Replace BT Smarthub 6 (newest one) with separate modem and router

8
Found 2nd Jul 2017
Hello,

I currently have a BT Smarthub 6 with BT infinity which is causing lots of problems with assigning IP address etc.


I live in a very old big house so the walls etc are very thick (some internal walls are 2ft thick!). Wiring is mostly a mess and on three different circuits so power lines are not great at all.

I would like to replace the Smarthub with a Apple AirPort Extreme (or similar alternative) which means I would need a separate modem, which BT one would I need?) to connect to the to AirPort Extreme. I know some wiring is ok and I would like to use my power line adapter to connect to somewhere more suitable in the house which the wiring is good from each end so its more centrally located.

I would then run off one power line (again, one of the few sections of wiring thats ok) to a second airport extreme in bridge mode so the the first one assigns all the IP's etc.

I would also scatter a few powerlines to various TV's around the house where fast connection is not to important.

So the questions:

  • How much better is the Apple AirPort Extreme better than the Bt Smarthub 6 in terms of configuration etc?
  • Is there a better alternative (similar budget) as the AirPort Extreme for WIFI signal? I don't know if it makes much difference but all the computers/laptops and phones in the house are Apple devices including the old Mac mini (would be connected via ethernet directly to the first AirPort Extreme) running OSX server for time machine, storage, printing, VPN etc.
  • What modem would I require for the BT infinity connection the the Extreme?
  • Any problems I might come into?

Many thanks!

Community Updates
AskRouter
8 Comments
draytek.co.uk/pro…130

The draytek Vigor 130 modem is the one you want - no other works as reliably. BT open reach used to make one but I found it disconnects often. The draytek is the best you can then connect any other router - I would recommend a mesh router
Apple aren't a big player in the router market so I'm not familiar with it, but given Apple's usual style I'd expect it to have very few configuration options.

Asus are sometimes cited as having lots of settings, or if you're happy with a separate modem then non-manufacturer software like OpenWRT or Tomato may be the way to go.

In terms of modem, if that's a standard BT Infinity connection (i.e. FTTC not FTTP) then you want a VDSL modem.
Original Poster
Thanks guys. Its with BT infinity with just the Smart Hub box. Im 99% sure its FTTC as we are the only house the cable runs to the exchange directly across fields. I have the BT plans as the local farmer was putting in drainage and in one year went through the BT cable six times!! Bloody annoying!

I looking at the Mesh routers, is the AmpliFi HD a good one? How does it perform through thick walls etc? I wish they had loaner systems to try out to see if they work ok as they are not cheap if they don't work well!
Prior to SmartHub 6 and HomeHub 5, an Openreach vdsl modem was used in combination with HomeHub 4 or earlier, for BT Infinity customers. This would probably be the simplest option if looking to use a separate router. There are two different types ECI or Huawei and your local fibre cabinet will be one of the 2. You can identify which yours is on this page<<. Huawei cabinets are supposedly better. See here<<. You can use either modem with either cabinet but it'd probably be better to get the modem which matches your local cabinet.
dreadzone101

Prior to SmartHub 6 and HomeHub 5, an Openreach vdsl modem was used in … Prior to SmartHub 6 and HomeHub 5, an Openreach vdsl modem was used in combination with HomeHub 4 or earlier, for BT Infinity customers. This would probably be the simplest option if looking to use a separate router. There are two different types ECI or Huawei and your local fibre cabinet will be one of the 2. You can identify which yours is on this page<<. Huawei cabinets are supposedly better. See here<<. You can use either modem with either cabinet but it'd probably be better to get the modem which matches your local cabinet.



BT dont sell, give away or support those old VDSL routers; they dropped the bomb with no real warning as well, only a month before stopping support.

It was a pity, as the router was actually very good at its job; it took another two years before any other VDSL router from other manufacturers could match it.

You can still find them at carboots for £5-£10.

The Draytek mentioned is supposed to be very good, however it isnt cheap; TPLINK do a number of VDSL routers that are nearly as good, and cost a fraction of the Draytek price; mine has only needed rebooting twice in 2.5 years, and both occasions due to BTOR contractors fcuking up something while working in the local cabinet.

BTW, all the tests say Huawei equipped BT cabinets are faster and more reliable.
The BT Hub 6 is a big pile of poo.

Don't blame you for ditching it!

I've got an old Openreach modem and that works fine with an ASUS AC3200 router.
Gentle_Giant

BT dont sell, give away or support those old VDSL routers; they dropped … BT dont sell, give away or support those old VDSL routers; they dropped the bomb with no real warning as well, only a month before stopping support.It was a pity, as the router was actually very good at its job; it took another two years before any other VDSL router from other manufacturers could match it.You can still find them at carboots for £5-£10.The Draytek mentioned is supposed to be very good, however it isnt cheap; TPLINK do a number of VDSL routers that are nearly as good, and cost a fraction of the Draytek price; mine has only needed rebooting twice in 2.5 years, and both occasions due to BTOR contractors fcuking up something while working in the local cabinet.BTW, all the tests say Huawei equipped BT cabinets are faster and more reliable.



The Openreach box is a modem, not a router. BT no longer supply them because ever since the BT HomeHub 5, the vdsl modem has been built in so they supply the single unit. However when BT Infinity first rolled out, the routers supplied (HH4 or earlier) only had adsl modems built in, therefore the Openreach box was used as the vdsl modem and the HH4 was used as router only, for BT Infinity. The OP is asking about a separate modem, not a vdsl router/modem which TP-Links would be. They are also considering a Apple Airport Extreme which needs to be used in combination with a modem, hence Openreach modem is the simplest choice as there are many on eBay and on other places: mymemory.co.uk/bt-…tml
Original Poster
Cheers guys.

I understand you have to unlock the modem first then get line stats?

Is this all possible from a MacBook? I do have a Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter so it wouldn't be via wifi.
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