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JJ-2409
Beginner
22,847 Views
Message 1 of 15

Alternative modem router to replace BT HH5

Firstly let me say, I am not tech savvy. I am not up on the abbreviations or some lingo. So please if you can help, please use simple English.

My issue like many others is that BT standard hubs are not good enough for the amount of devices the "standard" household has. So I have been looking for a 3rd party replacement modem router, to greatly increase connectivity in my house. (I can't watch iPlayer without lag if someone is using the internet radio!!!!!!)

When I say "standard" household, I'm talking 2 smartphones, 2 tablets, 2 game consoles, desktop, 2smart TVs, Apple TV, NAS drive, airprint printer, internet connected thermostat, and I'm sure other devices I can't think of! (That's standard right?)

So I have looked at alternatives, the three main below;

NETGEAR D8500-100EUS Nighthawk X8 AC5300

ASUS DSL-AC88U AC3100

And recently the Billion 4x4 MU-MIMO AC 2400

All seem to have good and bad points but none seem definitive, (and as I said at the start I'm not an expert) and after some good advice, opinions, or is there another option I should look at?

Please can someone help? Lag is now the new common enemy!
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14 REPLIES 14
TimCurtis
Recognised Expert
22,843 Views
Message 2 of 15

Re: Alternative modem router to replace BT HH5

I've been using an Asus DSL-AC68U for some considerable time & can highly recomend it.

 

The DSL-AC88U is it's replacement so should be equally good although when new models come out there are often slight firmware issues , not referring specifically to Asus here btw.

 

Netgear have some iPV6 issues in that they don't fully support BTs implementation I believe so I'd steer away from them.

flamethrower
Aspiring Expert
22,824 Views
Message 3 of 15

Re: Alternative modem router to replace BT HH5

Hi @JJ-2409

 

Welcome to the BT Community Forums.

 

Before upgrading your hardware, you could try an app, like WiFi Explorer or WiFi Analyzer, to see if your WiFi network is on the best channels and explore whether moving the router can improve the signal. If you have devices that are latency sensitive then a good starting point is to have them connected to the router with ethernet (if not already).

 

The models on your list are all quite expensive because they have super fancy radios. It is likely that your network rate is fundamentally limited by your DSL connection. You could consider lower price points from the same vendors (or others) as those fancy radios are unlikely to make a big difference to your Internet experience:

 

  http://www.netgear.co.uk/home/products/networking/dsl-modems-routers/D6400.aspx

  http://www.billion.uk.com/product/wireless/7800dxl.htm

  https://www.asus.com/uk/Networking/DSL-AC56U/

 

As @TimCurtis points out Netgear have made statements about not supporting the IPv6 config that BT uses. It's disappointing, but the entire world is addressable on IPv4 whereas it's taken IPv6 20 years for 20% of the web to be available (data). If it's important to you keep it on the feature list.

 

Another option would be to use your HH5 just as a modem (turn off WiFi) and have a separate WiFi solutiom. For instance, you could attach a mesh network that'll give better coverage because there radios scattered around your home. Lots of options for the mesh: BT Whole Home WiFi, Google Wi-Fi, Netgear Orbi, etc. Or you could use the modem in combination with a Wireless Access Point that you position in the center of your home where it will likely give the best coverage. You'd use either HomePlug* or an ethernet cable (preferably) to connect the WAP to the modem. This latter option is what we have at home, works great. Cheaper than mesh and great WiFi all over the house.

 

Hope this helps

P.

 

* HomePlug will limit the speed of your network to ~50Mbps for AV500 or ~100MBps for AV1000.

Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
22,819 Views
Message 4 of 15

Re: Alternative modem router to replace BT HH5

Are you on normal broadband or BT Infinity? What download speed do you get on the BT Speed test ?

 

You may need to look for a router that has the ability to control the speed of each device, to avoid one user using up all of the bandwidth.

Bear in mind that if all devices are connected via wireless, then you are likely to see buffering issues anyway.

 

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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
22,808 Views
Message 5 of 15

Re: Alternative modem router to replace BT HH5

The TP Link Archer VR400 is one possibility.

 

Here is a link to the spec sheet.

http://uk.tp-link.com/products/details/cat-15_Archer-VR400.html#specifications.

 

It support QOS (Quality Of Service) and bandwidth control. It also has a guest network for any visitors.

 

 

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JJ-2409
Beginner
22,735 Views
Message 6 of 15

Re: Alternative modem router to replace BT HH5

That's for replying to my issue.

I have done a speed test and very test on my BT Infinity 28.7mbps download / 9.2mbps upload / 130ms respose time. I have been told this is good but it's not helpin with the lag, buffering or just dropping out.

Thanks @flamethrower for the in depth info. I will admit I got a little lost. You suggested a mesh network, which funnyily enough a friend also suggested as a solution.

So now trying to understand how they work and which would be best! The Netgear Orbi looks a choice for coverage with the tri-band built in, but would I be silly in thinking the BT Whole Home would work better with the HH5.

Can't help thinking I'm going down further and further the rabbit hole with this?
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Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
22,729 Views
Message 7 of 15

Re: Alternative modem router to replace BT HH5

That speed should be plenty, but without the ability to share it out equally between devices, you are still likely to get buffering issues if one device is using all of the bandwidth.

I don`t think a mesh network would help this issue, which is why I suggested the TP Link device with its QOS and rate limiting features, which would need setting up to start with.

 

 

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flamethrower
Aspiring Expert
22,718 Views
Message 8 of 15

Re: Alternative modem router to replace BT HH5

Hi @JJ-2409

 

The latency on the speed test looks very high and this could be the root cause of your current problems. As a reference I get around 20ms here). Could you post the router stats:

 

  https://community.bt.com/t5/Announcements-Guides-Community/Broadband-Top-Tips-to-get-help-on-the-for...

 

Also, just to check did you do the speed test using the test on BT's network (this is your best case) and on a computer connected to the router with an ethernet cable?

 

  http://www.speedtest.btwholesale.com/

 

Best regards

flamethrower

 

 

 

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xmb
Contributor
22,628 Views
Message 9 of 15

Re: Alternative modem router to replace BT HH5

I have just installed a TP-Link AC2800 and have to say it is very good. Quick and easy to set up and so far has been very stable. My son plays a lot of games and was always complaining about problems with the old Netgear D6400 but so far not a peep out of him!

 

I have even enabled IPV6 and this also works fine so again much better than the Netgear.

JJ-2409
Beginner
22,560 Views
Message 10 of 15

Re: Alternative modem router to replace BT HH5

Hi @flamethrower @Keith_Beddoe

Sorry for not replying quicker, i have a 12 week old and she doubts see the importance of working Wifi like her dad.

thanks for avenues to look into. I couldn't do the speed test using the BT Wholesale page, as my flash player won't connect. I did do another speed tests using some another sites today and got the results

Google speedtest had
Latency of 21ms
D/L 35.4 to 36.1 (wireless/Wired)
U/L 8.7 to 9.01 (wireless/Wired)

Speedtest.Net results
Ping 12ms to 17ms (wireless/Wired)
D/L 31.75 to 29.09mbps (wireless/Wired)
U/L 9.29 to 8.6 (wireless/Wired)

WHICH Speedtest
Response Latency
Wireless 75ms - Wired 84ms

Download 42.3 Wireless
D/L 38.2 Wired

U/L 7.0 Wireless
U/l 9.4 Wired

SO it looks like i don't have an issue with Speed so its how its distributed in my home. I have looked at the TP-Link AC2800 with the TP-Link AC1750 Range Extender to enhance the signal and this looks like it could do the job, but i worry that as its still Dual band it won't be future proof if/when more devices get added?

I admit i am confussing myself.

@flamethroweer, I followed the link for the router stats and posted below. not sure what I'm looking for...

1. Product name: BT Home Hub
2. Serial number: +068543+NQ60335584
3. Firmware version: Software version 4.7.5.1.83.8.236.1.2 (Type A) Last updated 08/07/17
4. Board version: BT Hub 5A
5. DSL uptime: 0 days, 14:27:19
6. Data rate: 9995 / 39993
7. Maximum data rate: 30174 / 86799
8. Noise margin: 19.2 / 19.7
9. Line attenuation: 17.1 / 15.7
10. Signal attenuation: 16.9 / 15.7
11. Data sent/received: 100.5 MB / 1.9 GB
12. Broadband username: bthomehub@btbroadband.com
13. BT Wi-fi: Yes
14. 2.4 GHz Wireless network/SSID: BTHub5-S7PK
15. 2.4 GHz Wireless connections: Enabled (802.11 b/g/n (up to 144 Mb/s))
16. 2.4 GHz Wireless security: WPA2
17. 2.4 GHz Wireless channel: Automatic (Smart Wireless)
18. 5 GHz Wireless network/SSID: BTHub5-S7PK
19. 5 GHz Wireless connections: Enabled (802.11 a/n/ac (up to 1300 Mb/s))
20. 5 GHz Wireless security: WPA2
21. 5 GHz Wireless channel: Automatic (Smart Wireless)
22. Firewall: Default
23. MAC Address: 90:72:82:76:5b:9a
24. Modulation: G.993.2 Annex B
25. Software variant: AA
26. Boot loader: 1.0.0

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