BT Dual band ac wireless dongle FAQs

My computer seems to be connected to my Hub twice. Is this a problem?

It's possible to connect to your Hub using both your computer's internal wireless adapter and the dongle. Only one connection will be active for the internet. This is generally the last connection you used or the most recent connection you made.

If I'm using the ac wireless dongle should I turn the internal wireless adapter off?

You can switch off the internal adapter if you like. This has the advantage of saving power and is perhaps less confusing in terms of knowing which connection you're using.

If you do switch off the internal wireless adapter and don’t plug in the BT Home Hub 5 ac Wireless Dongle then wireless will be unavailable. To fix things just plug in the dongle or switch on the internal wireless.

How do I know if the dongle is operating in dual channel stream mode 2X2?

The dongle is set as default to operate in dual channel stream mode. You can tell if it's operating in dual channel stream mode by checking the headline connection speed. Right click on the connection and select Status.

A speed above 130Mbps (130-300Mpbs) means that your dongle is operating in dual channel stream mode. If you're some distance from your BT Home Hub 5 the dongle may switch down to single channel stream mode to maintain the connection.

Why am I not getting ac speeds with my dongle?

The 802.11 ac software is intelligent and will switch up and down according to local conditions, distance from the hub and client type. 802.11 ac only works on the 5GHz band at shorter range.

If you are not getting the speed you think you should get it is likely that the dongle has switched over to the 2.4GHz band. This can sometimes happen when you are at a mid-distance from the hub. You can try forcing the dongle to connect at 5GHz by switching the Hub 5 to use separate 2.4 and 5GHz SSIDs. At longer range you are likely to get better performance on the 2.4GHz band.

How do I tell if my dongle is connected and working?

The dongle will set itself up as an additional wireless connection in Windows. Windows will give it a name such as "Wireless connection 2".

If you right click on the wireless icon in the system tray (bottom right of your screen) you will see the available wireless networks listed under "Wireless network 2" (or a similar name).

To connect to your Hub just choose the Hub's SSID (its network name) from the list of available networks and click Connect. The Hub's SSID is on the settings card which pulls out from the back of the Hub.

How do I set my Hub 5 to separate 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks?

  1. Open the Hub Manager by typing http://bthomehub.home into the browser of a device connected to your Hub
  2. Select Advanced Settings
  3. Click on Wireless then 5GHz Wireless
  4. Select No on "Sync with 2.4" and rename the wireless SSID to something like BTHub5-WWWW-5GHz. Keep the password the same.
  5. Click Apply

You should then be able to log on to the 2.4GHZ and 5GHz networks separately. Note that the range of the 5GHz network range is not as far as the 2.4GHz. However this may stop the client switching to 2.4GHz prematurely and may well give a better performance when you're mid-distance from the Hub (about 2-3 rooms away).

Does the USB port limit the performance of my dongle?

It depends how you look at this. Technically, yes, as 802.11 ac 2x2 is capable of 867Mbps whereas USB 2.0 is limited to 480Mbps. However, 867Mbps is rarely achieved and in practice wireless throughput will be half or less of the headline speed. So in most near range situations your USB ac dongle will support the faster throughput of ac wireless.

The fastest broadband currently available is 300Mbps (this is where the fibre line comes all the way to your home) and this is well below the USB data limit. For full speed performance on the local network (LAN) we recommend you use a wired gigabit Ethernet connection. The BT Home Hub 5 has four gigabit Ethernet switched ports.

A USB 1.0 port will limit your speeds dramatically. These are found on older devices.

The dongle is unresponsive after hibernation

The dongle may be affected when your computer goes into hibernation (sleep mode). If you are experiencing slow speed on your dongle after hibernation:

  1. Plug the dongle into your device
  2. Go to the Device Manager via the Control Panel. How you get there might be a little different according to which version of Windows you've got
  3. Expand "Network Adapters" to show the list of active adapters
  4. Double click on "BT 802.11ac Wireless USB Adapter" or right click and select Properties
  5. Open the "Power Management" tab
  6. Un-tick the box marked "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power"
  7. Click on OK

The dongle is quite large and won't easily fit into my laptop

The ac dongle is larger than usual USB dongles as the ac technology requires more power and components as well as larger antennas.

In the unlikely event that the dongle doesn’t fit your laptop or if you are worried about damaging your dongle a low cost extension lead is available from the BT Shop.

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