Virgin Media rolls out Intelligent WiFi to boost home networks

Intelligent WiFi

Virgin Media is aiming to render inconsistent Wi-Fi signals in home networks with its Intelligent WiFi feature that has started rolling out to its routers.

By connecting back to a cloud-based system, Intelligent WiFi works to optimise wireless channels to ensure that all the devices on a home network have the best performance connection available to them.

The smart software allows for devices and gadgets on the network to seamlessly switch between 2.4 GHz and 5GHz connections using a process called band steering, which in Virgin Media's own testing has resulted in a claimed 25% increase in connection speeds when swapping to a 5GHz frequency.

The technology contains Virgin Media's "Airtime Fairness" which is the means by which a router with Intelligent WiFi can work out how to share Wi-Fi connectivity and bandwidth fairly across all devices connected to the network.

Older devices for example, might not have the Wi-Fi standards needed for the very fastest wireless connections and so Intelligent WiFi will take that into account when sharing the Wi-Fi connection.

Intelligent WiFi also comes with an iOS and Android app so users can more easily control their home network and uncover blackspots in their Wi-Fi coverage.

While Virgin Media champions its fibre broadband speeds, Rich Sinclair, executive director of connectivity at the telecoms company, highlighted that solid WiFi connectivity is an important step into to realising the potential of fast broadband connections.

"Delivering ultrafast broadband to help make Britain faster is what we do best at Virgin Media, but making sure this translates into reliable in-home connectivity is just as important," said Sinclair. "Intelligent WiFi will allow our customers to make the most of their broadband while also helping to easily overcome any connectivity conundrums around the home. With families using more devices than ever before, it's vital they can all be online whenever needed."

For people working from home, having technology that ensure a rock-steady wireless connection could be very beneficial indeed.

The technology may not be a groundbreaking application of smart, cloud-powered technology, it does show how clever software can be used to solve practical problems that can affect everyday life, rather than just solve academic issues and crunch complex software models.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland is a passionate newshound whose journalism training initially involved a broadcast specialism, but he’s since found his home in breaking news stories online and in print.

He held a freelance news editor position at ITPro for a number of years after his lengthy stint writing news, analysis, features, and columns for The Inquirer, V3, and Computing. He was also the news editor at Silicon UK before joining Tom’s Guide in April 2020 where he started as the UK Editor and now assumes the role of Managing Editor of News.

Roland’s career has seen him develop expertise in both consumer and business technology, and during his freelance days, he dabbled in the world of automotive and gaming journalism, too.