Use your spare home hub as a wireless dongle!
Your PC not got a wireless card? Can't afford the XBox dongle?
But you have a two Home Hubs (Version 1)?
Look no further. You can use the spare hub as a wifi dongle for the PC or XBox to be connected. The XBox or the PC connect as though they were on Ethernet, so no need to put in Wireless Keys etc. Just plug in!
The basis of the above setup is a simple case of the Wireless repeater connection article.
The disadvantages are that the wireless can only be WEP encrypted (BT hub's default) It will also NOT work with the new Version 2.0 Home Hub, both Master hub and slave dongle hub must be the V1.0 versions.
The significant requirements are:
- Ethernet card and cable required for the item to be enabled with wireless.
- Dongle hub to have DHCP and firewall disabled.
- Dongle hub to have its own fixed IP address within the master hub's private pool range.
- Dongle Hub is connected by WDS to the master.
Any ADSL router modem, not just Home Hub, can be used as master if it supports WDS, but the IP settings on the dongle hub would need to be changed from the text below, to suit the master in use.
For more details of troubleshooting etc see main article.
The process is much easier if you have two PCs, one connected to the master and one connected to the dongle hub being set up.
If you have only one PC you will have to disconnect, re-connect and reboot the PC to each hub in turn.
The master hub is connected to the PC by ethernet during setup, and is also connected to the ADSL filter and the BT Internet system.
The dongle hub is connected to a PC by ethernet during the setup and
no other connections. I would strongly recommend against trying to set up
any hub using wifi as it causes major headaches. Always use Ethernet cable
to set up initially.
Reset all hubs to start
If you have many complex settings already in the master hub you may not want to do this, but some settings may prevent repeating successfully. so I recommend starting from a clean slate by doing a "hard reset".
the original V1 hub do this by holding in the wireless association button
on the back for 15 seconds or so, until all lights come on and a click is
heard, then release the button and wait for the lights to come back as they
were (about 5 minutes)
On the master hub which is connected to a PC by ethernet cable and
connected to the ADSL wait for the Broadband, Internet and Data lights to
come back on steady. The phone light will only come back if you have
Broadband Voice and also you reactivate it at www.bt.com/bbv.
On the dongle hub which is connected to a PC by ethernet but no ADSL connection wait for the data light to come back steady.
In either hub of either type the wireless light may also come back.
You may have to reboot the PC to regain access to the hub after a reset.
Set up Master hubThere is little to setup in the master. However you need to go into the hub's admin at http://bthomehub.home and:
- Note the channel that the hub us running on, in Advanced, Wireless Config. then set the channel on MANUAL to that channel.
- Note the SSID of the hub, also printed on the hub's back label)
- Note the WEP key of the hub, also printed on the back label by the SSID usually.
Set up Slave (Dongle) Hub
You are recommended to use 126.96.36.199 firmware on the slave for best results,
but may not be strictly necessary (see 188.8.131.52 article)
Connect to the slave hub by ethernet (if necessary disable wireless on PC)
You are strongly recommended for the duration of the setup to set up the
PC "network connection" with a fixed IP address of 192.168.1.100, subnet
of 255.255.255.0, Gateway of 192.168.1.254 and DNS of 192.168.1.254.
Go to http://192.168.1.254 to get into hub manager. You may get a screen saying that the hub is not connected to the internet. Do NOT hit the "Try Again" button, but re-enter the IP address, or refresh the browser, to get the hub's Home Page.
Click on “advanced”, then “Continue to
User Name on older firmwares is admin and Password is admin. If you have 6.2.6.E or later it's whatever you changed the password to after the serial number window)
If you have older firmware like 184.108.40.206, change the password.
Go to System, Admin Access, change admin password to mypassword2 (for example).
You will then be asked for your name and NEW password mypassword2 - enter these to continue .
In Configuration/Wireless/ Configure change SSID from BTHomeHub-xxxx to "slavehub" and Set wireless to manual, then when the table appears select the channel that you noted from the Master hub in previous step, then hit "apply"
In Configuration/.Wireless/Security change WEP Encryption key to the same as the master hub's key which you noted earlier, and hit “apply”
In Firewall, turn off the firewall by selecting "Disable" radio button, and hit “next”
We now need to set a fixed IP address in the slave hub within the range of the master hub's private IP address pool.
Click on Configuration/.IP addresses
Uncheck DHCP box, and hit "Apply"
You will see two blank boxes for adding IP addresses.
Type 192.168.1.175 in the first box and 255.255.255.0 in the next box and hit “Add”
Now we need to access the slave hub using its new IP address.
Enter http://192.168.1.175 in the browser address bar and hit enter or click Go
You may get a screen saying that the hub is not connected to the internet. Do NOT hit the "Try Again" button, but re-enter http://192.168.1.175 to get the slave hub's Home Page.
Now click on “advanced”, then “Continue to Advanced”
User Name is admin and Password is mypassword2
Go to IP Addresses.
You will now have a stack of 4 static IP addresses with the new one you just added at the bottom of the stack.
Delete the top 3 working from the top deleting 192.168.1.254 last of all.
You will get a warning that you will lose connectivity - hit “OK” (You will not lose connectivity because you are using the new IP address!)
In Configuration/.wireless/repeater section scan for wireless access points. (OK the warning message about losing connectivity). Wait a few minutes for it to scan.
In the list tick the SSID of the master hub then hit "apply"
Reconnect PC to Master hub
Go to http://192.168.1.254 to get into hub manager
Click on “advanced”, then “Continue to Advanced”
in Configuration/.wireless/repeater section scan for wireless access points.(OK the warning message)
In the list tick the dongle-hub ("slavehub") then hit "apply"
Now start using it!
Disconnect, reconnect and Reboot the devices you
wish to be connected to the master or the dongle hub.
The XBox or the PC connect as though they were on Ethernet, so no need to put in Wireless Keys etc. Just plug in! The master hub will issue the IP address to your XBox or PC via the dongle hub.
Use http://192.168.1.175 to get into dongle hub manager if required
use http://192.168.1.254 to get into master hub manager if required
You can connect to any hub, either wirelessly or by cable as
convenient, and where the strongest signal can be found.
You can use any wireless channel so long as all hubs are on the same channel. However some channels may not repeat properly depending on the hub and the firmware.
You can use any SSIDs and encryption key but encryption method must
use WEP. WPA will not work in a repeater situation. There are other ways to
stealth your network. The WEP encryption keys MUST be the same on all hubs.
Using two home hubs may mean that each has 192.168.1.253 assigned to their USB-A socket and you may not be able to successfully mount a drive on the USB-A without more work, because the PC may be confused as to which is which.
I suggest using different admin passwords as above, as it's easy to lose track of which hub you are logged into.
If you have Firefox or similar,I suggest bookmarking the two hub addresses on the Bookmarks Toolbar.
You may get better results by having both hubs running 220.127.116.11 firmware locked-in (See link above)
Advanced: If you need to connect directly to the non networked dongle
hub after switching off DHCP you may have to set a fixed IP on the PC, but
if connecting to the dongle hub as networked above the master should issue
an IP address to the PC as normal.
Don't ask me - experiment!
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