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This page was originally part of the Jarviser Home Hubs Files. They are now housed here at FileSaveAs to help users of the BT Home Hub.

Typical Home-Hub Large Network

large network

If you want a larger network, unless you want to connect most items wirelessly, you will need to get an Ethernet Switch, such as Netgear

If you want to share files and printers do NOT use the USB connection from PC to hub, use only ethernet.

The switch is connected to one of the hub's Ethernet sockets. The other home hub ethernet socket can be used for another network item, or for BT Vision.

Printers can be Windows Shared (using the relevant network wizards), or you can get a "network Ready" printer which connects by ethernet to the switch.

You can also connect wirelessly to the hub, or to the switch if it has Wi-Fi capability.

You can use a spare hub as a switch but will only give one or two extra ports. See Wired repeater connectionand Wireless repeater connection for details.


Windows Networks

Generally the hardest thing you need to do is set up a network in Windows on each machine. There are many helper documents in the web, but why not take a look at my How to set up a Windows Network article in one of my "How To" web pages.


How it works

Modern ethernet networks are virtually plug-n-play. The Home Hub has something called a DHCP server which looks at the network devices and assigns an "IP address" to each one, starting at and up to The hub itself has an IP address of

So if you have 3 PCs, one by ethernet and two by Wi-Fi, the hub will assign addresses .64, .65 and .66 to the computers. In order to do that the network devices need to be set to acquire IP address automatically.

An XP computer controls this in the Network Connection Properties which is accessed by Start / Network Connections / then right click on the relevant adapter shown, then highlight the line "Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)" and click on Properties. The default is "Obtain an IP Address Automatically".

On a Vista or Windows 7 Machine it's Start, then type in "Network", then click on "Network" at the top of the list, then when in the Network and sharing Center click on "Manage Network Connections".
The process is similar except there are two TCP/IP lines, one for the old version 4, and one for the new version 6 protocol.

If you have a device which must have a fixed IP address, or if you prefer to have your PCs with a fixed address, I would advise to have it or higher to avoid conflicting with the automatically assigned addresses.

The Switch

The switch is just like a 4-gang or 5-gang extension lead for ethernet. Plug and play it the same way as you would an extension lead for the power supply to the desk.


USB Shared Drive

USB devices can be attached to the Home Hub's USB-A socket. Drives must be formatted to FAT32 and must be self-powered, with the exception of USB Flash (thumb) drives. Home Hubs, both V1 and V1.5, are USB-1 which is relatively very slow (12Mbps max) but generally host a hard drive successfully. The Version 2.0 hubs (Type A) originally hosted a hard disk with some success, but introduction of new firmware, and in 2009 the "Type B" Version 2 hub may mean that adding a hard disk on the USB socket is fruitless.

However if you want to try see my how-to
The Hub port should then appear as a drive in Windows Explorer.

In VISTA and Windows 7 it's Start, then Computer, then Map network Drive, then as above

However if you have two or more home hubs networked rather than one home hub plus another make, all the home hubs will have the USB port on the same IP address (.253) and conflicts usually prevent reliable connection.
If you have all V1 hubs you can degrade all the home hubs except the master to speedtouch firmware which does not use for the USB-A, so the drive now maps correctly on the master hub still using the BT firmware and use the hard drive on the master only.


Network Hard Disk

If you purchase an external hard disk with ethernet connectivity you should connect to the Hub or to the Switch and the hub will assign an IP address to the device. If you then go into the Hub on, then select Advanced, then Continue to Advanced, then Configuration, then Devices. You will see a new device and an IP address which you should take a not of. (It will say Unknown-nn-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa, the latter part of which is the MAC address of the drive.)

If you have problems with the hub admin password see here.

Click on Edit and tick the box that says "Always use the same address". That means the IP address assigned on this connect event will always be assigned to that device on future connects.

We can now connect to it using Windows' "Map network Drive" which is in Start/Explore in XP/2000 and in Start/Computer in Vista/Win7.

Select a drive letter, type in \\192.168.1.nn\ where nn is the IP assigned to the device, then hit the Browse button. Select the drive, or folder on the drive.

Using old routers as an ethernet switch

If you add a firewall and a DHCP server to a switch it becomes known as a "router" (in the UK pronounced "rooter" but in most parts of the USA "rowter") . So if you want to use an old router (even an old home hub) as a switch it's important to disable the firewall, switch off the DHCP server, and give the device a fixed address in the range I described above.

The Home Hub is a switch plus a firewall plus a DHCP server plus an ADSL modem.

If you want to know more see here.


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