I have ordered Fibre100 (which is being installed in March) and have a question about the Smart Hub 2:
If I need to add one or more Mesh disks to the Smart Hub 2 to fill in any WiFi dead-spots, can I buy one or two disks as a one-off purchase and link them to the Smart Hub 2, or can these only be obtained through a monthly subscription? I am hoping I can buy and add them myself as I am not keen on subscription based "rentals".
Also, does anyone have experience of the 2.4G and 5G WiFi performance of Smart Hub 2? Is it better or worse than the original Smart Hub? I have a 5 bedroom house, so need decent WiFi performance. If anyone has used Smart Hub 2 in a 4 or 5 bed modern house, I'd be interested in their feedback on WiFi performance. My current TP-Link VR900 Router provides pretty decent coverage of the whole house with no extenders. However, I won't be able to use that with the Fire100 service as I need the DECT feature of Smart Hub 2 for my Digital Voice phone line.
I also understand that the Smart Hub 2 has the same SSID for 2.4G and 5G, which is a bit of a pain, as 5G offers much faster speeds and having the same SSID will make it impossible to choose the 5G network manually. Is there any way of getting around this?
Thanks for your help.
Yes yuou can buy discs if you want to.
You can always ditch digital voice and port your number to another VoIP provider so that you don't need the SHub.
I use an ASUS RT-AX88U router and Gigaset VoIP handsets which connect to my Sipgate account for my telephone service. It works very well and I have a choice of using the Sipgate voicemail service or the answerphone on my Gigaset N300A IP base station (which is connected to my router via an Ethernet cable). I prefer to use the Sipgate voice mail service myself as I can easily access it from anywhere and it sends me an e-mail plus a copy of the message in an attachment whenever I receive a new voicemail.
Thanks for the information.
As I understand it from the BT Helpdesk, if I need more coverage from the Smart Hub 2, I would need to buy at least a twin pack of Whole Home Discs (the white discs) as one disc needs to be Ethernet connected to the Smart Hub 2. Then the other disc is the "Mesh extender".
How does this solution compare to other routers? For example, do some third party routers like ASUS have Mesh built into the router, negating the need for the first Mesh device hard wired to the router?
Ideally, I'd like to have the flexibility to use my own router and port my phone number. I took a look at Sipgate Basic which seems to have all the functionality I need. I now need to decide whether I ditch the Digital Voice service from my order and port my number. I assume that part of my BT order can be removed as I am within the cooling off period. Reading on the Sipgate Basic website, it looks like you need to sign up with Sipgate and take a temporary number first. Then when the service is activated, apply to port my number.
I believe that most if not all of the newer ASUS routers have mesh built in, but you could find a definitive answer to that on an excellent support forum, particularly this one: https://www.snbforums.com/forums/asuswrt-merlin.42/
With an ASUS router, you also have the option to replace the ASUS firmware with an ASUS-authorised firmware alternative called "Merlin" and again, there is support for that on the above link. Swapping between the two versions of firmware is no more difficult that updating the ASUS firmware really and it gives you a whole load of optional extras that you can install, such as support for OpenVPN, automatic speed tests (from the router, so not client-dependent), Advanced QoS, such as FlexQoS, etc. I'm uploading some screenshots from the router's GUI using Merlin firmware (which looks almost the same as the ASUS firmware).
I'm not sure about the porting of an existing number as I didn't bother with that but chose a new number (the number I chose kept the same local area code). I hope this helps.