Sunday, July 22, 2007

Home Hub

What is the BT Home Hub?
BT has a plan - and that's to get a Home Hub into everyone's house. As we'll be hearing lots more about the Home Hub in coming months, the FrequencyCast team thought we'd give you a guide as to what the BT Home Hub is all about, and why BT would like your home to have one.

Essentially, the BT Home Hub is intended to be the main connection point between BT's phone and broadband system in the outside world, to the way your home communicates - home phone, mobile phone, wireless networking, broadband Internet and television services, with home security due soon too. In a nutshell, here's what the BT Home Hub is:

A Broadband router - Allowing high-speed ADSL broadband connection to the Internet from home computers, laptops and games consoles (such as the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox or Sony's PS2 / PS3). Intended for use with BT Total Broadband
A Wi-fi access point - Supporting the connection of equipment that has wireless capability. This includes some PDAs and laptops, wi-fi webcams and even our old friend, the Nabaztag
Internet calls - Supports phone calls made over the Internet, for cheaper calling with BT Broadband Talk
Cordless Phone - Connects with the BT Hub Phone 1010 digital cordless DECT phone (From BT Shop)
Video Phone - Works with the BT Video Phone 1000 (From BT Shop)
Fusion: Works with the BT phone package, BT Fusion
TV: Designed for use with BT's digital TV service, BT Vision
Home Security: Will interface with a new home security service due later

The BT Home Hub, with DECT Phone

Availability:
The BT Home Hub is available direct from BT:

Free with BT Total Broadband Options 2 and 3 - www.bt.com/btbroadband


Available for purchase for £89.99 from BT Shop - www.shop.bt.com.




BT Home Hub Review
We reviewed the BT Home Hub in Show 9 of our online radio show. You can listen online, or download the show to your MP3 player.

The BT Home Hub is actually a re-branded version of a Speedtouch broadband router. Those with experience of broadband routers will be quick to acknowledge that BT's Hub is not the best on the market and lacks some of the more advanced features. Early software versions of the Hub had a few stability issues, but these have largely been addressed by more recent automatic software patches. For the majority of BT's target home users that want a free Broadband modem with their Internet connection - the Home Hub is usable, functional and offers the basics. It's also pre-configured for use with BT's broadband, voice-over-Internet and TV services, making it easy to use out-of-the-box for the less technically-savvy.



BT Home Hub is supplied with:
Broadband cable
Ethernet cable (RJ45)
Power adapter
2 x ADSL microfilters
Phone to RJ11 converter
USB lead (type 'A' to type 'B')

BT Home Hub - Box contents

BT Home Hub Specifications:
Modem: ADSL (Broadband). Supports up to 24Mbit/s
Wifi: 802.11b / 802.11g (Supports WEP, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK)
Dimensions: 194 x 64.5 x 230mm
Main features: Pre-configured to work on BT Total Broadband lines
Connectors: 2 x 10/100 Mbps Ethernet sockets (RJ45), USB: 2 x USB 1.1 sockets, Broadband In (RJ11), telephone socket (RJ11)

Sockets on the rear of the BT Home Hub

Connecting with a BT Home Hub:
Here's a quick summary of how to get connected to BT Total Broadband using a BT Home Hub:

First off, each phone in the house will have to be connected via an ADSL filter once Broadband is enabled. This includes other devices connected to your phone line, such as answerphones and set-top boxes (such as Sky) into the phone line
Plug the broadband lead into the ADSL socket on the filter into the Broadband line socket on the Home Hub
Plug the Home Hub into the power supply, using the mains adapter
After a few minutes, the 'Wireless' , 'Broadband' and 'Internet' lights should be on
The BT guide advises you to wait an hour while the line optimises and gains the fastest speed
Next, fire up the BT Total Broadband software, supplied on CD. First off, you'll be prompted to make a connection between PC and Home Hub (ours autodetected we had an ethernet socket on our PC, so prompted us to make a cable connection to the hub). Next, the software tests for a connection between Hub and PC. It then installs the following to your desktop: BT Broadband Desktop Help, BT Yahoo Internet Software, Hub Manager, IE Home Page (optional) and BT Broadband Talk Setup
As if by magic, after this it all worked. The Home Hub is set for DHCP, and BT Total Broadband doesn't require a username or password to log on (as they use your phone number to authenticate)


Home Hub Configuration
We thought that some of our visitors might like a little more detail on what configuration options are supported by the Home Hub, so we've had a stroll through the user interface:

You can connect to your Home Hub to check status and alter settings via your PC's web browser - Go to http://bthomehub.home/. Once you've logged in to the BT Home Hub, you need to go to the 'Advanced' section. Here, you'll find the following sections:

Configuration: Contains the following:

Wireless - Set up the Hub's wireless settings : SSID , speed, channel, encryption (WEP, WPA-PSK or WPA)
Telephony - BT Broadband Talk settings
Internet - Info on your Internet connectivity. This includes your username and password - note that be default this is "bthomehub@btbroadband.com" (with no password) - these details aren't actually needed as authentication is done using your phone number
IP Addresses - Here you can enable/disable DHCP, define a DHCP pool, and set the Hub's IP addresses and subnet mask.
Devices - Shows the status of connected devices
Application sharing - Allows you to assign port mappings (translation of incoming packets for a port range, to a local port range). More
Firewall - Allows you to select levels of protection
Dynamic DNS - Allows you to use a service such as DYNDNS so that machines outside your network can get your IP address
System: Allows a reset, restart, and the option to set the Home Hub to get the time automatically (Enter up to 5 NTP servers). Also has the 'Remote assistance option to allow BT Support to connect in

Status: Info and access to a access to a number of event logs, including a call log and intrusion detection log




Screenshot of wi-fi setup on a BT Home Hub

If you've got a question about any of the settings, ask us and we'll take a look through the software for you.
If you need technical help with the Home Hub, we recommend you ask in the FileSaveAs Home Hub forum

We featured the BT Home Hub in Show 09 of our online radio show.

Listen to Show 09 online



Home Hub FAQ
Software version This section shows the current version number of BT Home Hub firmware.

Software version: 6.2.2.6 (rolled out from 21 Dec 06)
Software variant: AN (we've also heard of an AR)
Bootloader: 2.03 (we've also heard of a 2.05)
The software version number can be found in the bottom left-hand corner of the page used to administer your hub.

Software updates are 'pushed' to Home Hubs automatically whilst they're connected. It may take up to 2 weeks for you to get a new release.
Know of a newer version? Let us know



Home Hub on non-BT Broadband We've been asked if the BT Home Hub can be used on Broadband connections other than BT Total Broadband. Our understanding is that the BT Home Hub can only be used with BT Total Broadband, and not with other providers (such as TalkTalk, Virgin, Tiscali, AOL etc). The username and password information, plus the connecting information are all hardcoded into the Home Hub's software, so you can't edit the settings to get it running on a broadband line that's configured for another firm's Broadband service.
There is a form of workaround, but it's not for the novice, and it's not supported by BT - The BT Home Hub is a re-branded version of an older broadband router, the SpeedTouch 7G, and you can re-flash the BT Home Hub with a Speedtouch firmware image - there's information on doing this here, but be warned, it's risky.


Home Hub with another router A few months ago, we asked for help via our FileSaveAs forum to work out a way of getting our BT Home Hub to work with an existing ADSL router and BT Total Broadband. This was so that could get broadband in two different parts of our office (ready for BT Vision). Our second router is a Netgear DG834PN. We found a solution in the end, as follows:

Firstly, we needed to make sure that the Belkin router's DHCP was turned off, and did this by accessing the Belkin Router's configuration software
There didn't seem to be a way of using the Belkin router as a wi-fi receiver (to get a wireless signal from the BT Home Hub) - it was able to advertise itself as a wireless access point, but not able to make use of another router's wireless signal for Internet access. The way around this for us was to make use of a wi-fi Game Adapter (the Belkin G Wireless Network Adapter F5D7330). This has an Ethernet port and is meant to be used for connecting a games console that doesn't have wifi, to a wireless network. At the time of writing, this Network Adapter is available at Misco and PC World.
We configured the Game Adapter for wireless Internet access by connecting direct to a PC and using the Belkin configuration software. We had to make sure the Adapter was using an IP address and subnet in the range expected by the Home Hub. We then connected the adapter into the first port of our Belkin Router using an RJ45 ethernet cable.
The router recognised the connection, and other devices plugged into the other ports on the Belkin router were able to make use of the Game Adapter's Internet connection.
This solution works a treat for us, but we were surprised there wasn't an easier way. See the thread at FileSaveAs forum to discuss this.



Home Hub with Video Phones For information on hooking up a BT Video Phone to the Internet, see our review pages on the BT Videophone 1000 and the BT Videophone 2000


Logging on to the Hub To make changes to your BT Home Hub setup, you need to 'log on' to the Home Hub, from where you'll be able to access settings and diagnostic screens. You can do this from a desktop or laptop that has a working connection to the Home Hub. From a connected machine, use the web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc) and from the web browser address bar, enter the address: http://bthomehub.home and press Enter. If for any reason this doesn't work, you can also enter the IP address for the Home Hub (sometimes known as the gateway IP address). The default IP address for the BT Home Hub is http://192.168.1.254 .

Once connected, you will be prompted for a username and password (Defaults - Username: admin, Password: admin), and then you'll see the main configuration screen.

Can't connect? If you can't connect or the browser can't find your Home Hub - make sure that there's a connection to the Hub, and that there's no firewall issue preventing you from connecting. You can try a direct connection from PC to Hub using an Ethernet lead (which removes any wireless connectivity issues). Try to 'Ping' the Home Hub to verify connectivity. To do this on Windows, go to Start > Run > enter 'CMD' and press Enter, then enter PING xxxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (the Home Hub IP address) and press Enter. If you get a timeout, you don't have a direct connection to the Hub.
If you can connect from your browser, but can't log on as Admin, see the separate FAQ on Admin Access.


Port forwarding Here's a quick guide on how to set up Port Forwarding with a BT Home Hub. Let's say we want to open up port 5001 for use with an application (this happens to be the port address for the Slingbox):

Log into your Home Hub as Admin (help)
Go to Configuration > Application Sharing
Under "Assigned games and applications", there should be a line where you can select an application from a pull-down list and assign it to a connected device.
If the application you want to forward to is there, select it from the pulldown. For this walkthrough we'll assume it isn't, so look for the option above the list to create a new application (the link is labelled "Click here"
Enter a name for the application and select "Manual Entry of Port Maps", then press 'Next'
Select Protocol (TCP or UDP), port range, and the port number to translate to, then press 'Add'. See below for an example of port forwarding for Slingbox


Now, go back to Configuration > Application Sharing, and select the application you've just added from the pulldown.
Then, select the Device to want the application to connect to - the target machine (such as your PC), then press Add


That should be all you need. If you need more help, ask in the Home Hub forum



USB ports The Home Hub has two USB connectors. We've been asked what these ports are for. Here's what we know:

You can use the USB-B port to connect directly to a PC. You need special Home Hub USB drivers available from BT.
The USB-A port will be used when connecting your BT Fusion adapter to the Home Hub, and according to BT's site, this port may be used for future developments.
USB Printer sharing: There's been discussion in the Home Hub forum about printer sharing. It seems that it may be possible to connect a printer to the hub via USB and to access it via the network. Thanks to forum visitor Julioarca for telling us what worked for him:

Add your printer normally as if its attached to your machine.
Once added, right click on properties then on the ports tab.
Click add port, choose Standard TCP/IP Port, click New Port.
Enter 192.168.1.253 as the IP address, and anything you like as the name.
Click Custom, then Settings.
Choose LPR as protocol Queue Name: LPT1 check LPR byte counting as enabled, click ok.
Finish the wizard.
USB Hard Drive: Thanks to Denis Pratt for the following (Jan 07): " I recently attached a Packard Bell Store and Save External Hard Drive to the Type A USB Port of my Home Hub and found the drive became visible and usable to the whole of my home network. The initial access to the drive is slow but once accessed it appeared to provide normal access and is now being used as the central repository for our music collection."

USB Storage: We've also heard from Stephane Jaglin who reported: "I have managed to attached my Nikon D50 camera on the hub and it is recognised as a mass storage device. I use Mandriva Linux so I've reached the device by mounting it as a network hard-drive via SAMBA. The IP address for the SAMBA server is 192.168.1.253 and it needs to be detected. This is simply achieved using a program called s4mbk a GUI for SAMBA."

USB Memory Stick: We've also heard from a couple of people that have got a USB memory stick / dongle to be recognised, although seems that the stick has to be formatted to FAT32, not NTFS.

USB devices: Thanks for Gray Noone for the following comments: "You can actually add anything that's USB to this port, be it a real USB drive, camera, mp3 player, USB memory stick, or whatever has storage on it. Attach your unit to the USB A, then open "My network places", click "add network place", add network place wizard will open, click next > next > browse. This will open "Browse For Folder" click + "Entire Network" + "Microsoft Windows Network" + "Bt" + "Thomson" and click BT_7G and click ok, this will take you back to Add network place wizard. In this you will see \\Thomson\BT_7G. Click 'Next'. On the next window you will see "BT_7G on Samba Server (Thomson)". You can delete this and call it something relevant. Click next, untick "open this network place" and click 'Finish'. Now go to My network places, and you should see a folder with the name you specified. This drive can now be used by all network machines." Harry Clark also adds... "The Samba Server on the BT Home Hub uses the name "BT" as its Workgroup name, if you try to add a USB storage device to a PC on an existing network with a workgroup name other than BT you may find the BT workgroup is not available from the browse option, but if you temporarily change each PC to join the BT workgroup then it will be available from the browse option , once the device is added you can revert to your workgroup name"

We're not aware of any other uses for the USB ports at this stage. Note that connecting items like webcams directly to the Home Hub is unlikely to work, as it's not possible to install device drivers directly onto the Home Hub. If you want help or advice on the Home Hub, please ask in the Home Hub forum



Home Hub with Vista We've been asked if the BT Home Hub works with Microsoft Windows Vista. According to BT, the BT Home Hub is compatible with Windows Vista. There's a note that, as well as connecting via Ethernet or Wi-fi, the Hub can connect via USB and this requires special Windows Vista drivers.

For more on the Home Hub and Vista, see www.bt.com/vistasupport. If you need help with the Hub and Vista, please ask in the Home Hub forum.



Home Hub with a Mac Thanks to Tom for helping us out on this one. He says:

"Home Hub works perfectly with a Mac, and with a mixed Mac/ Windows network. It's advisable to use both Firefox and Safari when browsing the hub admin panel, BT sometimes write terrible code that only one or the other browser will digest correctly. The latest Firmware updates seem to have sorted most of this out."



Can't log in as Admin To get to some of the Hub's more advanced features, you need to log on as an Administrator. When you connect from your web browser, you see a popup asking you to enter a user name and password. The default username is 'admin' and the password is 'admin'. Enter these details and press OK. Then, select 'Advanced' on the left to get to the advanced features.

If you're finding that you can't log on as Admin, and you've just upgraded to Internet Explorer 7, note that this appears to be due to an incompatibility issue between the Home Hub and IE7. When we used Home Hub software version 6.1.1M, we couldn't log in as Admin, but a new firmware version, 6.1.1R was released in November 2006 to fix this. Your Home Hub should automatically pick up and download this version while connected to Broadband, although roll-out of new software updates apparently may take a few weeks to get to everyone.

Still having problems logging in? Do you have the latest version of Home Hub software? Ask for help in our Home Hub forum, including details of the error you're seeing.



Using the BT Hub Phone The BT Hub Phone 1010 is voice-over-Internet phone that will let you make voice calls over your Broadband account. It's designed to be used with the Home Hub, and the base of the 1010 phone clips neatly into the base. To use the BT Hub Phone 1010, you need the following:

A BT Broadband line and account
To have a BT Broadband Talk account. You'll be given a Broadband Talk phone number (beginning 05), and a password.
To make sure that the BT Broadband Talk account is activated on your BT Broadband line. To check that it's active on your line, go to www.bt.com/bbv and follow the instructions
To have a suitable Broadband Router - The obvious choice is the BT Home Hub.
To get your Hub Phone set up, do the following:

Insert the rechargeable batteries, and plug in the phone to charge for 16 hours
Register the handset with the BT Home Hub. Press Menu, then scroll to 'Registration > Register Handset'. Select 'Base 1' and use the system PIN of "0000". The phone will display "Base search". Press and hold the Hub's Wireless Association button for three seconds, and the Hub and Handset should pair.
That should be all you need. With BT Broadband Talk activated, and the phone 'paired' to your Home Hub, you should be able to send and receive calls over the Internet. If you're having problems, best to ask in our Home Hub forum.



File sharing We've been asked if you can share files between two Windows machines connected using a BT Home Hub within the same house. Yes - it's possible - The trick is to get all of the computers to be in the same IP address range, to make sure the Hub and all PCs use the same subnet address, and to get the PCs to use the router's Gateway IP address. You also need to enable Windows XP file sharing. The Windows XP Networking tool can be very helpful with setting up file sharing and connectivity between machines.

If you need more help, try asking in our Home Hub forum.



Leaving the hub powered on The Home Hub is designed to be left on all the time, as without it, you won't get able to get always-on Broadband, voice-over-Internet or TV-on-demand services.

Page 43 of the Home Hub manual under 'Please save energy' states: "Please disconnect the Hub from its power supply when not in use for an extended period, but remember when you do so, all connected devices (and any other devices that uses the hub to connect to your broadband line) will lose Internet access and BT Broadband Talk won't work"



Connecting via wireless We've had a couple of questions asking about how to connect a device to the Internet, wirelessly. Here are some basic instructions.

Setting up the Home Hub to allow for wireless access:

Log on to the Home Hub as the administrator user (help)
Go into the Advanced menu, and under 'Configuration', select 'Wireless'
The next screen should show the 'Wireless Access Point' settings - select 'Configure' to edit these settings, and go through the following:
Interface Enabled: Ticked
Network name (SSID): A short name for your wireless network (so you can recognise it)
Interface type: If in doubt, go for 802.11b/g
Channel Selection: Automatic
Allow multicast from Broadband Network: Ticked
Press 'Apply'
Next, from the Configuration > Wireless menu, select 'Configure security', and enter the following:
Broadcast Network name: Ticked (for ease of setup - untick for greater security if you want to hide your network)
Allow New Devices: Make sure this is set to "New stations are allowed"
Encryption: Pick a type of encryption for security. WEP is common, WPA is more secure. If you're having problems, try disabling encryption (to eliminate this as a possible problem) - note that disabling security leaves you open to attack, so enable encryption at the earliest opportunity
Encryption key: This is a unique key that other devices will need to be allowed to connect to your Home Hub
Apply these changes. Wi-fi should be enabled.
Next, you need to make sure that your Home Hub is able to assign IP addresses to devices that connect. Go to 'Configuration' > 'IP addresses'
Make sure "Use DHCP Server:" is ticked, then look at the information under DHCP pool. Make a note of the following: start address, end address, subnet mask and server address, as you may need these when setting up a wireless device
That should be enough to get the Wireless enabled. Next, go to the device you want to connect wirelessly, and go to the network setup screen. Obviously, this differs depending on what you're trying to connect with (PC, laptop, PDA, games console, etc), but below are some common things that you'll need to do:

Turn on Wireless, and browse for all available access points. Assuming you're in range, you should see the SSID of the hub. Select this access point
Assuming you turned Encryption on, you may next be prompted to enter the Encryption key for your Home Hub
That should be enough to get you going. If not, see our Can't connect via hub FAQ, to make sure you're trying to get in with the right IP address, subnet mask and Gateway details. If you need more help, best to ask in our Home Hub forum.



Can't see wireless One visitor's told us that while visiting someone with a Home Hub, he's not been able to see their Home Hub wireless network while browsing for wi-fi access. Chances are, the Home Hub has one or more of the security settings enabled. Log on to the Home Hub as an Admin user, and check the settings under 'Configuration' > 'Wireless' > 'Security'. Look at the 'Broadcast Network name' and 'Allow new devices' settings. It could be that the Hub is set not to broadcast its existence, or not to allow connection from devices that it doesn't recognise.
If you need more help, best to ask in our Home Hub forum.


Can't connect via hub We've been asked by a site visitor for help getting his PC to connect via the BT Home Hub. It's important to make sure that the PC has an IP address in a range that the BT Home Hub can cope with. Here's a few things to check if you're having problems:

Log onto the Home Hub as Admin, go into 'Configuration' > 'IP addresses', and here you'll find the IP address range that the Home Hub is set to use. It's common to enable DHCP, so that a PC will be assigned a suitable IP address when it tries to connect
On your PC, go Start > Settings > Network Connections, then the icon for your connection to the Hub. Click on the Support tab, and see what IP address, subnet mask and gateway address you have. The IP address must be in the range supported by the Hub, the subnet mask must be the same on PC and Hub, and the default gateway should be the IP address of the Hub
There's a chance that another device in your home (such as an AV sender for transmitting video to another telly) could be clashing with the standard BT Home Hub wi-fi channel. There are 13 wi-fi channels available. Perhaps change the default channel. (Advanced > Wireless > Configure > "Channel Selection:" )
Network, IP and router problems can be complex, and if you need setup help, it's probably best to ask in our Home Hub forum.



BT Broadband settings Need help with your BT Total Broadband email settings? Looking for the BT Broadband POP or SMTP settings? Having a problem sending emails via the Hub?
For connectivity settings for BT Total Broadband, see the FileSaveAs BT Broadband FAQ


Connecting a PC If you're looking to connect your PC to your Home Hub, you have two options:

You can make a physical, wired connection, by connecting an ethernet cable from the PC to one of the Ethernet sockets on the Home Hub
Add Wi-fi to your PC (if it doesn't already have a wireless connection). If you want to connect your PC to the BT Home Hub wirelessly, the cheapest and easiest way is to get yourself a USB Wi-fi adaptor.



Phone with Broadband Talk With a BT Home hub, it's possible to make and receive calls over Broadband using BT Broadband Talk, and either a BT Hub Phone, a standard telephone or a DECT (digital) phone. To use a standard or DECT phone, you'll need to use the converter that's supplied with the Home Hub. This has a green connector, and plugs into the green Phone socket at the rear of the Home Hub.

Calls placed over a handset plugged into the Hub will be routed over Broadband, and you'll benefit from the Broadband Talk rates.

Note that there are some restrictions when using a phone connected to your Home Hub: You'll have to dial your phone numbers with an area code, even for local calls. You can't make calls to the operator, to non-BT directory enquiry services, or to dial-up Internet Service Providers. Your outgoing CLI (caller ID) number will not be that of your landline phone number, meaning that people screening calls may not recognise you. Also, the service won't work if your Broadband's down, or if there's a mains power failure.



Two Home Hubs? A question from Graham: "I currently have my BT Home Hub in a room upstairs connected to a PC and I am considering getting BT Vision. If I purchased a second hub for downstairs, would both hubs work?"

Sorry, but you can't have two Home Hubs connected to a broadband-enabled phone line at the same time - you can only have one Broadband modem in use on any one line. Best option is to site your Home Hub close to your TV (for Vision), then use a USB wi-fi adapter for your PC upstairs.

Enable / disable Wi-fi To enable / disable wireless access to your Home Hub, log on as Admin, go to Configuration > Wireless and untick "Interface Enabled".


Wireless Channels By default, the BT Home Hub comes with Channel 1 enabled on the automatic session. Many have found this setting causes repeated drop outs. Apparently, the BT help desk actually recommend you use channel 9-11
for best connectivity using the manual setting. (Thanks to Andrew for this note)


Wireless security The BT Home Hub acts as a wireless access point, and to prevent other users accessing your wireless connection, you need to enable a level of security and encryption.

The Hub supports the following wi-fi security types: WEP (64 or 128bit), WPA-PSK or WPA/WPA2. The security encryption type you use can be set from the 'Advanced' > 'Configuration' > 'Wireless' > 'Security' menu. WPA is generally regarded as a better option over WEP encryption - When you select WPA, a pulldown menu appears, "WPA Version", offering WPA or WPA2 (the more complete version of the WPA protocol). With encryption, you'll need to enter a key phrase into the appropriate dialog on the Hub.

All equipment that connects to your Hub wirelessly will need to be set to the same encryption type, and you'll need to enter same key phrase into the security settings of the devices that you want to connect to the Hub.

Home Hub and PS3 Thanks for Adrian for asking about a Playstation 3 and the BT Home Hub, in Show 13. He wants to know if he can go online with the PS3 and a Home Hub using an Ethernet cable. The PS3 has an Ethernet port, and can be plugged into a router such as the BT Home Hub with a standard male-to-make RJ45 Ethernet cable. The PS3 also supports wi-fi, so cab connect to the Home Hub wirelessly.


Home Hub and Health A question from Andrew Stacey... "BT has altered the channel to 6 on my Home Hub. Does this increase the radio waves also? Are these wireless hubs safe?"

The thirteen channels used for wi-fi in Europe are all within the same frequency range, 2.4 GHz range and there's no power difference between the wi-fi channels. Channels are used to prevent clashes with other equipment on a similar frequency. Regarding wi-fi safety - wi-fi devices like the Home Hub output a fraction of the power of a mobile phone, operate over shorter distances, and you don't hold the Home Hub to your head - please see our FAQ entry Is Wi-fi safe? for more.



Resetting the hub Thanks to site visitor johnny20whales for the following:

One of the problems with the BT HomeHub is that the only apparent way to reset back to factory settings is via the browser interface (192.168.1.254) or the HubManager app. Here one logs in as the admin user (the default is username: 'admin', password: 'admin') and simply uses the soft Factory Reset (System > Reset). However this doesn't do a proper reset - it seems to leave some tables unchanged. In my case I kept coming against static addressing that I wanted to switch off which were unaffected by a software reset.

BT Support advises that a full and proper hardware reset can be done by:

Push and hold the Wireless Association button (on the back panel) for 15 seconds, until all the lights light up - then release it.
The reset process may then take several minutes.
The Hub is reset and ready for use when the Broadband and Internet lights are steady green.

Installation software The BT Home Hub is supplied with a software installation disk. We've been asked where to get hold of a copy of this CD, by a user looking to reinstall the Home Hub onto a PC.

The good news is, that you don't actually need to install software onto your PC or Mac to allow you to set up the Home Hub. The Home Hub is pre-loaded with software, and all you need to do is use a web browser on a machine connected to the Home Hub, and enter the address of the Home Hub to get access to the setup screen - more info

If you'd be happier with a CD - give BT a call on 0800 800 150 for a replacement.



Remote access We've been asked if the Home Hub supports remote access - so that you can connect to your Hub from outside the network - perhaps from work, over the Internet, maybe to change port forwarding.

We know this is possible with some routers, but there's no obvious setting in the BT Home Hub software to support this. We do know of one workaround, to use the excellent www.gotomypc.com service - this lets you access your home PC from work, and therefore access your BT Home Hub from your home PC's browser. Nifty, and there's a free trial.



Restricting access (Mac address) Site visitor Robert asked us if it's possible to get the Home Hub to only allow wi-fi access by certain machines using the unique MAC address of a machine. The answer is yes, and here's how to do it...

Log in as Admin, go to Advanced, and go to 'Configuration' > 'Wireless' > 'Configure security'.

Then go to "Allow New Devices:" and set this to "New stations are allowed by registration", and press 'Apply'.

To add a new device, go to 'Configuration' > 'Devices', and there's an option to get the Hub to scan for available wireless devices. You can edit a discovered device and assign it permission to connect via the Hub.



Setting the time To set the time and date on the Home Hub, do the following:

Log on to the Home Hub via a web browser (going to http://bthomehub.home/) as Admin, and Go to Advanced.
Go to System > Time
Here, you have two options - automatic time setting (using an Internet-based clock), or a manual option to enter the time and date.
We recommend you go for 'Auto Configuration'. To use this, you need to specify an Internet time server. One that works for us is 'europe.pool.ntp.org'

We've heard from a visitor that, after changing the time and date settings on their BT Hub Phone 1010, the time changes itself. We suspect this is because the time on the Home Hub is synchronised between Hub and Handset, and the Hub may not be on the correct time.


Restricting access (Time) One visitor's asked: "Is there any way of restricting devices connected to the hub to certain connection times. I had a Voyager 205 router before the hub and this was allowed."
If you know, please let us know


Quick questions I have a laptop which is wireless enabled. Do I need a USB wireless Adaptor, so I can browse the net without wires and cables?

If your laptop supports wi-fi, you can surf and email via the the BT Home Hub without the need to use a USB adapter
Can the BT Home Hub handle two laptops using the Internet at the same time?

Yes - No problem. The Home Hub supports multiple simultaneous Internet connections
Should I connect to the Hub wirelessly, or via an Ethernet cable?

Connecting via Ethernet offers a faster and more robust connection between a PC and a router. Speeds up to 100Mbps are possible. Wi-fi is more prone to interference and is less secure. Top speed is 54Mbps. Wi-fi is obviously more convenient than running cables around your home. As your Broadband speed is likely to be less than 8Mbps, the speed difference is unlikely to affect your Internet download speed.
How can I change the primary IP address and/or subnet mask of the BT Home Hub?

You have to connect to your Home Hub using Telnet. There's a stack of info on how to do this at LittleHome
Go to www.bt.com/btbroadband/ for more on BT Total Broadband