Technical

Using your own router with BT Infinity

You don’t need to use BT’s supplied home hub with BT Internet.

BT used to supply Infinity customers with two pieces of equipment.

  1. A BT Home Hub (router)
  2. A VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line) Modem

However, as the technology has improved, BT now supply Infinity customers with a single combined BT Home Hub (5 onwards), which contains both a router and a modem.

The nice thing about the old approach is that it meant it was easier to use your own hardware, which means more control.

Well, the good news is that you can still ditch the BT Home Hub, and use whatever router and modem combo that you like.

You essentially have two options:

Option 1 – A separate VDSL router and modem

This is the option I’ve gone for, and here’s what I did.

Search on ebay for one of these:

bt-openreach-modem

A BT Openreach VDSL modem. This link should get you what you are after.

Then, get yourself the best router that you can afford that supports PPPoE. I’ve gone for the Netgear R6300-100UKS AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Cable Router. It’s awesomely powerful and has killerWiFi. Infact, the WiFi is so good that I’ve ditched my homeplug powerline WiFi boosters (5G ftw).

To get your internet working, you then just need to do the following.

  1. Connect your VDSL modem into your phone line, via a filter of course
  2. Connect your router to your modem using an ethernet cable
  3. Jump onto your router’s admin page. Enable PPPoE, and set your username to “bthomehub@btbroadband.com”
  4. Browse the internet!

It’s essentially the setup that is described in this diagram, just replace the BT Home Hub with a PPPoE router of your choice:

BT Infinity Setup

Option 2 – A combined VDSL router and modem

You can now get VDSL router and modems. Infact, they are easier to buy than VDSL modems. Here’s a good search listing. The setup will be the same as the above, just without steps 1 & 2, and you will obviously connect the router directly to the phone line.

Conclusion

I would personally go with option 1.

Option 1 gives you much more flexibilty in terms of the physical location of your router. So, rather than he being stuck near your master socket, you can now have the router next to your master socket, and instead have your router somewhere more useful, like right in the middle of the house. All you then need to do is connect the router to the modem using an ethernet cable.

If you have any other tips, please post them in the comments.

20 thoughts on “Using your own router with BT Infinity

  1. Thanks for the helpful post – a question though, You say

    “To get your internet working, you then just need to do the following. Connect your VDSL modem into your phone line, via a filter of course”

    but it was my understanding the filters are used between the telephones and the socket – not between the modem and the socket? Nor does your diagram show a filter in use. I understand BT installs a “filtered faceplate” on business users, but for residential all they do is post you a HomeHub 5. Regardless, I had thought the modem plugged into the *unfiltered* socket

    1. You could be correct. I’ve always used a filter simply because I’ve had a phone connected to the same socket. Anyway, isn’t the modem connection incompatible with the phone connection?

    2. The Infinity “Socket” is a Telephone socket with a filter built into it. If you have a normal single port socket, you would use a ADSL Microfilter between the modem and the Socket, like ADSL Broadband

  2. Hi I have BT infinity1 and would like to know if I can use a different router instead of the homehub3 supplied I too have white box on the wall but not the same as the one depicted above.Will this make a difference as I want to use a router that has L2TP or PPtP protocol.
    Hope to hear from you soon
    Stewart

  3. Can I ask a question, if I change from my BT Router what happens when BT publish updates, and can I keep the old BT VDSL and just change the modem?

  4. There’s a third option – run the hub in Modem only mode and then connect a router to it. With the Openreach modems only becoming evermore scarce in rarity, this is the next best option. (Not being able to see proper linestats is a bugger though).

    Hopefully the new HH6 allows for a proper modem mode.

  5. There is a third option – set the homehub to a modem only mode and then connect a router from there. (You lose the ability to see linestats though, which sucks for diagnostics).

    Hopefully the new HH6 allows a proper ‘modem only’ mode.

  6. I need some help please! I have BT Infinity but I have also recently had a house extension and they have installed two ethernet ports in the rooms which are connected by Cat 5 cabling to the BT HomeHub5. My PC is hooked up directly to one of these but I would like to use the port to set up another router because the WiFi is non-existent in this ‘dead’ part of the house.
    I am a complete idiot so could anyone patiently talk me through buying and setting up a compatible router to create a new WiFi zone via this ethernet port that would definitely be compatible with BT Infinity? I will be very grateful

  7. Anybody managed to get HomeHub 5 working with Time Capsule? I want TC to run my network and do Time Machine backups from a wired Mac and a wireless MacBook, but NOTHING I’ve tried so far works. Should be simple, but… Has anyone got this setup working?

  8. OK, here’s some more detail in the hope someone knows what’s going wrong. I ditched (temporarily!) the HH5 and went back to the Openreach modem + the TC. Reset modem and TC. All connections as advised. 3 solid green lights on Openreach modem. AirPort Utility shows ‘internet’ with amber dot and ‘connection – disconnected, router address – 10.0.1.1, DNS servers – blank’. Also shows ‘AirPort TC’ with flashing amber dot and ‘status’: No DNS Servers, Internet Connection and PPoE Server all with amber dot. Overall effect is that the wi-fi network was ‘working’, just without internet! I’ve resorted to HH5 to post this.

    What I really don’t get now is the ‘no internet connection’ bit given that the modem is solid green. Any ideas?

    Your time and expertise is greatly appreciated, thanks. 👍

  9. Thanks to anyone who read this and thought about responding – humble apologies for any confusion I may have caused… I do know the difference between the Openreach modem and the Plusnet router, but I think I confused myself by writing the post with the Plusnet router in view!
    Anyway, all now appears to be solved – from another forum I received this specific advice: “Connect Lan port1 of the modem to the Wan port of the TC. The settings you need for the Wan port are PPPoE, VLAN id 101, username bthomehub@btbroadband.com, password BT.” Although I couldn’t see where the ‘VLAN id 101’ should go, after resetting both the Openreach modem and the TC (hard reset), this configuration appears to work. My network has now been working normally for the last couple of hours and a routine Time Machine backup to the TC has been completed.
    So, all’s well etc, and if anyone else has the same problem then I guarantee the above worked for me..

    1. Hiya I just repeated this using the OpenReach modem and an ASUS RT-N66U wireless router. I can confirm the above details, also that the ASUS has nowhere for the VLAN id either. Thanks for getting this started.

      1. I have that exact router but I can’t get this to work :(. Enter all the settings, the router says I have an internet connection, but then I get redirected to a BTWholesale error page and my internet connection in windows says ‘no internet’… frustrating.

  10. Hi Ed. Just to say thanks for your post, which is still helpful. I was having problems with my Netgear D7000, dropped connections and then not trying to reconnect. However, ebay provided a BT Openreach NGA ECI-CPE Modem Type 1B. This is way more stable, with the D7000 just doing the routing – the wi-fi is staying active for longer than 30 minutes at a time now!

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