Consoles Gaming

How do I add a games console to the DMZ on a BT Home Hub and Smart Hub?

DMZ on a BT Home Hub
In the zone: improve your gaming performance

If you’re a console owner and you have a BT Home Hub or Smart Hub then placing your console within the hub’s DMZ can help improve your network speed. But how do you do it and what is the DMZ?

What is the DMZ?

DMZ is an initialism for “de-militarised zone”.

By default, a firewall in your BT router restricts access to and from your devices. Internet-based devices communicate via a series of “ports”, each port being for a specific purpose. The firewall restricts port access based on what it believes is required. However, this isn’t always correct and will often affect gaming performance.

The DMZ allows you to specify a single device these restrictions won’t apply to. It does this by giving that device its own IP address on which no restrictions apply. As well as ensuring all traffic flows to the console, the lack of restrictions improves ping rates (the amount of time it takes packets of data to travel back and forth, which is crucial to online gaming). This also bypasses Network Address Translation (NAT) which further improves speed.

Obviously, this comes with security implications, as the firewall is there to protect your devices. BT’s own advice is:

Only one device, with either a static or a private DHCP address, can be placed into the DMZ. The Hub will give it a private IP address and forward all appropriate traffic to this device.

Important: Placing a host in DMZ has significant implications for its security. Although it will be still located behind the Hub’s firewall ALL unsolicited traffic not rejected by the firewall will be sent to this host by the Hub’s Network Address Translator, increasing it’s vulnerability to attack

How to switch on the DMZ

BT Home Hub

The following works on a Home Hub 4, but the process is similar on a Home Hub 3 and 5.

  • Sign into the admin screen and head for Advanced Settings
  • Now click on Firewall and then DMZ
  • The screen will present you with an option to switch DMZ on or off and also specify the single device to apply it to.
  • Click Apply to activate it

BT Smart Hub

  • Sign into the admin screen and head for Advanced Settings
  • Now click on Firewall and then select the Configuration tab
  • Part way down is a section named “DMZ”
  • Click the DMZ button to switch it on and also select the device that this will apply to
  • Click the Save button at the top of the screen to save your changes

Now read this: How do I access the BT Home Hub settings?

About the author

David Artiss

Works for Automattic Inc., the company behind and Tumblr. Tech geek, international speaker and occasional PC Pro podcaster. Lover of Lego and video games.

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  • Great article! Very helpful, my latency is so much better now. Consistently getting 30-40 ping, which I’ve never had before.