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NOW Broadband router round-up 2024

Hub included with all NOW Broadband packages

NOW Broadband currently has one router currently available, the NOW Hub 2. But is it any good? Is it better than other providers like TalkTalk? Is it easy to live with? Read on to learn more!

What router do you get with NOW Broadband?

Now Broadband is owned by Sky and uses the BT Openreach network. This home broadband provider offers a selection of unlimited packages from 11Mb up to 63Mb download speeds. There are no full fibre broadband deals available.

All products use the NOW Broadband Hub Two router to provide fast fixed line and wireless speeds.

NOW Broadband Wi-Fi router: in summary

  • New NOW broadband customers will receive a NOW Hub 2 as standard, regardless of the broadband speeds they sign up to.
  • The NOW Hub 2 is the same device as the Sky Q Hub.
  • The router remains the property of NOW. You’ll be charged for missing or damaged devices.

You get the NOW Hub 2 with all new broadband packages, and this replaces the older NOW Hub.

It’s apparently a rebranded Sky Q Hub which has been replaced by the Sky Broadband Hub. It’s a smart, reliable device and is used for all packages.

As it’s a Sky Q Hub, that means only 2 gigabit Ethernet ports instead of the more typical four and five antennas, where the Sky Broadband Hub has 7.

Neither of which should prevent you enjoying strong, reliable connectivity, though.

The NOW Broadband Hub 2 replaces the older NOW Hub and is the default for all Brilliant Broadband, Fab Fibre and Super Fibre 12-month contracts.

NOW Hub Two specifications

  • Wi-Fi: Dual-band radios, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, Wi-Fi 5 (IEEE802.11a/n/ac), ADSL
  • Dual-Band Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Tri-band Wi-Fi: No
  • Ethernet: 2x gigabit Ethernet ports
  • Extras: Broadband Buddy app, smart channel selection

Do I get to keep my NOW Broadband Hub after my contract is over?

NOW Broadband requests that you return all equipment once your contract is over. There’s no mention of a charge for not returning it, but we would recommend sending everything back, just in case.

You can print a free returns label from the website. Simply package up your equipment, attach the label and send it back.

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Is a Hub Two easy to set up?

Yes, the NOW Broadband Hub is easy to set up. All you have to do is connect the Hub to the BT wall socket using the cable included in the box. Power it on and use Ethernet or wireless to connect your devices.

Here’s a quick overview of how to set up the Hub Two:

  • Check the activation date on the box. Don’t try to set it up before that date, as it won’t work.
  • Place the NOW Broadband Hub close to the BT ADSL wall socket and plug it in to your landline. Plug the other end of the cable into the purple port on the back of your Hub.
  • Plug the Hub into the mains using the supplied plug and power it on. You should see lights appear on the Hub.
  • Wait 20 minutes for it to synchronise with the network before doing anything else.
  • Then connect using wireless or cable as required. The Wi-Fi network should show up as NOWTV and five characters, e.g., NOWTV B1234.
  • The Wi-Fi password will be on the back of the Hub or on your Connect Card.

How can I improve the Wi-Fi signal of my NOW Broadband Hub?

There are a number of ways you can improve the signal of your NOW Broadband Hub 2.

Try one or all of these to improve signal strength in your home:

Place the router close to the centre of your home – Wi-Fi signals radiate out in 360 degrees. The closer to the middle of the property you place the Hub, the better the coverage.

Avoid placing it next to large appliances – Large household appliances emit electromagnetic interference, which can interrupt wireless signals. Place your router away from appliances for the best signal.

Check your channels – Wireless uses channels to divide frequencies and some channels are busier than others. Use a free Wi-Fi analyser app to check which channels are busiest in your home and switch to the quietest channel. You can change the wireless channel in your router settings.

Use a repeater – Wi-Fi repeaters are separate pieces of hardware that boost wireless signal. They often plug into a wall socket and join your network, so they can push the signal further.

Use a mesh kit – A mesh kit works similarly to a repeater, only it creates a single, stronger wireless network. A mesh kit is pricier but provides a stronger signal.

Use a powerline adapter – A powerline adapter uses two wall plugs and your home’s electrical wiring to create a network. One end goes close to the router and connects via cable. The other end can be placed wherever you need it and connect to a desktop or laptop.

For more tips, read our guides:

What’s the password for a NOW Broadband Two router?

If you need the default password for your NOW Broadband Hub 2, you’re in luck.

The default username is ‘admin’ and the default password is ‘nowtv’. Any alternative login details will be printed on the back of the device or on your Connect Card.

If you have changed the username or password, reset using the switch on the back and enter in the defaults. You’ll need to configure it all over again but at least you’ll have access.

Is the NOW Broadband Hub Two good value for money?

Yes, NOW Broadband Hubs are good value for money as they are provided free of charge with every contract.

You’ll get a new Hub Two with Brilliant Broadband, Fab Fibre and Super Fibre broadband services as part of the monthly fee. There is no extra charge for the router.

What are the standout features of the NOW Hub 2?

The standout features are the reliable construction and Broadband Buddy app, both of which were developed by Sky.

The device itself isn’t anything new and won’t amaze you with new features.

It does support Wi-Fi 5ac, has 5 antennas for decent coverage and a track record for being dependable. It’s on par with the BT Smart Hub in terms of design, features and reliability.

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NOW Broadband Hub Two pros and cons

We like We don't like
  • The router is easy to set up and use
  • Set and forget for the vast majority of customers
  • Everything is included in the price of the contract
  • Decent wireless signal strength
  • Good track record for reliability
  • Relatively old tech rather than a new innovation
  • No support for Wi-Fi
  • Cannot change DNS settings

Can I keep my NOW Broadband Hub if I move or downgrade my broadband?

Yes, you can keep your Hub 2 if you move or downgrade your package, as it’s the only device the company provides.

There is no mention of having to sign up for a new contract when moving home, but you will have to have a new contract if you downgrade your package.

The good news is that all Now Broadband contracts are for 12 months rather than the usual 18 or 24 months.

There’s also a no contract option should you prefer it, although there is a higher setup fee for that.

  • Can I use my own router with NOW Broadband?

    You may find it difficult to use your own router with NOW because of how it’s configured.

    Where many providers offer PPPOE or PPPOA options, NOW uses MPoA (Multi-Protocol Over ATM) and option 61 (A type of Client ID for authentication).

    Very few third party routers support MPoA so you may struggle using your own. There are devices out there that support MPoA but they are rarely the cheapest option.

    Plus, there’s specific mention in the contract that you may be charged for any costs associated with using your own kit.

Expert Summary

The NOW Broadband Hub 2 is a decent wireless router for a decent internet connection. It’s a product of efficiency than than power, as it reuses old Sky technology.

Despite that, it works well, is easy to use and delivers good internet speeds.

The router is well-built, reliable and provides a dependable wireless signal throughout most types of home. It may lack a little in advanced features, but it still gets the job done.

Set-up is straightforward and is set and forget for most users. Wireless signal strength is credible, and the box itself is small enough to fit almost anywhere.

Overall, we think the NOW Broadband Hub 2 is an okay ISP router. It won’t satisfy ‘power users’ but should be more than enough for everyone else.

Interested in finding out more about NOW? Check out our full NOW Broadband review.

How do these routers offerings square up against other broadband providers? Find out with these other router round-ups:

Meet the author:

Contributor

Jamie worked as a NOC engineer with a national telecoms provider for over a decade before deciding he preferred writing for a living. He is passionate about making technical subjects understandable to all. He has written for PC Gamer, Tom's Hardware, Hilton Hotels, DHL, Dyson and others.


Specialist subject: As an ex-engineer, it has to be networks and installation

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