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BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £90
inc VAT

Good, simple means of extending the reach of your Wi-Fi network


If your Wi-Fi router’s signal is too weak in certain parts of your home, the BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit could be a good solution. The kit is comprised of two powerline adaptors that pass data through your electrical mains wiring. One adaptor connects to your router and the other can be placed wherever you can’t currently access your wireless network, or where you experience a weak wireless signal.

BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit

Although the adaptor that connects to your router has the rather exciting name of Broadband Extender Flex, its job is simply to relay information to the second adaptor, nothing more. Conveniently, the Broadband Extender Flex has a pass-through plug socket, so you can plug another electrical item into it.

The second adaptor, the eponymous Wi-Fi Home Hotspot, is the highlight of this kit. It has two Fast Ethernet ports in addition to its ability to provide Wi-Fi access to your network, which makes it especially useful if you have static devices that require internet access as well as your smartphone or laptop. You might, for instance, want to connect the smart TV and games console in your bedroom to the Home Hotspot’s Ethernet ports to ensure those devices are receiving the best network speeds. The Home Hotspot only operates on the 2.4GHz band, but this does at least mean that the vast majority of Wi-Fi devices will be compatible with it.

Setup is intended to be straightforward, and it is. The two adaptors are pre-configured to speak to each other securely, so all you have to do is plug them into a mains socket and turn them on. The Home Hotspot has a recess in which you’ll find a pull-out card that contains wireless password for connecting to the adaptor, along with the password needed to access the Home Hotspot’s web interface.

BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit

Our adaptors connected to each other with no problems, and provided a data transfer speed of 90Mbit/s in our powerline adaptor test. This involves placing the two adaptors next to each other and repeatedly passing data from one computer to another. The further apart the adaptors are spaced, the lower the speed will be, but the kit still produced a data transfer speed of 90Mbit/s in our powerline adaptor test with the adaptors placed roughly 10 metres apart. That really isn’t bad.

To test the wireless performance of the adaptors we placed them in adjacent plug sockets. The Broadband Extender Flex was connected to our test PC directly via an Ethernet cable, and we connected to the Wi-Fi Home Hotspot via Wi-Fi. The kit produced transfer speeds of 45.9Mbit/s at one metre and 45Mbit/s at 10 metres. It failed to complete our Wi-Fi test at 25 metres.

We’re unhappy that that kit failed our test at 25 metres, but the other speeds are pretty good and are on par with a decent 2.4GHz-band router. You’ll certainly have no problem using Wi-Fi in a large bedroom, and adjoining bedrooms should be able to connect to it as well.

It’s slightly annoying that you have to select the Home Hotspot’s SSID from the list of available wireless connections, but this is a small price to pay for the ability to connect to your network wirelessly in a place where you otherwise wouldn’t be able to.

Conveniently, the Home Hotspot can provide a Guest connection that is intended to provide internet access to your friends and acquaintances without letting them see and other machines and devices on your network. Unfortunately, we found we were able to access other machines when connected to the Guest network.

Although we couldn’t find any mention of how to change the settings of the Home Hotspot in the included instructions, it is possible. You must download the BT Device Configuration Tool from BT’s website. This tool searches for the Hotspot on your network and then provides a link to the Hotspot’s web interface. You can then change the password and SSID for the Home Hotspot, create the Guest network and change the powerline password used by the two adaptors, among other options. The web interface is basic, but it’s well organised.

BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit config Tool You’ll need to use this tool to find the Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Powerline networking adaptor on your network

Some powerline adaptors are functionally brilliant, but aren’t best suited to use in the UK because of their shape and the orientation of their Ethernet ports. Such adaptors can be unusable if your plug sockets are located near thick skirting boards or work surfaces. Thankfully, that isn’t the case with the BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 kit. The plugs are located at the base of each adaptor and the body rises upwards, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty fitting the adaptors into a plug socket, and the Ethernet ports are conveniently located on top of each adaptor.

It’s just a shame the adaptors have Fast Ethernet ports rather than Gigabit Ethernet ports. The kit is rated at up to 500Mbit/s for data transfers, but the Fast Ethernet ports limit you to a maximum of around 93Mbit/s

BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit Web Interface The web interface is basic, but it’s well organised

The BT Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit is a great buy if you simply want to add a fuss-free means of livening up a Wi-Fi deadzone. However, It could be worth paying more for the Devolo dLAN 500 AV Wireless+ if you need more than Wi-Fi enabled adaptor, as the Devolo kit includes three adaptors, two of which provide Wi-Fi access. The Devolo kit also makes it easier to change settings, especially the free smartphone and tablet apps for iOS and Android. The Devolo kit also provides similar Wi-Fi data transfer speed.

Even so, we think many people will be happy with the convenience and easy setup of the Wi-Fi Home Hotspot 500 Kit. Buy Now from Amazon


Powerline networking standardHomePlug AV
Homeplug stated speed500Mbit/s
Power consumption active3W
Number of adaptors in box2


Push-button securityno


Ethernet ports2
Number of power sockets2

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

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