BT Whole Home WiFi hands-on review: Here’s how to set up the BT Whole Home WiFi routers, including a hands-on review of the BT Whole Home app, full video instructions and test results.
Home WiFi has always been a bit of a bugbear for anyone who lives in something larger than your average garden shed. As good as your internet connection may be, a poor home WiFi setup will mean laggy performance, lots of buffering and frequent gnashing of teeth.
At the end of 2016, Google announced its very own Google WiFi solution, designed to eliminate home WiFi black holes and deliver solid performance no matter where you roam. We’ve seen similar packages from the likes of Netgear and now BT is offering its own Google Wifi rival in the form of its Whole Home WiFi solution.
How does the BT Whole Home WiFi package work?
BT Whole Home WiFi gives you three routers in a single box. One of these routers connects to your existing modem/router and pumps out a signal to the other two routers, which you scatter to the far ends of your home – wherever your WiFi signal is weak. The idea is that your wireless network’s reach is therefore extended, to eliminate those annoying black holes where you can’t get any internet connection.
Unboxing and setting up the BT Whole Home WiFi routers
We’ve fully unboxed and setup the Whole Home WiFi router in our test home, as you can see in the video below. This takes you through the full instructions for setting up the Whole Home, offers a closer look at the devices themselves, shows you the main functionality of BT’s Whole Home WiFi app and tests out the user experience.
Setting up the Whole Home WiFi from BT is thankfully a simple experience. You certainly don’t need any technical knowledge to get started and set up the routers, as the entire process is explained via BT’s hands Whole Home app. Just download this for your iOS or Android device and you’ll be taken step-by-step through the setup. You can see this in the video above.
BT Whole Home WiFi testing and hands-on review
The Whole Home WiFi is an intelligent WiFi system which works out your device’s current location, and which BT router is currently giving the best signal in your home. It can then switch your device between these routers, to ensure the best possible connection at any time.
In our real-life tests this system worked perfectly. Our smartphone connected to the network perfectly and switched connection from router to router as we roamed around. This switching process was seamless too, with no disruption to our current activities – even when streaming video.
Take a look at our hands-on BT Whole Home WiFi video above to see us testing the service.
BT Whole Home WiFi app review
BT’s Whole Home app is a great portal into the service and allows you to completely configure everything from the network name and password to the brightness of the router indicator lights.
You can see at a glance which routers are set up and how they’re configured, adding fresh routers or changing their setup as required. You can even see how many devices are connected to each individual router, so you know if things are getting clogged up and the locations need to be rearranged.
On top of this, you have full support info for troubleshooting any issues. There’s direct contact information to get in touch with BT, as well as a virtual manual and FAQs to diagnose any problems yourself.
The app isn’t quite as in-depth as the Google WiFi app sadly, so you can’t test every aspect of your setup and we connection. Overall there are less features.
How much does the BT Whole Home WiFi cost?
BT Whole Home WiFi costs £299 and can be bought online right now, from the BT shop.
Are there any good UK alternatives to the BT Whole Home WiFi?
If you want to look at alternative solutions for extending your home WiFi’s reach, you can of course simply bag yourself a WiFi extender from any decent high street electrical store. However, we also recently reviewed the Netgear Orbi, which boasts a similar function to the Whole Home WiFi. In this case you get just one extra unit bundled in the box, which you can set up anywhere in the home where your signal is poor. This then communicates with the main router, to deliver an extended reach.