I know it’s slightly different but the Virgin media super hub 4 VoIP still works in modem only mode. (That’s the way I have it anyway)
As I say it is a hypothetical interest. I have a Smarthub 2 installed on FTTP and have had "The email" from BT regarding DV but it is not yet active. I have no complaints about the SH2 nor its predecessor the HH5. I also have additional APs using configured Netgear Routers, HH5 and Apple Time Capsule and it all works fine.If you want to keep your BT line you have to use a Smarthub 2. It’s BT’s proprietary voip service. You could always change to another voip provider if you want to use a different router. If you simply want better wireless you could turn off wireless at the SH2 and add one or more wireless points . I use a repurposed router for this.
With Digital Voice roll out underway I am reading with hypothetical interest various discussions regarding the necessity of having the Smart Hub 2 as a router in order to facilitate its landline function and whether it can be used as a modem and the difficulties of dual NAT. None of which I understand. I naively thought its DHCP function would be turned off and an alternative router put on the network side rather like using an old router as an access point but in reverse.
Is that not possible?
So it might work some of the time?I commend you to take a look at the block diagram of a SOHO router attached to the "Using Two routers together" FAQ pinned in this forum. It hopefully illustrates what''s going in inside a SOHO router and where traffic flows.
For those routers that offer it, "modem mode" (BT SmartHub2 definitely doesn't have it - my mother has one and I've checked) disables everything except the WAN port, the modem and (usually) one of the LAN ports (lets say port 1 for the purposes of discussion) so traffic only flows WAN<-->MODEM<-->LAN1 and (effectively) bypasses everything else. Thusly, we thence need "something else" to function as the router/NAT/Firewall at the edge of your network (ie another "router") and thusly it almost always needs to be the first thing downstream of LAN1. Plus you need a replacement DHCP Server, though technically that could be anywhere (it doesn't have to reside inside a router.)
Without modem mode, if you deploy a second router then you have two routers in the pathway. That's not necessarily a "bad" thing - the Internet is made up of millions of routers and big enterprise network often have dozens of them. But it has consequences and it's not doing what most newbies think.
Let's use two routers as an example: You can create ISP<-->rtr1<-->rtr2<--everything else. But that's created an infrastructure consisting of two LAN's - one between rtr1<-->rtr2 and one rtr2<--everything else.
A definition of a "LAN" is a set of infrastructure such that if a station connected to that infrastructure sends out a network broadcast (ie a packet destined for "all station") it reaches all stations. IE a "LAN" defined the extent that a broadcast can reach. Routers do not forward broadcasts, they ignore them. Switches and AP's do forward broadcasts.
So with multiple router, we create multiple LAN's (called "broadcast domains" in the jargon) which cannot talk to each other. Routers are the "gateways" between LAN's. To get traffic from one LAN to another, we need to do "special" things with IP addresses and routing rules in the routers. Again, do-able, but most SOHO users wouldn't want to have to learn how and deal with this and cope with all the "exceptions" that need special handling. And a lot of SOHO routers lack the ability to suitably configure them even if one had the expertise.
Routers sit at the "edge" of a network (LAN) providing a connection (a "gateway") to "other" networks - which in the SOHO use case almost always means "the rest of the world via your ISP" - routers do not sit in the "middle" of a network "bossing" it.
So in the SOHO use case, unless you are an interested hobbyist or have specific needs, it's almost always most convenient to have a single LAN (broadcast domain) with connection to the rest of the worlds facilitated by one router that sits at the "edge" of your network and terminates the incoming ISP link. It's just a matter of convenience to also have that device do NAT (which you need to facilitate multiple devices accessing the public Interrnet) and a firewall (to provide some protection to your network from the public Internet) and for a "network in a box" solution also bundle it with a built in ethernet switch and Wi-Fi AP. Not least because it can be supplied pre-configured and "just work" when it's turned on without any data networking expertise to set it up.
As I said my interest is purely hypothetical but there are few people out there perplexed at having to use a Smarthub 2 for their Digital Voice telephony and also wanting their favourite router at the end of their LAN and being told it cannot be done.It may well work all of the time - it's not particularly an unusual configuration, in business environments with professional IT staff to manage it, it's not too dissimilar to the sort of thing we do often.
However, I would invite you to "turn the question on it's head" somewhat and ask "what have I gained by using multiple routers...?" If such a configuration has increased the complexity for no useful gain, why bother...?
The "complexities" introduced include additional latency (lag) which may be a big deal for online gamers, uPNP will no longer work for dynamically opening port forwards from the Internet for any apps that utilise it (though uPNP doesn't seem to be so popular these days,) you've two rounds of NAT translation which again can be a big deal for online gamers, separation of LAN's (which could be both a good and bad thing - for example, it's one way to implement a DMZ or a "guest" network,) and greater administrative complexity as you'll possibly need to set up some static routes in the routers to get traffic between the two LAN's - and some SOHO routers don't have the facility to do so.
So what's the gain? If it's "just" an additional Wi-Fi hotspot, then there's a much simpler, and possibly cheaper, way to avail an extra Wi-Fi hotpot without adding any of the extra complexity such as above - buy a stand alone Wi-Fi Access Point instead. Or if you want a small AP/switch combo, a SOHO "router" that has an "AP mode" or crippling a SOHO router as described in the "Using Two Routers Together" FAQ will do the same job.
So I suggest it's a question akin to something like "can I put this jet engine in a milk float to make it fast?" Well, with enough ingenuity and expertise, I'm sure we could. But why would we want to if we just want a fast car rather than and engineering challenge/project, isn't it simpler and likely to be more reliable to just go and buy fast car instead...?
Super Hub 3 is meant to be out in July too which is WIFI 6 capable so might see if I can get that. If it wasnt for the fact I do trials for BT and I still am on a contract thats £10 cheaper broadband than advertised I would have swapped out, but I also like their TV service.
How did you decide the hardware you intend on using; Asus Zenwifi?
So I have settled (99%) on the Asus ZenWifi via reading reviews of loads of routers and mesh systems. These XT8s consistently seem to get great reviews and positive YouTube reviews as well demonstrating their capabilities. They may not be the best in every respect (i.e. speed, price etc.) compared to others (e.g. Orbi etc) but overall tick the boxes I need in the most consistent way.Just double check the spec as I've been reading the reviews saying its needs a modem and it doesnt have a port for the connection from the master socket. Smart Hub 2's have built in modem's.
You can figure out Digital Voice as and when it arrives. That could be a couple of years.So I have settled (99%) on the Asus ZenWifi via reading reviews of loads of routers and mesh systems. These XT8s consistently seem to get great reviews and positive YouTube reviews as well demonstrating their capabilities. They may not be the best in every respect (i.e. speed, price etc.) compared to others (e.g. Orbi etc) but overall tick the boxes I need in the most consistent way.
Re. the modem, correct they don't have that capability but I still have my old Openreach Huawei HG612 modem from my pre-SmartHub days and it seems I can use this from the wall socket and connect the modem to the XT8 via an ethernet cable to the WAN port.
So you are doing without a landline?
I didn’t mean it in that way. Matt stated he had been switched to DV. He is using or is about to use a non BT router. So he will lose telephoney. That’s what I meant by landline.When you get digital voice you lose the "landline" its turned off. You cant have analogue and digital voice at the same time its one or the other. I ended up keeping the analogue voice when they offered my digital voice although I wish I hadnt now. When I get the Smart Hub 3 then I will take the Digital Voice option.
Yes, once I mothball the Smarthub 2, I'll lose my "landline". However, given the only time that rings is when people call from the "local conservation association offering money to qualifying people aged 40 - 80 blah blah blah" or such like, I won't miss it.I didn’t mean it in that way. Matt stated he had been switched to DV. He is using or is about to use a non BT router. So he will lose telephoney. That’s what I meant by landline.