This is what I wanted to achieve:
To use my existing Netgear Cable router (WNDR3700V4) as the Primary Router and use the BT Smart Hub 6 as a secondary wireless repeater / range extender and for the extra 2 usable wired ports in another room in the house.
JayeBMX produced a good guide for using 2 BT Hubs, but it didn't quite work for me using a non BT Hub as the Primary Router with a Smart Hub 6. Also, for clarification, I have FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) or ‘Home’ as some call it. My Smart Hub 6 has the 3 yellow Ports and the fourth is for the WAN coloured Red.
Setting it up the way I describe below solves the latency and speed problems and using the same network SSIDs and passwords on both wireless bands for the Primary and secondary router provides me with a seamless network. A device will then attach itself to the router with the strongest signal without any other intervention needed. The only thing to do is ensure that each of the two 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands have a different channel set on each router to avoid interference.
How I did It and What Worked For Me:
The first thing to do before anything else is to ensure the Netgear router can connect to the BT network so you know that is working as a stand-alone router. Normally, as long as you have it set to the firstname.lastname@example.org as the username and PPPOE, it should pick up the settings itself.
Netgear = Primary Router
Smart Hub 6 = Secondary Router
Netgear Primary Router:
Once you have it working and connected to fibre, open the Netgear Web Management interface by going to your web browser and typing in the default IP address for your router.
The first thing I did was to change the IP address and DHCP settings:
Note: I have experimented with several sets of non-routable IP addresses, and ran into various problems down the line later with the Smart Hub - as it seems the Smart Hub uses 10.40.X.X for the BT Wifi and FON (even though we won’t be using this). So to save grief I used the 192.168.1.X range to keep it simpler.
Apply the settings before moving pages.
Log back in to the Web management interface after the router restarts using the new IP of (in my case - 192.168.1.10)
Next, go to the Wireless Section on the Netgear Router.
Remember that for the 5.0GHz band, the BT Smart Hub 6 will always add a ‘-5’ to the end of the name, so it is important to pick a name on the Netgear Router that will match this. So add a -5 to the end of your 5.0GHz name.
Smart Hub 6 Router:
Ensure this has been factory reset to default settings first.
Now log into the Smart Hub by connecting a LAN cable between your PC and Port 1, 2 or
3 (not 4 or the Red one) on the Smart Hub using the default IP address of 192.168.1.254 in your web browser (and give the router enough time to start up if you have reset it).
Log in with your Smart Hub 6 password when asked, (it will be the default if reset earlier unless you have changed it).
The first thing I did was go to Advanced Settings, Firewall, and select Configuration
Next, once the settings have applied, navigate to Advanced Settings, My Network, IPv4 Configuration.
Now set the new IP address. If you used my settings earlier, you’ll see that I set the last IP address in the DHCP server range as 192.168.1.200.
Save the settings and note that your new IP address for the Smart Hub 6 will be 192.168.1.200 if you have followed my address settings. Ignore the DHCP server address ranges shown in the screenshot below - this function is not being used on the Smart Hub 6.
Wait for a while for the router to apply the settings.
Give the Smart Hub 6 plenty of time to restart.
Next you need to connect the 2 routers together.
Important: Connect the primary Netgear router via one of the spare ports to either port 1, 2 or 3 of the Smart Hub 6. Don’t connect it to the Smart Hub 6 red WAN port or Port 4 - as it won’t work.
I used a CAT 6 cable to take advantage of Gigabit speeds for transferring data and large files across the home network (using the gigabit ports of the routers, but if you are not fussed about that, use CAT 5 or CAT 5e, but you should always use the fastest speed you can for future proofing as best you can and to save repeating the wiring later.
If you have it working - the Smart Hub 6 will flash purple - nothing you can do about that apart from get a pair of shades or put a small bit of tape over the top / bottom of the brightest bit - but don’t cover the whole thing - you need to allow air to circulate and cool the unit.
If you have set this up correctly, your Wifi devices should now home in on the strongest signal from the nearest router. I now get a full 76Mbps over the whole house, whereas before this went down to about 15-20 Mbps or worse when using a single router. As you have set up the same wireless SSID names and network password on both routers, the devices will seamlessly connect to the strongest signal they can.
I hope this helped, and thanks to JayeBMX for his guides on getting me started.
JayeBMX's updated guide for connecting 2 Smart Hubs together is here:
You have made the same mistake many people make with regard to wifi seamlessly roaming. Having the same SSID on both devices will not make wifi transition seamless, mesh software is required for that to happen. Your devices will connect to whichever signal they wish but the transition will not be seamless and having different SSID's is a much better way of configuring the devices as it is then possible to see which signal the device is connected to and force a change to a stronger signal if necessary.
Indeed it will work and it is a very useful and comprehensive guide that you have produced. However, you would get the exact same result with different SSIDs for each router with the added bonus that you would immediately see which signal your device was connecting to and be able to force a change if required.
Sorry it is you that are missing the point. Your devices are not roaming seamlessly, that is only possible with mesh software, having the same SSIDs everywhere is not a pre-requisite for good signal strength everywhere. Your Apple devices will still connect to whatever is available with different SSIDs, but you will then be aware of which router they are connecting to. I am not disputing your method of connecting the 2 routers together to provide extended coverage, I do exactly the same with a TP Link router and old Hub5, it is just the concept of using the same SSID for everything is flawed in my opinion.
That's your opinion of course, I much prefer this 'clean' solution of fewer SSIDus. Much less clutter especially with all the BT Wifi and FON hotspots soon to be sprouting as more of the village gets connected. At least I have now eliminated those from my own router now that I'm not using the Smart Hub as the primary router.
I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.
I'm going to disagree with you too, licquorice, as I have set up 5 separate wifi points around my home (BT HH6s, Edimaxes, and a Fritzbox), all with the same SSID for both bands. My Macs switch seamlessly as I move around the house, as does my android phone and my wife's iPad. If your devices don't, they need a software update.