BT Business Hub 5 - Only Suitable for Four Connections

BT Business Hub 5

The current business router from BT

Is the BT Business Hub 5 any good?

I have had my current BT Business Hub 5, hereafter referred to as BTBH5, for almost one year.

I had two BT Home Hub 5 routers prior to the BTBH5 with a total of thirty-four routers since December 1999.

We have a 61m, 200 ft, antenna less than 140 metres from our home and thirty metres from our E1 pillar, which is an ancient connection patching box, succeeded by the green cabinets.

In the antenna array, there are four 4G providers and MoD equipment on a nest with one of the 4G providers.

The BT Business Hub 5 has stood up for almost one year. In the first week of February 2016, I started to notice issues happening within our network.

The DHCP server was lagging causing the WAPs to register no addressing

There was persistent NAT disconnections, we are used to because of the antenna

We recognised there were issues with some of the ports on the rear of the BTBH5 having far more issues than a few of the others

The BT Home Hub 5, hereafter referred to as BTHH5, which preceded the BTBH5 had three of the four Gigabit Ethernet ports, hereafter referred to as GbE, render themselves complete useless.

This left our entire network running on one GbE port on the router.

The first of our BTHH5 routers had three failure points:

The NAT died
The DHCP server died
Two GbE ports died

This is not good considering this happened after three months of use in well cared for conditions and with ample cooling

BT Business Hub 5

Would I buy one?

I used to run the network on a £350 CISCO enterprise router, but this died.

I like using CISCO networking along with Supermicro networking and a few switches from Extreme Networks.

I was not very pleased the CISCO router died after two years of use, but it outlived the previous BT Business Hub 3 routers by two and a half times the time.

The BT Business Hub 2 and 3 models have not been good when installed in our network.

We have had five BT Business Hub 2 routers - all died

We have had four BT Business Hub 3 routers - all died

We have had a range of Linksys and Cisco Linksys routers along with D-Link and other enterprise routers - none of which have survived for much longer than six months

We care for our routers and networking equipment, but none of it appears to be standing up to the REIN caused by the antenna array.

I have never had a single switch fail in my network.

I have had an optical transceiver die, but never a Fibre Channel, InfiniBand or Ethernet switch in 16 years.

The number of routers I have had fail is not necessarily an indicator of the quality of the router.

It is a serious indication of the level of REIN the multiple filters between exchange and router attempt to deal with, but appear to not completely succeed.

I am considering building a new BSD based box, but I would not be happy if a PCIe NAT card fails because of the REIN.

Another option is to build the router box without a NAT and use a BTBH5 to run as the NAT - this does not improve our issues.

The NAT needs to be resilient to the REIN or exchange to the router, also known as Fibre to the Router (FTTR) to be installed - BT and Openreach are not receptive to this solution.

The whole process continues!

I will let you all know what happens as communication continues

Suella Fernandes, my local Conservative MP, along with one of Suella's caseworkers, Holly Bloomfield, have been superb in communicating and chasing the Openreach and BT contacts

I will continue to prove the issues, despite BT claiming my line has no issues