Using A BT Smarthub, An Update
It’s over two years since I first wrote of how to set up a Smarthub for use on a Plusnet service, see https://community.plus.net/t5/My-Router/Using-the-BT-Smarthub-6-on-a-Plusnet-Account/m-p/1587673#M85.... Since then, there have been changes in the firmware and feedback from those who have adopted these hubs has led to further understanding. This post has therefore been produced as an update, maybe the Mods will think it suitable for pinning with the original?
The original instructions still work fine but the following should be noted:
- All versions of BT Smarthub and Smarthub 2 will currently work on your Plusnet account, including the FTTP models, see https://community.plus.net/t5/My-Router/Using-a-FTTP-Smarthub-6-on-a-Plusnet-FTTC-Service/m-p/165176....
- Since December 2018 BT have been effectively ‘loaning’ Smarthubs to their customers and now charge if they are not returned at the end of a contract, Consequently Smarthubs sold as ‘new’ are more than likely better described as ‘unused’.
- A regular mistake made is to plug the DSL cable in before instructed. The results in the connection being redirected to BT servers where the Plusnet username is thrown out and the page redirected to the BT trouble shooter. The only connections must be limited to the power plus either an Ethernet cable or a wireless connection until instructed otherwise.
- Smart Setup has moved on some firmware versions from the Home to the Status page.
- After the username and password is set there may no longer be a ‘Save’ option. However, connecting the DSL cable and if necessary, selecting ‘Connect’ results in the Plusnet settings being retained.
- Some early versions of firmware will not accept special characters in the password. Whilst Plusnet mention using a special character, one is not required so if necessary logging into your Plusnet account and changing the password to alpha numeric characters only will fix this. If you are worried about security then simply add a couple more characters to your password.
- BT support Smarthubs even though they are connected to Plusnet, so firmware updates are still automatically applied.
- The factory reset instructions are included in the original document as the previous users settings on a second hand Smarthub could cause confusion. However, if it is a case of transferring from BT to Plusnet and the same hub is being retained then this is not necessary. In these cases, all that is required is to drop the DSL by either selecting Disconnect in the Advanced/Broadband settings or removing the DSL cable, changing to the Plusnet Username (followed by @plusdsl.net) and Password, then selecting Connect.
- Whilst the cause is not known (a mains surge/brown out is suspected) it is not unknown (but rare) for the username and password to revert to the default BT ones. It is suspected that this is the BT way of recovering the Smarthub from a non-recoverable firmware crash. If this happens then all that is required is to click Disconnect in the Advanced/Broadband settings, re-enter the username (followed by @plusdsl.net) and password then Connect.
- It can save a lot of time and effort when many wireless devices are in use to change the Smarthub SSID (Network Name) and Password in Advanced/Wireless settings to be identical to those of your Plusnet Hub. This way you can seamlessly swap between the two. Note that the admin password will not change and it will revert to the original settings after a Factory Reset.
- Business Version Only. If selecting your own choice of DNS Servers you must change DNS Servers/Auto field from Yes to No for the drop down list into which you enter the IP address fields to appear.
Re: Using A BT Smarthub, An Update
"Go to ‘Advanced Wireless’ in the ‘Advanced settings’. In the field above the 5GHz band column labelled ‘Separate Bands’ set this to ‘ON’. Note that this should automatically add ‘-5’ to the ‘Network Name’. If not add it manually. You will now have two independent channels, use the best."?
If I do, will this give 2 wifi channels to log into and which would be the best?
Re: Using A BT Smarthub, An Update
No, you don’t need to separate the bands if you would rather leave them synchronised. I include this as some devices have problems with them in sync. It is suspected that the cause is that some devices flip flops between the two and either won’t connect or have drop outs.
If you separate them you will find that if you go to your device available network settings you have two SSIDs, both have the same password. Which is best depends on several factors but the general rule is that 2.4 GHz works at a greater distance than 5GHz whilst at short ranges the 5GHz channel is faster. It’s a case of trying both and using the best.