Welcome to the Unofficial Guide to Xbox Live
- Written by Administrator
Model of device HomeHub
Suitable for ADSL only (BT ISP's)
Date of test 18/07/2007
Firmware delivered with 18.104.22.168
Firmware tested 22.214.171.124
ADSL Firmware N/A
Wireless Yes (B,G)
Ethernet Ports 2 * (100Mb) 2 * USB
The BT HomeHub, you’ve seen the adverts, you’ve seen the phone (which I won’t be reviewing), you’ve probably even seen comments saying it’s the worst router ever!
Its not, its actually quite good. There are a few issues with it, but nothing major. Remember folks, this router will only work with BT ISP’s, you can’t use it on Freedom2surf, Talk Talk, Zen and all the rest. (not officially anyway)
Its very light, almost weightless, and feel’s… well.. pretty cheap to be honest. 19cm across and 22cm high. The ad's show it proudly standing on your kitchen/coffee table. I don't think so! 2 Ethernet ports, 2 USB ports and the usual green LED’s at the front indication LAN/WAN/Wireless activity and a small directional aerial.
Setting it all up
The whole idea behind the Homehub is, simplicity. To cut down on support calls, BT have made the “getting online” part as simple as possible. If you’re on BT Total Broadband all you have to do is literally “plug it in”.
There’s no username/password to configure, it’s already pre-configured with a general username/password and uses your phone number to establish who you actually are. If your with another BT ISP you may have to configure your username/password details (BTClick etc)
Don’t I recognize these menus? Yes, the HomeHub is essentially a rebranded Thomson/Speedtouch 7G with some menu tweaks and additional for VoIP (the phone you can get with the HomeHub).
And because it’s very similar to a Speedtouch its quite easy to get around. There’s only a few menus to look at in general user mode, the status of the router, uptime etc etc. If you go into the advanced section, that’s where you can get to grips with the more meaty options.
DHCP Address Reservation Yes
WPA-PSK [TKIP] + WPA2-PSK [AES] Yes
WPA2-PSK [AES] Yes
Wireless Access List Yes
Dynamic DNS Yes
Support for two or more Xbox With an OPEN Nat Yes
Here’s a set of tests I carried out:-
- Equipment used: BT HomeHub
- Laptop with Netgear WN11B Wireless card
- Qcheck Performance testing software
All the tests were carried out with the router configured with WPA-PSK configured
File Transfer Rate (802.54g) < 1m 20Mbps
File Transfer Rate (802.54g) > 6m 20Mbps
File Transfer Rate (802.54g) > 8m 20Mbps
As we know a good NAT status of Open is all important for Xbox live. I'm glad to say its Open out the box, so there's no issues there. **
This router will support two or more Xboxes with a NAT of Open.
** Some people do seem to have issues with NAT on this router, I've never suffered it though. If you do, please look at my guide here.
Ok, so there are some funnies with this router I’ll admit. Some have been fixed since the move to firmware version 126.96.36.199, some are still outstanding.
I think the whole idea of the Homehub (especially when paired with the VoIP Phone) is that it’s designed to be left on, all the time. I’m sure that’s the idea in principal, but in practice, it doesn’t work.
I find I have to reboot mine every few days, which is no big deal, but might be to others. I find that sometimes the devices connected to the Homehub just loose connectivity. Not to the hub itself, but DNS just seems to stop working, you can’t browse the internet anymore, or even browse to the HomeHub menu (192.168.1.254). A quick reboot sorts that out, ok not so quick, it takes about 5mins to come back up to a working state.
The second issue I’ve found is with regards to DHCP. If I power up the HomeHub at the same time as my PC. My PC is ready and asking for an IP Address from the Hub before the Hub is ready. Which results in the PC not getting an address. It just seems that the Hub is very slow to actually get to a position where it’s ready to hand out addresses, when compared to other routers.
Again, this is easily overcome; I just use a static IP Address on my main PC. And by the time I want to use my laptop or Xbox the Hub is already working so I just leave those two devices on auto and they work fine.
The third issue is NAT. Which I’ve not personally had a problem with, but I find that others do have. Some people complain that they get a strict NAT with the HomeHub. What is strange is that, we are all using the same version of firmware, but some people get different NAT results. I’ve not once had a strict NAT. For those that do suffer NAT issues I have a guide to work around this on the main site here. But personally I’ve never had to use it myself.
Sounds like a lot of issues doesn’t there?
There isn’t though really. I’m sure all three can be fixed in firmware and probably have by the time you read this. And if you can pick one of these cheap on eBay like I did for £25 they are a bargain.