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Message 1 of 4

BT 'repeater' hub drops Ethernet speed to all devices for either upload or download


I have a bit of a weird problem with my home setup. I'll try to describe the equipment as succinctly and clearly as possible, and then the problem I have.


Downstairs, where the main line comes in, I have the BT Smart Hub 2 (SH2). This serves everything wirelessly on the ground and (mostly) first floor of the house, including two BT Wi-Fi discs (one downstairs, one on the first floor).

I then have run an Ethernet cable from the SH2, up to the attic conversion (2nd floor), where it plugs in to a HH4 (currently, I had also used a Smart Hub (SH) - I swapped out during hardware testing to check for issues)

This then splits out two Ethernet connections to two computers (a PC and a Mac) and sometimes I also switch its Wi-Fi connection on, using the same name as the main Wi-Fi network. (However, I've also run it with the Wi-Fi off, or on with a different network name).

The SH2 I consider the main hub, it does all DHCP etc. The SH I set up to be a repeater, using an IP address outside of the range of the SH2 ( - it simply passes on connectivity via the Ethernet ports. I've been doing this for several years with various hubs - all BT ones.


The problem started about six months ago. Suddenly, I'd notice either the download or upload speed would drop off dramatically when connected via Ethernet. I'd go from a consistent 70+MBps (d) and 20MBps (u) to *either* <1Mbps (d) *or* virtually non-existent on (u).

I did my speed checks using, which I know isn't perfect, but it's a good benchmark. Often, when the upload speed dropped off, it couldn't even complete the test, complaining of socket errors.

Interestingly, I never had a point where both upload and download dropped off, only one.

At the point in time this error occurs, I generally can't load the control panel of the SH2 ( - it just hangs or loads as a blank screen. I can still access the CP of the SH.

The only solution is to disconnect all the Ethernet cables from the SH, wait maybe 30 seconds, then reconnect them. I presume this  forces a reconnection with the SH2.

Because only one direction of comms is affected, I don't believe this is an issue with the Ethernet cable between ground floor and attic, although I suppose it could be. I've checked the cable for breaks, kinks etc. and it all looks good. It affects both computers (so I don't think it's my Mac, although I did think it was to begin with).

The problem is fairly infrequent. It perhaps happens once every 3-4 days at present. The Wi-Fi connection is still good at this point for both u/l and d/l. I only have the one Ethernet cable running from the SH2 downstairs - I have no other close Ethernet-based devices to check if it's a universal problem when things go wrong upstairs.

Has anyone come across this issue before? It's not a complete shutdown of the Ethernet, which would almost be more understandable. I've tried different wires, two different hubs in the attic. Different ports on the SH2. My gut feeling is the SH2 is having problems with the connection from time to time (power management, perhaps) although it drops during active Internet use, not idle.


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Message 2 of 4

Re: BT 'repeater' hub drops Ethernet speed to all devices for either upload or download

Lack of response I'll presume this is a bit of weird one that no-one's seen before?

Still happens maybe once or twice a week.

Two days ago I noticed two devices trying to share the IP address, though one was listed as disconnected, so I deleted that one (checked the MAC address to ensure I had the right one left) but it's still done it again today.

Unplugging, waiting and reconnecting the Ethernet cables to the secondary hub is a reliable fix, but it would be great if it just didn't do this at all.


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Message 3 of 4

Re: BT 'repeater' hub drops Ethernet speed to all devices for either upload or download

On the HH4 did you change its IP address so it doesn't clash with the SmartHub and also disable DHCP so it doesn't hand out IP addresses which will clash with those given out by the SmartHub?  If both hubs have the address then some of your internet traffic will try to be routed to the HH4 which has no internet connection.

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Message 4 of 4

Re: BT 'repeater' hub drops Ethernet speed to all devices for either upload or download


Yes, the HH4 has the address which is outside of the 64+ range of the main hub. It also has DHCP disabled.

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