BT has taken the wraps of its latest Home Hub router, the Home Hub 5, which will be the first of its routers to feature Wi-Fi 802.11ac.
The fight for broadband supremacy has intensified in recent years with the likes of BT, Sky and Virgin Media all realising that it's not just the network to your house that's important but the box you have in your house too. As such the quality of modem/routers provided with subscriptions has improved greatly. BT revealed its Home Hub 4 a month or so ago and Virgin Media just unveiled its latest Super Hub, and now BT has hit back again revealing details of its upcoming Home Hub 5.
This will be the first of BT's Home Hubs to feature the latest super-fast Wi-Fi 802.11ac standard. Although still not widely supported, ac Wi-Fi is built into the latest raft of laptops such as the new MacBook Air, and it's set to become more widespread very soon. The Wi-Fi will also support dual-band to reduce the chance of interference from other networks.
Hub 5 will also be the first to include a built-in VDSL modem, meaning users of BT's Infinity service will no longer need a separate modem box and a Home Hub, reducing both clutter and power usage. It will also be the first Hub to feature four gigabit Ethernet ports. And, like the Hub 4, the whole package is designed to be slim enough to fit through a letter box, saving you a trip to the post office.
BT Home Hub 4 and 5
BT hasn't announced pricing for the Home Hub 5 but says it will be similar to the Hub 4, which can be bought for £35 for existing customers or comes free if you're a new customer or if you choose to renew your contract, i.e. sign up for another two years.
Comparing to other routers on the market, Virgin Media's latest Super Hub features 450Mbps dual-band Wi-Fi (with three spatial streams on the 5GHz channel, compared to two on the Home Hub 4) and four gigabit Ethernet ports, and is available for £49 for existing customers. Meanwhile the latest Sky Hub only utilises the 2.4GHz band, has a theoretical max throughput of 144Mbps and has four Fast Ethernet ports. With a £69 upgrade price, it's definitely the least appealing of the three. Of course, plenty of other ISPs and 3rd part routers are available.