Best budget Router/Modem for BT ISP in the UK

Hi everyone.
I am new to networking and I am looking into buying a router with wireless access point to swap my BT smart HUB in order to use as an home lab for my Network+ certification and to explore further configurations.
Which devices would be compatible?
Any recommendation around 50£$€ ? can be used.

Kind regards

A OpenWrt flashed BT homehub often gets recommended as they are reliable and cheap

1 Like

BT home hub 5a.

They can be a pane to flash so you can pick them up of ebay ready flashed with OpenWrt.

Hey guys!

What about TP-Link Archer C5 AC1200?
Seems easier to flash ! Whats the diference from V1 to V2? which one should I get?


The Archer c5 is only a router, it doesn't include a VDSL2 modem (it's not quite clear from your description if you need one, but "swap[ing out] my BT smart HUB" suggests that requirement).

The Archer c5 v1 is a bit dated by now, but a solid and fully supported device.
The Archer c5 v2 is an all-Broadcom design, whose wireless is not supported (and never will be).

If you do need a VDSL modem, your options are kind of limited - either using one of the lantiq vr9 options (of which the BT Home Hub 5 Type A is one of the best, but a bit challenging to install OpenWrt by hand) or using a dedicated VDSL modem and a router running OpenWrt behind it. The former works nicely, but is a bit limited in terms of processing power but rather cheap, the later two-device option is quite a bit more expensive but offers more flexibility and power looking into the future, which to prefer depends on your (not yet stated) requirements.

You can get BT Home Hub 5 Type A pre-flashed with OpenWrt on eBay.