What router do you get with Plusnet?
Plusnet is a popular broadband service provider and was awarded ‘Best Provider’ and ‘Best Value for Money’ in the 2023 Broadband Awards.
The company uses the BT Openreach network to provide coverage to a significant portion of the country. It is known for keen pricing and budget-friendly broadband packages which caters to a different market to its owner, BT.
Plusnet Broadband Hub: in summary
Plusnet provides a mixture of superfast and full fibre broadband products that all use the Plusnet Hub Two router. Does the router perform well or would you be better off using your own?
All your questions will be answered in our Plusnet router round-up!
What is Openreach?
Openreach is the company that maintains the former British Telecom Network used for the majority of broadband and phone services. If a repair or installation is required, it’s Openreach who will send an engineer, not your provider.
More than 650 service providers using the Openreach network. That’s the majority of the UK’s broadband providers. This includes Sky, TalkTalk and BT. The exception to this is Virgin Media - it uses its own, separate cable network.
All Plusnet customers will get the Plusnet Hub Two router. It replaces the Hub One and Hub Zero.
The Hub Two router is capable of handling both FTTC and FTTP (full fibre) connections and provides credible Wi-Fi network strength throughout the home.
What does FTTC and FTTP mean?
Full Fibre broadband is also known as ‘Fibre To The Premises’, ‘Fibre To The Home’. This is often shortened to FTTP or FTTH. They’re all the same thing!
Instead of copper telephone wire making up the final part of the journey from that green cabinet on the street, fibre optic cables are installed right up to your home.
It’s amazing the difference in speed this small data journey can have. With full-fibre broadband you can expect to receive speeds of 1Gb+.
The downside is full-fibre is only available to a small percentage of homes in the UK, and it’s taking a good while to get everyone up to speed.
The design is smart, using a white chassis reminiscent of the BT Smart Hub 2. It’s an upright Wi-Fi router with a circle on the front and all connections on the rear.
The Plusnet Hub Two replaces the Plusnet Hub One, Zero and the old Technicolor 582n. All current broadband customers should be offered the option to upgrade upon request.
Plusnet Hub Two Specifications
The Plusnet Hub Two is the default router for all broadband contracts. It’s a great device with simple controls and a no fills, no hassle user dashboard.
Do I get to keep my Plusnet router after my contract is over?
- You can return your router to Plusnet using prepaid postage.
- You can recycle your router using an approved electronic recycling scheme.
- You can recycle it using the WEEE, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, scheme.
There’s a charge of £99 if you don’t return your router in good condition.
Is a Plusnet router easy to set up?
Yes, a Plusnet router is easy to set up. All you need to do is connect the BT wall socket to the WAN port on the router with an Ethernet cable. Whether you connect to the phone line or FTTP socket depends on the broadband package you have.
Plug the power supply into the back of the router and into the wall.
Power on and give the router a minute or two to sync with the network. You can connect via a wired Ethernet port or wireless once set up.
You’ll find the wireless settings on the back of the router, with the default Wi-Fi password and username.
Setup video for the Hub Two router:
Wireless settings guide for the Plusnet Hub Two:
How can I improve the Wi-Fi signal of my Plusnet router?
The Wi-Fi signal from the Plusnet Hub Two’s 7 antennas are pretty good, but you may need a little help if you live in a larger or older home with thicker walls.
Here are some tips to help improve your Wi-Fi signal:
Place the Plusnet Hub Two in the centre of the property: Wi-Fi uses radio waves that spread in all directions. Placing your router in the centre of your home ensures everyone gets a signal and that signal doesn’t have so far to go.
Avoid placing the router next to appliances: Large appliances like refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners can impact the radio signal.
Check your Wi-Fi channels: Wi-Fi separates frequencies into channels to make them easy to use. Use a Wi-Fi analyser app to see what channels are in use in your home and select one that’s 1-2 channels away from the strongest.
Use a Wi-Fi repeater: Wi-Fi repeaters are standalone devices that plug into a socket so they can boost your Wi-Fi signal. They are cheap and very easy to set up.
Use a mesh kit: A mesh kit creates a stronger wireless network linked to your router. Kits are more expensive than Wi-Fi repeaters but provide a seamless network within the home.
Use a powerline adapter: Powerline adapters turn your home’s wiring into a wired network. One end plugs into a socket and your Plusnet router. The other plugs into a wall socket and your desktop or laptop. The two sockets create a network using your home’s wiring instead of Wi-Fi.
What’s the password for a Plusnet Hub Two router?
You’ll find the login details on a card on the back of the Plusnet Hub Two.
The default username for a Plusnet router is ‘admin’ and the password is the router’s serial number.
While unique in a way, it’s far from secure. We would recommend changing the admin login and the wireless password when you have finished setting up the router.
Are the Plusnet routers good value for money?
Yes, Plusnet routers are good value for money as they’re included within the monthly charge for broadband. As prices are so competitive for the contracts, there’s very little to complain about here.
What are the standout features of Plusnet routers?
The Plusnet Hub Two is identical to the BT Smart Hub 2, which is known as a solid router for default ISP equipment.
It has 7 antennas and supports dual-band Wi-Fi. Signal strength is respectable and there should be no problem receiving a strong signal throughout the average property.
BT advertises a strongest Wi-Fi guarantee using the Smart Hub 2, which is the same device. While Plusnet don’t boast the same guarantee, but as it’s the same hardware, the performance should be almost identical.
Plusnet has improved the user interface, but the controls are still basic. You can change core router and Wi-Fi settings, but there’s no option to create guest networks or split wireless networks between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.
That’s not an issue for most users, but is a slight downside over other provider routers.
There’s also no option to change DNS settings. Again, this won’t be an issue for most people, but is another seemingly unnecessary limitation for more advanced users.
|We like||We don't like|
Can I keep my Plusnet router if I have to move and downgrade my broadband?
You can keep your Plusnet router if you move or have to downgrade your broadband. You may be liable for early termination fees if you downgrade while within the fixed term of your contract, though.
Moving home may involve an activation fee (Up to £50 for a new customer or £25 for existing customers). Typical house move fees are £65, but this is negotiable, so it’s worth checking.
See also: ‘Guide to broadband and moving home’
Can I use my own router with Plusnet?
Yes, you can use your own router with Plusnet. The Plusnet Hub Two should be fast enough for the majority of users, but if you work from home, or have specific needs, you can use your own router and use the hub as a modem.
The standard router is pretty good, but it doesn’t support WiFi 6, or more advanced network features you may want to use. This guide walks you through setting up the Plusnet Hub Two to work with your own router.
Plusnet Hub Two Review: Expert Summary
The Plusnet Hub Two is essentially a rebadged BT Smart Hub 2 and is a great router for home broadband. It’s small, reliable and provides a reliable wired and wireless connection.
Setting up is simple, the user dashboard is basic but easy to navigate, and the whole process of setting up both the router and Wi-Fi is relatively painless.
The Smart Hub 2 is known for its strong, stable wireless signal, and the Plusnet Hub Two is exactly the same. It’s a shame you can’t switch between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz channels like with other routers, but most people won’t even notice.
Overall, the Plusnet Hub Two delivers the quality we look for with very few downsides. For that reason alone, we recommend it!
How do these routers offerings square up against other broadband providers? Find out with these other router round-ups: