BT Home Hub 5 review

A lot of hub for little or no money

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We liked

The built-in VDSL modem puts the BT Home Hub ahead of most of its rivals which tend to sell for the same price, but rely on the availability of an OpenReach modem to work with BT Infinity. The only exceptions that spring to mind are the latest Draytek Vigor routers which also have built-in modems.

Support for 802.11ac is another key selling point. Admittedly it's not widely supported on the client side at present, but that will change and it's nice to be prepared. Moreover the 802.11n Wi-Fi is faster than on most other ISP-supplied routers, and that's what the majority of devices use at present.

We disliked

Our complaints were all very minor. The use of a single SSID for both wavebands is a bit daft, but easy enough to change. Similarly Smart Setup can cause problems when first connecting devices like wireless printers and set-top boxes but is, again, easy to disable.

A USB 3.0 port would also be nice, but the USB 2.0 connector is more than adequate for most uses. It's not exactly up to NAS standard, but beats having to manually copy and share files between systems using a USB stick any day.

Final verdict

Apart from a few minor niggles we were very impressed by the BT Home Hub 5. It crams in just about everything you need to connect both wired and wireless devices to the internet and does so with a great deal of aplomb. BT Infinity customers will benefit most from the new hub and at just £69 it's a no-brainer even for those who don't qualify for a free upgrade.

Non-BT customers may also be interested. There are no guarantees of compatibility and additional setup will be needed, but it should work with other providers and beats most of their bundled routers hands-down in terms of specification and performance.