Any DSL capable hubs compatible with OpenWRT?

I have been thinking about buying the Belkin RT3200 as it is well documented to work with OpenWRT. This seemed great as I really wanted to get away from the proprietary hardware that came from the ISP.

But now I have figured out that just buying the RT3200 and flashing OpenWRT on it won't fully free me from my ISP's hub as the RT3200 still requires input from the DSL capabilities off the ISP's proprietary hub.

So, I am thinking that maybe a separate DSL modem, compatible with open source firmware, that I could connect the RT3200 to, would mean that I wouldn't need any of my ISP's proprietary hardware.

Or maybe there is a completely different hub than the Belkin RT3200 that has built in DSL capabilities?

I found that the BT Hub 5 Type A is compatible with OpenWRT and also has a DSL port so maybe this is what I need? Or are there any better ones than this?

hub = modem ?

here's a list of supported Lantiq devices, a popular target for *DSL modems.

another options is to get a modem you can bridge, then you won't really need one that's compatible with openwrt.


Hi frolic
Sorry about my dodgy terminology! The ISP's hardware is a BT Smart Hub 2, so I am guessing that would be classed as a hub as it is both a modem and a router?

Looking the list you provided, say for example I bought the Easybox 802 (ARV752DPW), would this replace the ISP's proprietary BT Smart Hub 2 completely?

When you say to get a modem I can bridge, I am guessing you mean a separate modem that I could connect to a separate router?

Also, when I was researching this, I found conflicting data on if DSL is or is not compatible with OpenWRT?

I think it's just a produt name in this case, hub as in all in one device, modem, router, switch and wifi in one box.
Some BT smart hubs are supported by Openwrt, yours too, but it's EOLed.

I'm no *DSL expert, but yes.


That's obviously not corrrect, some manufacturers/modems aren't however

You could get a BT home hub 5 off ebay, they're cheap, some even come with openwrt preinstalled, if you pay extra.

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In computer networking, a "hub" usually refers to a specific type of obsolete Ethernet device. The use of the phrase "smart hub" in this context is basically marketing fluff to make their equipment sound better than it actually is.

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I heard that BT 'hub's are marketed as that because they are less than a router!
To answer your question directly though your easiest (and best?) solution will be to buy one of the BT non-consumer 'hubs' on ebay. They are extremely cheap.

The consumer hubs are hobbled to remove the 'bridge' option from the UI. :frowning:
The 'business' units allow you to select it.

This has the advantage that you can still get full BT support if you have some line issue as you are still connecting with 'their' equipment.

Having said all that I then moved on to using an ebay Fritz! Box 7530.
Its GREAT and my sync speed improved substantially, although this may depend on your FTTC cabinet type.
Also you could put OpenWRT on it if you want.
Then you can get line speed and quality displayed in LUCI by installing luci-mod-dsl.

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Thank you for helping me understand this. Much appreciated.

So all in all, the simplest option would be to buy something like the Fritzbox 7530, BT home hub 5, or the Easybox 802 - which are all Openwrt compatible and include a DSL socket, meaning that I wouldn't need the BT Smart Hub 2. If this is the case, which single device to completely remove the need for the BT Smart Hub 2 would be best eg has the best stability and compatibility with OpenWRT?

@unique_usrername Which non consumer BT hub in particularly would work, and do you mean getting a 'business' BT hub just for the DSL modem to bridge onto another router? And does that mean that the BT Smart Hub 2 that BT sent me doesn't even have the capabilities to be bridged to something like the Belkin RT3200?

@frollic When I said the I found conflicting data on if DSL is compatible or not with OpenWRT, I wasn't referring to if OpenWRT can work 'with' DSL, but if the firmware controlling DSL itself can't be OpenWRT, and must be proprietary? And that even if I got something like the BT home hub 5 which has a DSL socket, the firmware flash to OpenWRT doesn't flash the DSL component?

Scratch this device from your list, it's ancient, bad wireless and low-performance, with unclear OpenWrt (and danube as a subtarget has little to no testing).

You need to get a little more clear what you actually need:

  • what's your current speed (ideally, if you can read it out of your current device, also the established xDSL profile)
  • do you need the router to take care of your phone (VoIP 'landline').
  • if you only need a xDSL modem (without OpenWrt support), there are plenty of options
  • do you already have a dedicated (OpenWrt) router or are you looking for an all-in-one solution.

@unique_usrername Which non consumer BT hub in particularly would work, and do you mean getting a 'business' BT hub just for the DSL modem to bridge onto another router? And does that mean that the BT Smart Hub 2 that BT sent me doesn't even have the capabilities to be bridged to something like the Belkin RT3200?

Yes. Any of the 'Business' branded hubs will allow you to bridge to an external PPPoE router.

BT have pictures on their site here:
" BT Business Hubs: Help and guides for your model"

You can get them for £5 to £10 on ebay.

Avoid buying any of these:
" Find what hub you have"


Hi slh

Thanks for letting me know about the easybox.

So to your points -

  1. I couldn't tell you my current speed as right now I am tethering from 4g. You see I have just moved house and haven't got the broadband sorted yet but have received the BT Smart Hub 2 the other day.

  2. No, I don't need any advanced features like that. I plan on using voip from the computer directly.

  3. What I need is something to completely replace the BT Smart Hub 2 and all propriety software. The first idea I had was to buy the Belkin RT3200 but then I noticed it didn't have a DSL port on the back, and then realised that it would still require a modem. So ideally I would like a single device that fully replaces the BT Smart Hub 2 with a openWRT device with DSL, instead of buying something like the RT3200 and bridging it to a separate DSL modem. But I am open to other options.

  4. No, at the moment I just have the BT Smart Hub 2 sent from BT.

But would the business BT 'hubs' be able to be flashed with OpenWRT?

The question here really is:

  • ADSL (I hope not)
  • VDSL
  • VDSL2 with vectoring (e.g. profile 17b)
  • VDSL2 with super-vectoring (e.g. profile 35b)

This decides which modem hardware you really require (newer one will support the older standards, but not the other way round).

OpenWrt supports all of these (although the selection of devices for super-vectoring reduces itself pretty much to two devices, while there are plenty to choose from for plain vectoring).

Vectoring goes up to roughly 100/40 MBit/s, Super-vectoring up to 250/40 MBit/s. If your ISP can't give you a guesstimate for that, your neighbours should know.

In that case, you may want to hold your horses and check what you actually need, before going to shop a device that might not do what you need.

Ok so what you are saying is that before I buy anything I need to check with my ISP if they use ADSL, VDSL, VDSL 2 with vectoring, or VDSL 2 with super-vectoring?

The easiest course of action for you is to set up the equipment that BT gave you.
That will provide you with some information about your xDSL connection.

It used to be at this point that you could then buy an OpenWRT router and connect it to your xDSL modem using an ethernet cable, and tell the OpenWRT router to get its internet connection from the xDSL modem via Point to Point Protocol over Ethernet. This requires setting the modem to 'bridged' mode. Which used to be a setting in the user interface, but BT have removed that checkbox from the user interface of their 'Home' line of 'hubs'. :frowning:

You can avoid the issue of having to identify exactly what the technical details are of the offered service, by simply utilising an xDSL modem which supports equivalent or later standards, because, as mentioned above, the later hardware is backwards compatible with the older standards.

But would the business BT 'hubs' be able to be flashed with OpenWRT?


If you procure another xDSL modem that supports the equivalent, or better, standards than what BT have deployed, then that should be sufficient to support the standards for the service that you are connecting to.

You may prefer to use only one device. But that then of necessity leaves you with a restricted choice of combined modem / router devices to choose from, as described previously.

The advantage of this is that it may use a very small amount less electricity.
There are downsides to this choice too.

Similarly there are numerous advantages to having the xDSL modem separate from your router, of which I previously mentioned some.

I have been in your position. I told you what the 2 easy choices are.
If this is all new to you then there is a lot to be learned from lurking in the forums for a few weeks and reading around.
Since I assume that you are in the UK (!) I would recommend that you go join kitz forums at
You can learn a lot there and they will help you when you have (almost inevitably) issues with BT.

Ok thanks a lot.
The BT engineer is coming in a few days to sort the broadband out so I will ask these questions then and get back with the info.