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Plusnet Hub 2 vs BT SmartHub2 - WiFi Performance

Mr_Paul
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Plusnet Hub 2 vs BT SmartHub2 - WiFi Performance

I moved to Plusnet FTTC from BT Broadband a while back and on the day of the changeover I put in my Plusnet credentials on the BT SH2 and tested it was working OK, before "putting it in the cupboard" and installing the Plusnet Hub 2 which I have used ever since.

I am thinking about reverting to the BT SH2 because it has all 4 ethernet LAN ports are available, (at least it did!), rather than just the 3 on the Plusnet one.

I know that the two routers are very similar, the colour being one obvious difference, but apart from the ethernet ports I mentioned, are there any other differences between the two in terms of hardware, firmware or GUI functionality?

I am particularly interested if anyone has ever done a comparison of the WiFi performance of the two: range / signal strength, connection speed and throughput etc?

 

 

5 REPLIES 5
MisterW
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Re: Plusnet Hub 2 vs BT SmartHub2 - WiFi Performance

AFAIK there's no difference in hardware. The firmware IS different ( hence the dedicated WAN port 4 ) but the wifi performance should be very similar.

 

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bobpullen
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Re: Plusnet Hub 2 vs BT SmartHub2 - WiFi Performance

The Wi-Fi will be indentical. Hardware-wise, a Plusnet Hub Two will not work on a G.Fast VDSL line (but Plusnet don't offer this service anyway).

Assuming you have a consumer BT Smart Hub 2 (rather than the Business variant), then it will be missing the ability to configure the hub to respond to external ping requests (useful for configuring things like the Think Broadband Quality Monitor), the ability to configure custom DNS servers and the ability to put the device into bridge mode.

The BT Smart Hubs also have a tendency to try and 'self-correct' themselves if they encounter line/authentication problems, which can sometimes result in your broadband credentials being reverted to the BT defaults in the event of things like Openreach/Wholesale outages. A minor inconvenience, but one worth a mention.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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Mr_Paul
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Re: Plusnet Hub 2 vs BT SmartHub2 - WiFi Performance

@bobpullen 

Thanks for the reply - you raise some interesting points:

1.) "Assuming you have a consumer BT Smart Hub 2 (rather than the Business variant)"

How can I tell which variant I have? I used to work for BT and ISTR that I got my Smart Hub 2 as part of an internal trial - possibly before it was released to consumers.

 

2.) "then it will be missing.......the ability to configure custom DNS servers"

Do you mean, for example, changing the DNS to, say, Google's 8.8.8.8 - for testing etc? I'm pretty sure that I have done that in the past. Does that give a clue to which variant I have?

 

3.) "The BT Smart Hubs also have a tendency to try and 'self-correct' themselves .....can result in your broadband credentials being reverted to the BT defaults ..... A minor inconvenience"

Actually, I would consider that to be more than a minor inconvenience as I assume that it would prevent automatic re-connection once the Openreach/Wholesale problem had been fixed, (?), and those settings wouldn't be one of the first places I looked for an issue! (Even though you have mentioned it now, I'd have forgotten by the time it happened!).

Does this "feature" also apply to the Business versions of the SH2, or just the Consumer?

 

4.) I don't use the Think Broadband Quality Monitor ,but thanks for the link - it looks like something that I would like to try out. How do I configure my Plusnet Hub 2 to respond to external ping requests? (Or is it set up by default?).

 

 

bobpullen
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Re: Plusnet Hub 2 vs BT SmartHub2 - WiFi Performance

1.) There will likely be reference on the data plate (sticker) underneath the removeable settings card. To check for DNS capability, navigate to the Hub Manager and browse to Advanced Settings > My Network > IPv4 configuration (you'll need the admin password). If there's a 'DNS Auto' toggle towards the bottom, then it's likely a Business hub, Alternatively, if you can provide me with the first 6 digits of the serial number then I can probably work it out from that.

2.) Yes, that's exactly what I mean. The custom DNS servers are issued via DHCP and can be configured as explained above.

3.) Yes, it would prevent reconnection, I'm not 100% whether or not it applies to the Business variant, it may not.

4.) Advanced Settings > Firewall, there's a toggle in there somewhere. It defaults to off.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
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Mr_Paul
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Re: Plusnet Hub 2 vs BT SmartHub2 - WiFi Performance

@bobpullen 

Thanks for the reply.

1.) There is no "DNS Auto" toggle on that page, though I'm sure that I have changed to Google's in the past - I'm possibly confusing having done it on the PC rather than the Hub?

BT SH2 Serial No: +091298+xxxxxxxxxx

 

4.) I have never looked at that page before - yes I see that toggle, (currently OFF). I like the way that Plusnet's firmware includes a description of what each function does - very helpful!