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BT Publish WiFi Speedtests for New Smart Hub 2 Router vs Rival ISPs

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 (12:01 am) - Score 11,018
bt_smart_hub_2_wifi_test

BT has complemented the launch of their new Smart Hub 2 router (here) by publishing an updated study of WiFi speedtests, which pitted their kit against routers from TalkTalk, EE, Virgin Media, Sky Broadband and Plusnet. Unsurprisingly the UK ISP claims to provid “better wi-fi coverage” than all of them.

Apparently the testing, which only examined data transfer performance of the wireless local area network (latency etc. wasn’t considered), was based on the IEEE802.11T WLAN Test Methods. But BT’s claim of offering “better wi-fi coverage” is said to only reflect the 2.4GHz band (not 5GHz) “because this gives the best coverage.

The testing itself was conducted in BT’s special WiFi test house, which has several floors and is situated in a remote rural test facility some 800 metres from any other buildings. Room A is right next to the router, while room B was a little further away on the same level, room C was one floor up and room D was two floors up at the edge of coverage for 2.4GHz (see picture – top left).

NOTE: The limits of 5GHz meant that only Room A and B were tested for that.

The same setup and testing method (involving “hundreds of data points“) was adopted for each router using “normal customer activities.” Overall BT’s Smart Hub 2 and their original Smart Hub 1 broadly topped the results table, although TalkTalk’s new Wi-Fi Hub came pleasingly close.

The testing also included EE’s Smart Hub (re-branded BT Smart Hub), Plusnet’s Hub One (re-branded and tweaked BT Home Hub 5A), Virgin Media’s SuperHub v3 + v2AC and Sky Broadband’s Sky Q Hub. The full report (PDF) also includes upload speeds, although to save space we’ve only published the download scores below.

As usual we’d always recommend taking such results with a pinch of salt because they have not come from an independent source, although BT’s testing does seem to have been reasonably fair. One interesting observation, which was alluded to in the router specs, is that the new Smart Hub 2 does not appear to differ much from the Smart Hub 1 in terms of WiFi performance.

bt_smart_hub_2_wifi_speedtest

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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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47 Responses
  1. Avatar chris conder

    It would be interesting to know what happens on a housing estate or block of flats with several of these powerful wifi hubs transmitting in the same space. I think the more power a single device has, the worse it gets for people with the noise on the channels that are overlapping. I think mesh is the way we’ll all go in the end. Wifi is a dark art.

    • Avatar Joe

      Cordless phones don’t help. I;m not sure mesh helps that much there is still a lmtd frequency.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      Yes most of the WIFI issues I come across are multiple Routers competing. It is always OK near the Router but weak signal in a bedroom is often overpowered by a neighbour. All the leading ISPs appear to settle on a particular channel (1, 6, 11) automatically but multiple routers from the same ISP and others often clash. 5Ghz is better but similar issues occur in close housing. The current solution appears to be simply to try and out do the other. Changing channels is no a way out. Why the WIFI signal strength cannot be altered like it can on decent Access Points is disappointing.

      As ISPs continue to be blamed for poor WIFI to the device then they are seeking ways to reduce their support costs and have solutions for their customers (even if it costs them).

      The new Smart Hub 2 above is the first to include built-in mesh functionality even if it is proprietary to BT and to use it you need to subscribe to BT Plus to get the mesh disk(s).

      Mesh (or dedicated APs) will improve WIFI however it does not resolve the issue of being affected by the unwanted WIFI signal from others.

  2. Avatar Mark

    They all say the same when they release a new router but in the real world you don’t get anywhere near these speeds. Not that getting high speeds over wireless matters that much considering most of the country is capped to 80Mb unless your in a VM area!

  3. Avatar Phil

    There are strict regulations about power output so BT can’t be putting out a more powerful signal, that’s PR. The power output from their router will be matching all others, and the Wi-Fi chips will be the same common types. It’s just an antenna design that favours a particular usage pattern, that may or probably not, be repeatable in the customers own home.

    Where it was working well, it was hardly any different to the others tested, at the edge case scenario room D, then okay a download might progress a bit faster than the others, but the better test would have been streaming, which is the usual use case these days. For example they may have tweaked the firmware to accept a much higher packet loss rate to force a higher throughput, which on downloads with TCP packet loss isn’t a problem, it gets requested again. With streaming however with UDP, that trick will not work and you have an unwatchable experience no matter which one you used.

  4. Avatar Nick Roberts

    Grrrrrreat ! Being in back-to back and terraced housing my HH 6A already has to fight, on any average day, for airspace with at least 6 neighbours hubs from the side of the property, back and even across the road ! Signal interruption and re-connects/retransmits are so frequent (Particularly in the evenings and weekends) that the data rate upstairs (The router is downstairs) is severely affected. Hence, I now rely on a cat 6 ethernet cable + powerline connection to feed the equipment upstairs.

    Not only that the general RF airways down here in London are, following the recent (Last 25 years) measures taken by HMG for liberalisation of same, so congested, that for instance, a quick scan of FM main broadcast band this week revealed Air Traffic Control traffic (Presumably from Swannick or Harmonsworth) coming through on the BBC radio 4 frequency (94 Mhz).

    If this was air pollution, instead of RF, London would be in the grip of a 24/7/365 “Pea souper”. Ridiculous. Measures should be taken to reduce RF “Over-use” and RF pollution, not increase it.

    The only thing that will stop this interference, as far as home computing is concerned, is fibre all the way i.e. FTTP, Fibre hub and retro-fit fibre kits for inside the house/powerline.

    By the look of the UK’s cheap and dirty roll-out plans, which have a 10 year horizon, FTTP isn’t even on the agenda, let alone a fibre hub and retro-fit house kits for fibre.

    The only thing that seems to be optimised with this release is the satisfaction of the middle-class marketeers who are timing this release in an attempt to bat-off the threat to landlines from 5G.

    • Avatar Joe

      fttp will come to most by the 2030s, but you certainly won’t get retrofit of fibre in homes the cost is prohibitive and frankly pointless. Cabling is fine for PCs etc but not much use for phones/ipads etc…As long as you have those you will need the wifi…

    • Avatar CarlT

      To be honest any cabling in your home is on you as it should be and it doesn’t need to be fibre at all – I’ve Cat6a on the three floors of this property. Cat6a+ is fine for 40Gb over the kinds of distances that are used in homes. You can certainly purchase cable, wall sockets, conduit, etc, to run such things and pay an electrician to install it.

      How’re you planning on connecting a fibre optic cable to a mobile phone?

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @Nick
      You have recently made a series of posts, many of which seem somewhat removed from reality. One of several examples in the one above is:

      “The only thing that seems to be optimised with this release is the satisfaction of the middle-class marketeers who are timing this release in an attempt to bat-off the threat to landlines from 5G”.

      This is clearly nonsense. By the time 5G is deployed at scale, with reasonable takeup of handsets etc, this particular hub will almost certainly be one if not two generations out of date.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion but let’s try to have a fact-based discussion wherever possible!

  5. Avatar Nick Roberts

    If its FTTP by 2030 – give up. No wonder ol’ Trumpet wants a bilateral trade deal with UK, if we’ve already got IT infrastructure of this quality and have no real ambition to improve it, he won’t have to obviously skew the T&Cs of the deals too much in his favour.

    As said in a post on another forum on this web site, how long can the insulation on the 70-100 year underground copper hang on ? If the electricity cabling in London is anything to go by (Witness the Kingsway , Holborn explosion event and numerous others) not long. As the insulation degrades, water gets in and the noise level, cross-talk and LOS go up, no matter how clever the signal being pumped down it.

    Long-term, even power-line within premises may not continue to be viable for too much longer as I’ve also suspect that a new source of interference from the electricity companies’ smart meter service is affecting transmission rates on PL connections.

    What would have been useful in this hub revision would have been to substantially increase the Wi-Fi speeds up to commercial competitors levels e.g. NightHawk mid-range doing 3200 AC. As another poster has said, in reality you never get what’s advertised anywhere for a variety of reasons, including signal conflict and competition, but, if you start from a higher threshold . . . . .

    This is just marketeers taking the wee-wee by offering the smallest technical increment for the maximum price. That said they’re offering the smart hub 2 for half the price of smart hub 1 – God bless competition from 5 G !

    • Avatar Joe

      “If its FTTP by 2030 – give up. No wonder ol’ Trumpet wants a bilateral trade deal with UK, if we’ve already got IT infrastructure of this quality and have no real ambition to improve it, he won’t have to obviously skew the T&Cs of the deals too much in his favour.”

      The US’s BB problems are far far worse than the UK

  6. Avatar Nick Roberts

    How much to manufacture and distribute these hubs ? . . . Probably less than a tenner a piece.

  7. Avatar gerarda

    I question whether the test actually reflects real world conditions.

    We need an extender in the annexe which is 10 ft across a courtyard and in light of sight from the router. Yet the signal is fine in my office which is up one floor through a double chimney and 25 ft laterally from the router.

  8. Avatar Richard Hazel

    Interested to see the comment ref.strict regulations about power output – we live in a 16C house with multiple very thick walls. We have a BT Smart Hub 1 but having tried multiple solutions to get a signal throughout the house, the only one that has been successful is an Amped Wireless repeater from the US. Will be interesting to see if the Smart Hub 2 with multiple discs works any better?

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      WIFi bands are unlicensed but regulations apply. Our products are currently controlled via the EU CE certification. It may be illegal to use non compliant products within the UK particularly if they exceed UK/EU standards. Whether it is this Smart Hub 2 or the Nighthawk they can only transmit on the frequencies, channels and power output allowed by each country (they are not all the same). For cosmetics etc most ISP routers use aerials on the board whereas Nighthawk etc use external. The beam shape can vary significantly.

      The ISP routers seek to transmit at the maximum but much depends on the quality of the circuitry and circuit board design. The signal doesn’t just weaken it also distorts. All in one routers are doing other things and made to cost so there are compromises other than just the WIFI transmission itself. Even decent hardware can be effected by inefficient software.

      If you can cable or powerline to a decent ceiling AP that is the solution. One on the landing may suffice depending on house layout.

    • Avatar Alex Bristol

      I agree with Meadmodj, for anyone having issues with poor router Wi-Fi signal to add access points connected ideally with Ethernet cable, or where cabling is not possible then use powerline. Some powerline devices do have Wi-Fi APs built-in but signal isn’t as good as using separate APs, but might be sufficient. For APs start by looking at ‘TP-Link EAP225 AC1350’ or ‘UniFi UAP-AC-LR’ which has better Wi-Fi diagnostics. For most installations this solution gives better results than Wi-Fi repeaters.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      TP-LINK EAP225 AC1350 is ideal. It is PoE and the supplied power supply includes a PoE injector so you can keep all the mains power at a more central location and simply cable to the ceiling AP which is not only practical but importantly safe. If you are using multiple PoE then use a PoE switch but if using individual devices ensure you get a Ceiling AP which includes the injector.

      Use of manufactured devices with moulded 13 amp plugs (TV aerials, Wall mounted TV supplies etc) should only be used in ceiling voids and lofts on correctly installed (and accessible) sockets for the purpose. I have come across pretty horrific mains approaches and some well cooked transformers in my time. I have also seen powerline units cooking behind chest of draws etc. Be safe.

    • Avatar Alex Bristol

      Hi Mark J, re your Wi-Fi guidance (https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2015/04/10-top-tips-boosting-home-wi-fi-wireless-network-speeds.html) Meadmodj’s solution would be great to see it included, as peoples broadband migrates to full fibre the reliance on 802.11ac and 802.11ad increases and they best work with access points in the same room as the user’s devices, as many homes have the router in the hallway or some other room.

      While updating there also needs to be a note about 2.4GHz works better when router/AP is kept away from windows, due to it’s long 150m range. If your neighbour’s AP is transmitting on the same channel as your AP then your AP has to wait to transmit, to comply with Ofcom and I believe it is also to check each packet isn’t from your own devices, so putting your AP out of visibility of neighbours the better the performance. And from my experience this is one of the main reasons now why people experience laggy broadband, and if you are next to a busy road, cars, buses, cyclists, walkers have Wi-Fi APs and devices transmitting, and it is only getting worse.

    • Avatar Matty

      Richard, If you are using a US sourced device you will be breaking local UK regulations. the US devices area allowed to have a much higher power output the anything in UK/EU for unlicenced use.
      That would explain why that particular device is working better than the locally sourced devices in your example but is illegal nevertheless.

  9. Avatar Adrian

    How have they managed to get such a big difference between the EE Smart Hub and the BT Smart Hub 1 on the Macbook tests? They’re the same router!

    • Avatar bob

      Because their testing is BS see my post above about their test history and their prior claims with their devices.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      The test details are as good as we’ll get from an ISP. The test methodology is explained sufficiently to provide evidence to support their advertising claims regarding WIFI reach until challenged by a rival’s research. As with most research if not independent then the tests/results/conclusions that do not support the objective of the sponsor they simply will not be published.
      There are all sorts of issues here such as whether they were to their latest hardware/firmware version and the tests really only test the WIFI to LAN connectivity not the router as a whole, particularly to the broadband or how it behaves with multiple devices joining and leaving. I see differences between routers of the same stable. In practical terms expecting an all in Router reaching the whole house through walls and furniture is flawed. Therefore I would look for a router that keeps the broadband stable and can manage the actual router/switch function. If it gives good WIFI then fine but better to use dedicated devices as any physical barriers to WIFI will remain what ever you buy. The new BT hub comes with their mesh option so even BT are acknowledging this.

    • Avatar joseph

      “The test details are as good as we’ll get from an ISP.”

      Is that another way of saying kind of accurate, but ultimately NOT?

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      They just need to do enough to support advertising claims and anything negative would not see the light of day.

    • Avatar joseph

      “The test methodology is explained sufficiently to provide evidence to support their advertising claims regarding WIFI reach until challenged by a rival’s research.”

      No research is needed, the information is clearly wrong or they just can not count.

      There were NINE devices tested.

      The 2.4Ghz test for Room A states “BT Smart Hub 2 as % of best of other ISPs” is 99%.

      Out of the NINE devices tested and the 156Mb the Smart Hub 2 achieved it was beaten by THREE others in the list (or one third 1/3 or as per test 3/9). That would make it around 2 thirds 2/3 or or approx 66% better than the “others” not 99%.

      Even if they are excluding the original Smart Hub as that is a BT product and thus not an “other ISP” its still beaten by 2 “others” or 2/9 as a fraction or in a percent thats about 78% better.

      Interesting we are expected to believe they can record all this mathematical data for a range of devices but have trouble with junior school calculations?

      The new adverts and claims about wifi will be entertaining eh.

    • Avatar bob

      LOL Nicely spotted Joseph

  10. Avatar Phil

    Hi @Meadmodj

    Very true, separate all the way. A ceiling mounted access point on the landing resolved all issues we had with coverage in our house. The higher you can get it usually the better, as signals meet less obstacles in most homes travelling vertically than horizontally.

    Regards

    Phil

    • Avatar Joe

      But as the signal is generally doughnut shaped thats not playing to its strengths. (there may be cases thats still the right decision but the basic point stands)

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      I’ll check when I get the chance but I am sure ceiling APs only print the antenna on the front of the board and the last one I installed had a reflector. The basic benefit of ceiling units is there is less physical obstruction in the upper most part of the room and landings are pretty clear unless you are a hoarder. Whereas the majority of 13 amp socket WIFI extenders are hidden behind sofas and other furniture which attenuates their signal immediately.
      Personal experience is cheap WIFI extenders are rubbish and get hot over time. If you spend more you get a better product but then you get passed the cost a commercial grade ceiling AP product.
      As for Router positioning the last VM issue I was asked to look at had the Router sitting behind a 40″ TV. User naturally blamed VM but a slight move and untangling the coax was all that was needed. You can even wall mount the ISP Router (brackets available) but my preference is to keep Modem/Routers out of sight.

    • Avatar joseph

      “ceiling APs only print the antenna on the front of the board and the last one I installed had a reflector.”

      Which does not help if the antenna is omni-directional. Signal from an omni-directional antenna which is typically produced by routers, AP, extenders etc is as Joe says Donut shape in nature, reflecting that misaligns its shape. You are basically taking a wide signal and trying to narrow it. Ultimately what will happen is you focus more of the signal in a certain direction but you DO NOT increase the strength or the range of that signal. A donut signal is round (or as near as) reflecting it the best you can hope for is making it oblong, which sounds like it will reach further but it wont, what you have actually done is crushed the donut from 2 sides……. The only way that will help is improved reception in the MIDDLE of its transmit range (you have NOT squashed the donut middle outward but inward). Think of a sponge, squeezing it alters the shape but it does not make the overall size of the sponge bigger.

      If you need to reach something a specific distance or in a specific direction you need a directional antenna and it pointed in the direction of the equipment you want to send or receive a signal from… Not dissimilar to a satelite dish.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      I’m not modifying or trying to increase its range. I just use them as supplied as ceiling APs are simply in the best position in my opinion to distribute the WIFI signal, support multiple SSIDs if required, and allow full control including the signal strength.

      I only have one immediately available to me for test and in no way this is scientific but either side of the AP I get the same signal strength but at around two foot from the AP I get 1.8mw/m2 from the front and 0.58mw/m2 at the back. There would be a bigger difference if I simulated the ceiling material.

      This example shows that there is a difference but not by much.
      https://help.ubnt.com/hc/article_attachments/115021301367/UAP-AC-SHD-Overall_-_Summary_Plot.png

    • Avatar joseph

      I do not understand what that is trying to show with regards to the conversation apart from what i have stated. The difference is so minor that you could affect a signal more with an old device and just pointing the external antenna in a different direction. I dare say with a device with non-external antennas you could achieve the same or better just by placing a bit of card covered in foil next to the device and the direction you do not want the signal to go.

      You can not improve, increase or effectively focus the signal or range of something with a omni-antenna the signal. It is a set strength which radiates outward in a pretty universal shape in every direction. The more you manipulate the signal (squash or stretch it) from a omni antenna the less effective the signal gets… Its not directional, i do not know how to explain it any easier term.

      If you have A device which is at a higher, lower or any specific direction which has trouble with wifi, throwing a some extender, mesh system or other omni device at the problem is in most cases a waste of money at best and complete overkill at worse. If every tom, dick and harry starts going the route you have then within a couple of years the problem we have had for years with clashing 2.4ghz devices is going to be far, far, far worse with any 5ghz or newer devices. You could buy a cheap directional antenna that would do a better job for 10’s of pounds rather than 100’s on some extenders. I dare say i could even fashion an antenna out of a wire coat hanger to do a better job at delivering a signal where you want/need it.

      Then again if performance is that important no self respecting user would be caught dead even messing about with wifi but would just drill a hole for a network cable.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      @joseph. I’m not trying to prove anything. I agree that the signal will be out the back as well as the front but that it was my perception that the WIFI signal was predominantly downwards in their design and attenuation in the form of ceiling, flooring, mains cabling, pipe work and furniture reduce the coverage upwards.
      My original point is simply that from practical experience (over 20) ceiling APs perform better and end up cheaper than being dependant on upgrading WIFI routers or using cheap 13 amp socket WIFI extenders with the side benefit of better control.

    • Avatar Alex Bristol

      Joseph, Meadmodj, you are both right, I think I can see the confusion, ceiling APs normally use directional aerials, I got the impression someone was thinking they use omni.

      These notes are more for others and Mark J. to help him update his article I mentioned above…

      Directional AP – for example Ubiquiti ‘UAP-AC-LR’ ceiling mounted AP, the 3 directional aerials pictured (https://www.ubnt.com/unifi/unifi-ap-ac-lr/) great for giving a home all over coverage when mounted on top floor ceiling, as most of it’s power and reception sensitivity is focused in roughly one direction like a torch light. However performs badly when mounted on wall facing external wall, too much reflection plus rooms behind have weaker signal.

      Omni AP – for example Ubiquiti ‘UAP-AC-M’ indoor/outdoor AP, the 2 omni aerials pictured (https://www.netxl.com/wifi-access-points/ubiquiti-unifi-ac-mesh-wifi-access-point-uap-ac-m/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA_4jgBRDhARIsADezXcgSI8rlvRidSJcFe9BXldCWmmsNjELMZkPC3-Gqv6MQuD8g7qT0Qa0aAtM6EALw_wcB) great for giving a home all over coverage when placed centrally as it’s power and reception sensitivity is a 360 degree sphere like a domestic light bulb. However doesn’t perform so well when placed on top floor ceiling, as some of its signal is lost out the roof, of course adjusting the aerials can mitigate this a little.

      These are the two main types of AP aerials however there are variants like room APs which is a mix of both omni and directional, to give a broad spread of power and reception sensitivity across a room for example the 2 aerial UAP-AC-IW (https://fccid.io/SWX-UAPACIW/Internal-Photos/Internal-Photos-3217545).

      So not only right type of AP is chosen for the application but also how it is installed. Generally bigger aerial bigger coverage and more sensitive, the same rule for more aerials, hence the multiroom UAP-AC-LR are bigger and more aerials than the single room UAP-AC-IW.

    • Avatar joseph

      “ceiling APs normally use directional aerials”

      NO they do not and it would be stupid if they did because people are not buying a device like that to only transmit to one specific area or direction. They want it to cover an entire level of a building or more. It is by nature a device to EXPAND wifi coverage NOT focus it.

      “Directional AP – for example Ubiquiti ‘UAP-AC-LR’ ceiling mounted AP, the 3 directional aerials pictured (https://www.ubnt.com/unifi/unifi-ap-ac-lr/) ”

      NO, NO and NO again that internal image clearly shows it is a beamforming omni-directional, or as they call it on that very page “Band steering”.

      That antenna design is a Single Antenna design which is Dual-Band in nature (2.4ghz and 5ghz), with Tri-Polarity (the 3 points of the triangle).

      IT does NOT have 3 antennas, the detailed spec of the UAP-AC-LR is here…
      https://dl.ubnt.com/datasheets/unifi/UniFi_AC_APs_DS.pdf
      See page 9 which clear states it is 1 Dual band antenna.

      You will also notice at that link which covers THE ENTIRE RANGE of their devices page 3 which has a nice RF Map image, you will note from that the devices in the range are OMNI directional in nature……. IE radiate the signal outward in a round AKA DONUT shape.

      The rest of your post trying to demonstrate knowledge is thus redundant.

    • Avatar Alex Bristol

      Joseph, thank you for your feedback, I’m happy for the words “omni” and “directional” to be removed as you are unhappy about the use of it, but I feel the rest of the post is fine. What I’m trying to do is help other ISPReview readers with the good and bad points of the different types of access points from my own experience with using those devices so they can then take away and apply to their own installations, to save them wasting money and time. You clearly want to show you have expertise in this field so surely it would be much better if you share it in a constructive friendly way for the benefit of all readers rather than being contentious and destructive to me which results in no one benefiting.

      As you feel so strongly my last post has no value, which I disagree, and if you genuinely want to help others here and come across constructive why don’t you rewrite it in your own words, covering my three main points, installations of ceiling/indoor external aerial/in room APs and other useful notes for ISPReview readers looking to buy an AP.

      And for your last comment Joseph “The rest of your post trying to demonstrate knowledge is thus redundant.” my reason for coming to the ISPReview website is to gain knowledge, to share knowledge, and if we post unpleasant comments to each other then the technical knowledge sharing isn’t going to happen.

    • Avatar joseph

      My post to you was not designed to sound harsh in any way. I just felt strongly that information should be accurate as incorrect information could lead to a person buying a device which to be fair is not cheap, believing it is fit for what they want.

      There is nothing wrong with these devices if all you want is to extend the coverage to a couple of rooms in your house, they are fine for that, albeit IMO an expensive and needless option. For people though that want wifi as an example down the end of a couple of hundred ft long garden see they can get access when in their shed these types of devices are not the best solution and something with a directional antenna which you can point direct to the shed would be VASTLY better.

      For people that do want wifi extended to a couple of extra rooms in their home these are MAY NOT be the best and definitely not a cheap option in many cases, especially for many reading on here.

      A very similar result can be achieved just by using a spare old router which many readers here will have laying around (id be shocked if many here do not have an old ISP router kicking about or a spare they have bought) and turning it into an access point.

      Depending on the old device some will allow you to do that entirely wirelessly if it has an wifi AP mode/option and any old router can be turned into an additional connection point with a single cable between 2 routers and following simple 5 minute online instructions.

      You will have an wifi access point up and running in 5 minutes plus the additional benefit of whatever amount of LAN ports your old router has.

      If that does not do the job for people then YES feel free to then go and spend on something like mentioned, though given the output db will be the same or similar to a regular router and the antenna is omni in nature on both the coverage will also be similar for both, then i doubt these will be significantly better. Plastering them all over the house (IE people that buy 1 or more for every level in their home) is also needless, pointless and a total waste of money. If at that stage you really can not get wifi where you want it you should start looking at why rather than just throwing access points at the situation until it works.

    • Avatar Alex Bristol

      Cool, now things become much clearer, we are not on the same page, have a look on Amazon access point reviews for both the £93 Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LR and £64 TP-Link EAP225 v3 AC1350, buyers love them, for example from the UAP-AC-LR page S Thomas says “Should have bought this sooner – WOW” and Martin Hancox says “This little unit completely sorted WiFi coverage issues in a large house” and many more like these. You are right APs used to cost hundreds of pounds which made them prohibitive but now companies like TP-link are producing good 5GHz APs like the EAP225 v3 AC1350 for as low as £64.

  11. Avatar mike

    That 750Mbps of throughput should really help your up to 78Mbps connection

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      Yes in most cases it is academic. It is just that faster WIFI speeds just cover up more basic issues. That is why I ask people what devices they have, their vintage and how used.

  12. Avatar Meadmodj

    Lots of views as usual.

    Tested new Smart Hub 2 against Smart Hub 1 (1 yr service) and BT Business Smart Hub 1 (new) from iPhone and iPad. I find no significant difference that an average consumer would see or experience between the hubs placed identically near incoming line. Coverage in most of the house is full bars and at the known not-spots in my house they all show a low to medium reading. My ceiling access point on the landing covers the whole house fully and is my normal access solution.
    Adding the free mesh disk was easy. Just connect the disk to the hub with the ethernet cable provided and await blue light. Disconnect disk and place within the hub coverage near to low areas (turn on and await blue light). The purple light looks blue directly from the LED so face down on a carpet for the reflection. Disk can take a few minutes to sort itself out. Suitably sited it covers not-spots and restores full bars. The BT app can be used if inclined and the disk is available from the hub setup on the Mydisks menu in what BT describe in their usual exaggeration as a “supercharged mesh network”. The disk coverage itself is reasonable but not spectacular (note you cannot change the SSID these are inherited automatically from the hub).

    It can be wall hung but will need a socket nearby unless you use adaptors to utilise PoE concept (short distance) in which case I would cable back to router as a wired AP solution which I will explore. However this is a BT proprietary option for use along with the Smart Hub2.

    There is nothing between these routers or other ISP routers to justify spending specifically on this hub and you are always better off keeping to your own ISP router for support reasons. If you have WIFI issues my recommendation remains that ceiling AP(s) are the best for coverage, cost and practicality.

    However if you are subscribing to BT Plus and you have an old BT hub or minor WIFI coverage issues it is well worth the £9.95 P&P. Otherwise not worth considering.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      I conclude this is definitely BT use only. Well locked down. Appears their may be two versions one with WAN (for FTTH) and one without. Also hints that there will be a cut down ONT with one port.
      This is proving a good solution. I am having difficulty finding anywhere in the house where the disc won’t connect wirelessly. The disc will not work autonomously if the WIFI is turned off at the hub even if connected via ethernet still. When the connected via WIFI the ethernet is fine for a PC etc.
      With BT promising to send further discs if in problems but I can’t see many requiring it as this is a four bedroom detached.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      Apologies clicked without checking.

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