My partner, who is the one who deals with BT, recently ticked a box on their website to extend her contract, and she got a reduction of £6 per month for doing so, and they sent us a new device: the Smart Hub 2.
We've been using the Home Hub 3 for some years, with Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), copper to the house, and I've got the setup exactly how I want it (long after undoing the disastrous work of the BT technician who originally installed the hub). I've got the modem (the white Openreach one branded Huawei underneath) close to where the phone line comes in to the house (as recommended to minimise the phone wiring), but I've got the hub on the end of a long Ethernet cable upstairs, where it connects in star-fashion to the various devices it needs to connect to, with Ethernet cables fixed in place, under carpets etc.
I find to my dismay that the Smart Hub 2 goes back to the design of the original Home Hub in being a modem and router combined. This is inconvenient for me, and I expect many others, as it makes sense to have them separated, because where the phone line comes into the house is not near most devices that need Ethernet. To use the Smart Hub 2 I would have to largely undo the wiring of my system and rearrange everything.
So my question is, is there any point? How is the Smart Hub 2 better than the Home Hub 3 and its modem, bearing in mind that were are on a copper connection anyway. The only point I would be able to see for replacement would be if the modem in the Smart Hub 2 somehow managed to squeeze a better data rate out of the FTTC system than the old modem, but is that likely to be the case? The Smart Hub sports GigE ports, but would those be of any benefit?
Thanks for any thoughts.
If you are happy with your current arrangement why change it?
If you did wish to change to the SH2, there is no need to change any wiring. Simply site the hub where the modem currently resides, use the existing Ethernet cable that previously connected modem and hub to connect to a cheap Ethernet switch sited where the old hub resides and connect your devices to that instead of the old hub.
Or simply re-purpose your old hub as an Ethernet switch/wireless access point instead of buying a switch.
I agree with @licquorice if your existing setup works well for you then leave it alone as hubs must be returned now if you leave BT make sure you keep the SH2 and don't throw away
The switch is a good idea. I have no experience with them but hope they are straightforward. On using the Home Hub 3 as an Ethernet switch 'downstream' of another router, I've tried that before and couldn't make it work, despite trying to follow various instructions posted on here. It's not straightforward, and it is clear others have had difficulty with this as well. On the other hand, I have been able to set up a Tenda router as a switch downstream of the Home Hub 3, just with a simple LAN to LAN connection. The question remains where the Smart Hub has any advantage.
Hmm, it is very straightforward to convert a hub to switch/ WAP. Just need to give it an IP address outside the main hub DHCP range, turn off DHCP and connect LAN port to LAN port.
There is literally nothing to do with an unmanaged switch, it is just a bank of Ethernet sockets.
The only advantages of the SH2 are 5ghz wireless and ability to work with the complete home WiFi system.