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Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

rlknewton
Newbie
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Registered: ‎01-10-2022

Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

I switched from BT full fibre to PlusNet earlier this week (27/09/2022). The router provided by PlusNet is the Hub Two, which appears to be identical hardware to the BT SmartHub Two (slightly different case design).

My home network (not a business) is a Windows Domain with a single domain controller and around 15 different devices. Since the mid-1990s, I've used LAN addresses in the range 10.0.0.1 to 10.0.0.255 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. There is nothing unusual about such a setup, and I've never had the slightest difficulty when moving to a new ISP (I've been through several) before now.

However the PlusNet Hub Two has been a complete disaster. Here are the deficiencies which have taken me three full days to work around:

1. It won't allow me to turn off DHCP. Although there is a toggle for this, turning it off results in this message when saving the settings: "These IP settings are not valid on the PlusNet Hub." This is very annoying as I already have a fully configured DHCP server on my Windows Server 2016, so I don't need another one.

2. It won't allow me to configure the router's LAN IP address to 10.0.0.254, which I have used for years (including the PlusNet ADSL router I had until two years ago).

3. The only permitted DHCP address range that is anywhere close to what I want is 10.252.0.2 - 10.252.255.254. This is stupid, because this forces devices with static IPs to use addresses in the same range: you can't set the DHCP address range to exclude the range for the static IPs.

4. You can specify a custom DHCP address range, such as 10.252.0.64 - 10.252.0.127 but when you try to save it you get this message: "The DHCP start IP address is not valid." I haven't been able to find any custom address range that it will accept.

As a result of these stupid restrictions, I had to move from my 10.0.0/24 address range to the 10.252/14 range. This was hugely difficult and traumatic, as these addresses get everywhere and working out what order to change them in is a nightmare (especially because so much of the infrastructure is virtualised).

Anyway, after three days I'm now fully back in operation, but it has been an extremely unpleasant experience that I didn't expect from PlusNet.

Especially since I had no trouble setting the identical BT SmartHub Two to work two years ago. For some reason, PlusNet seem to have decided to remove any features that an average domestic user wouldn't need. While that may reduce PlusNet's support load, it makes life really difficult for anyone that wants to do something slightly more advanced, and especially where there is an existing network whose configuration doesn't conform to their brain-dead expectations.

PlusNet need to publish a clear statement of these restrictions in their marketing pages: I would never have signed up with them if I'd known about this beforehand.

Ideally, their rule needs to be: make life easy for people with simple needs (ie sensible defaults etc), but don't make life difficult or impossible for those with more advanced needs.

19 REPLIES 19
Mustrum
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Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

The simple solution would have been to carry on using the BT router, just change of username and password needed.

 

or of course use your own router.

Dan_the_Van
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Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

@rlknewton 

The restriction for not using 10.0.0.0/24 IP address range existing for the Hub One as well.

Extract for Hub One help

"To prevent conflict with future services, there are some combinations of IP settings that aren't allowed.
The 10.X.X.X range is not available for customer use as it is reserved"

So I would imagine this policy was also applied to the Hub Two. if you click on Help icon.png next to a setting it shows a help dialogue.

HTH

rlknewton
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Registered: ‎01-10-2022

Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

Yes, well, it's always easy to be wise after the event.

To be fair to myself, this was actually my first thought, but I decided against it because BT want their router back so I thought I'd have to bite the bullet at some point.

And on the face of it, it didn't seem that it should be too difficult to make this change: just 15 or so IP reconfigurations - what could go wrong? Alas it turned rapidly into a nightmare.

However I've since discovered that you can request BT to keep the kit if you pay a non-return fee, and if that's not too much I will do that, then reconfigure the BT router with the new settings for PlusNet: at least then I'll be able to turn DHCP off, though I'm definitely not going to revert to my original addressing scheme - that is a pain I don't want to repeat!

 

rlknewton
Newbie
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Registered: ‎01-10-2022

Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

Ok, well, first this is a ridiculous restriction: the 10.X.X.X range is an official private address space that anyone can use in any way they wish in their internal network. It's fine that PlusNet may want to provide future services that will require some address space, but they should allow that to be configurable: the 10.X.X.X space is vast, so there's really no need to disallow the whole thing. What are they thinking?...

Secondly, in Hub Two they haven't disallowed the whole space, but they've only allowed 10.252.X.X. But 10.0.0.X is quite a common use, so they really shouldn't have prevented that.

I'm well aware of what the help icon is for, but none of its occurrences mention anything about these limitations.

Felindre
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Registered: ‎10-11-2022

Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

I have the same issue: there are many devices on my network with the 10.0.0.x subnet and there was no mention of this when they proposed the hub two for me. This is a valid network group and plusnet shouldn't be allowed to block us from it.

 

Felindre
Hooked
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Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

OK, it seems I only get a limited time to add to my post....

 

I've decided this router is absolute rubbish, with the simplistic interface I'm not able to do so many things with it (e.g. just give the 5g network another name!), and the lack of 10.0.0.x subnet would give me so much work I'm ditching it.

Dan_the_Van
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Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

I sympathise with you, however I expect it's not a well know restriction.

In general I'd say an ISP supplied Hub's are deliberately locked down to prevent users making erroneous config changes resulting in a support call to an technician who may not be trained on the finer aspects of configuring a Hub.

If space allows, you could also always buy your own router and put the Hub Two into bridge mode.

Dan

NB - The Hub One also has the same restriction.

 

Felindre
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Registered: ‎10-11-2022

Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

Thanks, my existing hub is zyxel came via John Lewis network, and is not locked down in any way. However it's over 5 years old and sometimes I get wireless issues so I wanted a new hub.

Maybe I'll consider setting the hub two to bridge mode, I've seen in other threads there's no manual for it, got any clues where to do this as the interface seems very simplistic.

jab1
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Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

@Felindre See picture below:

3.Hub2 broadband.png

John
Felindre
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Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

Thanks, Is this setting the HUB2 as the WAN gateway and routing to my existing router basically as a dumb switch, or the other way round?

 

I'm thinking use HUB2 as the master, and leave all my old 10. kit on the old router, setting a route to it where on the hub 2?

jab1
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Registered: ‎24-02-2012

Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

I don't know the answer to that, as I don't use Plusnet kit, but maybe @Dan_the_Van  / @Mustrum  could answer?

John
Dan_the_Van
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Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

Which zyxel device do you have, can it be configured as a router only?

With the Hub two as a modem you connect one of the three LAN ports to the WAN port of the router.

The router would need to be setup to make a PPPoE connection with no VLAN tag, use you plusnet broadband user credentials.

 

 

Felindre
Hooked
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Registered: ‎10-11-2022

Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

It's a VMG8924-B10A, and can probably be configured this way or as a simple bridge to the HUB2. I'm just trying to see if I can set up a route on the hub2 to the 10.0 network on one of the ports

Dan_the_Van
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Re: Problems with PlusNet Hub Two

I very much doubt you can set up any routing on the Hub Two. Making the VMG8924-B10A a router would be my recommendation, from what I can see it has a WAN port