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Message 1 of 8

Own modem and router instead of BT Smart Hub 2

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I live in a large house (approx 3,500-4,000sq/ft) and the current wifi signal in some of the further out rooms isn't great. As I work from home doing a lot of conference calls, and also the odd evening gaming session I need reliable speed and latency. I have 35Mb/s Broadband Fibre Essential which is all that's available on our street.

To improve the quality I purchased the mesh wifi system Netgear Orbi RBK353. My plan was to put the BT Smart hub 2 to into modem only mode, then use the Netgear Router (and the 2 satellites). I'd read that it was possible to put the Smart Hub 2 inot modem only mode,  but hadn't realised in was for the business version only.

To deploy the mesh wifi, research has led me to believe I'll need to purchase a modem, and that the Draytek Vigor 167 adsl/vdsl modem is a good choice.

However, I'm tech aware but not an expert my any means and have mostly researched this along with a friend. So, I appreciate any feedback on if this is a suitable approach? As well as any further advice/considerations on this approach before I purchase further kit as costs are adding up.

Much appreciated!

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Message 2 of 8

Re: Own modem and router instead of BT Smart Hub 2

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@georgeyc19 

It would be much simpler to put the Orbi into access point mode, and connect it to an Ethernet port on the Smart Hub 2.

That would retain the use of your phone number, assuming you are using BT Digital Voice.

If you must have a separate modem, then a second hand Openreach modem would be much cheaper than the Vigor.

How to change a Netgear Orbi router to AP mode
  1. Connect a computer to the Orbi router and launch a web browser.
  2. Visit the following router configuration page: http://orbilogin.com.
  3. You are prompted to enter a username and password. ...
  4. Select ADVANCED > Advanced Setup > Router/AP Mode.
  5. Select AP Mode.
  6. Click Apply.

 

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Message 3 of 8

Re: Own modem and router instead of BT Smart Hub 2

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Definitely don't waste your money on a Vigor modem, an Huawei HG612 from Ebay is a much better option if you really want a separate modem.

Don't pay extra for an unlocked one, it is not necessary and is trivial to unlock in any case.

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Message 4 of 8

Re: Own modem and router instead of BT Smart Hub 2

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Thanks for your input.

I have broadband only, no phone. There's no reason I need a modem other than to facilitate the setup of the mesh wifi system.

Would doing it the way you suggested over using the Netgear Orbi as a router (and a separate modem) have any impact on performance of the wifi?

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Message 5 of 8

Re: Own modem and router instead of BT Smart Hub 2

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No

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Message 6 of 8

Re: Own modem and router instead of BT Smart Hub 2

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Following this as in same boat and looked on that well known auction site as also looking at replacing BT provided Smart Hub 2 on our Halo FTTC service with Wi-Fi 6e router and mesh set up. 

Did search on the Community pages for pointers and on web on how to ‘unlock’ these older but reliable BT Openreach modems.  Looked on web and found only old references with links that no longer worked.

Also have to admit I wasn’t sure what the ‘unlocking’ actually does either. Access to admin functions on modem?

I’d be grateful for any recommendations on where you can find guidance / steps on how to unlock? 

Thanks in advance for any guidance

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Message 7 of 8

Re: Own modem and router instead of BT Smart Hub 2

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The only reason to unlock the HG612 is to access the line stats. It is just plug and play in its default condition.

Unlocking is trivial, see https://kitz.co.uk/routers/hg612unlock.htm

and https://kitz.co.uk/routers/hg612hacking.htm

Use the GUI version of firmware

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Message 8 of 8

Re: Own modem and router instead of BT Smart Hub 2

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Many thanks. 

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