BT Smart Hub

Hi - Does anyone have the power consumption of the new BT Smart Hub please? I'm considering a possible change from our BT Hub5 to hopefully give improved coverage in the far corners of our not so vast home. The Hub5 is marked 12v, 1.5A on the underside so presumably is consuming up to ~18W, it feels like that to the touch 

I saw that some other forum members had ordered the new Smart Hub but couldn't find much feedback. Is there any experience out there either +ve or -ve? 

Original Post

I got one when fast fibre arrived in my village. It replaced a HH3. i've just had a look on the back and the bottom and there is no info on anything other than passkeys. I already had repeaters and I still need them. I don't think the Smarthub has a better WiFi range in my house, although all my internal walls are thick and made of masonry, so they are very good at signal attenuation. The device appears less flaky than the HH3, although that could be down to line quality. No complaints. easy to set up. Wouldn't put it up for Pope but there's nothing essentially wrong with it. The HH3 went upstairs and is a very nice little repeater. Works a treat and has opened up the first floor.

Hi Newnaim, don't take the SMPS watts rating into account,  their are two variants of BT HH5 & each has a different SMPS, but none get close to the max rating, it's in the 7 to 10 watts range depending on what it's doing (it's not constant).   I'm away from home at the moment but have all the info on file & can get back on Friday.  I have a HH6 coming soon so will look that up as well - if I can find it

Thanks all, I appreciate that power consumption depends on the activity but just wanted to have some level of confidence that a new BT Smart Hub [Hub6] won't consume a huge amount of additional power compared with the Hub5 but it sounds as though they're at least in the same range.

Mind you, I've no accurate measurement of what the quiescent power consumption of my Naim gear is but one day I'll get to measuring it.

@Mike-B any additional info when you're back home would be appreciated.

jonnaim posted:

Why are you bothered about electricity consumption of bt HH? if you can afford naim hifi you should not be worried that your electricity bill will be £11.73 higher because of the HH you use!

 

My question was not really anything to do directly with affordability but if you can't measure something then you can't manage it. For example, I have two dehumidifiers running 7x24 which for me is worth it but if the new BT Smart Hub took say another 50W of continuous power consumption then I wouldn't bother with it. Make sense?

NewNaim16 posted:

@Mike-B any additional info when you're back home would be appreciated.

I can't find much on the HH6,  the only numbers I can find don't have a decimal point so I suspect they are a bit 'approximate'

Anyhow your question was how does it compare to HH5  .........it looks like diddly squat difference  

Two versions of HH5 - Type-A & Type-B

 BT HH5 Type-ABT HH5 Type-BBT HH6 SmartHub
In operation9.2W14.0W11W
Idle6.3W7.2W7W

My BT HH6 arrived last Monday.   Its installed on its own SMPS rather than the iFi iPower (for the time being anyway) 

Its working perfectly,  no obvious changes between it & the HH5 in performance in 'normal' use,  however it does have an extended signal range, in the garage which was a blind spot & goes further into the garden area.

It has a more 'idiot proof' Hub Manager with less bits to fiddle with & less radio channels to select (if you choose not to use the BT 'Smart' auto channel feature).  So whilst its got less programmable features to fiddle,  as a consumer unit it does work well straight out of the box with its 'Smart' features,  

I've split 2.4 & 5GHz bands,  this is an easy to do on/off feature with the Hub Manager & it even renames the 5GHz band SSID automatically by adding '-5'.       I have the 2.4GHz channel on 'Smart' but fixed a channel on 5GHz.    Also turned off  'Smart Setup'  which is a nuisance once the initial set up is done.

I've reset all my equipment including the audio from 'Static' (always use this IP address)  to normal DHCP,   the HH6 does not switch around IP addresses & keeps previously used addresses providing they are within the BT license numbers group.   This better facilitates IPv6 I believe,  plus its letting the hub do all the brainwork.     

I'm waiting to see if the 5GHz line speed drops off as it did quite frequently with HH5  (a hub restart fixed this)    As expected line speed remains the same as it did with HH5 - its a 80/20 service & I get around 74/18.   Also waiting to see how often BT change the remote server which they did every 7 to 10 days before. 

I'm on my 5th Smart Hub in 5 months with previous ones all suffering from the amber or green lights of death. Customer support has been appalling but improved when I finally got through to Executive Level complaints in Newcastle. It a nice unit when it works and the improved wireless range is clearly a bonus. Keeping my fingers crossed that this one keeps working. I'm also holding on to my HH5,just in case.

NewNaim16 posted:

Hi - Does anyone have the power consumption of the new BT Smart Hub please? I'm considering a possible change from our BT Hub5 to hopefully give improved coverage in the far corners of our not so vast home. The Hub5 is marked 12v, 1.5A on the underside so presumably is consuming up to ~18W, it feels like that to the touch 

I saw that some other forum members had ordered the new Smart Hub but couldn't find much feedback. Is there any experience out there either +ve or -ve? 

Hi, just an observation, if you have multiplie devices accessing your wifi across significantly different signal levels, then having a single wifi access may not be the best idea, as it might encourage devices on the wifi network to unduly interfere with each other choking off performance. So if you have a larger space with multiple wifi clients of differeing signal levels, then having two, three or more lower power wifi access points working as a single ESSID ( absolutely not the the same as using atrocious wifi extenders) is the way to go and you will most likely see a hugely better wifi performance. This is similar to what many commercial setups do. The UniFi products are one example of how you could do this and are relatively inexpensive. You would connect these accesspoints to your BT hub of what ever description and disable the hubs wifi.

Simon

@Mike-B: Thanks for the report. Although our Naim gear is Ethernet hard wired, the potential for extra Wi-Fi range from the new BT Smart Hub / HH6 will be useful for other purposes. Time to order one methinks.

@Simon-in-Suffolk: Point taken about multiplie devices accessing your Wi-Fi across significantly different signal levels, however that's not the issue. Its simply a longer distance in a weird house with the radio signal going through a double thick brick wall. I looked at the UniFi products which are very interesting, I 'think' we used them at work. However, I'm hoping that the new BT him will do the trick, its just a signal strength connectivity issue.

As a side comment, our BT Hub5 has been totally reliable - except of course when BT are going though one of their fairly regular configuration exercises!

As before just watch the reliability issues. I've had to instal a new one each week due to reliability issues and have had to fight hard with customer services in India to have them replaced.  My last session them lasted an hour and involved being handed off to three people two of whom asked me why I wanted a HH6! In the end I wrote to their new CEO and within a day it was sorted and a full refund provided too.

There is a known issue with them which often results in frequent drop-outs and worse still getting stuck with what the BT forum calls the green or amber lights of death. My latest one is said to be from new stock and has worked fine for the past week. When they work they're great but 5 failures seems extreme to me. If this one goes it's back to the HH5 or a third party router.

Thanks much. Since this is not an urgent situation, it may be a case of caveat emptor and also seeing if Mike-B has any issues before I commit. 

This is only so that Mrs NewNaim16 and myself can have better Wi-Fi connectivity in one particular room from where we often access the Internet during our DAT (Daily Activities and Tasks) breakfast meeting. Don't you just love retirement!

Mine reboots and goes through the orange and green light show about once or twice a week. I assumed it was just doing an update. It's not dropped me off for more than five minutes max. I'm grateful to hear about this potential fault. Forewarned and all that...

I have an HH5 standing by for emergencies. 

I've had a Smart Hub/HH6 for a few months without any problems at all - it replaced a HH5 which was also fine - unlike the HH2 and HH3 I endured. Both the speed and the range of wifi is very much better - possibly because of its AC support.

I've had my problems with BT but have found that it's fairly easy to get a substantial discount if you haggle just about the time your contract is up - asking for a MAC code usually does the trick. I've also found that they are very ready to throw in a free hub upgrade as part of the deal, that's how I got mine. My haggling skills are much improved since watching Shed & Buried on the Travel Channel.

As if by some cruel twist of fate I came downstairs this morning to find the orange light of death on the Smart Hub. Rebooted and was greeted by a solid green light for 20 minutes. Looks like this one has gone the same way as the other 5. Not impressed! Plugged the HH5 in and all is OK.

Good  idea but poorly executed....three have lasted precisely one week

audio1946 posted:

bt hub latest  flawless  

Providing it dosnt go tits up!

Some have the lifespan of an anorexic mayfly. I've installed a fair few DG834s in my time & can't recall any failures & had  a client who BT wouldnt provide broadband being 5.8Km from the exchange. Decent Netgear with a few tweaks & got excellent speeds, better than his office 2.5Km from exchange.

Of course if you decide not to use a BTHH, it's best use an optimised ADSL or VDSL modem for connection to BT Openreach MSANs and line cards. Performance and reliability of the connection between your modem and cabinet line card is crucial, and its best to use supported and or validated devices. If you look at the BT Shop you will see DSL modems for sale including the DrayTek Vigor 130.. so if you want to use your own router set it up to talk PPPoE to your modem and connect to your modem such as the 130... this way you have more control and most likely get the most reliable and optimal connection. A generic DSL interface in a standard consumer router/modem might not be optimised for BT and give a less than optimum performance. Always check a third party modem/router has modem firmware tested and validated for connection to BT.. should be in firmware release notes.

Ravenswood10 posted:

As if by some cruel twist of fate I came downstairs this morning to find the orange light of death on the Smart Hub. Rebooted and was greeted by a solid green light for 20 minutes. Looks like this one has gone the same way as the other 5. Not impressed! Plugged the HH5 in and all is OK.

Good  idea but poorly executed....three have lasted precisely one week

You have to hold the worlds record for failed hubs,  I would make this point to BT & question if an engineer visit to check for line problems is required.    I was talking to a BT/Openreach engineer yesterday & he says although they did have problems when first introduced, he believes they have solved those issues.  I see the BT customer support (community.bt.com)  have no new posts on this,  Jan 2017 is the last thread date.

Sorry to read of the issues with the Smart Hub folks - no fun at all. 

I’m currently still using a Home Hub 5. Although a few months back I was going to order a Smart Hub. Before I did I had a quick check on the BT forum and the number of problems made me hold back until either a revised version came out or for the next itineration. Glad I held fire on actually buying one. 

Near BT contract end I did try to blag a free one but no joy. Contract now expired and so reviewing options. No Virgin in this area, so BT are probably still the best / fastest supplier.

For now, I’ve temporarily solved the HH5 Wi-Fi limitations with a BT Wi-Fi extender to create a second Wi-Fi network in the office dead spot. A sticking plaster repair I know, but its all relatively stable for now, esp since the introduction of new ethernet switches. 

Mike-B, Encouraging news from the Openreach bod if that’s correct. May well be the time to plunge.

Yetizone posted:

Mike-B, Encouraging news from the Openreach bod if that’s correct. May well be the time to plunge.

He is Openreach (the network) engineer manager rather than a BT man with a toolbox so it's more what he hears around the office rather than hands on.  Also he's had a trouble free HH6 since first introduced.     I would be more inclined to spend a while browsing the BT Community Forum; it seems the plethora of posts about reliability were in 2016 & next to nothing in 2017.     

Sadly I'm not alone with this number of failures and the line is fine. I dropped a note to my friendly exec complaints chap at BT Newcastle earlier today so let's see what transpires. I'm back on the HH5 and all is fine. I'm glad I kept it!

I may just stick with the HH5 - anything but try another HH6! 

My last call to India played back the usual mantra that HH6 don't work on ADSL/Copper. If this is the case one could say that BTs current advertising is misleading.

Simon-in-Suffolk posted:

Of course if you decide not to use a BTHH, it's best use an optimised ADSL or VDSL modem for connection to BT Openreach MSANs and line cards. Performance and reliability of the connection between your modem and cabinet line card is crucial, and its best to use supported and or validated devices. If you look at the BT Shop you will see DSL modems for sale including the DrayTek Vigor 130.. so if you want to use your own router set it up to talk PPPoE to your modem and connect to your modem such as the 130... this way you have more control and most likely get the most reliable and optimal connection. A generic DSL interface in a standard consumer router/modem might not be optimised for BT and give a less than optimum performance. Always check a third party modem/router has modem firmware tested and validated for connection to BT.. should be in firmware release notes.

Agreed,

BT also infrequently vanalise ahem, 'update' the home hub overnight, sometimes resulting in despair. I daresay not beyond a hard reset &/or firmware re-load but not everyones a techie. Using your own router should prevent this although they may load their own firmware - anyone confirm?

The DrayTek routers are some of the very best, if not & well worth it. The only BB companies I would trust to provide a decent free router are Andrews & Arnold, IDNet or Zen.

Be interesting to dig out an old 834, flash it & see what speeds it provides when connected to BT tho, I get a perfectly 9.5 down & 1 up Mb/s here about 3.5Km from exchange in rural France - soon to be FTC'd.

</derail>

Ravenswood10 posted:

 

My last call to India played back the usual mantra that HH6 don't work on ADSL/Copper. If this is the case one could say that BTs current advertising is misleading.

That really is boll*cks - I went from copper to fibre and the speed became worse. Evidently fibre performance falls off a cliff at a certain distance from the cabinet. I am now back on copper but all that aggro resulted in my hefty discount and keeping the Smart Hub which works fine with copper. Another beneficial side effect was that all the attempts to get fibre to work optimised my line to the extent that my speed is now about double what it was before the changes (although still only half of the advertised maximum).

Yetizone posted:

 

For now, I’ve temporarily solved the HH5 Wi-Fi limitations with a BT Wi-Fi extender to create a second Wi-Fi network in the office dead spot. A sticking plaster repair I know, but its all relatively stable for now, esp since the introduction of new ethernet switches. 

This is my permanent solution. It works. I'd rather flip between access points than be on the edge of a flakey WiFi signal. Most of our devices stay in the vicinity of a particular repeater, so the need to flip doesn't crop up much. Maybe we are unusual in that regard.

Pev posted:
Ravenswood10 posted:

 

My last call to India played back the usual mantra that HH6 don't work on ADSL/Copper. If this is the case one could say that BTs current advertising is misleading.

That really is boll*cks - I went from copper to fibre and the speed became worse. Evidently fibre performance falls off a cliff at a certain distance from the cabinet. I am now back on copper but all that aggro resulted in my hefty discount and keeping the Smart Hub which works fine with copper. Another beneficial side effect was that all the attempts to get fibre to work optimised my line to the extent that my speed is now about double what it was before the changes (although still only half of the advertised maximum).

I presume you're talking about FTTC, where you are still dependent on the existing copper infrastructure from cabinet to home. Speed is known to drop off with increased distance from the cabinet, and crosstalk is a common issue, especially if there is a large number of users. Then there's the quality of the copper cables themselves, many of which are years past their sell by date with corroded connections, etc. 

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