Home Router Question please.

badmonk

TXB Member since 2001
Cornerstone Member
Sep 13, 2013
1,662
1,088
10,980
South Yorkshire, UK
www.mikelambertstunts.com
Hey Guys

I ain’t the best re networking tech etc but I know some of you are 😊
After months of waiting, I finally have Full Fibre in the UK, I went with BT and got the fastest package. (Full Fibre 900). Super happy with it so far but need to ask some questions please.

Did a few tests and using the BT Smart Hub 2 router, on Ethernet I was getting 1.1 Gbps but WiFi is only around 410 Mbps, the BT engineer told me the WiFi speeds will improve after around 24 hours after the ONT updates etc.
Is this just BS? As looked online and some say the BT SH2 is capped at around 500Mbps as it used WiFi 5. Or can it reach faster WiFi speeds?

I know first world problems and 410Mbps is still great but paying for the fastest package so that’s what I would like and realistically who uses Ethernet at home? (Maybe into PC but I have Xbox, ps5, Apple TV and around 20 other wireless devices at home)

If I got a 3rd party wifi 6 router, would this cause problems or quite easy to set up and use with my current broadband provider and would this improve wifi speeds please?

Thanks for any help.
 
I'm in the US so take what I say under advisement, but the rule of thumb here is to get a 3rd party router. Ends up being cheaper with no router rental fees from the ISP and set up isn't all that difficult. Plus the routers we get from the ISP here tend to be the most basic to save money. A 3rd party one is usually more advanced, more customizable and tends to actually hit advertised prices. However again I'm in the US so I'm not sure if your UK consumer laws are stronger and your ISP actually have to provide something decent. Wait and see what the other UK guys have to say.
 
  • Like
Reactions: badmonk
I'm in the US so take what I say under advisement, but the rule of thumb here is to get a 3rd party router. Ends up being cheaper with no router rental fees from the ISP and set up isn't all that difficult. Plus the routers we get from the ISP here tend to be the most basic to save money. A 3rd party one is usually more advanced, more customizable and tends to actually hit advertised prices. However again I'm in the US so I'm not sure if your UK consumer laws are stronger and your ISP actually have to provide something decent. Wait and see what the other UK guys have to say.
Thanks for replying, appreciate that.

Am I correct to assume that if my router only supports Wi-Fi 5 then it does bottleneck roundabout 500 Mbps? And to achieve more than this, I would have to have the router to support Wi-Fi 6, I think that’s correct right?

Like I said above, my speed is hitting over 1Gbps on wired but around 400Mbps on wireless, so I think this is due to the wifi 5/6 thing.
 
Thanks for replying, appreciate that.

Am I correct to assume that if my router only supports Wi-Fi 5 then it does bottleneck roundabout 500 Mbps? And to achieve more than this, I would have to have the router to support Wi-Fi 6, I think that’s correct right?

Like I said above, my speed is hitting over 1Gbps on wired but around 400Mbps on wireless, so I think this is due to the wifi 5/6 thing.

In theory you are correct. Moving from Wifi 5 to 6 should get you closer to your Gbps speed. But also in theory, Wifi 5 should get you closer to 1 Gbps than what you're getting. WiFi 6 is capable of a maximum throughput speed of 9.6 Gbps, and 3.5 Gbps on WiFi 5 so you should be fine either way. I'd check to see if there is interference near any of your devices or near the router itself.
 
In theory you are correct. Moving from Wifi 5 to 6 should get you closer to your Gbps speed. But also in theory, Wifi 5 should get you closer to 1 Gbps than what you're getting. WiFi 6 is capable of a maximum throughput speed of 9.6 Gbps, and 3.5 Gbps on WiFi 5 so you should be fine either way. I'd check to see if there is interference near any of your devices or near the router itself.
Ok thank you so much
 
Thing is the BT engineer told me to contact them if Wi-Fi speed didn’t improve but I’m just thinking the person on the end of the phone he’s just gonna read another computer screen and say stuff like yeah you’ll get optimal speed if you connect via ethernet and there is no interference blah blah blah.
 
Seems odd that the router would arbitrarily be capped at 500 mbps. Again if you pick up a 3rd party one and the speeds drastically improve, you have your answer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: badmonk
I'm in Ireland so we should be close enough to the same.

I recently upgraded to FTTH (fibre to the home) and I had to make a few changes to get the most out of my connection and it sounds like your situation is quite like what I had.
Did a few tests and using the BT Smart Hub 2 router, on Ethernet I was getting 1.1 Gbps but WiFi is only around 410 Mbps, the BT engineer told me the WiFi speeds will improve after around 24 hours after the ONT updates etc.
Is this just BS? As looked online and some say the BT SH2 is capped at around 500Mbps as it used WiFi 5. Or can it reach faster WiFi speeds?

Sounds like BS to me. 5G wifi will generally get you about around 500 Mbps on average so at 400 Mbps you are close enough to that. I went messing around with Quality of Service settings to give certain devices or IP addresses priority service and I got it up to about 700 Mbps.


I know first world problems and 410Mbps is still great but paying for the fastest package so that’s what I would like and realistically who uses Ethernet at home? (Maybe into PC but I have Xbox, ps5, Apple TV and around 20 other wireless devices at home)

I use Eternet for my gaming consoles. One thing to check is that your cable is a minimum of CAT5. Anything lower will not let you higher than than 500 Mpbs. use CAT6 is you have them but CAT5 will do the job as well.

If you happy using wifi you can set Quality of Service (also called Priority Service) by assigning a device MAC address or static IP address that tells the router if this device or IP has active usage then its bandwidth takes priority over other devices on the same network. How this is done depends on the router you have. I managed to get my XSX up to about 700 Mbps when I was testing it so you can definitely go higher than 500 Mbps. I didn't leave it it switched on so I can't say for sure that it stayed working that way over time but the few games I did play when it was on were as good as those I played using the ethernet connection.

If I got a 3rd party wifi 6 router, would this cause problems or quite easy to set up and use with my current broadband provider and would this improve wifi speeds please?

Thanks for any help.
You should be able to use whatever router you want. the caveat here is you won't get support from your ISP for any issues (outside of a general outage in your area) if you don't use their router. Most routers that are provided by ISPs will allow you to change the core settings once you click past all the warning messages saying they aren't responsible if you break anything. If you do decide to go messing with the core settings take a back up of the bios first (should be an option under one of the system admin windows) if case you screw something up. Generally speaking though unless your try to customise every little thing on your network you're probably ok with what you've sent by the ISP.

What make do BT use?
 
Last edited:
  • Informative
Reactions: karmakid
Thanks so much for the reply. I think the BT smart hub 2 is a Broadcom based chipset (based on a quick google search) and uses wifi 5.

I have a couple of dishes around the house and WiFi coverage is good but again next to my router and doing a test with iPad I get around 300/400 Mbps and rest of house between 200/300 Mbps.

Reading forums posts on BT, looks like people using 3rd party routers and a mesh system (which I guess is various discs around the house to extend the coverage?) can get around 700/800 Mbps.

If I could get 700 on wireless I’d be super happy. Like I said I sound ungrateful as still getting fast speeds, but as I am paying for 900 Mbps, I would like as near as damnit.

Thing is BT said it’s the speed to the actual router and it is getting around 1000 Mbps, so that’s on point, but as I won’t be using Ethernet, I would like to improve my wifi speeds.
I read BT will be bringing out a new wifi 6 router soon so might hold out for that…….

Is setting up a 3rd party router and mesh system complicated please? I am not super technical re networking stuff so worried that it will be super hard to work out. I am tempted though as not sure when their new router will be released.
 
Thanks so much for the reply. I think the BT smart hub 2 is a Broadcom based chipset (based on a quick google search) and uses wifi 5.

I have a couple of dishes around the house and WiFi coverage is good but again next to my router and doing a test with iPad I get around 300/400 Mbps and rest of house between 200/300 Mbps.

Reading forums posts on BT, looks like people using 3rd party routers and a mesh system (which I guess is various discs around the house to extend the coverage?) can get around 700/800 Mbps.

If I could get 700 on wireless I’d be super happy. Like I said I sound ungrateful as still getting fast speeds, but as I am paying for 900 Mbps, I would like as near as damnit.

Thing is BT said it’s the speed to the actual router and it is getting around 1000 Mbps, so that’s on point, but as I won’t be using Ethernet, I would like to improve my wifi speeds.
I read BT will be bringing out a new wifi 6 router soon so might hold out for that…….

Is setting up a 3rd party router and mesh system complicated please? I am not super technical re networking stuff so worried that it will be super hard to work out. I am tempted though as not sure when their new router will be released.

You shouldn't really need a mesh unless your stunt money has you living in a mansion :grin:

5G wifi should be able to get you over 500 if you go messing with priority of service (set your iPad as the priority device). You can also do another settings like only use 2G wifi for some stuff which reduces the contention on 5G again. If you get me the router manual online I should be able to tell you what's possible.
 
  • Like
Reactions: badmonk
You shouldn't really need a mesh unless your stunt money has you living in a mansion :grin:

5G wifi should be able to get you over 500 if you go messing with priority of service (set your iPad as the priority device). You can also do another settings like only use 2G wifi for some stuff which reduces the contention on 5G again. If you get me the router manual online I should be able to tell you what's possible.

Thanks for your reply.
I have a couple BT wifi discs upstairs and yesterday I did a wifi test with my PC right next to the disc and only got around 220 Mpbs, but I plugged an Ethernet cable in and got over 500 Mbps so pretty happy with that. Didn’t know this would work, so I can plug directly into my upstairs BT discs and much faster plus I can put them near my devices.

IF I did get a sci fi style huge mutha f**ker bad a$$ 3rd party router by TP link or ASUS (wifi 6) etc do you think that would improve wifi speed or hard to say?
I am very tempted…
 
Thanks for your reply.
I have a couple BT wifi discs upstairs and yesterday I did a wifi test with my PC right next to the disc and only got around 220 Mpbs, but I plugged an Ethernet cable in and got over 500 Mbps so pretty happy with that. Didn’t know this would work, so I can plug directly into my upstairs BT discs and much faster plus I can put them near my devices.

IF I did get a sci fi style huge mutha f**ker bad a$$ 3rd party router by TP link or ASUS (wifi 6) etc do you think that would improve wifi speed or hard to say?
I am very tempted…
I have not used wifi6 at all so honestly I cannot say for sure but certainly one of the selling points is increased speeds, bandwidth and traffic management. If you do get one let me know what kind of differences you see - I might end up getting one myself.
 
  • Like
Reactions: badmonk
I have not used wifi6 at all so honestly I cannot say for sure but certainly one of the selling points is increased speeds, bandwidth and traffic management. If you do get one let me know what kind of differences you see - I might end up getting one myself.
Will do my friend and thank you for your help!
 
  • Like
Reactions: D-V-ANT
Ok update.

After a lot of reading reviews and watching YouTube, I went with ASUS zenwifi XD5. They are small, nice looking and wife pleasing. (In the sense of how they look, not used for any other purposes 😂)
The other alien mothership looking routers are bad a$$ but huge and my wife would hate them.

Going by reviews the XD5 work well and look stylish, kinda fit in with Apple home pods or Alexa etc.

So I wanted to swap out my BT Smart Hub 2 which is wifi 5 with this new router/mesh system which is wifi 6.

Ok firstly I just got BT full fibre 900, and via Ethernet I was getting over 1000Mbps but on wifi, even when my iPad was next to the BT router, was only around 220Mbps. So I thought time to replace.

Setting up the XD5 was a breeze, literally unplug my ONT modem for a few seconds to reboot then connect the first XD5 by WAN (making this unit the router) then once light goes blue use the ASUS router app (which also is fantastic) to complete set up. I just had to add the BT username and password then enter my own name for SSID and password etc, then connected the other 2 XD5 nodes via WiFi (these will be part of my mesh system to place around the house for better coverage)
It took around 10/15 mins to complete, not because it’s difficult but have to wait a few mins for everything to connect/update etc

So test time……

So my iPhone next to my BT hub was getting around 230Mbps, with the XD5 was getting over 700Mbps so super happy with that and various tests around the house with main router in my hallway and 2 nodes upstairs and it tripled my wifi speeds in every room. Before I set up the XD5 I tested every room with iPhone and BT hub then retested with the XD5.

Also I put one node upstairs next to my PC and connected via Ethernet so it’s going from a wireless node via wired connection to my PC and getting over 600Mbps, if I just use wifi it’s around 400 so a 200 speed increase, not sure how this works but happy it does.

Going to buy 2 more XD5 nodes to dot around my house for better coverage as really pleased with this mesh system.

Overall super happy it’s worked, was easy and improved my wifi speeds x3.
 
Also for those of you who are tech savvy, what’s the black magic behind getting faster speeds when I plug in via Ethernet to a WIRELESS node? The XD5 is upstairs and connected via wifi but if I plug in my Xbox SX/PS5 or PC via Ethernet I get double the speed?
 
  • Agree
Reactions: karmakid
Ok update.

After a lot of reading reviews and watching YouTube, I went with ASUS zenwifi XD5. They are small, nice looking and wife pleasing. (In the sense of how they look, not used for any other purposes 😂)
The other alien mothership looking routers are bad a$$ but huge and my wife would hate them.

Going by reviews the XD5 work well and look stylish, kinda fit in with Apple home pods or Alexa etc.

So I wanted to swap out my BT Smart Hub 2 which is wifi 5 with this new router/mesh system which is wifi 6.

Ok firstly I just got BT full fibre 900, and via Ethernet I was getting over 1000Mbps but on wifi, even when my iPad was next to the BT router, was only around 220Mbps. So I thought time to replace.

Setting up the XD5 was a breeze, literally unplug my ONT modem for a few seconds to reboot then connect the first XD5 by WAN (making this unit the router) then once light goes blue use the ASUS router app (which also is fantastic) to complete set up. I just had to add the BT username and password then enter my own name for SSID and password etc, then connected the other 2 XD5 nodes via WiFi (these will be part of my mesh system to place around the house for better coverage)
It took around 10/15 mins to complete, not because it’s difficult but have to wait a few mins for everything to connect/update etc

So test time……

So my iPhone next to my BT hub was getting around 230Mbps, with the XD5 was getting over 700Mbps so super happy with that and various tests around the house with main router in my hallway and 2 nodes upstairs and it tripled my wifi speeds in every room. Before I set up the XD5 I tested every room with iPhone and BT hub then retested with the XD5.

Also I put one node upstairs next to my PC and connected via Ethernet so it’s going from a wireless node via wired connection to my PC and getting over 600Mbps, if I just use wifi it’s around 400 so a 200 speed increase, not sure how this works but happy it does.

Going to buy 2 more XD5 nodes to dot around my house for better coverage as really pleased with this mesh system.

Overall super happy it’s worked, was easy and improved my wifi speeds x3.

So it sounds like your original router was the issue. Weird that they would arbitrarily cap it. Or maybe the tech in it just wasn't as new as your new router. Regardless glad the issue got solved. Union FTW.
 
  • Like
Reactions: badmonk
This is a massive leap for me, as before FTTP I was only getting around 30Mbps, now in my office I am using a Ethernet hub going to one wireless node, then got Ethernet cables going from the hub to my PC, XSX and PS5 and getting between 500/600Mbps 😊

Downstairs on wifi around 600/700Mbps.