BT’s Hybrid Connect gives you ‘unbreakable Wi-Fi’ with a backup for your BT Broadband service, powered by EE’s 4G network.
In the UK, BT now offers Hybrid Connect which is a feature you can add to any of their broadband plans for an extra £7/month.
Hybrid Connect gives you a 4G-based backup for your BT fibre broadband connection. It kicks in and activates automatically if there’s ever a fault with your fibre broadband connection, meaning you’ll stay connected and online whatever happens to it. According to BT, this makes it the UK’s “only unbreakable home wi-fi connection”, giving you reliability and peace of mind that isn’t available elsewhere.
In this article, we’ll review BT’s Hybrid Connect service. We’ll start by looking at how Hybrid Connect works, how you can get it and the benefits of using it. We’ll also look at BT’s latest fibre broadband deals and how you can switch from your current broadband provider to BT.
What is BT Hybrid Connect?
Over the past year, we’ve been spending more time at home and our broadband connections have become even more vital.
From working at home to home schooling our children, and from streaming TV shows and movies to playing games online with our friends, it’s never been more important having a reliable broadband connection that keeps you connected to the internet.
Hybrid Connect is a new service for BT Broadband customers in the UK which combines their fibre broadband service with a 4G-based backup connection from EE. Should a fault be detected with your fibre broadband service, the Hybrid Connect backup will kick in automatically to keep you connected to the internet.
A major benefit of the Hybrid Connect service is it works seamlessly and transparently with your Smart Hub 2 router. The 4G-based backup kicks in automatically in less than 90 seconds and all of the devices on your network will stay connected without you needing to lift a finger (there’s no faff needing to sign in all of your devices again to a different Wi-Fi network). Furthermore, you’ll still be able to use features like BT Complete Wi-Fi which gives you a guaranteed Wi-Fi connection in every room of your home.
If you’re moving home or changing broadband provider, Hybrid Connect also helps you to get connected to the internet more quickly. You can be online and connected in as little as one day, even before your fibre broadband service has been installed.
How To Get BT Hybrid Connect
To get Hybrid Connect, start by choosing your new BT Broadband plan online. You can get fibre broadband from BT for as little as £24.99 per month, with a range of offers currently available like a £110 reward card on BT's Fibre 2 plan.
Once you’ve chosen your BT Broadband plan, tap the button to “customise your package”. You’ll then be given the option to add Hybrid Connect for an extra £7/month during the checkout process.
You can also add other features to your BT Broadband plan during checkout such as BT Complete Wi-Fi for an extra £10/month or BT TV from an extra £12/month (depending on the TV package and the channels you choose).
You can also get Hybrid Connect as part of a BT Halo 3+ package.
Hybrid Connect Features
According to BT, Hybrid Connect gives you the “UK’s only unbreakable home wi-fi connection”. That’s because it can keep all of your devices connected to the internet, even if there’s a fault with your fibre broadband connection (e.g. due to a damaged phone line, a fault at the cabinet, poor weather, etc).
Compared to using a separate 4G mobile broadband connection for backup, you’ll get a far more seamless experience when using Hybrid Connect. That’s because all of your devices remain connected to your normal Wi-Fi network – there’s no hassle switching between different networks. That means all of your laptops, tablets, mobile phones, smart TVs and smart home devices including cameras, doorbells and thermostats will just continue to work without you needing to lift a finger. It’s also cheaper than using a separate mobile broadband connection for backup as the £7/month fee already includes all of the data you’ll use through the service.
You can tell the Hybrid Connect service is in use when the light on your BT Smart Hub 2 turns purple. In addition, the signal bars on your Hybrid Connect device will turn white.
Get Online The Next Day
Another benefit of Hybrid Connect is the ability to get connected to the internet in as little as one day. Normally, when you’re moving home or changing broadband providers, it can take around two weeks to get your new fibre broadband service set up (sometimes a little bit longer e.g. if an engineer visit is required).
If you place your BT Broadband and Hybrid Connect order before 3pm, BT will dispatch your new Hybrid Connect device the same day. This includes 24-hour delivery and you can get connected to the internet as soon as your new Hybrid Connect arrives.
When your fibre broadband service is up and running, the Hybrid Connect device will work together with your Smart Hub 2 router. You’ll switch to using fibre for your main broadband connection but the backup of a 4G broadband connection will still be there for when it’s required.
BT Complete Wi-Fi
The Hybrid Connect service is compatible with BT’s Complete Wi-Fi service.
Complete Wi-Fi gives you a guaranteed Wi-Fi signal in every room of your home, making use of the latest mesh networking technology.
You’ll get a Smart Hub 2 router, together with up to 3 Wi-Fi Discs that extend the range of the Wi-Fi network through your home. If you’re still unable to get a minimum download speed of at least 10Mbps in every room of your home, BT will give you £100 back as part of their Complete Wi-Fi Guarantee.
If your broadband service switches over to use the 4G connection from your Hybrid Connect, you’ll still be able to use your Complete Wi-Fi system and discs as normal.
4G Coverage From EE
Behind the scenes, the Hybrid Connect service is powered by EE’s 4G mobile network. This is used to keep you online if there’s a fault with your regular broadband connection.
According to BT, the Hybrid Connect service is currently available to around 85% of their customers. You’ll need to be in an area “with eligible 4G signal strength” and this will be checked automatically before Hybrid Connect is offered to you as an add-on.
When you’re using the 4G backup connection on your Hybrid Connect, you’ll be able to get download speeds of up to 30Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5Mbps. That’s fast enough for most things you’d want to do with your home broadband (browsing, streaming, video calls, etc) but it’s likely to be a little bit slower than your regular service.
To optimise the performance of your Hybrid Connect device, you can move it to a location with a stronger 4G signal. BT recommends that you find a location that’s well ventilated, raised from the floor and away from other electronics. You’ll often get a stronger 4G signal when you place the Hybrid Connect close to a window.
BT Broadband Plans
At present, BT offers a range of fibre broadband plans from £24.99 per month.
The following table shows BT’s latest fibre broadband offers:
|Service||Average Speed||Contract Length||Upfront Price||Monthly Price|
|36Mbps download||24 month contract||£0||£24.99/month|
|50Mbps download||24 month contract||£0||£27.99/month|
with £70 reward card
|67Mbps download||24 month contract||£0||£29.99/month|
with £110 reward card
In addition, if you’re living at one of 4 million addresses with access to full fibre (FTTP) broadband, you’ll also have access to BT’s Full Fibre plans:
|Service||Average Speed||Contract Length||Upfront Price||Monthly Price|
Full Fibre 100
|150Mbps download||24 month contract||£9.99||£39.99/month|
Full Fibre 300
|300Mbps download||24 month contract||£9.99||£49.99/month|
Full Fibre 900
|910Mbps download||24 month contract||£9.99||£59.99/month|
You can add Hybrid Connect to any of these broadband plans from BT.
To check the availability of different plans at your address, use the availability checker on BT’s website. This will also show you the expected download speeds where you live.
Switching to BT Broadband
If you’re changing your broadband provider from another company to BT, it’s easy to switch your broadband service over.
Start by ordering your new broadband plan from the BT website. You’ll be given the option to customise your package. This is where you can add Hybrid Connect, or other features like BT Complete Wi-Fi and BT TV.
Your new Hybrid Connect device will be sent out to you the same day, providing you order before 3pm. It can be used to get online whilst you’re waiting for your main broadband service to go live.
On the date that your main BT Broadband service goes live, you can setup your new BT Smart Hub 2 router.
In most cases, it isn’t necessary to separately cancel your old broadband service. This is because BT will normally do this for you automatically. However, if you’re a customer of Virgin Media, or another provider that doesn’t use the Openreach network, you’ll need to contact your old provider to cancel your service.
For step-by-step instructions on how to switch to BT Broadband, please select your current broadband provider from the drop down menu below:
Switch to BT Broadband
Your step-by-step guide to switching
You can also read our in-depth guide to switching home broadband provider.