BT Smart Hub 

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A trip to the BT Tower in Central London was the occasion to attend the launch of a new Wi-Fi product.

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You may have seen the television advert, involving a helicopter, regarding the new BT Smart Hub which has been launched with the impressive claim of having the UK’s most powerful Wi-Fi signal when measured against its major competitors.  As BT expects this particular product to be delivered to many customers via the postal route, this Smart Hub comes packaged in a box that BT feels should fit most letterboxes.  Fortunately I picked up my review unit at the launch event (appropriately held at the top of BT Tower) as my letterbox proved to be far too small to accommodate the delivery of the Smart Hub.  Accompanying the Smart Hub, in the box, is a power lead, user guide, information sticker with Hub details and a bag for returning an old Hub for recycling purposes.

Predominately black in colour, apart from a dark grey band with a colourful BT logo running across the front of the unit, this Smart Hub has dimensions of 141.9 x 156.6 x 32 mm (W x H x D).  Two swivel feet to help support the unit, in a preferred upright position, are attached to the base of the Hub.  Arranged across the rear of the Hub, from left to right, are connections for Broadband, USB 2.0 and four Giga Ethernet ports.  This area also contains the power connection socket, factory reset option and a power button that is flush to the body of the Hub.

Viewed from the front of the unit, the Hub has a button to activate the WPS automatic Wi-Fi setup centrally positioned on the left side of the device.  Occupying a similar position on the right side of the unit is a slide out panel containing useful information regarding the Hub.  This information is made up of the assigned wireless network name, wireless password / key and the admin password for the Hub Manager feature.  Taking a belt & braces approach, BT has duplicated all this information on the spare sticker mentioned earlier plus another copy located beneath the removable slide out panel.

Designed by an award-winning team, this BT Smart Hub comes with seven built in antennas.  These seven antennas work together to give the Hub its wireless range.  According to figures released by BT following testing procedures, this Hub has proved capable of delivering a wireless signal through a wall over a distance of 350m when using a tablet and even further at 500m with a laptop.

As well as the benefits engendered by the use of the seven antennas, this Hub features the latest Wi-Fi technology which allows multiple users to use multiple devices simultaneously on a faster connection.  The chipset used by this Hub has built in advanced filters that can automatically block unwanted interference from outside influences.  The Hub also comes with Smart Scan technology allowing the unit to proactively monitor and improve the customer’s Wi-Fi performance in the background.

Clearly laid out illustrated instructions for setting up this Smart Hub are provided in the supplied User Guide.  This document also contains information regarding the meanings behind the different coloured Hub light that might appear from time to time when using this product which has a suggested retail price of £129.99.  Existing BT Infinity customers will be able to get a BT Smart Hub for free by recontracting or buy one for £50.

BT Smart Hub
Number of Antennas 7
Wi-Fi bands Dual 2.4GHz / 5GHz
2.4GHz Wi-Fi band 3 x 3 11b/g/n/ac
5GHZ Wi-Fi band 4 x 4 11a/n/ac
Built in Advanced Filters Yes
Connections 4 x Giga Ethernet
USB Ports Yes 2.0
On/Off Light Control Yes
Removable Password Card Yes
Smart Wireless Yes
BT Smart Scan Yes
Built in 4G Filters Yes

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OverallBT Smart Hub rated 84 out of 100

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