Virgin Media SuperHub 3 and Asus RT N66U wireless router

Early 2018 I'd been having all sorts of problems with my Virgin Media cable connection.
After a number of calls to Virgin Media support they arranged for an engineer visit. He replaced the existing SuperHub with the latest version, the SuperHub 3 (SH3).

Given the engineer ran tests on the line as well as installing the SH3 box, I'm not as annoyed as usual the VM wouldn't just send the box for self install.

Since the SH3 was installed, my Asus RT-N66U router refused to connect to the Virgin Media network with an error about the "ISP DHCP function not working".

I've been very happy with the Asus router to date and felt fairly confident that wasn't the cause.

Virgin Media support

I had a number of calls with Virgin Media support about connection issues over the last 3 days. Each time they ignored what I told them and insisted on going through the motions of resetting the SuperHub box.

After describing my setup, wanting to use the superhub as a modem with my own router, one support guy continued to explain it wasn't working because the WiFi was switched off on the SuperHub!

Note that if the Virgin Media SuperHub 3 light is white, it isn't in modem only mode. The light should be a pinky colour (magenta apparently!).

I finally found someone that helped get me sorted, but only by subscribing to the premium support "deal" of 6 months @ £5/month and £20 setup. So effectively a £50 call. The "fix" provided by premium Virgin support was temporary, issue returned.

Virgin Media SuperHub 3 and ASUS RT-N66U Router fix

Method 1 : custom router firmware

After method 2 below failed to work, I started doing more research. It seems there are some nice people out there that write custom firmware for the Asus routers and distribute it under the 'Merlin' name.

Merlin AsusWRT firmware website

After downloading the appropriate firmware and installing on my Asus RT-N66U router it seems to be much better behaved with the Virgin Media superhub 3 unit in modem mode.

There are firmwares there for the Asus RT-N66U and Asus RT-66U_B1. I installed the former, I don't know what the difference is. It may be there were two versions of the RT-N66U or it may be one is a Beta version of the firmware.

I can't help you decide which is appropriate for your particular version of the Asus RT-N66U.

I still don't know what is actually different in superhub3 vs the hub we had previously, but so far this custom firmware is allowing the router to deal with the change.

Method 2 (existing firmware) : this seems to only be a temporary fix

  1. Go to WAN page (WAN on left menu of router admin page)
  2. Find "Enable WAN" and set to no, click apply
  3. Find "Enable WAN" and set to yes, click apply
  4. Turn off router and VM modem, leave them off for a bit (30-60 seconds)
  5. Turn on router and modem - it works for me now