Replace BT Home Hub 5 with AirPort Extreme?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by JarScott, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. JarScott macrumors 68040

    JarScott

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Hey y'all! I'm asking this question here because we're trying to sort out our WiFi network at home and I am no where near as clued up on networking as I'm sure a few of you are. Basically, we've been having problems with our Home Hub pretty much since we got it. Our advertised speed is 70Mb/s download, but it's not very often we actually see those speeds. My dad did some tests (a BT troubleshooter) and it seems the router is actually receiving a consistent 70Mb/s download speed, but it doesn't seem to get past the router. That speed isn't delivered to the devices connected to it, so we've arrived at the conclusion that somehow the router is causing our speed issues - as has been reported by other BT Home Hub users.

    I read somewhere that it's best to use after market routers anyway because the ones provided by the ISP are usually total rubbish. Dad asked me to suggest a router we could replace it with and, being a Mac user and having a billion iOS products in the house, the AirPort seemed to be a logical conclusion. Also because reviews are pretty consistent for it. I think I'm right in saying we need the Extreme over the Express to replace our Home Hub...

    So my question is: can we easily replace our BT Home Hub 5 with an AirPort Extreme (do these connect directly to the phone line like our Home Hub does?) and will this guarantee we should see our advertised speed more consistently with a better/more expensive router? I guess another question might be what we could do to actually get the advertised speeds with our Home Hub/what we might be doing wrong. Because it seems as if we've tried everything and speeds are still down.
     
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #2
    I am not a fan of Apple's routers, mainly because you need proprietary software to manage them, and they use some non-standard ways of doing things. No UPnP either, IIRC.

    Generally it works well setting up a router behind a residential gateway, but the devil's in the details, since you need to get the settings right on both. First place to check is with your internet company; usually they have guides or advice on how to do this, and it's usually easiest to just use a router known to work behind the gateway.

    Also, you don't say whether the problem is wifi or ethernet speed. If the ethernet speed is OK, it could be that there is wifi interference, or it doesn't have enough range, or is simply an old pre-N standard.
     
  3. ssmed macrumors 6502

    ssmed

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    [/QUOTE]
    So my question is: can we easily replace our BT Home Hub 5 with an AirPort Extreme (do these connect directly to the phone line like our Home Hub does?) and will this guarantee we should see our advertised speed more consistently with a better/more expensive router? I guess another question might be what we could do to actually get the advertised speeds with our Home Hub/what we might be doing wrong. Because it seems as if we've tried everything and speeds are still down.[/QUOTE]

    The BT Home Hub 5 is very unfriendly and cannot be put into modem mode. You will need to maintain it in the system as the Airport extreme takes an ethernet not ASDL or fibre input. It will work however, but if you want the Airport to be your firewall you will have to fiddle
     
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #4
    You would be better off dumping the bt box and investing in a decent adsl modem/router. Or if you want to go down the airport route you can get a cheap £10 unit from dabs or ebuyer that only works as a modem.
     
  5. JarScott thread starter macrumors 68040

    JarScott

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    We've never actually hooked anything up to it via Ethernet as my laptop is the only 'PC' in the house and it's a rMBP so I'd need an adapter to connect an Ethernet cable. As I said, BT seems to think our house is receiving a consistent 70Mb/s down speed. But it just doesn't seem to go any further than that... Basically trying to work out if it's the router itself being rubbish or if there's some other problem we've not yet explored.
     
  6. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #6
    If you throw the Home Hub into Bridge Mode you can use whatever router you want. I highly recommend going with either an Apple AirPort Extreme or one of the newer ASUS models.
     
  7. ssmed macrumors 6502

    ssmed

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    This hub doesn't have this option as already stated.
     
  8. SnowLucas macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    #8
    I have the BT home hub. First advice I would have is turn off the silly smart setup nonsense.

    I've connected two AirPort Extreme's to the HUB and left the BT hub as the DCHP server. The Extreme's both have the same settings/password etc and one network name for both 2.4 and 5ghz so each device just connects at its max speed. Roaming between the two also works great.

    I've left the BT hub creating a different wifi network which I use for certain devices like wifi speakers, a nest thermostat and guests to use. The advantage here is that the speeds of my 802.11ac Mac don't get affected by my AirPlay speaker for example. Streaming to an Apple TV seems to work best when the Apple TV and the streaming device are on different wifi networks. It's a bit overkill but works in my setup. Having spare clean wifi channels is important here so if there are lots of other wifi devices around adding another might just cause more issues.

    This setup works well. No drop outs, strong wifi and my only issue is the BT service drops every once in a while but that's just BT for you.

    You can connect to the wan port of the Extreme's also giving you 3 spare Ethernet ports.

    I'd recommend it. Asus also make good routers if you want to save some cash as the apple routers are not coming down in price while other have.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9
    Do you have a DMZ mode on the Home Hub? One option is to throw the main AirPort into the DMZ and allow it to do the routing or you could leave the routing up to the Home Hub.
     

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