no longer needed. While this does prevent hackings accessing lots of data, there are instances where we may need to go back and check something, so a balance should be met here.
  2. Anti-virus software: Ensure devices are protected by anti-virus software and it's kept up to date. AVG and Avast both offer free anti-virus software, while Virgin Media also offer a paid service powered by F-Secure for £30 a year.
  3. Delete suspicious emails: Check email sender addresses and web links carefully, as spelling mistakes are often used to hide fake websites and scams.
  4. Back it up: Cloud back-up services can be used to securely store important information, as well as personal documents like photos, in the case something goes wrong and a device needs to, or ends up, getting wiped.

We've also got more information on security in our guide to protecting your wireless network.


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