BT Home Hub Help - The USB Socket
The BT Home Hub is equipped with a USB socket. We look at what the socket's capable of, and what you can connect to.
The BT Home Hub comes with a USB connector. Earlier versions of the Hub also has a USB-B connector as well - but just what are these USB connectors for?
Here's what we know:
- The USB-A port was intended to 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".
- On older Hubs, there was a USB-B port, which could be used to connect directly to a PC. You need special Home Hub USB drivers available from BT.
On this page, we list some of the other uses for the USB socket(s):
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 BT Home Hub via USB and to access it via the network. There's some notes about using the Home Hub as a Print Server here. Also, 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."
We've also heard from Paul Wilson on this subject, but with less positive results: "I connected my brand new external 500GB Seagate freeagent desktop to the home hub. The hard drive was overloaded by the extra power the hub provided and broke. It now won't recognise in any XP computer and Seagate are sending me a replacement unit." - You've been warned. Paul advises strongly that you back up your hard drive before trying to use an external drive via a hub.
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."
Drives must be FAT32:
Memory sticks / dongles / external drives seem to need to formatted to FAT32, not NTFS. Thanks to Richard Paige for recommending fat32format as an app for getting an external drive formatted to FAT32
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"
Thanks to Mike Rowan for adding the following: " I tried to connect a USB hard drive from the but could not get to BT_7G. I then tried going into 'My network places', 'tools','folder options','view' and ticked 'Automatically search for network folders and printers', click apply and ok. Closed 'My Network Places', then reopened it I got a 'Local Network' heading with 'BT-7G on Samba Server (Thomson)' and 'SharedDocs on mine' folders added.
Clicking on the 'BT-7G on Samba Server (Thomson)' opened straight into the hard drive allowing full access.
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.
Need more Hub help?
We have a number of other pages offering help and advice on the Home Hub:
- Home Hub Security Settings
- Home Hub Port Forwarding
- Home Hub Phones and Telephony
- Logging in to your Home Hub
- Home Hub USB sockets
- Wireless settings on a Home Hub
- Troubleshooting Home Hub Problems
- Using a BT Home Hub with a second router
If you've got any questions we've not covered, or need help and advice, please ask in our Home Hub forum - Sign up and post a new message.
When posting - please make sure you include details of your computer's operating system (XP, Vista, etc), which Service Packs have been applied, the software version your Hub's running, and how you're connecting (Ethernet, wi-fi or USB)
Other Home Hub resources:
- Hub Information: BT Home Hub Basics
- Common Questions: Home Hub FAQ , Home Hub Audio Guide
- BT Fon Help: BT Fon Information
- Internet on the move? Mobile Broadband help
- Home Hub Chat: Home Hub Forum
- Help with wireless? Wi-fi Networking Advice
PODCAST FEATURE: The "Unofficial Guide to the Home Hub" is a free downloadable audio file, helping with many setup and config issues.
Listen to the show online, or download it to your MP3 player.
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