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Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

Longliner
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Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

Gave up my trusty old BT HH6 when we got FTTP and PN Hub Two  last month. I've just been offered a Smart Hub 2 and I'm wondering if it would perform better than my new Hub Two which is fine as regards speed but its wifi is not as strong as my old HH6. There's plenty of info on the subject but much of it refers to both the HH6 and the Smart Hub 2 as being BT Smart Hubs which is confusing.

The one on offer is definitely the Smart Hub 2 with digital voice and USB and broadband sockets etc on the back. If it works on Plusnet it might be worth having as a backup anyway.

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MisterW
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

The PN Hub Two is the same hardware as the BT Smart hub 2

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Baldrick1
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

@Longliner 

The Plusnet Hub 2 will self configure. 
The BT Smarthub 2 digital phone port is unusable when connected to Plusnet services.

Both have a USB port, which is of limited use as it uses the SMB1 protocol, which is considered to be a security risk these days and the same wireless performance.

The BT Smarthub is useful as a spare.

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Baldrick1
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

@Longliner 

There is both a residential and business FTTP version of the original BT Smarthub 6. Could be useful if your WiFi issue is caused by the inability to split the bands. They are however getting a bit long in the tooth now.

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Dan_the_Van
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

What also is worth noting is the plusnet Hub Two has the ability to operate in 'Bridge Mode' (as a modem) which allows the user to use a 3rd party router or mesh system.

Dan.

RealAleMadrid
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

@Dan_the_Van  The Hub2 bridge mode is only useful on FTTC ( and ADSL) and not relevant on a FTTP service where the ONT is performing the equivalent of the modem function.

Dan_the_Van
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

@RealAleMadrid 

Fully aware of that fact thanks, perhaps I should have mention that in my post.

RealAleMadrid
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

@Dan_the_Van  I know you are but as this thread in in the FTTP section I thought it might help to avoid any confusion about using the Hub2 on FTTP.

Dan_the_Van
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

Personally I'd keep the Hub Two as a spare and use a more grown up router or mesh system with FTTP using Bridge Mode for xDSL connections.

Longliner
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

Thank you very much, everyone, for your help and advice. @Baldrick1 My wifi problem is solid concrete walls which soon knacker a masonry drill bit never mind a signal! I have bought the BT H2 as a spare which I can share with our silver-surfer community group if someone needs it, half of us are happy on PN, a couple on BT as they think it worth paying for the name, and a couple on Sky and Virgin for the TV etc. I'm now on FTTP and others soon will be, there seems to be a drive from FTTC we have had until this year. From all of us -- thanks again.

 

Mike

Ian06
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

My experience of the BT Smart Hub 2 is that it provides as good a Wi-Fi signal as you are likely to get from an ISP's router.  As mentioned it is the same hardware as the PN Hub Two so you'd expect Wi-Fi coverage to be the same.   I have used the PN Hun One, an EE smart hub, a TP-Link vr-400 and the BT Smart Hub 2,  I was most satisfied with the BT smart hub 2 because it's Wi-Fi worked best for me and it was as generally as fast or faster than the others.

The ISP routers restrict the DNS servers you can use (I assume for security reasons) but with TP-Link and cloudflare DNS the internet seemed a bit faster.

I think the biggest impact on Wi-Fi coverage is the location of the router, so if you can putting the router near the middle of the house on a shelf and not on the floor in an external corner will help.  There is plenty of advice on the best location for a router, see "Where to put your Hub Two to get the best broadband connection" on this page https://www.plus.net/help/broadband/router-setup-guides/hub-two/ 

Apart from this you'll need to use a mesh system of or wired in wireless access points.

Edit: typo of -> or

Baldrick1
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

My personal view is that if you want the best out of a high speed FTTP service then use an Ethernet cable rather than WiFi or Powerline devices. You only need a small hole, circa 5mm, to feed CAT 5e cable through a concrete wall and a SDS drill should eat its way through. If you must have WiFi then yes a Mesh system is great providing it uses an Ethernet backhaul. Without the Ethernet backhaul you still need decent wireless communications between the satellites.

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Ian06
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

Yes there is no doubt Ethernet cables are much better than Wi-Fi, but it isn't always that easy to run the cables.

I moved from FTTC to FTTP to get a better more reliable connection, I used to get a max of 15Mbps down and 1Mbps up on FTTC (because we are about 1 mile from the cabinet,) now I get my subscribed speed of 76Mb down and 20Mb up.... Wi-fi around the house varies from no signal to excellent and I can get better than 100Mb Wi-Fi connection in most locations including some spots in the garden and on the patio.

So yes if you need 300Mb or more on all your devices then Wi-Fi might not cut it, but FTTP out performs FTTC & ADSL over long lines where ADSL/FTTC often perform very poorly. That is a good enough reason for going to FTTP not just top speeds.

simplysimon911
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two

Ethernet cables need a 15mm hole if the connecters all ready fixed. All my house, tvs , pcs are hard wired. Im FTTC though at 54meg. i have 2 BT hubs  providing wifi to the car, wahing macine and mobile phones. works great. Only issue is if you lose power sometimes you have to re-enter your detiails in the hub manger. i have a PS hub 2 , new in box, never tried it.

bobpullen
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Re: Using the BT Smart Hub 2 v. PN Hub Two


@Ian06 wrote:

The ISP routers restrict the DNS servers you can use ...


You can change the DNS servers that are allocated by the DHCP server on the Plusnet Hub Two to whatever you choose.

Bob Pullen
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