I’ve used Bell’s Giga Hub router since Black Friday 2022, and my web expertise has been improbable. That is the successor to the Dwelling Hub 4000 (the 2 routers look similar), however the Giga Hub presents assist for Wi-Fi 6E, which in concept ought to make it work higher with a number of units, so long as additionally they assist the brand new Wi-fi normal.

The Giga Hub was launched alongside Bell’s sooner 8Gbps speeds in late 2022, and I’ve been testing it with a 1.5Gbps connection. The sign persistently covers my complete home, and within the three months I’ve been utilizing it, I’ve had no complaints. Nevertheless, I lately tried changing it with a top-of-the-line TP-Hyperlink E2000 (evaluation coming quickly), and the method has been a tech nightmare.

Nevertheless, in comparison with its predecessors from Bell, the Giga Hub is the corporate’s finest router but and is fashionable sufficient to make most subscribers glad.

Strong worth, particularly if you may get it totally free

The giga hubs screen

A velocity take a look at on the Giga Hub allows you to measure speeds coming in from the wall.

Bell’s newest router is extremely straightforward to make use of and arrange. Mine was bundled into my plan totally free so long as I return it once I cancel my service. After signing up, a technician confirmed up at my home the following week, put in a fibre line, and I used to be off to the races.

After he left, I downloaded the Bell Wi-Fi app and set my password and community identify with ease. There might not be as many superior choices as I wished within the app, however organising a community and monitoring who’s on-line is simple, and it’s all most individuals want. If it’s essential dive deeper into the superior settings, you possibly can all the time go to the standard modem management panel at Bell.ca/mymodem for full entry.

My residence is on the bottom ground of an older Toronto home, and the Giga Hub has no points blanketing my dwelling with Wi-Fi. I may even use it exterior on my again porch or within the basement, so the one unit ought to provide sufficient protection for many smaller properties. Bell sells Wi-Fi extenders for $5 monthly when you want extra protection. I haven’t examined these, however the telecom large makes use of a mannequin from Plume that helps most speeds of 1Gbps by way of ethernet jacks and slower speeds over Wi-Fi.

I haven’t tried the Wi-Fi extender out, however I’d anticipate that whereas they improve your Wi-Fi vary, your velocity will possible lower barely whenever you’re related to a Plume pod as a substitute of the primary router. Studying about them on-line, folks have combined opinions. Nonetheless, for many, I’d advocate beginning with simply the router, after which when you want extra protection, search for a less expensive wired entry level extender earlier than deciding to pay Bell one other $5-$15 monthly, relying on how massive your private home is. A couple of hundred for an entry level you personal may look like a big upfront funding, however the price of renting pods can snowball over two-three years.

Maybe my favorite factor in regards to the Giga Hub is the small show on the entrance. It makes it straightforward to work together with the router for easy issues like resetting it or viewing your password. There’s even a toggle on the router to connect with Bell TV to make that straightforward for folks with an IPTV setup.

Are issues too straightforward

I spent method an excessive amount of time on a self-imposed tech outing attempting to troubleshoot Wi-Fi

Whereas organising the Giga Hub is simple, I discovered that almost all days, my speeds averaged out to round 400-600Mbps as a substitute of the 1.5Gbps I’m paying for. If I jack in with a Cat6 cable, I can get nearer to my full speeds out of the one 10gbps ethernet port, however all the opposite jacks are solely 1Gbps. Past that, the promise of contemporary Wi-Fi has me seeking to ditch ethernet cables within the Wi-Fi 6 technology.

I’m not complaining as a result of something over 500mbps is sufficient for many of my work, internet shopping and streaming movies. Nonetheless, since I’m paying for greater than twice that velocity, it could be good if the Wi-Fi 6E suitable router might get somewhat nearer to the theoretical most, particularly since most of my units now assist Wi-Fi 6 at the very least, which ought to have the ability to deal with gigabit Wi-Fi speeds. I do know I’m unlikely to see these, however even hitting extra consistently within the 800Mbps-1Gbps vary would really feel extra like I’m getting my cash’s value from my ISP.

Plus, the velocity take a look at on the Giga Hub (pictured above) reveals that I used to be getting a possible 1.6Gbps in from my fibre connection so nothing ought to cease me from having improbable community speeds.

There’s additionally the nerd inside me that desires to experiment with completely different modems to see how briskly I can get my Wi-Fi connection. To do that, I tried to combine the TP-Hyperlink E2000 into my setup and demote the Giga Hub to modem obligation. Nevertheless, that’s not practically as straightforward because it sounds. Whilst you can plug one other router into the Giga Hub, it received’t disable the Wi-Fi properties of the Bell-provided router/modem combo machine.

This implies upon the primary strategy, I had two Wi-Fi networks that I’m fairly certain suffered from a double NAT. This led me down a rabbit gap of different Canadians attempting desperately to determine easy methods to use the Giga Hub as a modem. What initially stumped me was that I assumed the Dwelling Hub 4000 and the Giga Hub had been the identical machine. In actuality, they appear the identical, however the inner software program options a number of variations, so lots of the extra in-depth tutorials that work for the Dwelling Hub 4000 didn’t work with the Giga Hub. As I obtained additional invested on this challenge, I discovered that Bell has mostly updated the Giga Hub to be equal to the Dwelling Hub 4000, however the truth that the 2 modems look the identical however function slight variations was sufficient to throw one other variable, and a number of doubts, into my troubleshooting.

The scale of the Giga Hub does enable for a big and protected channel for the fibre wire to take a seat in.

That stated, I discovered some useful data on an incredible weblog known as The IT Nerd, in addition to DSL Reports and Reddit.

At this level in my troubleshooting, I’m well beyond something I’d advocate non-techie folks do. So for many, I’d say reside with the Giga Hub. Nevertheless, it obtained me questioning why this was so laborious. I’d by no means had points like this with my earlier ISPs (Cogeco and TekSavvy). Nevertheless, one distinction with Bell is that it sells Wi-Fi extension pods, incentivizing it to maintain folks by itself tech.

This realization refilled my resolve with sufficient hatred for Bell that I used to be in a position to dive again into the person v. machine troubleshooting battle as soon as once more. I learn by way of miles of discussion board posts the place Bell reps tell users to DM them for details and lots of of Reddit threads from folks with different manufacturers of routers earlier than I lastly determined to surrender and name tech assist.

The decision didn’t go tremendous effectively.

All evening and all day within the nook…

The particular person was in a position to give me Level-to-Level Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) credentials however couldn’t stroll me by way of organising my Giga Hub with a third-party router. As a substitute, they tried to upsell me on a subscription to Bell’s Tech assist Consultants, which value $6 monthly. It is a big rip-off, and it’s anti-consumer to cover full tech assist behind a paywall, so I left this name extra pissed off than once I began. Nonetheless, with my credentials in hand, I returned to considered one of the first Reddit posts I had tried and tried once more, solely to fail as soon as extra.

This led me again to the web, the place I observed that different Bell clients talked about that their PPPoE credentials began with ‘b1.’ So I opened my Bell account in a brand new tab and located a quantity that started with b1 beneath the web part. It was completely different than the username I used to be simply given by tech assist, but it surely labored with the brand new password. The brand new router appeared to work somewhat higher. I’m nonetheless not getting over 1gbps by way of Wi-Fi, however I’m persistently hitting 700-800 Mbps, so I assume that’s a win for now.

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