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ISP PlusNet Launch Faster Hub Zero 2704n Broadband Router – Full Specs

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 (11:18 am) - Score 68,448
plusnet_hub_zero_router

Low cost ISP PlusNet appears to have quietly introduced a new wireless broadband router for their new customers in the United Kingdom, which is called the Hub Zero (Sagemcom 2704n) and curiously does not come with an integrated VDSL modem for superfast FTTC broadband lines (i.e. you still need to use Openreach’s supplied VDSL modem via a managed install).

The router, which appears designed to replace PlusNet’s previous Technicolor 582n kit, is a modern but still fairly bog standard 4-port (100Mbps LAN) device with an integrated ADSL modem. Never the less PlusNet does say that their new kit is intended to be used with both ADSL and FTTCfibre broadband” connections.

On the PR front PlusNet claims that the Hub Zero uses 40% less energy than their Technicolor 582n, is a faster performer and also meets the new European rules for power consumption when on standby. After a quick prod we were also able to get our hands on some more detailed specifications, although it’s nothing impressive next to the kit that BT, TalkTalk, EE and Virgin Media have been putting out for the past 6-12 months.

PlusNet Hub Zero 2704n – Specification List

Manufacturer / Model
Sagemcom 2704N ADSL 2/2+

Chipset
Broadcom 6318 333MHz MIPS32®

Ethernet
Integrated Gigabit switch with 4 x 10/100 (Fast not Gig) ports

Wi-Fi Chip
Broadcom 43217T

Wi-Fi Standard
802.11 B/G/N (2.4GHz 2 x 2)

Ethernet WAN Interface
Port 4 can be used as a WAN interface in FTTC mode

Power Consumption
3.4W FTTC – 3.8W ADSL (average)

Generally we’d say that PlusNet’s kit is comparable to Sky Broadband’s similarly bog standard Sky Hub SR101 (note: Sky also has an SR102 with VDSL integrated), as highlighted by the lack of Gigabit Ethernet ports and 5GHz WiFi. Similarly the WiFi only goes up to ‘N’ spec, while most of the other big ISPs have since started to ship even faster gigabit capable ‘AC’ spec WiFi devices. Plus there are no USB ports.

PlusNet said that the ADSL version of their new router will also ship with one Microfilter (plus the usual power/DSL cables) and, from early February 2015, they will be able to give customers more Microfilters if they need them, free of charge.

Apparently the official launch date for the new Plusnet branded routers was 13th January 2015 and the ISP said that they’ll still be sending out some Technicolor routers for 2-3 weeks after that as they process in-flight orders. Hard luck if you ordered during the transition period, although this is a common practice among ISPs.

Finally, PlusNet told ISPreview.co.uk that the reason they haven’t put VDSL inside the new device for their FTTC subscribers is because it would be too expensive for them to do right now, especially since their systems don’t yet have the capability to do Openreach Self-Installs (PCP Only).

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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40 Responses
  1. Well at least Plusnet are keeping things simple, and not getting rid of providing FTTC Modems so that users can use their own routing equipment, also makes for tidier setups.

    Providers like BT and Virgin Media keep giving out these fancy looking pieces of plastic that are no used to many people and become a nuisance unless they have their own location a book shelf…

    I remember the days of getting a cable modem mounted on the wall out of eye shot and then distributing the internet throughout your home was your responsibility, people are too lazy and ISP’s are too controlling.

    • Generally I’d say it’s simpler when the VDSL modem is integrated into the router. It’s a lot uglier and more confusing for consumers when they have to use two devices instead of one. But I can understand PlusNet’s viewpoint on costs, even if ultra-budget ISP TalkTalk is still able to put out significantly more capable kit often and for less money.

    • Avatar Ignitionnet

      To be fair to Plusnet TalkTalk are using LLU which has some cost advantages.

      Home gateways are here to stay, they have become increasingly common all over the world. Wires only solutions are the exception rather than the rule for better or worse.

  2. Avatar MrWhite

    For a moment I thought you’d put up a post from 4 years ago in error …

  3. Avatar dave

    How stupid, they should have made a 4 port gigabit router with 802.11ac, integrated vdsl2 and possibly a usb port. Instead they launch a very outdated product. When you connect a vdsl modem you are left with just 3 x 100mbit ports. Glad i went with BT and their homehub5 although the talktalk router is supposed to have better wireless signal as mine isn’t great at one side of the upstairs when using from a smartphone.

  4. Avatar Chris C

    In a way I am glad, isps rolling out 5ghz capable devices has started cluttering up the 5ghz channels.

    The spec is no problem in my eyes, because if it was high spec then it means me a plusnet customer would probably be subsidising it with higher sub’s. The problem as I see it is the lack of a integrated vDSL chip because openreach are phasing out the modems.

    Yes I am one of those who prefers standalone modems, but still seems a bit of a oversight to not include the vDSL chip.

  5. Avatar Jeff

    Just a correction to Ignitionet’s post Plusnet do not and have never used LLU.

  6. Avatar Jeff

    Apologies to Ignitionet, misread their post.

  7. Avatar Greg

    A very wise move by Plusnet. The Thomson/Technicolor routers are total scheiße!

    • Avatar mark

      having received 2 of these “routers” from plusnet, i can say with some sadness that they are, in fact, LESS use than the much maligned 582n. Simple tasks like changing the local device IP to match a network or change he default admin password are not options within the over-simplified GUI.

      These overly-common tasks appear to also be beyond the scope of plusnet’s “technical support” with an official response of ” you might be able to do it by telnetting in” but we don’t support you doing that

      A question of port-forwarding was raised also, the router throws a wobbly if you try to forward 80 and 443. This was again met with ” we don’t support you in port forwarding”

      so basically, we’ve signed up and paid for 2 FTTC services to be told ” the routers may or may not do what you want, we won’t help”

      bring back the 582n – it did so much more and reasonably well ( i’ve never had an ounce of trouble with them – and as an IT consultant, have installed what must be hundreds by now)

      thanks

    • Avatar AS2015

      So we’ve learned one thing at least: Greg doesn’t like the TG582n.

  8. Avatar adslmax

    What a joke! Another rubbish cheap router!

  9. Avatar No Clue

    Feature wise it to me looks the same as the Thomson before it. (Am i missing the obvious performance boost/advantage apart from maybe more reliable, which we will not know for a while?)

    Id guess its more along the lines in reality of…. The long in the tooth Thomsons were getting hard to acquire and Sagem offered them a cheap mass deal/bulk buy on these. I can see no other reason to replace a device with something of basically the same spec.

    Mind you i do like how they have tried to sell it….. “40% less energy” would had been even less if it were an all in one device and you didnt have to have a second FTTC modem plugged in. I applaud them though for the attempt, i guess it was the best the PR department could come up with in a short time.

    As for “also meets the new European rules for power consumption when on standby” what the heck does “standby” mean???? Or do they mean more BS PR spill for look its a router whos ports are not active and port lights dont blink when the device connected to them is not switched on(AKA as “Green”)…… Like every modem and router in the last 2-5(ish) years has done.

    I wish them well even more so as with this thing they are gonna get left behind in the look what we bundled stakes.

  10. Avatar cyclpoe

    So as both routers have only 100MB lan ports how is this router faster?

    both are poor products Maybe they should start spending on their network instead of new routers and unsustainable cashback offers too many customers and not enough bandwith at peak times

  11. It seems pretty clear to me that this replacement is simply to allow Plusnet to adhere to the new EU regulations on standby power consumption – it even mentions that in the review. It certainly isn’t much of an advance on the Technicolor router they were supplying.

    To my mind the rule is – if ypu want anything better than a very basic router you’ll have to buy your own. At least Plusnet put no obstacles in your way of doing that and even allow you to save the shipping charge on their router if you don’t want it.

    It’s still an opportunity missed though – better spec WiFi and a gigabit switch would surely not have added vastly to the cost.

    • Avatar AS2015

      All routers placed on the market in 2015 have to comply with the 2015 EU power regulations. This includes the TG582n. So the notion that this change is due to meeting the new regulations is incorrect.

  12. Avatar John

    I ordered mine before Mark (29 Jan) posted about the crippled settings. This is what it can’t do for me: (1) change the IP address range as Mark already said, (2) set a static route to another router in my network, and (3) set DHCP to give my networked printer and networked drive static IP addresses. Maybe (1) and (2) are a bit techy, but I would have thought that more and more people are getting networked (such as wireless) printers, and even network-attached storage, which benefits from a static IP address so the computers can always find it and therefore needs access to basic DHCP settings which are not available in PlusNet’s crippled 2704n.

    At least they are sending me a bag to return it, and will refund my postage.

  13. Avatar John

    Oh, and they told me to telnet as well. But it did not respond to telnet to the usual telnet port. Nothing on the internet suggests that the Sagem 2704n has a telnet interface.

  14. Avatar Eva

    Some additional options e.g. turn DHCP on/off, limit DHCP address range, reserve addresses and some other things are available via the Sagemcom GUI i.e.

    http://192.168.1.254/expert_user.html

    • Avatar Mark

      Eva you are an absolute star! Thank you for that little snippet of information. Address reservation and setting subnet was exactly what I was needing! It seems to work perfectly and it seems petty to not give this information out when people ask to be able to do these things!

    • Avatar Phil

      Thanks Eva, solved my problem and saved me having to go out and buy a router.

      DHCP now disabled.
      IP Address changed.

    • Avatar Justin

      You absolute legend!

    • Avatar Lawrence

      Thanks Eva
      I found it absolutely unbelievable that there was no easy way to change the DHCP settings or assign static ip addresses.
      After spending quite some time searching the internet for help I came across your post. You will have helped stacks of plusnet customers by this.
      I can not test it yet as my fibre has not been connected yet.
      I want to change my subnet so will need to find out if the bt openreach box can be connected to via a different subnet
      But at least I can now assign static IP addresses
      Thanks again

    • Avatar Austin

      I have just had the Sagemcom 2704n and Openreach VDSL installed. Do you know if its possible to block the google default DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 that my roku 3 is picking up? I used to do it through telnet on my old Thomson router. I am currently regretting moving over to fibre and this new router… Any help much appreciated. (ps I’m not particularly clued up about computers, so any advice would have to be in layman’s terms :0)

    • Avatar Chris

      You have just made my day Eva! I’ve been looking for some way to modify this router for months!

      Can you believe they actually supply this thing for business users as well? >:(

    • Avatar Godfrey

      Just wanted to say thanks for that excellent bit of info! What was a totally useless box to me can now be used in my network setup! Thanks 🙂

    • Eva = LEGEND!

      Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!!

  15. Avatar Peter

    Outstanding! Plusnet tech support hadn’t a clue about the /expert_user page and also suggested telnet, to which the router did not respond – not surprising as it’s a Sagem not a Thompson!

    13mbps post-installation – very far from impressed as we had 5mbps on plain old ADSL anyway and our neighbours have 20mbps and they are further downstream from the cabinet!

    Do I wish I’d stayed with BT? ask me again if Plusnet can’t improve the speed to something that might make the ‘upgrade’ worthwhile!

    Big thanks for the URL – router now has the IP address I wanted – and have always been able to assign with previous hardware, including BT.

  16. Avatar Austin

    I have just had the Sagemcom 2704n and Openreach VDSL installed. Does anyone know if its possible to block the google default DNS 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 that my roku 3 is picking up? I used to do it through telnet on my old Thomson router. Any help much appreciated. (ps I’m not particularly clued up about computers, so any advice would have to be in layman’s terms :0)

  17. Avatar Poppy

    Please could anyone confirm whether or not the PlusNet Hub Zero 2704n has an on/off switch for the wi-fi only just as the Technicolour TG582n has. I like having the ability to turn off the wi-fi when not required but continue to use the wired (ethernet)connection.
    Many thanks

    • I can’t answer that with 100% certainty, but on the other hand I’ve never known a broadband router that didn’t allow you the ability to switch-off WiFi. It’s kind of an expected function.

      Unless you mean a physical switch, as in a button on the outside of the router.. then I’m not sure.

  18. Avatar Poppy

    Many thanks for your response Mark. I am switching to Plusnet and have now received a Plusnet 2704n router. I am delighted to report that it does have a physical switch dedicated for turning the wi-fi on/off. It also has a dedicated WPS on/off. However initially I did not spot them. I contacted Plusnet and was advised they are on the side of the router.

  19. Avatar Asif

    Hi plusnet broadband was working very slow so I screwed new router up near the ceiling so it works in my bedroom, I also changed the channel on the router and no difference. There were constant connection drops so I tried my old talktalk router and to my surprise it works great. plusnet has always had cheap routers that has connection problems. I was with plusnet few years ago but because of the wireless range issue i went to different providers and after 5 – 6 years i assumed plusnet must have improved their routers but i was wrong. This new router is worse than what they used to have and they were bad. The talktalk router is on the floor downstairs and internet works great in my bedroom. With the plusnet router youtube videos were sticking and not loading fast enough. I must say talktalk black router works amazing.

  20. Avatar martin maclean

    Got one of these the other day as a replacement for a dead technicolor ,and had high hopes for it .However it is worse than the router it replaced ,it really is pants ,it might be be 40% faster etc but range wise its pathetic ,5-10 metres at most,defeats the object of having fibre in the first place ,will probably leave Plusnet when my contract is up so disappointed in them at the moment ,why cant any broadband company supply a decent router that reaches up a staircase into a bedroom minimum ,i think more people would sign up to them even if it was a few pound dearer ,pretty frd up with all of them to be honest ,all penny pinchers

    • most ISPs supply cheep and cheerful routers, if you want one with more poke, you’re going to have to dip into your wallet.
      i got an ASUS RT-n56U, it has 5ghz wifi and was rock solid, i replaced it with a draytek 2920 last week and the wifi on the draytek is pants in comparison. downside? both routers are around the +£100 mark

  21. Self installs for FTTC are nothing but trouble, extension wiring causes a lot more problems with VDSL than ADSL, so if you dont have a filtered faceplate or you have dodgy wiring, then your fibre service begins to suffer. so many faults on self installs are caused buy the customers wiring. id prefer to go managed install, that way if theres a fault with the Sync, its openreach’s responsibility whatever happens.

  22. Avatar Nick Brotherton

    I used to work for BT and I can say with some confidence that they and Plusnet are basically the same network and are also possibly owned by BT. Better still, Plusnet have their own call centre in Sheffield rather than ending up in India with BT so that’s good enough for me! You will also notice that they never compare their network with BT’s, just Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk etc.

  23. Avatar Jane Barrister

    I am thinking of changing from BT to PlusNet but information on this router is putting me off. I use the gigabit interface on HomeHub3 to connect two daisy chained gigabit switches and every thing including TV are wired to a gigabit switch. As the SageMCom 2704n does not have a Ethernet gigabit interface, using this router will slow down my internal network. Can I use my own router and not the SageMcom 2704n that PlusNet provide?

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