BT Home Hub 5 slow on wifi

Mar 07, 2014 - by David Hasell

Upgraded from HH3 to HH5 and seen your wifi speeds significantly drop? Read on...

I've been a BT infinity customer for the last two years, and so felt very pleased with myself for negotiating with BT customer services to send me a free Hub 5. With the expectation of better reliability and faster wifi speeds, I ripped open the box as soon as it was delivered and swapped out the old openreach modem and Hub 3 for the new all-in-one device. Imagine my surprise and frustration to discover that my wifi devices that had been connecting to the HH3 at speeds of around 40-45mbps were now only achieving less than 10mbps. What was even more puzzling was that the upload speeds were still good at 16-17mbps.

I spent a couple of hours fiddling around with wifi channels, enabling and disabling the 2.4ghz and 5ghz bands, using a wifi scanner to check for congestion from neighbours' networks, but all to no avail. I considered ditching the HH5 altogether and going back to the HH3... but not one to make rash decisions, I slept on it (not literally as that would have been quite uncomfortable), and in the morning opened up safari on my iPhone to be greeted by a BT Smart Setup screen that I'd not seen the night before. Two clicks later I'd disabled the parental controls, ran another speed test and was back up to full speed again! I did the same on the iPad, running a speed test before and after disabling the parental controls, and again speeds jumped from less than 10mbps to over 40mbps.

Back into the Hub 5 advanced settings, and in the Home Network section there is an option for Smart Setup of new devices which is enabled by default. Disable it, and you are no longer presented with the Smart Setup screen on your devices, but more importantly do not have your speeds constrained by the parental controls. Now all BT need to do is work out is how to make the parental controls work (for those who want them) without compromising wifi speeds. 

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12 comments

  1. Lilchef

    Unfortunately this has not worked for me. I have exactly the same problem and had tried all the things you tried but no joy. I've tried going through set up and declining parental controls and I've tried turning off Smart Setup altogether but no luck.

  2. Craig

    Work great have been getting around 10mps on all wi-fi devices turned off smart setup and speeds went up to 55mps

  3. Jon Wilson

    I too have been having awful trouble with WiFi on a new HomeHub 5. Even AirPlay streaming from iPad to Apple TV was too much for it. What worked for me was turning off Wireless ac and just using Wireless n. Not ideal, but I'd rather have reliability than ultimate speed (in the short term at least)

  4. David Hasell

    I've also experienced the poor streaming between iPad/iPhone and Apple TV, first via HomeHub 3 and now also with HomeHub 5. I tried wiring in the Apple TV direct to the HH5 so the only thing going over wifi is the bit between iPad/iPhone and the Home Hub, but it made no difference. According to our Apple spcialist, the only wireless router that does a decent job of streaming to an Apple TV is (surprise, surprise) the Apple Airport Express or Airport Extreme... but so far I'm not desperate enough to fork out the £79 for one!

  5. Biggles Dad

    I have just used your method above, turning off the smart set up, and my download speed has jumped from 7 to 35 mbps. Thanks very much.

  6. George

    Hi, I've been experiencing the same issues, will try disabling Smart Setup, do I have to forget the network and then reconnect to achieve the new speeds or is it automatic?

  7. David Hasell

    You shouldn't have to forget and reconnect, but no harm in doing so if you don't see the speed increase after disabling the smart setup. Good luck!

  8. George

    Hi David and thanks for the reply. I can't say I've noticed a difference so have just tried resetting the wireless settings and may have to reconnect the devices anyway so it should help. Cheers

  9. Hi David

    Thats brilliant! Gone from 9Mbps back to nearly 30Mbps on my iPhone.

  10. D N Scullin

    Having pulled my hair out for a month with weak wi-fi, I reached the point of going out to buy a replacement for my HH5. A lesser evil than trying to deal with BT customer services these days! I read this, simply disabled smart set up and it has transformed my wi-fi performance. You just need to go into your HH5 to turn it off. The article could be slightly confusing suggesting you need to go into settings on all your devices. You don't.

  11. Mike

    great thanks thought I was going mad with my Bt hub 5 upload speed was often faster than download on wifi now its sorted 37 down 10 up on all devices thanks

  12. Edward

    Thanks for this, I was trying to work out why devices connected wirelessly were only getting 10Mbps down but getting the full 20Mbps up. Turned off smart setup under advanced settings -> home network -> smart setup and now achieve 73Mbps :) thanks a bunch!

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