Let’s face it: the routers we get from internet service providers — or ISPs as they’re known to geeks like me — just aren’t great. You may get reasonable performance if you live in a small space, but they simply lack the range if you need WiFi in parts of your home further away from the router.
While swapping out a router seems daunting at first, I promise, it’s super simple and will only take you 5-10 minutes to do. By the time you’re done, you’ll hopefully have better WiFi range and speed at home!
So, if you’re thinking about swapping your existing Virgin Media Superhub router in favour of a new router from D-Link, here’s the process I just went through to set up the D-Link EXO DIR-2660 router. (These instructions should work similarly for any D-Link router).
Measuring performance before & after
Whenever changing a network setup, it’s a good idea to measure your speeds and range before and after. Log onto www.speedtest.net and pick a few difference spaces in your house — the living room, a bedroom and maybe a garden — just to get a variation of distances from the router. Be sure to run the speed test a few times as well to get a consistent average. The goal here is to get a better idea of what your download & upload speeds are in these rooms and then test them again after the D-Link router installation to see what the improvement is.
Setting up your new D-Link router
Each router may have its own small differences during setup but in most cases, here’s what you’ll have to do:
- Plug your new D-Link router into a power source, close to your Virgin Media SuperHub router. Try to position it in an open space, ideally away from other gadgets that can cause signal interference.
- Next, we need access to your Virgin Media SuperHub admin page so that we can convert it from Router mode into Modem mode so that the two routers don’t clash.
- While connected to the Virgin WiFi network, open an internet browser on any device (Chrome, Safari etc) and type 192.168.0.1 into the address bar. If you have any problems doing this wirelessly, do this with a laptop/computer plugged into the router via an ethernet cable.
- When this webpage loads, it will prompt you to enter your router’s admin password — this should be found on the bottom of the router itself, unless you changed the password when you first got it.
- Once you’re in the Virgin Media SuperHub admin page, you’ll see Modem mode as a menu option on the left side. Click that.
- Lastly, on this new page click the option enable modem mode and apply your settings. The router should now restart and you won’t be able to see the SuperHub’s WiFi network on your devices anymore.
- With the D-Link router turned on, grab the ethernet cable that comes in the box. Plug one end into the ethernet port labelled “1” on the Virgin router and the other into the “WAN” or “Internet” port on the D-Link router.
- Download the D-Link mobile app on your Android/iOS device to complete the initial setup process. D-Link have made the setup process really simple, so you should get through it in only a few minutes.
- During the setup process, the app should prompt you to name your network (also known as the SSID) and create a new password. You can start from scratch and create a new name, but if you have a lot of devices at home it will make your life easier to use the same SSID and password as your existing WiFi network — your devices should then automatically reconnect to the new network, saving you from doing it manually! (If you haven’t changed Virgin’s original settings, you can copy & paste the SSID & password from the sticker on the router).
- Once fully set up, the D-Link app will allow you to measure the wired internet speed with a single tap on the app home screen. This speed should match up (closely enough) to whatever you pay for — in my case with Virgin Media, that’s 350mb. (You may need to give it a few minutes if your initial speeds are a little slow). This tells you that the Virgin router is working nicely with the D-Link router.
- Lastly, to wrap up, go back to those same rooms you ran speed tests in and run the tests again. Do you notice any speed and/or WiFi range improvements? (You may need 30 minutes or so for the speeds to reach full capacity again.)
With your Virgin Media router working as a modem and the D-Link router , you can now go and enjoy (what should be) a more reliable and stable internet connection in your home.
If you ever want to log back into your Virgin router’s admin portal again, plug in a computer via ethernet and type 192.168.100.1 into your browser— the original 192.168.0.1 will be taken by your new D-Link router.
I hope this article helps you!