BT Smart Hub 2 fubar

Here’s one. After 10+ years of faultless Plus Net broadband I’ve just upgraded to FTTP with BT. I would have stuck with PN but they don’t provide it here. Various reports suggest that BT FTTP suffers dropouts, but I went with them anyway as the only show in town, and every provider will have a disgruntled customer.

It’s been in for 2 weeks, it works, all was well till the other night when Boy #2 reported that ‘the wifi’s gone down’. Checks showed it all had, no cnxn to the outside world and no internal connections on the LAN either. A fruitless 2 hours of resets, prodding, waiting for the BT helpline to respond etc didn’t solve it, but replacing the Smart Hub 2 with the old Plus Net supplied router did, instantly. The SH2 was very hot to the touch too when I unplugged it.

Based on that, two questions:

  1. Has anyone else encountered issues with the SH2? Drop outs, hot, and also it’s not plug & play with devices connected via ethernet - it just doesn’t connect in the way that the Netgear router does. Things have to be powered up in sequence or they don’t exist on the LAN.

  2. I’ll get on to BT Cust Support and request a new Smart Hub, but the better option is to get myself a decent router with wifi. Any recommendations? It’s a fairly basic setup with a couple of 8-port switches hanging off to feed different rooms in the house via ethernet, and a handful of wireless devices coming and going.

Unless you are very confident in your own abilities, I would avoid using a router other than the one supplied by your ISP. The functioning of your whole LAN and internet connection becomes, to some degree, unsupported. As far as I’m aware the current BT routers are quite capable, and an improvement on some of the junk many ISPs used to supply. I would get in touch with their support and make them sort it out.

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That being said there is plenty of help online for using your own router with no need to use the suppliers own supplied one, usually built to the lowest possible standard because it’s ‘free’

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Quite happy to experiment to get it working how I want it to work tbh, and it’s quite normal to use a router other than the base model version supplied by the ISP. The interface to the fibre is a modem on the wall which supplies internet into the house via one ethernet cable; what I do with it after that is separate from the supply to the house into the modem.

The Netgear one is configured to provide fixed IPs to various devices and works well but the wifi is a bit pants. That’s the main driver, to get the same or better wifi performance that the SH2 provides, but retain the plug n play that the Netgear has and which the SH2 seems to lack, unless that’s part of its wider failure.

My SH2 runs slightly warm, never drops out & is by far the most reliable hub I’ve owned. IMO its an exceptionally good hub, no argument, and I doubt another non BT hub will be any better.
Hot is a problem, & that must get fixed.
Get on to BT and get them to fix whatever is needed, it’s part of the BT contract you’re paying for. I read what you’ve experienced so far, but do what you can & escalate to someone senior if needed.

The getting ‘hot’ maybe to do with WiFi signal strengths. If the WiFi is weak the signal is probably boosted. I found the Disc setup a bit basic. I would use the hub manager to check that each disc is running fast enough and has a decent signal (I got the signal to -55db). The disc in the hub seems capable of 500Mbps while the others may not. Try to adjust the position of each Disc so that there are not too many obstacles (foil lined plasterboard is a problem) between them and the distances are optimal. You can connect the Discs to the hub with cable rather than sending the data over the WiFi to the next Disc. The Disc positions then determine whether the WiFi covers all the places you want it. You can use Apps on a phone to measure the WiFi speed at various spots.

Phil

Thanks Phil, but no discs are involved (yet).

Msg seems to be that the SH is generally fine, mine seems to be a lemon.

The SH2 has one Disc built in. The principles of getting good coverage still apply. Let us know what BT say.

Phil

One nice chat later with one of the nicest and most knowledgeable customer services ladies I’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with, and a new hub is on its way. Let’s see how this one goes…

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My parents BT Hub (and phone line) got fried by a lightening strike a few years ago. BT sent a new one out no questions asked. Their customer support, in my experience, has generally been ok - not like some of the scare stories you hear. They don’t seem to have any issues with their Smarthub and connecting devices via Ethernet - they seem to work plug and play. Maybe you got a faulty router first time round?

Agree re Cust Svcs, the couple of issues that arose during the order process everyone I spoke to at BT’s end was enormously helpful, and eager to resolve things. Full marks to them, and today’s whose start point was to order me a new router. She knew her stuff too; I know enough to prod beyond asking which colour light should be on, and she was on it.

I started this thread to see if the rumoured regular dropouts on BT FttP were an issue and by extension is the Smart Hub a ropey bit of kit; the answer seems to be no, which negates the follow up of what would be a decent replacement. The new one is due tomorrow so I’ll give it time to settle in and see how that goes.

Fingers crossed the new one works better.
With regards to dropouts, my parents live in the middle of nowhere, and until the start of this year only had regular ADSL broadband, which was painfully slow and was plagued with dropouts - at least once a day. They now have fibre, not to their house, but to the cabinet in the next village, and the connection is now much more stable. Drop outs still happen, but with much less frequency.

Hmm. That’s the worry. My ADSL never missed a beat in 15 years under various ISPs unless external forces caused it, yet anecdotally here & locally FTTP already appears to be less robust. That’s not promising.

Which magazine yesterday published a review of routers the BT SH2 came out top. Plusnet router didn’t fare so well. Good to see BT’s customer services getting better, that’s why I left them and joined Plusnet.

The Plusnet routers are just older BT versions typically Hub 5. I have a house share and they reported increasing drop outs (reconnections). I suggested they put the Hub on the master socket rather than the first socket (5m away) within the house and that made a difference. Overheating may be as much a symptom of excessive retries as a faulty hub. The Hub Manager gives you useful information such as how long since last reconnection and link speed which get reduced to deal with retries. Keeping the hub cool (hand warm) is important especially in hot weather.

They wanted better wifi so I gave them my Smarthub 1 (I now have SH2 and 2 Discs) and they are happy for now at least. Two of them are at home most of the time so it gets a hammering. They did not complain about the 35Mbps!

We are 100m of cable from the fibre cabinet.

Phil