Bbox Wi-Fi fiber Bbox 6 is not a box like the others. Equipped on the front with a wheel (or thumb wheel) and a control screen, it is characterized by its design and its possibilities for evolution. We tested this box available in the Ultym pack from Bouygues.
So, does she have all the cards in hand to dethrone the Freebox Delta? On the way for our big test.
If the operators all released a new box last year, Bouygues was a little more desired. It was not until the beginning of 2020 to see a new device landed by the operator, a device that ultimately does not look like any other.
Bouygues has decided to offer a new look to its box , in particular to integrate a display on the front controllable with the small wheel, but also to better dissipate the heat of the device and make it more scalable in the process.
A Complete Guide on Wi-Fi fiber Bbox 6
Thus was born the Bbox fiber Wi-Fi 6 , available exclusively within the Bbox Ultym offer . By the way, this is a internet box intended only for holders of a fiber connection . This point should be emphasized: just like the competitor’s Livebox 5, there is no question here of an ADSL / VDSL box.
We have tested Bouygues’ new BBox fiber Wi-Fi 6 and are delivering our conclusions after more than a week of use.
Price and availability of the new Wi-Fi 6 fiber Bbox
The new Bbox fiber Wi-Fi 6 has been officially available since January 27, 2020. To benefit from it, you must subscribe to the Bbox Ultym subscription : it is not possible to obtain it otherwise. This pack is displayed at a price of € 24.99 per month for one year . Beyond that, it increases to € 41.99 per month .
For this price, you have both the modem / router part (the device we are testing here), but also the set-top box, which has not changed. We are always dealing with a 4K box, which pulsates under Android TV.
The Ultym subscription gives the right to one of these bonuses to choose from :
- The Canal + Series bouquet , which gives access to original creations ( London plane , The New Pope , La Guerre des Mondes , Baron Noir…), but also to content from Showtime, FX and Fox Play. In short, if Netflix remains the tenor in terms of TV series, the Canal + Series bouquet should not be ashamed and offers rich and varied content
- A 4G key , which can use 20 GB of data per month and can accommodate up to 10 devices simultaneously
- The Bbox Jeunesse package , which provides access to Tiji, Tfou Max, Boing, Boomerang, Toonami, Canal J and Baby TV channels
- The Playzer platform , which provides access to thousands of clips and concerts in HD
By the way, note that it is possible to change options from one month to another , without paying the slightest additional cent.
A completely new design for an internet box
When you take the Wi-Fi 6 fiber Bbox out of its box, what surprises at first glance is its unusual look … for an internet box, you can hear that. The device is in the form of a sort of large, slightly cubic black cylinder 22.5 high. Its design (which was not made by Philippe Starck!) Is reminiscent of that of a connected speaker that would have taken a little overweight.
Where other operators tend to want to hide their box in a cabinet or last the TV, the new Bbox is an object that likes to show off.
In our test configuration, we had placed the previous model in a small cabinet under the TV, where the game consoles and others are generally located. But because of the height of the this device, this placement is no longer possible. Laying it out on the ground remains possible, but its wheel and its display on the front (we will come back to this) require keeping it at human height.
Not practical, to leave the device on the ground. We therefore opted in our case for a placement next to the TV. The vertical size of the box is certainly a detail, but think about it before buying it.
On the back are 4 1 Gb / s Ethernet ports , 1 10 Gb / s port , 1 telephone jack , 2 USB ports , 1 power port and 1 fiber optic connector. This is one of the big novelties of this model: in theory, the box does not need the small ONT external box that previously accompanied the operator’s modems. The fiber link is provided directly by the Bbox via a small plug-in SFP adapter on the back, at the bottom of the unit.
Note, however, that this was not the case with our test model. We obtained the device before its official marketing, which temporarily prevented the device from connecting to the fiber link. Consequently, we had to connect the wifi Bbox to the small fiber optic terminal via the 10 Gb / s port.
We were therefore unable to test its effectiveness. Bouygues has assured us that the problem was resolved during the official marketing of the new Bbox and we will not fail to modify our test as soon as we have up-to-date equipment.
For comparison and only in terms of inputs / outputs, the new Bbox therefore loses a telephone input (the old had two) and obviously a DSL port. However, it retains the same number of 1 Gb / s Ethernet ports and USB ports (the old one also had two: one at the front, the other at the back).
The front of the device is provided with a large wheel , which allows you to control the display panel of the box. This is one of the other particularities of this new Bbox: offering a small menu on the front , which lights up while you see the time or make some adjustments to the box. The good idea that Bouygues had was to have the display finally turn off by itself after a few seconds. Those who sleep not far from their box will not be disturbed by the light of the device, in short.
But then, what is this display for? The menu offered by the device offers different options. As mentioned above, you navigate inside it using the “clickable” dial located on the front. Here is in summary what this interface allows to do:
- Display a QR Code , so you can connect a device in Wi-Fi in the simplest way in the world. This same QR Code is generated instantly and allows you, by scanning the display panel of the box using your smartphone, to connect immediately to the device. Convenient when you want to avoid having to enter the long WPA2 key of the Wi-Fi network. Note in passing that this same QR Code is also available on the web interface of the box, both on the 2.4 GHz band , but also on the 5 GHz band of Wi-Fi.
- The box billboard also gives you a way to access the voice mail , a u call log and event log related to the box.
- This same menu also offers to adjust some parameters of the box and to establish a diagnostic start in the event of a problem.
- Finally, he proposes to perform a flow test , whether it is rising or falling. The connection speed thus measured is carried out “directly on Bouygues servers”. So is it really reliable? Just to check the merits of this test, we therefore compared the speed displayed by the Bbox to those provided by Speedtest and nperf . In all three cases, we did not notice any significant differences in our throughput. A function certainly a little gadget, but ultimately practical to check the good health of the connection. We just wish the two measurements of up and down flow were done at the same time, rather than having to launch them one after the other.
Reliability and connection speed
Each time an operator releases a new Internet box, it is often a small “revolution”, as Free would say. Some are however disappointing, perhaps not in terms of reliability (although …), but rather in terms of technological innovations.
Is it really useful to migrate from Livebox v4 to v5, when you know that it does not support 10 Gb / s or Wi-Fi 6? The good news is that the new competitor Bouygues’ box supports these two data transmission standards.
But no rush: if Wi-Fi 6 is indeed a reality for this new box, 10 Gb / s is only supported in Ethernet for now (on the local network, in the clear). To claim such speed on the Web, you will have to wait a little longer. Of course, the box is already compatible with this standard,
Unlike Livebox 5, which provides 2 Gb / s (on two different devices, not just one), this is not possible here. And as you would expect, the Ethernet ports do not allow link aggregation (on a single device, suddenly). No need to expect 2 Gb / s on the local network.
On our fiber link, the connection was rather excellent throughout our tests. Only once, we encountered some disconnection / reconnection concerns (sometimes with almost 30 minutes of beat), but it was the day after the official launch of the box. Bouygues was probably making some last minute improvements to its network.
Not having a PC in Wi-Fi 6 at the time of our tests, we could not experience the quality of this type of connection. There too, we will not fail to give you more details in the coming days. But we still experienced the connection of Wi-Fi 5 (Wi-Fi AC): it is very good and above all, the quality of the connection remains more stable than on the previous box, even when a device is distant 6 to 7 meters from the modem. This new box gains in both speed, but also in stability, even without a device in Wi-Fi 6.
The Web interface is accessible from the address https://mabbox.bytel.fr (or http://192.168.1.254/ if you have not changed anything in your network settings yet). To connect to it for the first time, secure the connection using the front dial. Press it for 5 seconds and voila, you are now in the nerve center the new fiber Bbox.
The environment is relatively simple to understand, while offering a good range of options. It is possible to administer your box from every angle: you can activate, deactivate or configure both the classic firewall and the pinhole firewall (which is dedicated to a particular application).
The latter is one of the new features in the box administration environment. We can adjust port forwarding, manage DHCP and DynDNS… All with disconcerting ease. Note also that you can also access the Box remotely.
The same interface also allows you to manage the connection of all the devices in the house, whether they are wired or Wi-Fi.
The good idea that the developers of the new bbox had is to make it modular. As mentioned above, the back of the device has a fiber port into which an SFP dongle is sometimes inserted. It is rather well seen, since the operation is carried out in 2 or 3 seconds and does not require any hardware change. Bouygues even assured us that the Wi-Fi card (internally, this time) may also need to evolve.
In theory, it will be enough to open the Box and change a simple card to benefit from Wi-Fi 7 when the standard is formalized or to replace a deficient equipment. As a result, the new Bbox may last a long time. In the end, is it perhaps the real eco-friendly box that Orange has so often spoken to us about?
In the end, the new Bbox really did not disappoint. So yes, it may not offer as many features as the Freebox Delta . There is no place to add internal hard drives or SSDs, in order to transform the device into NAS. But the device still has everything you need to make it one of the best boxes of the moment, especially for its development capabilities.
Especially since Bouygues’ offer is really not expensive the first year, and that beyond this period, it remains attractive despite the competition.