TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub assessment | TechRadar


If you join broadband, your ISP (Web Service Supplier) will provide you with a modem router at no cost, and these are often low-spec gadgets that do not have the options you may get from (dearer) third-party firms reminiscent of Netgear and Belkin.

With the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub, TalkTalk is trying to problem the notion that for the very best Wi-Fi speeds you’ll want to use a third-party router, promising the improved Wi-Fi efficiency and options you often see on extra superior routers, reminiscent of beamforming and a number of Ethernet ports.

And, whereas the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub is designed to ship a efficiency increase for TalkTalk clients, it can be purchased individually and used no matter your ISP.

 Value and availability 

The TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub sells for £120 within the UK. This can be a good bit cheaper than the extraordinarily quick and feature-packed TP-Hyperlink Archer C5400 v2, and cheaper than mesh Wi-Fi gadgets such because the Netgear Orbi.

Maybe its largest competitor is from TalkTalk’s rival ISP, BT – it provides the BT Sensible Hub, which it payments as providing ‘the UK’s strongest Wi-Fi sign in comparison with routers from different main broadband suppliers’, and which retails for £129.99.

The TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub is that can be purchased proper now, and for those who’re an current TalkTalk buyer, otherwise you’re considering of signing up, the value drops to £30.

Design and options

The design of routers has improved dramatically in recent times, with producers making efforts to supply items that look good sufficient that their clients don’t really feel the necessity to cover them away (which might probably have an effect on their Wi-Fi efficiency).

The TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub continues this pattern, with an unobtrusive design that will not look misplaced in a lounge. It’s a easy design, with no protruding antennae, and contains a gray physique coated in perforations, displaying bronze materials beneath. It seems good, and whereas it doesn’t compete with Google Wifi with regards to design we actually respect the understated aesthetics. 

The TalkTalk branding is refined, with a barely darker gray color that makes it solely seen when considered from a sure angle. It’s a pleasant distinction to the BT Sensible Hub’s loud and proud design, which features a outstanding BT emblem on the entrance.

There are 4 gigabit Ethernet ports on the rear of the gadget, which is an enormous improve over the ports which can be equipped with TalkTalk’s older routers, and it means this can be a nice router for networks with loads of wired gadgets.

There’s additionally a broadband port, which is used when the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub is appearing as a modem, and which connects to your telephone line by way of a equipped micro filter. There’s additionally a WAN port for those who’re utilizing the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub as only a router, which is able to join it to a separate modem.

We like that the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub has a modem in-built, as when you’ve got a suitable fibre connection it means you solely want one field (reasonably than a separate router and modem), whereas the inclusion of the WAN port permits for some flexibility, for instance when you’ve got cable broadband.

There’s additionally a WPS (Net Protected Setup) button on the again of the router, which lets you rapidly and securely join gadgets to the wi-fi community. It’s a handy characteristic, nevertheless it’s positioned in an inconvenient place, proper on the backside of the router’s rear, which implies that, relying on the place you place the router, it’s possible you’ll battle to achieve it.

A pleasant contact, nevertheless, is that the Wi-Fi title and password are written on a detachable plastic tag, which suggests you don’t need to manoeuvre your self behind the router when including a brand new gadget. There’s additionally house so that you can write your personal community title and password for those who change it from the default.

Aside from the location of the WPS button, this can be a very nicely-designed router, particularly in comparison with the essential modem routers we’re used to getting from ISPs.

Function-wise, the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub comes with 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi, which is at present the quickest type of wi-fi networking, and in keeping with TalkTalk it makes the brand new router two occasions quicker than its earlier fashions.

It’s additionally twin band, with 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands for conserving your wi-fi community from getting too clogged up, and it has a three x three antenna array for the two.4GHz and four x four MU-MIMO for the 5GHz.

The TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub contains options we’ve seen in different superior routers, however which hardly ever include ISP routers, reminiscent of beamforming (which focuses the Wi-Fi sign to higher attain your gadgets) and the flexibility to mechanically select the very best Wi-Fi channel to cut back interference.

Set up and efficiency

The benefit of putting in the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub will range slightly relying on whether or not or not you are an current TalkTalk buyer. In case you are, and also you improve to the hub by means of TalkTalk, then the method needs to be so simple as swapping out your current modem and router for the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub.

You’ll want so as to add your gadgets to the brand new Wi-Fi community, nevertheless, or you may change the title of the brand new community to your earlier one, which can be quicker when you’ve got a lot of wi-fi gadgets, and which will be carried out by way of the router’s internet interface (extra on that in a second).

If, like us, you’re not a TalkTalk buyer, the setup is barely extra concerned. If the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub goes to switch your modem and router, you then’ll have to get particulars out of your ISP about your username and password. These are totally different credentials to those you utilize to connect with your Wi-Fi, or to log into your router’s admin web page, and a few ISPs are reluctant handy them out, however protect and you’re going to get them.

When you’re simply utilizing the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub to behave as a router – and never a modem – you then simply have to plug your modem into the WAN port of the Hub.

To arrange the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub you’ll want to go into its admin web page, which is accessed by typing 192.168.1.1 into an internet browser, then coming into within the admin username and password, which is printed on the reverse of the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub (not on the detachable Wi-Fi username tag, for safety causes).

The net-based interface is obvious and easy, and you’ll develop most sections to see superior settings that you should use if you already know what you’re doing.

Throughout our exams the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub did a very good job of delivering quick and dependable Wi-Fi all through a three-storey constructing. In the identical room because the router we received 74.1Mbps obtain from a line able to 80 Mbps, which is a fairly respectable rating, with a ping of 11ms.

Shifting to the ground above the router, there was a drop in speeds, however not a big one, with 73.9Mbps obtain, with a ping of 10ms.

Shifting as much as the highest flooring the speeds remained regular with 73.7Mbps, and a ping of 10ms. Whereas the speeds we skilled whereas utilizing the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub diversified relying on what a part of the home we had been accessing it from, total we had been very impressed with the velocity and the protection of this router, particularly contemplating it does not have exterior antennae.

Verdict

When you’re a TalkTalk buyer and need to increase your Wi-Fi protection, you need to undoubtedly take the possibility to improve to the TalkTalk Wi-Fi Hub, because it actually does ship with improved efficiency. Speeds had been spectacular and protection was superb, whereas we additionally fairly like the brand new design.

When you’re not a TalkTalk buyer you should still have an interest on this gadget, however be warned that the setup process is extra sophisticated. Nonetheless, it’s potential to make use of it simply as a router when you’ve got one other ISP.

The Wi-Fi Hub definitely an excellent effort from TalkTalk, and it’s at all times good to see ISPs providing extra highly effective {hardware} to their clients.



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