Reuse a spare BT Home Hub as a Wireless Access Point

This article was rewritten and updated on 9th April 2017.

BT is a popular Internet service provider in the UK.  BT subscribers receive a free router called the “BT Home Hub“.  A new model of Home Hub is launched every few years, and as BT never takes the old ones back, many people have an old Hub tucked away somewhere, gathering dust.

This post explains how to convert an old BT Home Hub 5.0 or Home Hub 4.0 into a second wireless access point (“AP”) on your network, strengthening and extending the wireless signal around your home or office.  Although the details are for those routers, the basic procedure works for other BT and perhaps non-BT routers.  In particular, notes have been included for the BT Home Hub 3.0 and the now ancient Home Hub 1.0 – these are indented and written in italics.  Many users have also had success in reusing Home Hub models 2.0 and 6.0 (BT’s latest router, also known as the Smart Hub).

Summary

In summary, this procedure comprises resetting the old Home Hub to factory defaults, then logging into the Hub using the default IP address and password, disabling DHCP, and giving the Hub a suitable new IP address.  And finally, running an ethernet cable between the old Home Hub and your managing router.

Note: During test, my local network was managed by a Netgear router. But the managing router is not part of this procedure. You are not required to access or modify it in any way, except when running a cable at the end of the process. Only the Hub being re-purposed is changed.

Procedure

Start with the Home Hub not connected to anything except its power supply.

Hit the Reset Button

Power on the Home Hub 5.0 (or 4.0). Locate the recessed “Reset” button on the rear, towards the right hand side.  Using a paper clip or similar, hold down the Reset button 20 seconds or so.

The light on the front of the hub will go green. After about 20 seconds it will begin to blink, then turn solid blue for 15 seconds, then flashing amber for 15 seconds, before settling to solid amber. A few seconds later, the “b” will start to blink red. The Hub will remain in this condition. Proceed as follows.

Home Hub 3.0 users:
The Hub will reset (the power light will glow dimly amber, then flash, then the “Wireless” LED will light up blue, then both LEDS will settle to blue).

Home Hub 1.0 users: Press the “Wireless” button on the back of the Home Hub 1 and hold it down for 15 seconds. You will then hear a click and the Hub’s green LEDs will all illuminate. Wait a couple of minutes for the Hub to reset and reboot.

Resetting the Home Hub to factory defaults will clear out old settings that might otherwise prevent this procedure from working. For example, it will deactivate the “BT Fon” feature, also known as “BT Wi-Fi”.  If left active, BT Fon would prevent DHCP from being disabled. Also, if you have forgotten the admin password for the old Home Hub, the reset will get around that.

Instructions for resetting other BT routers can be found here.

Connect your PC Directly to the Hub

De-activate wireless on your PC. If it is connected to your home/office network with a physical network cable, disconnect it now. The PC needs to be completely isolated from your network.

Connect a spare Ethernet cable from your PC directly to the Home Hub. Use any of the Hub’s Ethernet ports (they are coloured yellow).

Your PC should then receive an IP address from the Home Hub, via DHCP.  (If you are curious to know, this address will probably be 192.168.1.64).

Reset the Admin Password

Start a browser on your PC and surf to the Hub default IP http://192.168.1.254.

You should see the Hub’s main home page. Click on “Advanced Settings”. The Settings page appears, with a message beginning “To prevent unauthorised access to your Hub’s settings, BT Hub Manager is password protected…“. Enter the default Admin password as directed. It can be found on the Hub’s white (detachable) panel, labelled “Admin Password for Hub Manager”. Note that the it is case sensitive. Click the OK button.

Home Hub 3.0 users:
You should see the Hub’s “Please Reset your Password” page. Enter the admin password located on the pull-out tab of the Home Hub 3.0, as directed. It is not case sensitive.  Also enter a new admin password where indicated, and enter it again to confirm.  You can also enter a hint, but it is not required. Finally, click the “Change Password and open Hub Manager” button. You will be presented with the Hub’s home page.

Home Hub 1 users: Instead of the admin password, you must enter the serial number found on the back of the Hub, as directed by the web page.  Also enter a new password, and again to confirm. Then click the “Change Password and open Hub Manager” button.  The home page opens.  Now proceed to the next Home Hub 1 section below.

Note: Some Firefox users have reported seeing JavaScript errors at this point – switching to the Chrome browser fixed it for Ed Iglehart, see his coment below.

Note: A couple of people have complained of not being able to surf to the hub at all. If this happens to you, try what Josh suggested in his comment below. That is, “go to File Explorer, then on the left it will say network, open that. If the hub is connected by Ethernet then it will show up with something like “BT Hub”. Click on that.”

Reconfigure Wireless Settings

Now Click “A-Z” at the very top right. Then click W -> Wireless Security – 2.4 Ghz.

Under “2.4 GHz Wireless Configuration”, make sure that Security is set to “WPA2 Only (Recommended)”. By default, it should be already. Under “Wireless key (WPA2)”, delete the default key and enter one of your own, and remember it. This is the password that clients will use to connect to the wireless network. Leave all other options as the default.

Click the Apply button at the bottom of the page. The page will reload and you should see a “Changes applied” message at the very bottom, confirming the new settings.

Note that by default, the key you have just set also applies for the Hub’s 5 Ghz wireless network.

Home Hub 3.0 users:
Under Wireless Configuration, make sure “WPA & WPA2 (Recommended)” is selected. By default, it should be already. Enter a Wireless key. This is the password that will be required for clients to connect. Click the Apply button at the bottom of the page. The page will reload and you should see a “Changes applied” message at the very bottom, confirming the new settings

HH1 users: On the Hub home page, select from the menu on the left: Advanced -> Continue to Advanced -> (enter “admin” and the password just created) -> Wireless -> Security.  Select the “Use WPA PSK Encryption” radio button.  Enter a wireless password (called a “key”) just below that.  And change the “WPA-PSK Version” drop-down to “WPA+WPA2“. Then click “Apply”.  Then jump straight to the next Home Hub 1 section below, where DHCP is deactivated and a new IP address allocated.

Allocate New Hub IP Address

The Hub IP address needs to be changed now. By default it is set to 192.168.1.254, and this would almost certainly clash with your managing router. What’s needed is a new IP address compatible with your home network, and which is not already in use by something else.

Click “A-Z” at the very top right. Then click D -> DHCP Settings. Under “Hub IP Gateway Address”, enter a new IP address for the hub. It should be in the same network, but outside the DHCP ranges of the router managing your network. For example, if your network is controlled by another BT Home Hub (eg. model 1,2,3,4 or 5), those routers by default allocate DHCP addresses in the range 192.168.1.64 to 192.168.1.253. You would therefore choose a new IP address outside of that range. I would recommend 192.168.1.63, but you could also use 192.168.1.62, (or 61, or 60, …).

After you have entered the new IP address for the Hub, click the “Apply” button and answer “Yes” to the “Are you sure?” question.  You will then see an error message about the page failing to load, or it will not load properly.  Don’t worry, this is expected because you just changed the Hub’s IP address.

In your PC’s browser, surf to the new IP address of the Hub, ie. the address you have just chosen.  For example, http://192.168.1.63. The Hub’s home page should load again, proving that the new IP address works.

Deactivate DHCP

Now click “A-Z” at the very top right. Then select D -> DHCP Settings. again.  Enter the admin password if asked.  Under “DHCP Server“, set the “Enable:” radio button to “No“.

Click “Apply” and then answer “Yes” on the “Are you sure?” page.  After a few moments, the page reloads. You should see a message at the very bottom: “Changes applied”. Proceed to the next section for connecting your Hub to the wired network.

Home Hub 1 users: From the left hand menu, select “IP Addresses“.  On the page that appears, uncheck the “Use DHCP Server” tick box.  Below that, under “IP addresses“, you should see these addresses:

10.0.0.138/24
172.16.1.254/24
192.168.1.254/24

Click “Edit” next to the address that matches the rest of your network. For example if your other network devices are addressed like 192.168.1.something, choose 192.168.1.254.  Enter a new IP address for the Hub.  Following the same background notes as for the Hume Hub 3 above, your new address should most likely be 192.168.1.63.  Therefore, change “192.168.1.254” to “192.168.1.63” and then click the “Apply” buttonThe page will then fail to load properly.  Don’t worry, this is expected because you just changed the Hub’s IP address.  In your PC’s browser, surf to the new IP address of the Hub, ie. the address you have just chosen.  For example, http://192.168.1.63. The Hub’s home page should load again, proving that the new IP address works.

Connect the Hub to your Wired Network

Now remove the spare Ethernet cable from your PC and the Hub.

Connect the Home Hub to your local network You can do this by using a long Ethernet cable. Plug one end into any of the Hub’s yellow Ethernet ports. Plug the other end into a vacant port on your managing router. Now the Hub 5.0 is part of your home network. And client devices connecting wirelessly to it will be able to access the rest of your network and to the Internet, using your general Internet connection.

Alternatively, if your Hub 3 is a long way from your managing router, and you don’t want to trail a cable, you could use a pair of power line connectors – one connected to the Home Hub, the other to your managing router. Once the connectors are paired up, the effect will be the same as if you had used an Ethernet cable.

Test your New Wireless Access Point

Activate wireless on your PC and check the list of available Wi-Fi access points. You should see the new Home Hub AP, which will be recognizable from its SSID.

Connect to the new AP. You will be prompted for the wireless key chosen above. Enter the key and your PC will connect wirelessly to the Home Hub. Try to connect from other devices too, perhaps a smartphone or tablet. In each case, you will need to enter the wireless password.

Flashing Lights on the Hub

At the end of this procedure, users of Hub models 4.0 and 5.0 will notice that the Hub light is now permanently amber and the broadband LED, shaped like a “b”, blinks red. Unfortunately there is no way to stop this, except to acquire some black insulation tape and use it to block the lights.

NB There is an option to dim the hub lights, which helps somewhat. Log in to your re-purposed Hub and go to A-ZH – “Hub Lights, change brighness“. Enter the admin password if asked. Then select “Brightness: Low” and click Apply. The message “Changes applied” appears and the hub lights immediately dim.

Conclusion

If all has gone to plan, you now have your second AP up and running. Wireless users in your home/office can connect to whichever AP has the strongest signal in their location.

Set a Different 5GHz SSID (Optional)

The BT home Hub (models 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0) is dual band, meaning it comes with an extra wireless channel on 5 Ghz. Modern wireless clients (circa 2015 onwards) can connect at the higher frequency and obtain a clearer, faster, less congested signal. Meanwhile, older devices will continue to connect using the slower channel

By default, the 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz channels use the same SSID (same name). I like to give them different names, so that they stand out in the list of APs when your client device (phone, tablet) does a wireless scan. If you want to give your 5GHz channel a special name, proceed as follows.

Surf to the IP address of your re-purposed Hub and login. At the top right, click A-Z and then W and Wireless Security – 5 Ghz.

The Wireless SSID will be set to something like “BTHub5-XYZ3”. Edit the field and add “-5Ghz”, for example “BTHub5-XYZ3-5Ghz”. Click the Apply button. The page will reload and you should see the familiar “Changes applied” message at the very bottom.

Your 5GHz network is now renamed and you should see “BTHub5-XYZ3-5Ghz” among the list of devices found when your phone/tablet/laptop does a wireless scan (but only on devices which are 5 Ghz enabled, likely to be those purchased from 2016 onwards).

A Note on SSIDs

Some readers have asked if it is worth setting the SSID of the new wireless access point to be the same as another existing SSID, for example the one on your main wireless AP, provided by your main wireless router. It is allowable to have both the same, but I would not personally recommend it. If the names are the same, it is difficult to know which AP your device is connecting to.

On the other hand, with different SSID names, you can see both in the list of APs on your client device (eg tablet), making it easy to choose whichever you prefer. Also, most devices will connect to the strongest signal by default. If you roam out of range of one, your smartphone, say, should pick up on the other automatically, if it is stronger/closer.
Or you can force it by disconnecting, then letting your phone/tablet reconnect to whichever is the nearer and stronger AP.

Some Background on DHCP

If you have followed the above procedure, wireless clients will be able to connect to your new AP. They are allocated an IP address by the DHCP server running on your main/managing router. There is no DHCP server on the re-purporsed Hub. It was deactivated as part of the procedure).

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Neil Pellinacci for the basic process. I just added the factory reset bits after encountering an inability to disable DHCP due to BT Fon settings.

258 thoughts on “Reuse a spare BT Home Hub as a Wireless Access Point

  1. i’m curious, do you think it would be possible to have the secondary hub connected to the main hub via wifi alone. Then connect devices by ethernet to the secondary hub in order to receive an internet and network connection. In my case i have a home hub 5 and want to route through a home hub 2

  2. You’re talking about re-using a Home Hub as a wireless bridge. After a bit of Googling I don’t think it is possible, or at least not easy. There are some procedures out there but the ones I saw would involve re-flashing the firmware on your Hub 2.

    Apart from that, the link is likely to be a bit flakey, as your devices hanging off the hub 2 will all have to share the wireless bandwidth. Perhaps better to look at running a cable, or if that’s not practical, get a pair of powerline adapters.

  3. Jim, thank you for the post. It all seems very logical. My one stumbling block is getting admin access in the first place. I have a home hub 3. I have factory reset countless times, but each time I try to enter the admin page via 192.168.1.254 it times out after a few minutes and I get a “this web page is not available” message. Any ideas? I really don’t want to throw this perfectly good, but at the moment useless product away. Btw I’m on sky (BT engineer gave me this router last month after we got hit by lightening, but it won’t work without a BT internet connection.
    Many thanks in advance

    • Go to file explorer then on the left it will say network, open that. After if the hub is connected by Ethernet then it will show up with bt hub something click on that

      • Hi
        I am having the same problem, I can’t find the BT hub although everything is connected and I have just bought a new cable.
        Any ideas would be fantastic.

        • Hi Tim. I am not sure why the hub is not showing up for you. It could be because your PC is not receiving an IP address properly. Please try the suggestions in the next couple of comments – namely, use commands ifconfig -a, ipconfig or winipcfg to check that your PC has an IP address.

  4. What about the preceding step – did your PC receive a IP address from the hub ? On Windows it can be checked with “ipconfig” in a command window, on Linux, “ifconfig -a”.

    • Like DrewM my browser won’t find the router – and ‘ipconfig’ is not recognized as a command by my command window. I’m on BT.

      • You don’t say what version of Windows you are using, but try the command “winipcfg” and check the output shows a valid IP address. If that doesn’t work, try “ifconfig -a”. Different commands work in different versions of Windows. If all else fails, google “how to get your IP address in [your version of windows]”.

  5. Just done this with hub 1.5, followed all the steps and it has worked a treat. We now have wifi in the room above the garage. Many thanks

  6. Hi, have followed your method and it all seems to be going well (BT HH 1.5). I have changed IP etc and got wifi connection but on connecting my ethernet cable to BT Hub 3 I do not gain any connection to the internet… Any suggestions would be appreciated, Thanks.

    • Hi Chris, is sounds like you are having trouble with the very last bit of the procedure – connecting your HH 1.5 to the rest of your network. You need to run an ethernet cable from your HH 1.5 (now repurposed as a wireless access point) to your main router, the HH 3. Just connect an ethernet cable from any free port on the HH 1.5 to any free port on the HH 3, that shoud do it.

      You could alternatively connect the HH 1.5 to any free ethernet port on your main network. For example, my main router (HH 3) is upstairs, and connects by a long cable to an ethernet switch downstairs. My old HH 1 (repurposed as a wireless access point) is also downstairs, connected by an ethernet cable to a free port on the ethernet switch.

  7. Probably obvious but not to me – how do you connect from the main to the slave hub – i.e. do you run CAT5 from the main hub to an ethernet port on the slave hub or to the Broadband port?

      • On the penultimate paragraph of Jim’s article it states
        “Alternatively, if your Hub 3 is a long way from your managing router, and you don’t want to trail a cable, you could use a pair of power line connectors – one connected to the Hub 3, the other to your managing router.  Once the connectors are paired up, the effect will be the same as if you had used an Ethernet cable.”
        I have a spare Homehub 5, have undertaken all the steps the article suggests – apparently successfully – and connected the Homehub 5 to the range extender. I have tried both the yellow and the red WAN port for the Ethernet cable and neither work. Any ideas please?

        • Hi Jonathan. You mention a “range extender”. I am not sure what role that plays in your home network or how it is set up. The article makes no reference to range extenders. I would recommend wiring your re-purposed hub to your main hub directly with Ethernet cable – or if that is not possible, use powerline adapters. When making the connection, use only the yellow ports. These are Ethernet. Ethernet ports are coloured yellow on all BT routers. Cheers, Jim.

    • Right first time MT1832. Run a CAT5 cable from any free ethernet port on the main hub to a free ethernet port on the slave hub. This will make your slave hub part of your main network.

      • No. You are talking about a wireless bridge, which would be a completely different procedure. See my reply to Dominic above for more info. Also, if you were connecting the two hubs by wireless, you might as well just connect your end device (phone, tablet, whatever) straight to the master hub via wireless and not bother with the second hub/AP.

  8. Hi,

    Having trouble with my home hub 3 while following this guide.

    I live in an accommodation block with free Internet via RJ45 sockets in each room. I want to use the hub to convert the wired connection to wireless for use with tablets etc…

    I IPconfig-ed the settings while connected to the wall and got a gateway of 192.168.2.1 and an assigned IP of 192.168.2.79.

    Following this guide I successfully changed the hub IP to 198.168.1.60 and reconnected fine. I then remembered the “2” in the network address, after changing my hub IP to 198.168.2.60 I now can’t reach it via explorer. Not on the new our old IPs, or on the default after a hard reset.

    Help would be appreciated.
    Jordan

    • Hi Jordan
      As I understand it, you are supplied with an ethernet outlet already (RJ45), and you are just using the HH3 to add a wireless facility to that. I think it might be possible, but your accommodation block is using an unusual IP range (192.168.2.x).

      Please can you post the netmask shown by the ifconfig output.

      You connected your PC to the wall and typed ifconfig, showing an address of 192.168.2.79. This seems to indicate your building has a “core router” which is giving out IP addresses over DHCP, and it gave you the address shown. In order to use your Home Hub as an AP, one of the things you need to know is the DHCP assignment range of the master router. You need to know that, so you can give your Hub a permanent IP address outside of that range. The only way to find out is to ask your administrator, can you do that ?

      I would advise you to start the procedure over again from the start, that should give you access to your Home Hub again. Proceed but with the following modifications:

      In the above section entitled “Deactivate DHCP” choose the IP address 192.168.1.254/24 and change it to 192.168.2.x, where x is outside the master router’s DHCP address range. (As a test, you could just choose a value, like 192.168.2.240, but if you do that there is an ongoing danger that your master router could assign the same address to another client in the building).

      Jim

  9. Hi all – I now have two BT HH5s – can I take it that the procedures are essentially those as described above with regard to using one as a repeater?
    Thanks for any help / guidance. Geoff

  10. Hi, I have a netgear router as my main one, and a load of HH3s to use as repeaters, i only need to use one of them though, how can i network these, to use the HH3 as a repeater and a switch as well please? i seem to have connected them, but the loading time is rubbish, it takes forever to load anything now.

    • Hi Haydn
      You should be able to follow the procedure in the article to make one of your spare HH3s a second AP. Having done that, you can also use the spare ethernet ports on the HH3 to provide wired access to your home network. What I am saying is: the extra ethernet ports automatically provide wired access. This is what I do with my HH1.

      Jim

  11. Hi Jim
    Many thanks for putting up this resource. I have a BT HH3 which I am trying to set up as a repeater. I have changed the main router’s DHCP range to 192.168.0.2-192.168.0.200. I have turned DHCP off on HH3, but after entering the address as 192.168.0.201 for the hub, nothing happens after hitting apply. It just sits there trying to load the page and after failing load, the address is not accessible via browser. I have tried changing the address to random, say 192.168.1.01 but looks like HH3 is resisting change of address. I wonder if you have any ideas. Thanks

  12. ****Update*****

    This works now. I just had to switch it off & on, after keeping trying (10-12 times). Still a mystery but am not complaining. Thanks for putting the guide up.

    • Hi Sam. It is difficult to know what caused the problem, but I’m glad you got it working, and thanks for coming back with the update.

  13. hi, i used to have my tv connected via ethernet to router but recently moved house and new BT HH5 point is upstairs. Have an old BT HH3. is it possible to make this a slave and then connect it via the cable to the tv again?

    • Hi Raj. What you’re talking about is sometimes called a “wireless bridge” I think, ie. two wired networks (your two hubs) connected to each other by a wireless link. I don’t think this is possible with the home hub unfortunately, although there may be a way of doing it if you re-flash the firmware, according to some sites. It is similar to the question asked by Dominic, above.

      If you can’t run a cable between the two hubs, perhaps look into getting a pair of power line adapters. These can provide a wired link using mains wiring. I don’t use them but many people do, and apparently they work well.

  14. Hi,

    Have done this using two HH5s it works fine but one thing to note is that the repeater hub will light solid orange and the red broadband light will flash continuously.

    Thanks for the help man.

    Ben

  15. Many thanks for posting this: successfully connected HH3 to HH5 via Network Switch and Powerline plugs. This was, rather than extending range of HH5, to create an AP so that older wireless tech could access internet, eg PSP Slim and Nintendo 3DS both wouldn’t connect thru HH5 (on default settings).
    Dumb question not raised in the article (and I’ve probably answered it): I take it that the AP has a different SSID to main router? (ie both cannot share same SSID). I renamed my HH3 SSID with HH5 SSID but added an “a” to end of it but kept original HH3 passkey.
    Next question: anyone know how to hide SSID on HH3?

    • Hi Ewan, glad it was useful. Powerlines are a good way to connect. Yes, the old router providing the second wireless access point continues to have a different SSID to the main router. This is desirable in a way. It means you always know which of the two wireless APs your device is connected too.

      As you move around the house with a mobile device, it should automatically switch to the nearest/strongest AP. Having different SSIDs allows you to confirm that that is happening. You could make the SSIDs the same, but then you would never know which AP you are connected to. Also, I am not sure the roaming behaviour just described would work properly. However, if it works for you, give it a try. I think the SSID is changed in the router GUI somewhere.

  16. Hi Jim,
    Thanks for this. Worked a treat for HH2 now running as WAP off a linksys main router.
    One hiccup (aside from differing hub menus) was that it wouldn’t let me change admin password in firefox – kept telling me cookies and javascript needed enabling (they were as far as I could tell), so I used google chrome, and it worked fine (while I followed your tutorial in Firefox)

    Thanks again for clarity and simplicity

  17. I have linskys 1900ac and connected bt home hub 4 2 it 20 meters away usin ethernet cable and it works brilliant. Kept the network and pin the same as linsky and everything is running like a dream

  18. Great and clear article.

    My questions (apologies in advance if it really basic). I have a HH 5 sitting around idle and would like to connect as an access point. My new router is an ASUS.

    If I:

    1) Reset it to factory settings
    2) Follow instructions above to setup new password and change SSID
    3) Switch off DHCP
    4) Apply IP outside range (ie 192.168.0.60)
    5) Cat 5 connect to one of the ports on my 24 port netgear switch after setup

    Will it work as an AP?

    Or will I have alter step 5 and connect it directly to one of the ports on the ASUS router?

    Thanks

    • Hi Avi

      Your plan sounds fine, although changing the SSID (your step 2) was not part of the original procedure, so I am not sure about that.

      Regarding your Netgear 24 port switch, you don’t mention if or how this is connected to the rest of your network, so it is hard to comment. If the 24 port switch is connected to the rest of your network, then it should be fine. As long as the re-purposed Hub (your Home Hub 5) can “see” the main router (your ASUS), then it should work fine.

  19. Hi
    I have a hh3 and have followed the instructions.
    New hub ip address is 1192.168.0.254 and I can connect my tablet to it wireless and I can see other equipment on land. Hh3 connected to virgin router via powerline and switch. The problem appears that the tablet can’t connect to the Internet. Have I missed something?
    Thanks
    andy

    • Hi Andy can you supply more detail, such as which is your main router – the HH3 or the Virgin router. And which one are you connecting the tablet to wirelessly. Also have you tried it with any other devices, such as a PC or smartphone.

  20. Thanks for your help. We are new to SKY the broadband provider but as most of you may know their router V2 is not that good.

    With your help we are re using our homehub V2 and V4 via TP-link AV500 3Port Powerline adaptors. Both are set with a fix IP address 192.168.0.2 and 4 both SSID’s and passwords setup as they came.

    My question is is it possible for our phones and tablets to move between the best (strongest) signal.

    Again many thanks,

    Styler4077

    • Hi Styler4077. Yes, your smart phone should be capable of moving to the strongest signal. How well it does this will depend on the type of phone you have and the phone settings. On Android, for example, you might have to install an app. in order to have the device move to the strongest signal automatically. I just Googled “Samsung S3 automatically move to the strongest wifi signal”, and got this:

      http://gs5.wonderhowto.com/how-to/get-strongest-wi-fi-connection-your-android-every-time-0157104/

      Usually with my own phone (Samsung S3), I find it connects to the nearest/strongest wireless point. Then, say I put it down for a bit and it goes to sleep, and I then take it upstairs, when it wakes up again it connects to my other (upstairs) access point automatically. I haven’t installed any apps or made any special settings. I think the act of disconnecting (when it goes to sleep) and reconnecting (when it wakes up) is enough to force a rescan and a new connection to the strongest/nearest signal.

    • Hi, how did you manage to get it working using the TP link AV500?

      My main router is a HH5,

      Ive configured my HH3, so followed the steps and im now running the IP on the HH3 as 192.168.1.62 and turned off DHCP, when i then plug my powerline adapter in to the ethernet port 4 on my HH3, the internet wont work? Do i need to config the powerline adapter? the powerline adapter uses a different SSID, so i connect to it separately.

  21. Many thanks for this step by step guide. Worked perfectly thank you!
    I managed to configure a spare BT Home Hub 4 into an access point, while having my original BT Home Hub 3 as my main router. It’s allowed me to extend my wi-fi signal through the house (using powerline adapters too) but most important saved me having to buy a wi-fi extender/booster.
    Thanks again :O)

  22. Hi….
    With due respect…
    i am in Pakistan
    i am using internet directly through Ethernet cable.(only internet sevice is provided by the company).
    i have no main or base wifi router.
    i want to extend internet with wifi router/repater.
    so,
    i am try to convert bt hub 3 into wifi Router/ repeater..
    i am having problem….i have applied all the instruction given above with bt hub 3…..
    my laptop/mobile connects wifi connection but cant connect to the internet. only i can use internet through ethernet cable wich i put into bt hub3’s client port( where already i put ethernet cable into that port, provided by the internet service company).

    Someone please help in this regard and tell me the mistake i am doing..
    i would be very greatful of You.

    Imtiaz
    Pakistan.

    • Hi Imtiaz. From the information you have given, it is not easy to say what the problem might be. It sounds as if the procedure has worked for you, and your laptop client connects correctly over wifi. But for some reason you cannot then connect to Internet sited through the wifi setup.

      It might be something to do with your Internet service provider or their equipment. For example it might be a restriction they have imposed. Try looking at the settings on your main router (the one provided by your ISP, not the BT Hub 3).

  23. Thank you. Followed your instructions to the letter – the key here is to reset and disable DHCP on the old router.

    I have a BT Home Hub 5 downstairs with the old Home Hub 3 upstairs, linked via an externally run ethernet cable, and I now have a choice of 3 x WiFi networks (2.4 and 5 GHz from the Home Hub 5 and another 2.4 GHz from the Home Hub 3). Of course I also have 3 x ethernet ports that I can use off the Home Hub 3 now (one is used for the link cable between the two Home Hubs).

    Happy days, many thanks for your post.

  24. I followed this post instructions step by step and now it is working perfectly and smoothly! Thanks for the guide. May God Bless You!

    • Hi Steve. The above procedure is about using two hubs, connected by a cable, and having only one of them connected to the Internet. Therefore, unfortunately, I don’t understand your question.

  25. Hello. Interesting article. Thanks.
    I have recently moved and I have not chosen which provider I will subscribe to for a fast BB connection (provided there is anything FAST here in Ceredigion, Wales…)
    I am a FON user so I have been using the Free-FON BT hotspot so far and I can’t complain. Good enough to browse, check email and do some light streaming.
    Now, I would like to connect my Desktop using Free BT with FON hotspot, but the problem is that my WiFi adapter is quite old and slow (NetGear W111v2).
    I have a spare BT Router. I was wondering if I could use it as an extender to access the free WiFi BT Hotspot gently provided by one of my neighbors. And if yes, how? Thanks

    • Sorry, I forgot to mention that in order to get access to the Internet using a free BT-with-FON hotspot I always have to type in my FON User Id and PSW on the BT openzone website.

      • Hi Jojo. I am also a FON user. I connect to hotspots when out and about.

        The fon access you are using is provided directly by your neighbour’s BT router. I don’t know of any way to extend this using your own router. Even if there was a way, it would probably require administrative access to the neighbour’s router, to make config changes, which you don’t have. It might also require a wire link between the two routers.

        Cheers,
        Jim

  26. I have a wired internet connection but no access to the router
    can I use a HH2 as an AP to make this connection wireless
    cheers

    steve

    • Hi Steve

      By following the procedure above, yes, you should be able to re-purpose your HH2 as a wireless AP. The procedure does not require your main/managing router to be accessed or changed in any way. So having no access to it should not be a problem.

      You will still have to have a cable connecting the main router to your Home Hub 2 though.

      • I think firmware is slightly different for my HH2 compared to above

        ran through process can seem to connect though

        this is the only bit that didn’t make sense

        Below that, under “IP addresses“, you should see these addresses:
        10.0.0.138/24
        172.16.1.254/24
        192.168.1.254/24

        Click “Edit” next to the address that matches the rest of your network. For example if your other network devices are addressed like 192.168.1.something, choose 192.168.1.254.

        • Hi Steve. Not owning a HH2, I am not quite sure what difficulty you are having. That bit of the procedure is for choosing a new IP address for the hub (HH2 in your case). It needs to match the addressing scheme used by other devices on your network, but it also should be outside of the DHCP range being controlled by your main router. If it isn’t outside of that range, it probably still won’t cause a problem.

          Other users have succeeded in making the HH2 work, for example Ed Iglehart. See Ed’s comment above.

  27. I have a old BTHub3 which I am trying to set up in the far end of the house which doesn’t have great connection from the BTHub5 at the other end. I am trying to do this throught a powerline av but the broadband light is flashing orange and pink, I have tried to follow your steps but the menus are different and it won’t work. What do you suggest I do ??

  28. Hi have tried this and I cant get it to work..

    Main Router is HH4 (192.168.1.254)
    Secondary Router is HH3 (192.168.1.60)
    I have disabled DHCP configured Wireless and plugged LAN from HH3 to HH4
    I can connect to the wireless on HH3 and ping the HH3 I can also ping HH4.. and vive verse from a fixed PC. and access both routes web inerface

    however when I try to open a website it constantly brings up a webpage with “There Seems to be a problem with your broadband” , it doesn’t appear to be passing through all the traffic, I can ping but no HTTP etc..

  29. ive no idea whats going on here.. it just started working.. maybe the router/s need to updating some kins of routing table.. i noticed that to start with the Wireless access point on HH3 had a gatway address of its own IP.. now it correctly has the gateway address of HH4.. fingers crossed it stays working

  30. I am currently running a BT home hub 5 as the main router but have acquired a virtually new Hh4,which I want to add as an upstairs WAP.I have installed a wired network Cat 5e throughout the house during modernisation but need the WAP due to new insulation.Can you help with the BT procedure please?

    • Hi Shaun, did you try the procedure outlined in the article? The menus will be a little different on your HH4 than they are on the HH1 I used above. But it should still work. Try the procedure and for the last post, just connnect the HH4 to youe house network.

  31. Many thanks for the post I have asked many so called network expert chaps about doing this with my old BT home hub 4 and they just gave me blank looks , I followed your instructions and success I now have a WAP point up my shed !
    Once again Thanks Chris

  32. THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU AGAIN! How easy was this! You saved me about £100 callout +++ I’m forced to live above my garage which isn’t on the same electric circuit as the house and the existing Router was too far away to get WIFI. I spent hours on phone with BT and they couldn’t solve my broadband issues suggesting I buy all sorts of expensive repeaters, etc so I googled all sorts of fixes and hey presto I’m connected to the outer kingdom again! You are a whizz!

  33. a simpler solution is to take your old hub and connect it to the other hub via the yellow network sockets…. the second hub will connect its wifi with password and the lan without password to the first hub which has its own wifi with password.

    this connection utilises the “friends” approach all of the components on the second hub are connected by virtue of the network/wifi chip on board and are also “friends” with the first hub though its network/wifi chip. There is no need to mess with anything, its all “plug and pray”

    • Hi Bill. I wouldn’t recommend anyone attempting what you describe. Both hubs start off with the same IP address. Simply connecting them (without first changing the IP address of one) will lead to an immediate address conflict and is fairly likely to bring down your whole network.

      Even if you do change the IP address, unless you also disable DHCP, as described in the article, you will have two DHCP servers with an overlapping IP address scope. This will cause network clients (smartphones etc.) to acquire duplicate IP addresses, disabling those devices and making your whole network very unstable.

      I am not sure what you mean by hubs being “friends” or “virtue of the network/wifi chip”, so I can’t really comment on that.

      Jim

  34. Read with Interest the thread and about to try it with a spare HH4 now that we’re fibre connected then saw Bill’s 23/7/16 comment which is prompting a rethink cos it seems to be too simple ? Before I try it is it best to do a Reset and purge anyway or does this method do it by being “friends”?
    Second question for either method……I also have another HH4 so will either method of setting up a WAP let me connect both HH4s and any pitfalls to be aware of if so? Thanks

    • Hi SteveP, I would not recommend simply connecting the hubs without first performing the reconfigurations described in the article, for the reasons given in my reply to Bill. I Googled for “friends” and so on but it returned no results. If you can find any references to explain what Bill is talking about, please post them here.

      • Jim, I erred on the side of caution and followed the reconfig advice/guide without a hitch; slight difference in menu for HH4 but nothing significant. I’ve reconfigged (new word!?) both HH4’s successfully with IP’s outside the router range and now have 2 WAP’s up and running in conjunction with powerline/homeplugs on different ring mains too without any noticeable drop in performance…..but the powerlines do NOT like being connected into extensions/powerbars, so go for pass-through type or accept that you sterilise one socket on each double and put everything else on the extension for power.

  35. Hi josh, just managed to use my old bt hh5 to extend my plus net connection following your instructions. Both routers had a 5 min hissy fit then settled working perfectly. many thanks

  36. Very helpful guide, got my old bthub5 as a access point. Main hub is a sky q hub. Connected via powerline adapter.

    If i wanted to add another hub for garden will that work ok?, (is there a limited for the number of extra routers as access points?)

      • Got it working as a additional access point just changed the ip address, similar process as the bt hub, was a netgear router.

    • Hi Mark, thanks. Sorry for the late reply. There should be no limit, within reason, to the number of extra access points you can add. Just follow the procedure for each one, as above. One thing – in the section entitled “Allocate New Hub IP Address”, make sure you choose a different IP address for each old router you add.

      I see from your later posts that you have at least 3 access points now. Nice one.

  37. Just wanted to say a massive thanks, am lazing in my hammock in the garden, a former wifi dead spot and the old HH3 wired off the garage Ethernet (for cycle training videos..) is throwing me just under 73 Mbps. Thanks again.

  38. Hi Jim,

    I’ve just had the new BT Smart Hub 6 and still have Home Hub 5.
    I’ve set up the 6 as my router.

    I’d like to use the 5 to create a “guest” AP, as opposed to a repeater.
    I can follow the above process to create the AP but the whole point of me creating the guest AP is to limit guests to just wifi connection away from my main network.
    From what I read above, this repeater process still gives full access in the same way as if you were connected to the main router.

    Do you know, is it possible for me to tweak this process to create an additional AP with restricted network access?
    I.e. Hard wire 5 into 6, but the 5 can only access the Internet.

    Many thanks for any help/advice,

    Brett.

    • Hi Brett, yes you are right, adding a second AP gives wireless clients of that second AP access to your whole network. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “a wifi connection away from my main network”, not with the basic kit provided to consumers by BT and other ISPs.

      The sort of design you are describing would require something like a network partitioned into VLANs, with one DHCP server in each VLAN, serving out different IP address ranges (scopes), and each being wired to a router/modem for Internet access. This would require more (and more expensive) equipment than two simple ISP routers, mainly because simple ISP routers (like the BT Home Hub 5 and 6) do not understand VLANs. They can only understand your home network as one big network.

      One of the cheapest switches that supports VLANs is the TP-LINK TL-SG2008 (about £50 at 2016 prices). I have one of these. It could be used to partition a home network, and something like a raspberry pi could perhaps perform the DHCP role, but it would require some careful design and testing. Somebody on the Internet has probably done it.

      • Thank you ever so much for the time you’ve taken to reply.

        I understand now and it is probably a bit out of my depth without some proper googling!

        It surprises me that the likes of BT haven’t tapped into this market yet. Surely they could take some market share from the likes of TP-LINK by offering such additional features.

        Oh well, I’m sure the behemoth knows best.

        Thanks again Jim!

  39. This worked perfectly to extend the range of my HH4 main router and my spare HH4. Incidentally, the spare router doesn’t work when connected to the main phone line, I think the modem got fried when we was hit by lightning.
    Thanks for making this so easy to follow.

      • Thank you. 🙂
        I have just purchased two hub 3’s off EBay for the grand sum of £8.25 including delivery, with the intentions of putting WAP in my workshop and another building in my garden. Do I need to put their Ethernets into the original router connected to the phone socket, or can I plug them into the firs WAP, like a chain of main Hub router, ethernet to WAP1, ethernet to WAP2, ethernet to WAP3?
        If they all need to be connected to the main Hub, I’m going to need some really long cables! The power line adapters won’t work as both buildings are on a different circuit to my house.

        • Hi Tom. If I understand the question correctly, yes, you can wire the third router into the second. As long as the second router is also connected by Ethernet cable to your main hub (the one running your network), then they all become part of the same big network. Yes, the “chain” is fine.

          One thing to note if you are adding multiple WAPs: In the section “Allocate New Hub IP Address”, above, make sure you give each new router a different IP address.

          • Thanks for getting back to me Jim.
            I’m having trouble getting the hub 3 to work as AP’s. They are type B’s if it makes a difference. I’ve switched the main hub for a hub 3 and it does connect to the internet when plugged into the phone socket. The only thing I can think of is they are type B routers. When using themas AP’s, they never grant internet access. The power and WiFi lights turn blue, the broadband light stays off, and no webpage will load. I just get the hub page telling me that I have no internet connection and I should check my settings. Have I bought the wrong hub type?

    • Hi Tom the version of the Hub (A or B) shouldn’t make any difference. The home hub 3 works fine, it is what I used when writing the article. The Hubs you are using as WAP points – did you follow the procedure for each of them ? What IP address did you give to each, and what is the IP address of your main router ?

      You say the Hub 3s do not give Internet access over wireless. Try plugging in your laptop into one of them with an Ethernet wire – di you get Internet access then ?

      • Sorry, made a mistake. One of the hubs is a type A, was listed wrong on ebay. The main hub 4 (connected to phone socket) is 192.168.1.254. The other hub 4 (AP) is 192.168.1.63.
        The hub 3 type A (AP) is 192.168.1.62. These three work perfectly. The hub 3 type B (AP) is 192.168.1.61, but it falls every time to give out IP addresses. I have tried manually assigning an IP address on my laptop, but that doesn’t work either. I just can’t understand what I am doing wrong with this one. It isn’t faulty, as when I connect it to the phone socket and reset it, it works great.
        As I can’t figure it out, I have been using the hub 3 type B as the ‘master’ router and have everything else coming from that.

        • Hi Tom. It sounds like you have found a solution, which is good. I am not sure why the HH3 model is not behaving as the others are. You could have tried connecting a laptop to the HH3 with an Ethernet cable and see if that worked, see if the laptop obtained an IP address. However as you have a working arrangement now, it is perhaps better to stick with that.

          Note that IP addresses are allocated by the DHCP server process in your main hub, not by the “AP” hubs, which have no DHCP role. Incidentally, I have successfully used a HH3 model B as an AP.

          • Hi, got it working now. All I had to do was restart the main hub and the hub 3 B type found an IP address and all is good with the world. Thanks for all your help and this fantastic tutorial.

          • Good stuff. Many people don’t realize you can buy old hubs very cheap on ebay (I didn’t), and set them up as WAP points. Cheap solution. You are the King of, er, extra WAP coverage!

  40. I have followed this guide to a tee and had no complications but yet its still not working. I have a HH4 in my hall with ethernet cable running from its ethernet port to rj45 wall plate, cable then runs up conduit to roof space into a BT 8 port ethernet switch. I then have an ethernet cable running from this switch to a HH3 in my detached garage which I need to use as an access point as I have zero signal in the detached garage to my main HH4.

    1. Ive reset my HH3 with a paper clip.
    2. I’ve connected my offline laptop to the HH3 via ethernet, surfed to 192.168.1.254, changed admin password and checked security is what it should be
    3. Changed hub ip to 192.168.1.1
    4. Deactivated DHCP.
    5. Connected ethernet cable running from attic ethernet switch to the HH3 ethernet port.

    I can connect to HH3 AP, but no internet connection, since DHCP is disabled I’ve had to give my iPad a static IP, should router and DNS both be 192.168.1.1, well I’ve tried that and 192.168.1.254, both don’t give me internet access..

    Also should I expect to see the broadband light blue as its not blue.

    My cat6 cables have been tested and working but should they be wired as a crossover cable as opposed to the standard wiring of a patch cable. I believe if I’m going from a hub to a switch it should be a crossover. But then my cable from my HH4 to switch is straight through and working fine for all my devices in my house running off HH4 as I have ethernet throughout my home.

    • Hi Ally. As I understand it, your main Hub is a Home Hub 4 located in the hallway. The 8 way roof switch hangs off this, and also connects to a HH3 in your detached garage. You are trying to turn the HH3 into a second WAP point to give wireless coverage in your garage.

      This hardware set up sounds fine. Although I am a bit curious about how you are managing to run an Ethernet cable from the roof space to a detached garage.

      You shouldn’t have to give your iPad a static IP. Although DHCP has (correctly) been disabled in your garage HH3, devices connecting from the garage (like your iPad) should pickup an IP address from the DHCP server inside your main HH4 in the hallway. ie. they connect to the network via the re-purposed HH3, and having connected, the HH4 gives them a DHCP IP address. The DHCP service offered by the HH4 covers the whole network, including clients connecting wirelessly to the HH3.

      It sounds like the wired Ethernet link between the hubs is in doubt. Either the wire from the HH3 to the roof switch, or the wire from the roof switch to the garage, or the roof switch itself, perhaps. As a check, I would take a laptop or similar into the garage, connect it via an Ethernet cable to the HH3 and see if it can reach the Internet. If your wires are in order, the laptop will pick up a DHCP address immediately and be able to connect to the Internet.

  41. So, I struggled with this in 3 ways.
    First my laptop absolutely WOULD NOT connect direct to the repeater hub by wire. IP config showed that It was not getting a new IP address from this router but clinging onto its earlier lease from the master router. various IPconfig commands designed to refresh the lease resulted in error messages suggesting I did not have sufficient privileges to do this. Perhaps this is not a surprise, this is a locked-down work laptop. So I used a different laptop and could progress.
    Second, the lack of DHCP on the repeater is a real pain. I have to manually configure an IP for each device it would seem, and after about 30 mins, the devices stop authenticating on the repeater. I am toying with turning DHCP back on on the repeater hub but defining a distinct IP range for that and the master HUB, but I am not sure I can be bothered because…
    Third, using the crudest of tools (the amount of shading on the WiFi Icon in the AP list on android) even when standing next to the HH4 repeater in my upstairs office, I am getting a stronger signal from the HH5 master hub in the downstairs lounge! I think this whole exercise may only be worthwhile for me if I can get a second HH5 for free from somewhere
    PS. for HH4 users, you will get a really annoying orange light and blinking “b” as the router will complain that it is not directly connected to broadband 🙁

        • I can’t help with regards to the signal strength. In my experience of the BT hubs up to number 4, their signal strength has always been particularly rubbish compared to other routers I’ve had and I live in a bungalow. My original Hub is in the center of my house, but the signal is too weak to use in the bedroom at one end and the livingroom at the other end of the house, which is why I needed another AP anyway. Maybe try to get hold of a Linksys or Netgear cheap from ebay maybe and use that as the repeater instead?

    • Hi TFish, it seems things are not working at all for you. I wouldn’t recommend using a locked down work laptop, because you are unlikely to have administrative rights in this, and making changes might in any case mess things up when you next have to use it at work.

      The “repeater” hub does not need to run DHCP. Your main hub’s DHCP service covers the whole network, including wireless clients of the “repeater” hub. See also my reply to Ally just above. You shouldn’t have to configure static IPs for devices.

      Regarding the strange signal strength phenomena you are experiencing with the HH4 in the upstairs office, that is odd. Are you certain that what appears in your network list with a week signal is in fact the HH4 you are standing next to ? You could check by comparing the displayed MAC address with that written on the back of the HH4.

      Sometimes the physical arrangement around the Hub can have a big affect in signal strength (though not as great as you are seeing, admittedly). I have seen wireless signals cut off almost entirely by a nearby metal object (in one case a stainless steal car exhaust tip in a box, about 18 inches from the router, blocked coverage to most of the house). In my own house just rotating the HH5 by 90 degrees, and moving a nearby external hard disk (metal again) improved the signal enormously. Signal strength apps can be helpful, eg. “WiFi Analytics” from Amped Wireless. Free on Android, shows you the signal strength in dB and the MAC address of every nearby WAP.

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