Home / Computing / Peripheral / PlusNet Fibre router

PlusNet Fibre router review

Gordon Kelly

By

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

5

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Straightforward setup
  • Admin password unique to each router

Cons

  • Barely achieves advertised fibre speeds
  • Just 3x 10/100 usable Ethernet ports
  • No USB ports to network drives or printers
  • Basic router settings
  • Ugly design

Key Features

  • 802.11n 2.4GHz wireless
  • 3x (usable) 10/100 Ethernet ports
  • WPA / WPA2 & WPS security
  • Integrated DSL modem
  • Manufacturer: technicolor
  • Review Price: £39.99

What is the PlusNet Fibre router?

This is the router PlusNet supplies with its fibre optic broadband service which provides customers with speeds of up to 76 megabit (Mbps). The model is in fact a Technicolour TG582n which is also supplied by Zen Internet (along with other more expensive options) and Be Unlimited (which is folding into Sky). The products should be identical, but our sample came from PlusNet and features the company's logo in the router's settings hence the main review title.

Interestingly, like the controversial Sky Hub, the TG582n is a single band 802.11n 2.4GHz router. This slower wireless standard often struggles to distribute WiFi fast enough to reach fibre broadband speeds, so it has our Spidey-sense tingling.

TG582n top

PlusNet Fiber router - Design

Without a doubt, the TG582n is the most aged looking router we have seen in recent years. Its beige finish, prominent vents and array of flashing green lights will delight hipsters and terrify techophiles in equal measure.

On the upside, the matt white finish doesn't collect fingerprints or dust easily and its boxy design is rugged. The TG582n is also wall mountable, though the wall mount points come at the expense of rubber feet at the front of the router so we wouldn't advise sitting it on any particularly delicate surfaces should it get knocked.

PlusNet Fiber router - Features

Looking at the TG582n may be like stepping back in time, but the greater concern is it evokes a similar feeling when looking at the spec sheet. For starters the TG582n is merely a single band 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz router and it features just a 2x2 antenna array when dual band 3x3 arrays have been standard for some time.

In addition to passing up 5GHz WiFi, the TG582n also skips Gigabit Ethernet and just three of its four 10/100 ports can be used. This is because one has been commandeered as a WAN port (signified by red tape stuck below it) to accept Internet from PlusNet's dedicated fibre broadband modem. As such anyone looking to run a fast local network from the TG582n – like the four port 10/100 Ethernet of the Sky Hub – would be well advised to steer clear.

TG582n back

The fact the TG582n also features a DSL port beside its Ethernet ports in theory adds flexibility, but in reality it simply highlights that this is a router designed for ADSL2 (up to 16Mbit) services and has been customised in an attempt to squeeze more mileage from the clock.

The better news is the TG582n does pack up to date security with WPA2 and WPS aboard and a firmware update means it is IPV6 ready. The router also provides dynamic DNS and some basic parental control which allows parents to block specific websites. That said this is an outdated method (you'll be typing in websites until the end of time) and you'd be better off using smarter free dedicated software such as Norton Family, Microsoft Live Family Safety, KuruPira WebFilter and Qustodio, to name but a few.

Lastly the TG582n has a USB 2.0 port for sharing a printer or external storage across your local network. Strangely it is located on the side of the router, rather than the back, which is the first time we've seen this. USB should be a default on any modern router and it was also included on the Virgin Super Hub and BT Home Hub 4 (both of which are also dual band) but surprisingly omitted from the Sky Hub.

Matthew Thompson

August 8, 2013, 1:01 pm

Your review states that it omits a USB port but the picture shows a USB port on the left hand side...

alex mason

August 8, 2013, 4:31 pm

I believe it is for updating or something. Not for sharing hard disks or printers. I have one and the manual makes not mention of such a feature.

Also, surprised that TR were able to get just about the rated line speed from the routers wifi. Even sitting next to mine it won't deliver more than 50mbits/s. our building is typically saturated with 2.4GHz wireless n routers and devices though so maybe SNR plays a role.

Mike

August 9, 2013, 8:41 am

Wrong. The USB is for disk sharing or 3g backup solutions. Works perfectly fine.

Craig Knighton

August 9, 2013, 8:56 am

The USB port is for sharing - I've shared files with mine. Put in a stick, go to Toolbox > Content Sharing - make it profile the device. You can then stream to a media player or use as a Network File Server. Not the quickest, but it was ok for me to stream to my Blu-Ray player.

Gordon Kelly

August 10, 2013, 7:43 pm

Alex - we had no trouble hitting the results we did and we test in central London where there is plenty of interference (another reason we always look to recreate a real world environment) and as you'll see from the transfer graphs the speeds were consistent as well. Slow, but consistent!

Matthew - you are right, this is my oversight. In all our testing this was (ridiculously) due to the port being on the side and I simply missed it - I'll be updated the review with the USB score shortly.

Gordon Kelly

August 10, 2013, 7:43 pm

See above, thanks for the spot Craig

Gordon Kelly

August 10, 2013, 7:43 pm

Thanks Mike, see my reply above.

Gordon Kelly

August 11, 2013, 1:04 am

USB score is now updated in the review. Unsurprisingly it was very slow, but the real surprise is the lack of support for NTFS formatted drives which destroys most of its value.

Richard Feltbower

August 19, 2013, 2:21 pm

Gordon, thanks for this review and the other recent router reviews which I've found extremely interesting and useful. How have these reviews been carried out? Have they all used the same ADSL/cable modem upstream, for example?

Jon C

November 10, 2013, 9:41 pm

Hi, I've just ordered the plus net fibre broadband service & as you mention in the review, paid the £5.99 postage for this router. As an alternative to buying a 3rd party router, would linking this one up to Apple's new time-capsule overcome the issues you've described - single band etc...? thanks,

The RedKipper

February 11, 2014, 9:52 am

Not sure what the reviewer has against this router per se, but reviewing this router's suitability for an FTTC solution and concluding the router is flawed seems somewhat ridiculous.
I think it's quite clear that this is a standard ADSL router that an ISP has adapted to use on it's fibre service, so is it the fault of the router that in this mode it doesn't perform as well as a £150 device designed for the job?
Perhaps the reviewer might like to review the router for the job it was designed, then draw the conclusion that the ISP has it all wrong when supplying this for an FTTC installation - that might be a little more realistic!!

andyvan

February 12, 2014, 9:12 am

Erm, but the fact is this is what PlusNet is supplying for FTTC, which is it is reviewed as such. Were that not the case we'd review it simply as an ADSL router as you suggest.

The RedKipper

July 17, 2014, 8:51 am

No, I see. I'll look forward to the next review - Perhaps the Hyundai i10 as a Formula One contender?

aabd

November 26, 2014, 12:13 am

If one of the teams rolls it out onto the F1 race track then yes & validly, you douche

The RedKipper

November 26, 2014, 4:49 pm

I see; if you can't make a sensible reply to a cogent argument, why not result to insults, eh? Nice touch..

Dylan

August 18, 2015, 1:09 pm

Why have you guys not reviewed the Plusnet Hub Zero?

comments powered by Disqus