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BT reveals Home Hub 5 with ac Wi-Fi

BT reveals Home Hub 5 with ac Wi-Fi

The BT Home Hub 4 and 5

BT has taken the wraps of its latest Home Hub router, the Home Hub 5, which will be the first of its routers to feature Wi-Fi 802.11ac.

The fight for broadband supremacy has intensified in recent years with the likes of BT, Sky and Virgin Media all realising that it's not just the network to your house that's important but the box you have in your house too. As such the quality of modem/routers provided with subscriptions has improved greatly. BT revealed its Home Hub 4 a month or so ago and Virgin Media just unveiled its latest Super Hub, and now BT has hit back again revealing details of its upcoming Home Hub 5.

This will be the first of BT's Home Hubs to feature the latest super-fast Wi-Fi 802.11ac standard. Although still not widely supported, ac Wi-Fi is built into the latest raft of laptops such as the new MacBook Air, and it's set to become more widespread very soon. The Wi-Fi will also support dual-band to reduce the chance of interference from other networks.

Hub 5 will also be the first to include a built-in VDSL modem, meaning users of BT's Infinity service will no longer need a separate modem box and a Home Hub, reducing both clutter and power usage. It will also be the first Hub to feature four gigabit Ethernet ports. And, like the Hub 4, the whole package is designed to be slim enough to fit through a letter box, saving you a trip to the post office.

BT reveals Home Hub 5 with ac Wi-Fi
BT Home Hub 4 and 5

BT hasn't announced pricing for the Home Hub 5 but says it will be similar to the Hub 4, which can be bought for £35 for existing customers or comes free if you're a new customer or if you choose to renew your contract, i.e. sign up for another two years.

BT reveals Home Hub 5 with ac Wi-Fi

Comparing to other routers on the market, Virgin Media's latest Super Hub features 450Mbps dual-band Wi-Fi (with three spatial streams on the 5GHz channel, compared to two on the Home Hub 4) and four gigabit Ethernet ports, and is available for £49 for existing customers. Meanwhile the latest Sky Hub only utilises the 2.4GHz band, has a theoretical max throughput of 144Mbps and has four Fast Ethernet ports. With a £69 upgrade price, it's definitely the least appealing of the three. Of course, plenty of other ISPs and 3rd part routers are available.

31 Comments

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lacuna 10th July 2013, 12:14 Quote
I will probably get it to get rid of the infinity modem
RichCreedy 10th July 2013, 12:20 Quote
if they are providing 802.11ac, why limit it to 300Mbps?
matt... 10th July 2013, 12:25 Quote
Of course, with Sky not letting you use 3rd party upgrades (they wont provide the broadband login details) your only option is to complain about the old router that they provided several years ago until they just send you the upgrade free... still not the best option but at least the broadband is totally unlimited!
Meanmotion 10th July 2013, 12:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCreedy
if they are providing 802.11ac, why limit it to 300Mbps?

My mistake - they haven't mentioned the max Wi-Fi bandwidth yet. Have corrected this.
Gareth Halfacree 10th July 2013, 13:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt...
Of course, with Sky not letting you use 3rd party upgrades (they wont provide the broadband login details) your only option is to complain about the old router that they provided several years ago until they just send you the upgrade free...
Hack the router, extract login details, use third party router, ???, profit. Works for me. Unless anyone from Sky is reading this, in which case I'm totally using the crappy Netgear you sent me all those years ago. Honest.
lancer778544 10th July 2013, 13:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt...
Of course, with Sky not letting you use 3rd party upgrades (they wont provide the broadband login details) your only option is to complain about the old router that they provided several years ago until they just send you the upgrade free... still not the best option but at least the broadband is totally unlimited!

This is what annoys me so much about being with Sky. Your forced into using their router (although its quite easy to extract the necessary details like Gareth said) which, in my opinion, is the worst router provided by the big 3.

My girlfriend relies heavily on the wireless reliability (offers of me running a ethernet cable to her room have been declined) and the Sky hub is failing miserably. The Home Hub 3 that she had before it and even a basic £30 Belkin wireless N router have performed much, much better. I've even added a Cisco wireless access point but the Sky hub seems to be taking a disliking to it and every now and then, both will need a reboot to keep working (the Cisco worked flawlessly when it was with me).

Sky really need to get their finger out and bring out something at least as good as the Home Hub 4.

Edit: Also:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
Of course, plenty of other ISPs and 3rd part routers are available.
Cei 10th July 2013, 13:20 Quote
Ooo, getting rid of the Infinity modem as well? For £35 BT can take my money!
dipzy 10th July 2013, 13:28 Quote
was going to move to BT Infinity, may as well wait for the new home hub, hope its not a long wait though
SchizoFrog 10th July 2013, 13:34 Quote
Just a question as some of you seem to know more than I do. I too have Sky but I think I have a newer router from them, a small white, upright square shaped thing. When you say they are poor, are you only talking about the WiFi capabilities? So is it still fine if you connect directly using a cable?
Cei 10th July 2013, 13:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lancer778544
This is what annoys me so much about being with Sky. Your forced into using their router (although its quite easy to extract the necessary details like Gareth said) which, in my opinion, is the worst router provided by the big 3.

My girlfriend relies heavily on the wireless reliability (offers of me running a ethernet cable to her room have been declined) and the Sky hub is failing miserably. The Home Hub 3 that she had before it and even a basic £30 Belkin wireless N router have performed much, much better. I've even added a Cisco wireless access point but the Sky hub seems to be taking a disliking to it and every now and then, both will need a reboot to keep working (the Cisco worked flawlessly when it was with me).

Sky really need to get their finger out and bring out something at least as good as the Home Hub 4.

Edit: Also:

Offer her some homeplugs?
lancer778544 10th July 2013, 13:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizoFrog
Just a question as some of you seem to know more than I do. I too have Sky but I think I have a newer router from them, a small white, upright square shaped thing. When you say they are poor, are you only talking about the WiFi capabilities? So is it still fine if you connect directly using a cable?

That'll be the Sky Hub. I've got one with Sky's equivalent of BT's Infinity and my PC is hardwired in and it's fine. The wireless range is poor though, even compared to my older Sky router which had similar specs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cei
Offer her some homeplugs?

I've tried that too but she's too tight. I'll probably get them as one of her birthday presents if my old Sky router, which I've just sent to her, doesn't work out.

Plus, her house's wiring is a mix of the standard twin and earth and the older stuff which is just the individual live, earth and neutral like thinner meter tails so I'm not sure how well the homeplugs will work. I might get them from Amazon and return them if they don't perform well enough.
monkiboi 10th July 2013, 13:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lancer778544

I'll probably get them as one of her birthday presents...

Yeah, let us know how that works out for you :)
Krikkit 10th July 2013, 14:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lancer778544
I've tried that too but she's too tight.

lancer778544 10th July 2013, 14:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkiboi
Yeah, let us know how that works out for you :)

*witty response not found* :P
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit

She's tight in the wallet area then. Better? :)
Rustynutts 10th July 2013, 14:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lancer778544
This is what annoys me so much about being with Sky. Your forced into using their router (although its quite easy to extract the necessary details like Gareth said) which, in my opinion, is the worst router provided by the big 3.

My girlfriend relies heavily on the wireless reliability (offers of me running a ethernet cable to her room have been declined) and the Sky hub is failing miserably. The Home Hub 3 that she had before it and even a basic £30 Belkin wireless N router have performed much, much better. I've even added a Cisco wireless access point but the Sky hub seems to be taking a disliking to it and every now and then, both will need a reboot to keep working (the Cisco worked flawlessly when it was with me).

Sky really need to get their finger out and bring out something at least as good as the Home Hub 4.

Edit: Also:

They have, the new'ish white sky hub is brill they make these them selves, no netgear or sagem are being sent out to new customers.
r3loaded 10th July 2013, 15:31 Quote
I'll stick to my own routers thanks, I don't like using routers with crippled or locked-down firmware, plus I'm sure my Asus RT-AC66U with its three streams and big antennas will beat the pants off this HomeHub in wireless performance easily.

Also "the first Hub to feature four gigabit Ethernet ports" is a massive indictment of how crap the current BT routers really are.
Bungletron 10th July 2013, 16:00 Quote
I will probably get rinsed for saying this, but I think my provider, Talk Talk, are currently killing it on the value stakes. Their fibre package undercuts everyone so plus an aftermarket router paid for out of the savings (I use the Asus RT-N66U) is actually really good. I noticed the quality of the service, particularly streaming and downloads increased recently, then I found out they have removed their traffic management limits for unlimited fibre users. As long as you never call their customer service team I think they are great.
FullThrottleRic 10th July 2013, 16:36 Quote
I never even attempted to use the WiFi on my SR101, first thing I did when I set it up was disable it and use my own access points. So far reliability-wise the it's been totally fine for me, it's not needed restarting once in the six months I've had it. It's been 100% solid and doesn't run hot enough to fry an egg on like the god awful glitchy Sagem POS they sent me when I was on ADSL.
I would like to be able use my own third party router but honestly, it'd make no real difference other than possibly looking a bit nicer?!
chimaera 10th July 2013, 17:01 Quote
I can see the appeal of combining the VDSL modem and the router into a single device for 'normal' users but that would be a total deal-breaker for me (annoying since I was thinking of getting Infinity when I move next).

If they go down this road I hope the device will have a 'modem mode' toggle like Virgin added to their cable modem/router device...
Dark Matter 10th July 2013, 17:10 Quote
Any ideas when the 5 will appear?
Dark Matter 10th July 2013, 17:49 Quote
I may well go straight from the three to the 5 and may negate the need to think about this upgrade?

http://forums.bit-tech.net/showthread.php?p=3379723
javaman 11th July 2013, 10:07 Quote
R3 was a steaming pile of manure compared to HH2 for me. The range wasnt as good and it definitely needed reset more. While HH2 wasnt perfect and had random off days it was less of a headache to sort. You hit reset and it reconnected HH3 you need to reset several times before everything will work. Ill probably get the 5 and hope its an improvement. Really wanna just fork of for an ASUS hub Ive had my eye on and call it a day.
MrJim 11th July 2013, 10:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Hack the router, extract login details, use third party router, ???, profit. Works for me. Unless anyone from Sky is reading this, in which case I'm totally using the crappy Netgear you sent me all those years ago. Honest.

So...ummm...if you were to hack the router & use a third-party one, which one would you choose? I'm, sorry, a friend of mine, is currently using an Asus RT-N66U, but only have gone through the process of trying two other routers first! Extracting the login details is quite easy once you know how. Allegedly.
Gareth Halfacree 11th July 2013, 10:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJim
So...ummm...if you were to hack the router & use a third-party one, which one would you choose? I'm, sorry, a friend of mine, is currently using an Asus RT-N66U, but only have gone through the process of trying two other routers first! Extracting the login details is quite easy once you know how. Allegedly.
I used to use a Billion, which was fine but died. Then I made the mistake of buying a Cisco-Linksys, which is actually worse than the old Netgear Sky provided. Then I asked around for recommendations, but failed to actually buy anything.
MrJim 11th July 2013, 11:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I used to use a Billion, which was fine but died. Then I made the mistake of buying a Cisco-Linksys, which is actually worse than the old Netgear Sky provided. Then I asked around for recommendations, but failed to actually buy anything.

Ah...sounds like the kind of 'router roulette' I went through The Asus works very well indeed, but for simplicity I used a modded version of the firmware.
Corky42 11th July 2013, 12:06 Quote
Talking about BT and their new hub, it looks like they will be rolling out 300Mbps FTTP later this year.
http://www.btplc.com/News/Articles/Showarticle.cfm?ArticleID=89E546D4-A694-4164-96ED-AF49C91E40FE
Pricester 12th July 2013, 12:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Matter
Any ideas when the 5 will appear?
I just had a call from BT trying to convince me to upgrade to the Infinity service. Asked him about the HH5, and he said he'd only heard about it yesterday, and it wouldn't be available until around September.
Not sure if I believe him though, since he started his response about getting new HomeHub by saying "you'll get the latest HomeHub 3"...
Quote:
Originally Posted by chimaera
I can see the appeal of combining the VDSL modem and the router into a single device for 'normal' users but that would be a total deal-breaker for me
I consider myself a slightly ab-normal user (super-user mostly, but perhaps closer to normal than I'd like on the broadband connectivity front), but I have to admit, I can't see a drawback to having it combined... would you mind explaining why it sucks?

I'm currently holding out for the HH5 before upgrading to Infinity - but if Chimaera or anyone else can point out why a single device is less good, I might take the upgrade that's offered now...
RichCreedy 13th July 2013, 20:20 Quote
i'm even more abnormal I have 2 phone lines 1 business and 1 home, I use 2 adsl 2+ modems, a dual wan router, an 8 port gigabit smart switch, 5 port gigabit switch in living room, and a pro wireless access point.
chimaera 17th July 2013, 15:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricester
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Matter
Any ideas when the 5 will appear?
I just had a call from BT trying to convince me to upgrade to the Infinity service. Asked him about the HH5, and he said he'd only heard about it yesterday, and it wouldn't be available until around September.
Not sure if I believe him though, since he started his response about getting new HomeHub by saying "you'll get the latest HomeHub 3"...
Quote:
Originally Posted by chimaera
I can see the appeal of combining the VDSL modem and the router into a single device for 'normal' users but that would be a total deal-breaker for me
I consider myself a slightly ab-normal user (super-user mostly, but perhaps closer to normal than I'd like on the broadband connectivity front), but I have to admit, I can't see a drawback to having it combined... would you mind explaining why it sucks?

I'm currently holding out for the HH5 before upgrading to Infinity - but if Chimaera or anyone else can point out why a single device is less good, I might take the upgrade that's offered now...

I didn't say it sucks - in fact I said I can see the appeal of the idea for normal users. Personally I like flexibility in what I can do with a connection. Given you aren't supposed to replace the VDSL modem part of the equation I don't like the idea of being forced to use a WLAN/LAN Router that may or may not be suited to my needs - especially since a lot of ISPs lock down the interfaces to their kit and drastically limit what you can and can't change on the interface.

For example as it currently stands you get a VDSL modem and a HomeHub WLAN+LAN router. This has the disadvantage of taking up more space and an extra socket. But lets say for the sake of argument you have a big house or perhaps its constructed in a way that interferes with WLAN signals?

At the moment you are free to unplug your Homehub and plug in your own router - all it requires (from memory) is that the router supports PPoE connection on WAN port to connect it to the VDSL router and you're golden. You could for example plug in a standard router and then run a couple of Ubiquiti AP's to different parts of the house to give good WLAN coverage or something like that.

How about if you're of a technical bent and want to set up VLAN-based networks to segregate stuff within your network? (for example - I don't exactly trust that network-enabled devices like TVs are the most secure so have been thinking about segregating them into a DMZ that has internet access but no access to the internal computer network (since I don't use streaming stuff like DNLA). Doing this via VLAN would be trivial with the right kit handling the routing and switching).

Like I mentioned in my post - if the HH5 allows a 'modem mode' that disables the router/WLAN/Firewall side of things entirely and just provides an ethernet passthrough from the VDSL part out so you can then set up your own routing as suits your tastes and needs then I have no issue.

I guess the simple way of saying it is:

BT own their side of the network coming into the house. I own whats inside my house. I don't want them controlling my network.
Pricester 18th July 2013, 10:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by chimaera
I guess the simple way of saying it is:

BT own their side of the network coming into the house. I own what's inside my house. I don't want them controlling my network.

Thanks Chimaera! That's a great explanation of why the combined device might not be suitable for some - I think it's way above the level of complexity I need to worry about, but you've opened my eyes to some possibilities that I hadn't previously considered... any day I learn something new is a great one!

Thanks for taking the time to spell out your thoughts :-)
chimaera 18th July 2013, 17:21 Quote
No problem :)
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