Advertisement
Advertisement

BT Home Hub 3 review

Barry de la Rosa
16 Mar 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
92
inc VAT

Caters well for novice users, but advanced features are conspicuously absent and wireless performance is pedestrian.

Advertisement

Specifications

802.11n, 4x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

The Home Hub 3 is a stylish, compact router that comes free with all BT broadband services but it's also available to buy. It has two WAN ports - one is an RJ11 port for the built-in ADSL modem, while the other is a special RJ45 port that supports the VDSL2 protocol used by BT's Infinity fibre-optic broadband service. This means you can sign up for a normal ADSL service and upgrade later.

BT Home Hub 3 back

The front panel has just three indicator lights, showing the status of power, broadband and wireless. A small pull-out tab at the back of the unit has a randomly generated WPS PIN and password for the admin interface. It's convenient, as you won't lose the settings and can carry the tab with your around your various devices to set them up.

BT Home Hub 3

The web-based interface is incredibly sparse. The first page shows the status of connections and lists connected clients, while the second links to BT's services such as BT FON, NetProtect Plus security and Family Protection parental control software. A Settings page comes third, and by default it's set to Basic mode - clicking Advanced Settings reveals more information and options.

There's no support for 128-bit WEP, so if you have older equipment that can't use the more secure WPA or WPA2 encryption, you'll be even less secure using 64-bit WEP. There's also no MAC address filtering for limiting access to only pre-defined devices, no support for WDS (Wireless Distribution System) for extending the wireless network, and no QoS for prioritising important traffic.

The Home Hub's most interesting feature is Smart Wireless channel-hopping. Unlike most automatic channel selection techniques, BT's constantly checks for interference - not just from other access points but also from Bluetooth devices and microwaves - and changes channel on the fly. However, we didn't notice this take effect in our performance tests, and the results didn't show any marked improvement over other routers, despite our noisy testing environment. Results in our speed tests were mixed, barely going above 32Mbit/s at close range, although the signal remained strong enough at 20m to achieve an impressive 9Mbit/s.

Those needing advanced features may be frustrated by the Home Hub's simplicity; plus wireless speeds could be better, especially if you're considering BT's new high-speed Infinity service. Still, the Home Hub is attractive, easy to use and though we wouldn't buy it standalone, it's a plus point of signing up for BT's home broadband.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Modem typeADSL2+
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportyes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportno
MIMOyes
Stated speed300Mbit/s

Security

128-bit WEPno
WPAPSK
WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringno
DMZyes

Physical

Size107x185x62mm
Antennas2
Internal/external antennasinternal
Upgradeable antennano
Number of WAN ports2
Ethernet ports4
Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Other portsUSB
Wall mountableno
Power consumption on5W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingno
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportno
USB device supportyes
QoSno

Buying Information

Price£92
Warrantyone year RTB
Supplierhttp://www.bt.com
Detailswww.productsandservices.bt.com