Inside the Plume SuperPods

Industrial metallic fins.

I few years ago, Virgin Media sent me their "Intelligent WiFi Plus Pods". They're part of a mesh network which is meant to improve WiFi coverage around your house. They were basically fine, but they are hardcoded to your Virgin Media service so can't be used for anything else. I eventually swapped to a different […]

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Preview: Virgin Media's Intelligent WiFi Plus Pods

A plug in unit with two ethernet ports.

Virgin Media have provided me with a test unit of their new Intelligent WiFi pods to review. They're useful, but come with some annoying limitations. If you have a big home, put a pod in every room and you'll have fast WiFi broadcast everywhere. Well, that's the theory. Limitations The big limitation is that both […]

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How many connected devices do you have at home?

Five years ago, I wrote that I had 30 connected devices at home. How has that changed over the last half-decade? Some of my devices have consolidated. My Eufy security cameras have a hub - so despite having more cameras, They're using fewer IP addresses. Similarly, I've replaced most of my LIFX bulbs with Zigbee […]

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How to get a 10% speed boost on Virgin Internet FOR FREE

A WiFi set up screen on Android.

If you have Virgin Media's cable service, you may have been forcibly opted-in to their WiFi Hotspot Sharing service. This allows anyone with a Virgin Media account to connect to your WiFi! Virgin have been moderately sensible with their design of this - users get a separate IP address, so their activity cannot be commingled […]

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Pause Internet Access on Virgin Media

App screen showing a paused device.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the WiFi router supplied by your ISP is crap. It will be slow, buggy, and have an atrocious user interface. This is especially true of Virgin Media. The Arris manufactured router is so bad that they've released a supplemental app to help you manage your Internet connection. The […]

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It's OK to lie to WiFi providers

Give social networks fake details, advises Whitehall web security official.

Another day, another data breach. The email addresses and travel details of about 10,000 people who used free wi-fi at UK railway stations have been exposed online. The database, found online by a security researcher, contained 146 million records, including personal contact details and dates of birth. It was not password protected. BBC News There's […]

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Alexa powered smarthome control for Sonoff

I've been sent a couple of Sonoff smarthome gadgets. You can read my review of the S20 WiFi plug socket and the POW in line power controller. Here's a video of me controlling them from my Amazon Alexa: The latency seems a little slow - hard to tell if that's Amazon only relying on US […]

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Review: Sonoff Pow - WiFi power switch and monitoring

The good folks at Sonoff have sent me a bunch of kit to review. See my previous review of the S20 WiFi plug. This is the Sonoff Pow - a WiFi enabled in-line power switch. Set Up Wiring up the Pow is relatively easy. The cover to the terminal block is secured with a simple […]

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Review: Sonoff S20 WiFi Plug

A schematic of a smart plug.

The good folks at Sonoff have sent me a bunch of kit to review. First up, the S20 WiFi Plug - an easy way to retrofit IoT smarts to your existing appliances. This fills the same niche as the Belkin WeMo but with one crucial difference - it's about half the price. Direct from Sonoff […]

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Virgin Media are hijacking your router - again!

Virgin Media are trying to resell your internet access. Worse still, they appear to be doing it without users' permission. A brief recap: Back in 2015, Virgin Media announced plans for a WiFi sharing network. A user's router would broadcast a separate WiFi network and other Virgin customers could roam on to it via an […]

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