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A Comparison of Home Broadband Router Specs from the Big UK ISPs

Friday, December 28th, 2018 (12:01 am) - Score 40,380
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Obviously the desired feature selection is somewhat a matter of personal preference, since we all place different demands or expectations upon the device that ISPs supply to our homes. For example, most ordinary consumers might never use the WAN or USB ports but others may see those as being vital.

On top of that our own comparison is somewhat restricted by the limited information that ISPs are willing to provide, as well as what details we’ve been able to uncover online or from end-users who have them installed. As such the following table will only focus on the key hardware features (providers rarely ever list their software features).

We’ve also only looked at the latest devices from each ISP and it’s worth noting that some providers still supply weaker routers on slower packages (e.g. don’t expect the top kit if you sign-up to a slow ADSL service). We would of course also welcome any feedback from consumers to help us identify any locked or missing features etc.

NOTE: We’ve only looked at routers from the largest providers with their own network (i.e. not resellers or vISPs), primarily also those where it’s also possible to identify how many broadband customers they have.
BT Sky Broadband / NOW TV
Name (Base Model) SmartHub / SmartHub X Sky Q Hub
Release Year 2016 (X = 2017/18) 2015
2.4GHz Band Yes Yes
5GHz Band Yes Yes
WiFi Antennas 7 (Internal) 5 (Internal)
Peak WiFi Speed 1917Mbps 1600Mbps
Best WiFi Spec 802.11ac 802.11ac
LAN Ports (Speed) 4 (1000Mbps) 2 (1000Mbps)
WAN Port 0 0
Avg. Estimated Power 7w Idle, 11w Load 8.5w Idle, 11w Load
USB Ports (version) 1 (v2.0) 0
USB Device Support Storage n/a
Other Ports 1 x RJ11 (ADSL / VDSL2 / G.fast) 1 x RJ11 (ADSL / VDSL2)
Dimensions (mm) 241.9 x 156.6 x 32 211 x 141 x 34
BT Smart Hub Notes: Some models swap LAN Port 4 for a WAN port (e.g. those shipped to FTTP customers). The SmartHub X adds an internal G.fast modem and an additional port for telephone connections (next to the RJ11 port). The original Smart Hub is based off the capable Broadcom 63137, 4366 and 43602 chipset(s). A new Smart Hub 2 has just been released, but its specs are VERY similar (here).
Sky Q Hub Notes: The Q Hub also includes support for the Powerline AV1.1 Ethernet standard via its power adapter, although this is only designed to work with other Sky Q devices. Subscribers of Sky’s NOW TV sibling will receive a re-branded version of the Q Hub. A new Sky router is due to be launched very soon.
Virgin Media TalkTalk
Router (Base Model) Hub 3.0 / VMDG505 (ARRIS TG2492S/CE) Wi-Fi Hub (Sagemcom F@st 5364)
Release Year 2015 2018
2.4GHz Band Yes Yes
5GHz Band Yes Yes
WiFi Antennas 5 7
Peak WiFi Speed 1600Mbps 1950Mbps
Best WiFi Spec 802.11ac 802.11ac Wave 2
LAN Ports (Speed) 4 (1000Mbps) 4 (1000Mbps)
WAN Port 1 (LAN Port 4) 1
Avg. Estimated Power 12w Idle, 15.3w Load 11w Idle (??w Load)
USB Ports (Version) 0 0
USB Device Support n/a n/a
Other Ports 2 x RJ11 (Phone) 1 x RJ11 (ADSL / VDSL2)
Dimensions (mm) ? 170 x 260 x 50
Virgin Media Notes: The Hub 3.0 has become somewhat notorious due to a well-publicised flaw in its Intel Puma 6 chipset, which has been mitigated with a recent firmware update (here). As a result this router is best used in modem-only mode, which means using a second router to manage your home network. A new Virgin router is due to launch in 2019 (Gigabit Connect Box?).
Zen Internet Hyperoptic
Router (Base Model) AVM FRITZ!Box 3490 HyperHub (ZTE H298A)
Release Year 2015 ?
2.4GHz Band Yes Yes
5GHz Band Yes Yes
WiFi Antennas 6 (Internal) 2 (Internal)
Peak WiFi Speed 1750Mbps 1200Mbps
Best WiFi Spec 802.11ac 802.11ac
LAN Ports (Speed) 4 (1000Mbps) 4 (1000Mbps)
WAN Port 1 (LAN Port 1) 1
Avg. Estimated Power Appox. 8-20w ?
USB Ports (Version) 2 (v3.0) ?
USB Device Support Storage, Printers, 3G/4G Dongle ?
Other Ports 1 x RJ11 (ADSL / VDSL2) 2 x RJ11 (Phone)
Dimensions (mm) 245 x 55 x 175 140 × 32 × 210
HyperHub Notes: The spec sheet suggests that a USB port does exist on the router, although it’s not shown in any of the pictures and we’ve also struggled to locate any solid detail on its device support. Hyperoptic also distributes a Tilgin HG2301 (or later model) router but we haven’t been able to find any solid specifications for it. Sadly the ISP seemed reluctant to help fill in the blanks.
Zen Notes: Zen seems to have quietly changed their bundled router to the FRITZ!Box 7530, which sadly came after our article was written. This adds some useful WiFi features (MU-MIMO, Mesh Wi-Fi etc.) and an integrated DECT phone system for IP / VoIP setups etc. But its max combined WiFi speed is only 1266Mbps.
Vodafone KCOM
Router (Base Model) Huawei HHG2500 ZyXEL VMG3925-B10B
Release Year 2015 2015/16
2.4GHz Band Yes Yes
5GHz Band Yes Yes
WiFi Antennas 5 (Internal) 5 (Internal)
Peak WiFi Speed c.1600Mbps 1600Mbps
Best WiFi Spec 802.11ac 802.11ac
LAN Ports (Speed) 4 (1000Mbps) 4 (1000Mbps)
WAN Port 1 (1000Mbps) – Disabled 1
Avg. Estimated Power ? ?
USB Ports (Version) 2 (v2.0) 1 (v2.0)
USB Device Support ? Storage
Other Ports 1 x RJ11 (ADSL / VDSL2), 2 x RJ11 (Phone – Disabled) 1 x RJ11 (ADSL / VDSL2)
Dimensions (mm) 210 x 108 x 38 183 x 150 x 25
Vodafone NOTES: The HHG2500 router specs include one RJ45 WAN port and two RJ11 phone ports, but these appear to be disabled on the models received by UK customers. The new FTTH service (Cityfibre’s network) offers a far better router than listed above (details), but at the time of writing that service has only just entered the market (i.e. most people will be taking their superfast FTTC / VDSL2 packages).
KCOM NOTES: The Hull focused provider also appears to distribute a Technicolor TG589vac v2 router, which is very similar to their primary ZyXEL VMG3925-B10B above except for a slower peak WiFi speed of 1300Mbps. KCOM are currently testing a new router for launch in 2019 but we don’t yet have the final details.

Conclusions

Fixed line broadband connections are becoming increasingly fast and thus consumers will tend to place the greatest importance on WiFi performance to help keep pace. We haven’t been able to conduct real-world tests for most of the aforementioned hardware, although TalkTalk’s Wi-Fi Hub and BT’s Smart Hub (inc. X and SH2 with similar specs) seem to have an edge in terms of their specification.

On the flip side Hyperoptic, which is a Gigabit capable “full fibre” ISP, oddly seems to have the slowest router of all and this may explain why they were the only provider that seemed reluctant to engage during the research phase for our article. Despite several promises, we were never provided with the requested details and eventually gave up asking.

One caveat to Hyperoptic’s otherwise weak hardware is that they tend to focus on connecting individual apartments, which won’t strain the router’s wireless signal as much as it might in a multi-floored house. On the other hand you’d expect more congestion in the airwaves around apartment blocks, which might still benefit from a more capable piece of kit.

Despite this it’s important to remember that the market is constantly evolving and so what is available today will undoubtedly change in the coming months or years. For example, we’re already expecting new routers to surface from both Sky Broadband and Virgin Media in the very near future.

Likewise 2019 will see the introduction of the next generation 802.11ax WiFi specification (here) and the new WPA3 security standard (here), which is something that ISPs will no doubt be looking to adopt a little further down the road. Until then the only place to get the latest technology will be via third-party devices, provided they allow you to use such kit.

Finally, for a bit of extra fun, check out our 2017 comparison of router electricity costs (here).

NOTE: BT’s sibling Plusnet tends to use a re-branded HomeHub 5A router (aka – HUB ONE), which is a fairly old piece of kit by modern standards. Meanwhile BT’s other sibling, EE, tends to sell a re-branded Smart Hub router to new customers of their fastest packages (others get the older Bright Box 2 device).

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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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44 Responses
  1. Avatar Brian

    Zen have upgraded to the Fritz!box 7530. It adds mu-mimo, dect base station and a bunch of other voice related features. Plus looks much better than the 3490.

  2. Avatar Carl

    I was expecting an actual performance comparison not just a specs sheet for each router.

    • Sorry about that. Sadly only around half of the ISPs mentioned seemed interested in having their router tested and we don’t have the budget to buy them all just for a single test, although in the future I will come back to see if we can do this.

    • Avatar Alex

      I’m sure if you offer to pay for marks time you might be able to
      Come to some arrangement

    • Avatar Steve

      Title of the article says: “A Comparison of Home Broadband Router Specs from the Big UK ISPs”.
      If you weren’t able to test properly for whatever reason (provider wasn’t interested / provider wouldn’t supply / you couldn’t afford) then change your article headline.

      There are so many articles out there that promise comparison but are nothing more than tables of specs.

      #paininthearse.

  3. Avatar J Carrington

    Great article. Please can you update the specs for the Fritzbox 3490 to state that 3G/4G USB devices are also supported. I have one plugged into my Fritz!Box 3490, which serves as failover when there are problems with my fixed line. The 3490 allows you to configure the router to only serve a mobile connection or do failover.

  4. Avatar mirdragon

    It’s not just speed you should look at but also security and features which some routers lack, especially sky’s routers.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @mirdragon

      I would certainly agree with that.

      As well as looking at the automated pushing of firmware updates which used to on a certain ISP’s routers wipe all of bespoke config from them……

      And how frequently is the firmware updated and to what extent the thing is locked down.

      I must admit that I almost never use any ISP provided kit apart from the OR Gfast modems mainly due to lack of alternatives.

  5. Avatar Ian M

    For me the main reason for using an alternative router to the ISP’s is to have a solid connection. I was previously with BT and recently moved to Vodafone. In both cases the router would drop the line at least once every 2 days, and often more than once a day. My TD-W9970 has not dropped the line once in 30 days, and that is with a faster VDSL sync speed than either of the ISP’s routers.

    • Avatar Joe

      Router shoulnd’t make that much of a diff

    • Avatar docious

      I had frequent Vodafone WAN disconnections until I disabled unused features. I was very close to either buying a better router or switching ISP. I disabled the following:

      Guest network (Wi-Fi 2).
      Schedule.
      WPS.
      Sharing settings > DLNA/Twonky / FTP / Samba – (all off).
      USB port.
      IPv4 > Guest network > DHCP Server.

  6. Avatar MontgomeryWick

    Its a very simple concept really.Depends what you want from your internet,what type and how fast.
    Ive had old netgears with custom firmwares,which could adjust attenuation (noise on line) on the adsl type line and they were great,i was getting 2mb ,BT couldnt sort the speed,so i did,and i got it to around 7-8mb and they were far better than the BTHome hubs.
    I now have FTTP,separate modem and separate router which would be overkill for some people,on an ASUS router,do i game ,yes,do i use streaming on LAN yes,would i buy this if i didnt..NO.
    BThome hubs are built to a price point,there not up to much,but get the job done and are fine for alot of people,but BT vastly over exaggerate its performance its laughable.
    A good quality decent router should cost around 150 pounds upwards and when you get one,you wouldnt go back,but for cheap internet and just basic things,why would you buy this?you wouldnt.
    I always found the HomeHUB 4 without built in modem was far better and they are really cheap,maybe £5 pounds(Ive seen these new for that,sealed),but you need a separate modem,which is around £10.

  7. Avatar Edward Brundel

    Vodafone’s one is worst, still used the outdated (unsecure) SMB1 , not working under latest windows 10 and Vofdafone -as they don’t want to upgrade- suggests to use … FTP (!) if you want share files on the USB port. Not to mention their policy to don’t give away the user credentials for the internet, so they even force you to use that Huawey (spyware on board as extra)

    • Avatar Zaza

      Incorrect. Vodafone supplied me new router. Not old one Huawei. It has MU MIMO and working much better

    • Which router did they supply (assuming you’ve taken their FTTC rather than FTTH service)? Any details.

    • Avatar joseph

      The USB port on many devices mentioned will only allow file access and transfer using certain protocols. Most commonly allows it to be a used for a print server or FTP and least often DLNA, those that do support that is often a very basic implementation.

      As for ” Not to mention their policy to don’t give away the user credentials for the internet” that is also incorrect and they have allowed that for around a year now.

  8. Avatar Chris S

    Vodafone’s Huawei (aka Spyware On Board) supports USB storage, but its still limited to SMB1 (not safe and is disabled on latest win10) so only option is good old FTP (as Vodafone don’t want to upgrade their crapware)

    • Avatar joseph

      It is not disabled in Win 10. It is not enabled if you are running version 1709 (as that had separate options for CIFS/SMB 1.0) or if you install the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update(1709). The only other circumstances it becomes disabled is if you plug in another device to a 1709 or earlier build that is not capable of acting as a SMB 1.0 client (if that has happened then you must be running some janky NAS or similar hardware).

      It is nothing to do with spyware or anything else you are blurting on about. An updated Windows 7 also has separate check boxes FOR ALL VERSIONS of SMB.

      Pretty simple to fix…
      Control Panel > Programs and Features > Turn windows features on or off > scroll down until you see SMB 1.0/CIFS File sharing > expand it > then put a check mark to SMB 1.0/CIFS client > click OK and then restart you computer.

      Please try to stick to facts.

    • Avatar dennis

      Just tried file sharing on my voda router with windows 10 (2 different machines on a network) and it works fine, DLNA on my TV with it also works fine, also tried a 10+ year old D-Link USB print server dongle on it and apart from having to get windows 10 to like the driver that also worked just fine.

      All redundant and unplugged after though and back to my own router which ive also been using fine since beginning of the year.

  9. Avatar TheMatt

    Edgerouter X all the way.

    4 x gigabit ports.
    Supports PPPoE and hundreds of other protocols.
    Costs £50.

    I just hook my openreach modem and my Virgin modem straight into it and it works perfectly. Have I ever had to unplug and plug it back in ? Ever ? nope…

    • Avatar Mouse

      Yet the Edgerouter has no wifi built-in so for many, that £50 would be a waste of money as they would still have to buy additional hardware for wifi. Yes I’m sure the Edgerouter would be great for network geeks but for your typical user, they just require a solid router able to do DHCP and offer wifi.

    • Avatar TheMatt

      Mouse… dead right… but I love it when someone has 1 lil internet wifi box in one corner of their house connected to their phone line and then they say ah but my wifi doesn’t work .. in the basement . or in the 3rd floor bathroom. I have the BT whole home one. Yes most users don’t give two hoots about the box they have and literally every ISP sells the bestest,fastest wifi .. whatever that is. Give people an edgerouter and a wifi mesh system and you’ll most likely find your ISP spends less money on pathetic “support” who’s only line is to turn it off and on again. Also, i’d wager that the vast majority of people reading ispreview are technically minded people.

  10. Avatar RickyMcdd

    Also i noticed you didn’t include BT Assure option, This provides a back-up service with the hub automatically switching to 4G should a firm lose its fixed broadband connection.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      BT Assure (4G Dongle in USB port) is only guaranteed to work on BT Business Hub 5 or BT Business Smart Hub. I haven’t had the opportunity to see if the compatibility is present in the Smart Hub 2 so far. Smart Hub 2 includes BT proprietary mesh.

  11. Avatar Paul Crossley

    Nice chart but still only a partial story.
    For example if a 5 antenna system has 2 antenna for 2.4 GHz and 3 for 5 GHz the 2.4 Ghz will be limited to 2 spatial streams while 5 GHz may use 3 ( depending on client capabilities and multipath environment ).
    None of the providers supply antenna radiation charts or receiver sensitivity details either (so far as I can make out).
    Some providers such as sky also have meshing functionality between their own devices.
    Another vital piece of info is the supported channels. Many devices only support the first 4 channels in the 5GHz band as these don’t require Dynamic Frequency selection, consequently these 4 channels are often saturated.

  12. Avatar ComicBookAssassin

    Personally all the routers listed the ISP’s have back doors into, for me that is too much control, I had a draytek router and it had no end of drops I was getting 47 meg when service started then reduced to 40 meg. Big fight with BT about my home made router, I stuck to my guns 7 engineers and now touch wood has been 70/71meg for 3plus months. Biggest thing for me was Security and DNS filtering subnetworks and so on, I didn’t like that ISP’s have automatic access to your router no code that you have to input or tell them like remote connection on the computer, so I built my router i5,8gb of ram,120ssd, 4lans and one wan all gig ports when 10cards get cheaper I’ll upgrade it, maybe faster CPU as well. Main problem is ISP’s blame your kit when you have a problem hence why I have one if there routers for fault finding, that said I’ve got lots of security on It emerging threats bots, the houses internet of things is screened certain countries around the world have been blocked from coms my router is the size of a mini computer probably because it is one and I wanted the ability to upgrade it and have the horse power to run it but it lives in the loft so not in the way and most of the house has been wired cat7a yes I’m over kill lol, what they should be pushing is mesh instead of all powerful, all that does is push the signal two doors up and down sucking the bandwidth from your neighbors and potentially you, it should all be contained within the house WiFi would be a hell of a lot better for speed and reliability.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Overkill probably, more money than knowledge definitely. My £50 wired ASIC-based router manages a gigabit line rate. My ‘all powerful’ access point reaches throughout the property at the full speed of our broadband which is quite a lot faster than your FTTC.

      Wired access to all 3 floors for about £400 all in, wireless upgradable on demand.

      I may be missing a trick by not having an i5 with 8GB of RAM to feed a 70Mb Internet connection of course, and indeed should perhaps have considered 10Gb Ethernet for my own broadband rather than, say, 10Gb switches to provide capacity for the local network rather than having access to the edge device 120 times faster than the actual WAN link because I can.

      My broadband is 7 times faster than yours. I use off the shelf components. I have no bottlenecks on my home network, and if I hit any I can simply Etherchannel the two cables I have between each floor or add another access point depending on where the bottleneck is. Etherchannel is free with my £20 switches, a legacy, old wireless router or an £80 access point would be fine for wireless capacity.

      When it comes to it my humble Cat 6 cabling will handle 10Gb just fine over the tiny distances within the home. It would actually be fine for 40.

      I have a switched infrastructure behind the WAN edge, segmenting the network and ensuring that only external traffic gets inspected. The local network is devoted to pushing frames around as quickly as possible as cheaply as possible. If you’re on that side of my network I am stuffed. The only exception being my working from home network which is isolated.

      Tad more scalable than a ‘minicomputer’ router with loads of NICs feeding Cat 7a cabling apparently plugging straight into devices.

      Think your cash would have been better spent on FoD and some network courses, either way you certainly aren’t an example of how to do it.

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @CarlT

      I would wholeheartedly agree with you.

      I am afraid my house only has Cat6e cables.

      And I only have 1Gb capable Netgear PoE router: so I am clearly missing out on something (grins).

      /* tongue in cheek

      So I am limited to a local max through put of 40Gb on the local router. 🙁

      None of my home devices have anything faster than 1Gb interfaces 🙁

      I am unable to experience the benefits of @ComicBook networks. 🙁

      tongue in cheek */

      Maybe the clue is in the handle?

      In all seriousness there was at time with early FTTC connections where being able to manually fiddle with some of the parameters did improve performance. Particularly coupled with a DLM reset over troublesome lines. Over shortish good copper, which you would have to have to achieve 70Mb/s then it would make zilch difference.

    • Avatar joseph

      CAT 7A cable in a home install…. About as thick, pointless and as unnecessary as some of the (cough) knowledge of ISP gear demonstrated from about half way on in these comments.

  13. Avatar Richard Thompson

    Superhub 3 does not have an ethernet wan port, only wan option is docsis coax.

    I think you are meaning 1 port can be used for modem mode but this is something else entirely

  14. Avatar James Crossland

    How about a comparison piece with some of the aftermarket routers out there just to show how poor the ISP supplied routers are as well as detailing how locked down the ISP ones are.

  15. Avatar ComicBookAssassin

    @CarIT lol jokes not sure what you are harping on about my gripe was with ISP routers, and for your info I have three access points which is not what I was going into I was mealy talking about the ISP routers Not sure where I said that it was just plugged into 4nics my house is separated into 4 different networks one for camera’s guest network, internet of things and my main network, I have 2 24port switch’s with another 8port Switch for my backhall, toys pram? Unfortunately tech doesn’t stay still while yes over kill at some stage the tech will be at that level and I don’t want to be taking up floorboards and replastering! That’s why you do it once @A_Builder seems to be with you on that. As you maybe aware as you guys are on the forum about Fibre poss running to the pole? At which point I don’t think I would be limited to 70meg which would make my setup a lot more scaleable. Yeah but none of my devices run more than 1gb so all future devices will be limited to 1gb even though the base speed will be more? Think not tech moves on! @CarIT you say maybe your missing a trick by not having the processing power Maybe because your not running PFSENSE! All the stuff that it is doing needs a bit of processing power and memory, so please don’t think yourself superior to others as you post personal attacks, lastly why don’t I get FoD that would have been better yep 100% right but @550meters away I don’t think I would of ever paid for such an upgrade let alone have any money to do my home network work 😉 Hope now I have explained my reasons why I got what I’ve got and I humble before your superior knowledge, and will endeavour to do everything you say lol @A_Builder I’m not talking about modding the VDSL signal I know exactly what you mean I use to do it on the openreach modem and then the drayteck but then I got a lot more security conscious and built my own router to run PfSENSE, just have a little look at PFSENSE and all the things it can do,which is why I need processing power. Have a good day guys and no hard feelings, I don’t know everything that’s why I’m here as I guess you guys are too

    • Avatar A_Builder

      @ComicBookAssassin

      In all fairness the network cabling in my house is a mixture of Cat6 and Cat7. We refurbished the house in phases and we used the best available at the time.

      And I agree with you the cost of the cable is utterly trivial an it would be pointless to lift floors and hack out plaster twice to save pence.

      I’m interested that you found the Draytek to be unreliable. Our business has loads of their modems working 24/7 on monitored connections and we see few if any drops.

      TBH I don’t really understand why you need so much processing power for a gateway, most people I know use Intel Atom low power CPU’s for high throughput gateways. The main issue being the physical size and power consumption/heat dispersal from the comms cabinet.

      And yes 10Gb will be here a lot sooner than a lot of people on here think. CommunityFibre are offering it in some places for sensible money.

    • Avatar ComicBookAssassin

      @A_Builder at one stage Drayteck had two hacks one of the hack the ip address was changed to route somewhere else see link https://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/72682/hacking/draytek-routers-zero-day.html thank goodness it didn’t affect me, but after that looking at tech stuff on the web i came across PFSENSE, which has the capability to Be its own DNS resolver filter and block countries IP address and filters for emerging threats around the world ie bad ip address and the annoying samsung tv DNS that it puts out every 5 seconds why it need to communicate to samsung that many times i’ll never know and also why it needs 20 plus different DNS address to achieve it, which takes a bit of processing power, At times where i logged into my Draytek seeing the memory taxed 80 to 90 percent without doing jack was annoyance and the cpu at 70 to 80 didn’t fill me with much confidence as i was getting over the normal few drops a day, but as said before it could have been the issue with the line but the openreach modem was rocksoild, and the real bug bear was that every update draytek did the line speed would suffer regardless of me the different firmware versions ie V1,V2,V3 and V4. My server and gaming comp are both 10Gb nics from the motherboard, and i say server loosely as its just a thread ripper 16core running unraid but there is no point in me upgrading the switches yet until i can really take advantage of it around the whole network. My refurb was only 3years ago, 7a was an approved standard so just thought what the Hell although my refurb is still ongoing in some parts of the house lol, Yeah the size isn’t a problem for as its all up in the loft so its a big empty space, that case is a mini computer case so i could house enough fans in it and allow the air to move freely. Yeah can’t wait for Fibre but hope more than one provider has access to it so you can switch, otherwise it’s going to be just like virgin

  16. Avatar arundel

    Worth noting that it’s not as trivial to swap routers with sky broadband compared to some of the others. Due to the way they’re set up it’s necessary to have a router that can send the required DCHP options (usually involving manual configuration) or you’re out of luck.

  17. Avatar Ioannis Bazianas

    I would like to know why ISP router reviews treat the routers like wireless Access Point devices for the majority of their review. While the router does today act like an WAP as well, this is not the primary function. it is an important one, as we all have mobile phones and tablets that we want connected in our house, but we are ignoring the part that is in the name; router. Why are we not discussing actual routing metrics? For example some routers behave badle in a multi device home, some have bad NAT forwarding rules or behaviours, in others the internal switching bandwidth is so slow that an external good switch is almost required, and so on. I am interested to hear why we do not explore this side of the routers when we do reviews; not just in this website, in all websited and publications I have seen.

    • Easy, time and money. You’d have to setup a lot of complex tests, run repeatedly, in order to properly identify the traits but that takes a lot of time.

      Effectively you’d need to devote several days or a week to fully testing every aspect of the router, which is not economically productive for most sites. You’re essentially choosing between maintaining the site for a week and not doing anything but one article.

      Consequently you instead have to focus on the aspects that matter the most to ordinary consumers and which are easily testable, such as WiFi speed, diversity of settings options and so forth.

      Side note: The above article isn’t a review, it’s just a basic spec comparison because most people don’t know the specs of the bundled routers and ISPs rarely repeat them.

  18. Avatar Ioannis Bazianas

    Mark, thank you for your reply. I understand your argument and I accept it. I just wish that someone would do this at least once. And I do wish that ISPReview would be the first.

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