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New BT Home Hub with 802.11n wireless
Tuesday 15 July 2008 13:23:04 by Andrew Ferguson

A new BT Home Hub has been launched which claims to have wireless connectivity that is up to twice the range of the existing Home Hub. This extra range is due to the use of 802.11n in the new Home Hub, and additionally the extra speed that 802.11n providers will make for better file sharing across the local network in the home. The press release announcing the new BT Home Hub reveals that the new hub will be free to all those signing up to BT Total Broadband Option 3 and only those ordering Option 2 online. Existing BT Total customers can order the new hub for £45.

The changes other than supporting faster wireless are:

  • Power save mode operated by a button on the hub that turns off the wireless output, saving 15 to 20% of power. Of course to save more you can still switch the hub off at the mains for example when away on holiday.
  • WPA wireless security enabled by default, the default key will avoid 0,1,O and I to avoid confusion on entering the key.
  • Better access control to control when devices can access the internet.
  • Simpler installation procedure, which is claimed to use half the steps of existing units.
  • Four Ethernet ports for connecting computers.

The casing is a curved design, finished in glossy black plastic with blue indicator lights, a BT hosted image can be seen on the BT Image Library.

This is not the only new product announcement from BT Retail today--According to its Community Forums the BT Vision product will receive a software update in August 2008 to allow downloads of HD content from September onwards. Current IPTV content is streamed to the BT Vision service, but due to the higher bit rate that HD video content requires the service will switch to a download service. MPEG-4 encoding with 5.1 surround sound will be used, but no indication yet of the actual resolution of the video or what the actual bit rate will be.


Posted by dustofnations over 8 years ago
it seems strange to me for a company such as BT to broadly release an 11n wireless product when the 11n standard hasn't been finalised yet. IEEE Draft 4.0 of the standard was only approved in May, and it isn't due for release until 2009.

There shouldn't be any major changes, but surely they are risking some level of incompatibility with fully 11n final standards when they are released.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
There's been n "speed" routers for quite some time now. Worst case? You have to drop back to g. This is...not a massive disaster.
Posted by dustofnations over 8 years ago
that seems like a pretty flawed argument.

What would be the point of going to the cost of getting new equipment out if it doesn't operate the way it should with future equipment. 54mbps vs ~250mbps is a very big jump, so I think that could be classed as somewhat of a disaster if you invested in buying the kit. That would be like saying 11g doesn't work, oh well at least I have 11b..

I would guess however, that as long as the IEEE committee doesn't make any further changes that would have to be hardware based things should be safe, never know though.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
I wouldn't, for slightly over £45 you can get very capeable routers which can do a lot more than even this new HomeHub. But if you're getting it with the connection..

(b is slow enough that there can be issues with faster ADSL connections, which isn't a factor with g - and if you're streaming high-bandwidth video you really really want a wired connection anyway!)
Posted by isinix over 8 years ago
"54mbps vs ~250mbps is a very big jump"

it would be if it was true. +70% is more likely.
Posted by ciday over 8 years ago
It would be a concern if we actually had broadband that was anywhere near that bitrate...
Posted by danman7_200 over 8 years ago
Ciday, we need faster LAN wireless speeds because homes are sharing more and more media around the home. LAN speeds already outpace the vast amount of WAN connections in this country. Sharing hi-definion content to more than one pc at a time in my home is a problem using 11g. 802.11n solves the problem. People don't want to run cables through their homes.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I actually think its nice BT are offering newer and more up to date equipment, i will say not before time though, the original home hub was a pile of buggy, security holed junk, if they have fixed issues like that, this new home hub is a nice edition. It seems BT are finally waking up to reality this and fibre news in one day..... hands up who slapped them back to the real world?
Posted by sunindra over 8 years ago
The upgrade to the new unit is good news, however you need to remember that you will need to upgrade the wifi adaptor in your computer to take advantage of the additional speed.
Posted by audiolab2004 over 8 years ago
whats the bet existing customers wont get an upgrade then?
Posted by audiolab2004 over 8 years ago
then again £45 ,half price still cant run dmt on it though ,pointless
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
What use is DMT if your are shackled by BT profiling anyway?
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