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Smart Hub 6 and MESH works OK, but some questions

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Wildroverandy
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎26-11-2016

Smart Hub 6 and MESH works OK, but some questions

I bought a Mercusys (the same company as TP-Link) 3 box Mesh system last year (wanting to get better speeds and WiFi into the garden), and have been using it with my Plusnet Hub One, although it has been operating as a double NAT as the Mesh doesn't have an access point mode, and as we all know the PN Hob One doesn't do Bridge mode. It's generally been OK. Just a couple of caveats.

I've had an occasional app complain about the double NAT, but haven't noticed any real issues. I also found I couldn't use the Ethernet ports in the Hub, they were OK for internet access, but not for local network. I connected an Ethernet switch box to the Mesh system, which fixed that.

So, recently I decided to sort out the double NAT issue, and after reading some comments here, I got a BT Smart Hub 6 Business version. I set this up in Bridge Mode, and set the Mercusys to PPPoE, put in the long details, and within seconds of plugging in, everything was up and running perfectly.

Some questions about the setup:

  1. I can't seem to access the BT Smart Hub now that everything is connected to the Mesh system. Do I need to setup a port forwarding or something there?
  2. it seems there's no access to the Ethernet ports, so I'm guessing Bridge mode really does what it says and only works as a modem (I was hoping to tidy up the connections a little). Unless there's a way to use these?
  3. Finally, any tips to tweaking the setup? Speed seems good, so probably not much to do now, but...

In case anyone is interested some information about the setup:

It cost £25 for the BT router from the usual auction site, and the Mercusys was about £60 from eBuyer.

A quick test yesterday (using Ookla) seems like a get a faster broadband speed (Fibre+ 80/20 package) :

  • I was getting 65-67Mbps downstream + 18Mbps upstream
  • I'm now getting 69-70 Mbps downstream + 19Mbps upstream

The Mercusys Mesh system has three boxes to place around the house. The first is plugged into the BT hub, and the Ethernet switch box is also plugged into that (each of the Mercusys boxes has two Ethernet power, albeit 10/100, but that's fine for my system).

The performance of that is pretty good for such a cheap Mesh system. My iMac here is connected at 867Mbps on the No.3 Mesh box.

Overall, I've always been happy with Plusnet, it's been reliable enough for me, just a shame the Hub thing is so restricted.

Cheers.

Andy
2 REPLIES 2
MisterW
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 9,992
Thanks: 2,610
Fixes: 206
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Smart Hub 6 and MESH works OK, but some questions

Fix

Some questions about the setup:

  1. I can't seem to access the BT Smart Hub now that everything is connected to the Mesh system. Do I need to setup a port forwarding or something there?
  2. it seems there's no access to the Ethernet ports, so I'm guessing Bridge mode really does what it says and only works as a modem (I was hoping to tidy up the connections a little). Unless there's a way to use these?

1. in bridge mode, the only way to access the Smart Hub is via a connection to one of its LAN ports. Well that's not completely true, if the connecting router has the ability to set a static WAN IP Alias in addition to the PPPoE connection then it MIGHT be possible to access directly from the router. My guess is that your mesh system wont be able to do this.

2. There's no access to the ethernet ports from the mesh system. Bridge mode does exactly what it says it 'bridges' the PPPoE connection from the mesh system through to the PTM connection made by the modem in the Smart hub.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Wildroverandy
Dabbler
Posts: 22
Thanks: 3
Registered: ‎26-11-2016

Re: Smart Hub 6 and MESH works OK, but some questions

Many thanks for clarifying those, pretty much as I expected, although I don't know quite enough to be absolutely certain.

I suppose the old adage now, 'if it ain't broke... etc.'. :-). It's working, so don't go fiddling anymore (I tell myself).

I think you're right about the Router/Mesh system, it seems well featured, and has lots of advanced stuff to mess about with, but doesn't seem to have all the most useful stuff included.

Cheers

Andy