BT Home Hub

BT are my broadband provider. There’s little point looking around for a new provider as they would have to use the BT line anyway and I know for sure that despite all the noise around ‘Infinity’ and super-fast broadband speeds, all that I can expect from my local exchange is around 4mb/s.

I’m happy enough with that, there’s no point wishing for something I can’t have.

screenshot of my broadband speed

I have a fairly old but serviceable BT Home Hub and (touch wood) have only ever experienced intermittent problems – the most recent of which was dealt with by making a short call to BT’s help desk in India. My hub allows any of my visitors (with the password) to connect. No worries.

However, that’s not the experience two of my friends have with their BT Home Hubs. These two hubs, one as old as mine and another one of the 3rd generation hubs, just do not work properly! A thousand calls to India will not (have not) make them work and they are just frustrating wastes of space.

Gill bought a new MacBook Pro last week. The Apple chaps made sure that everything worked for her before leaving the shop – so she was doubly disappointed when her new laptop wouldn’t pick up her BT Home Hub. Or rather, it did pick up the hub, it just WOULD NOT connect to it. Another (she made more than one) 40 minute call to India did eventually find a roundabout way of connecting but it’s hardly satisfactory and, as the weekend has shown, not very long lasting.

Gill’s old Windows laptop (XP) did connect to the hub but her husband’s Windows 7 laptop never could. Whenever Sharon and I visit, none of our ‘i’ or other devices EVER connected to Gill’s home hub. It has always been faulty but just try getting BT to understand that.

The MacBook Pro is working fine (it worked ok in the shop, it also detected and connected to my MiFi without a problem) and the Home Hub is receiving Internet from BT as the MacBook Pro connects easily when using the Ethernet cable – but it simply won’t connect to the Home Hub via WiFi (as AirPort is now called).

Karen’s third generation Hub simply won’t allow anyone except Karen to connect to it either, and from time to time it won’t even let her use it.

So what’s the answer? Who do my friends contact to tell their story, without going through the Indian merry-go-round again and again?

Why don’t BT recognise the signs that suggest the ‘caller’/paying customer has faulty apparatus?

How can they make their Internet Hubs more accessible for themselves and their visitors?

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4 Responses to “BT Home Hub”

  1. lilian Says:

    Shots in the dark, try the following:

    Look under settings > bt access control and make sure that Access control is turned off and that internet is not blocked between certain times.

    Then check BT Power Save and check that it’s not turned on, or if on, that’s it’s not ‘off’ between certain times. (mind you, you would see an orange light to alert you that something was wrong).

    Last, go to Wireless and try a different channel.

    I must admit I have had problems with my macbook and BT home hub at a friend’s house – it connected fine for ages, then one day, it just wouldn’t not keep the wireless connection. Who knows?

  2. dsugden Says:

    Hi guys,

    Thank for your replies.

    James – I suspected that this was the case, but my own has always been sort of ok (it never tells a new user to get lost unless they don’t have the password). Ben – the internet connection is fine, we did the hard wire thing and it was no problem.

    Both Gill’s and Karen’s are reluctant to allow connection – I don’t think it’s an XP thing Ben – even my tarty Mac, which hitherto connects to ANYTHING and then remembers – wouldn’t not connect to either. Gill’s Mac is fine.

    I’ll suggest a new ‘bought’ hub to Gill if she has no joy, but Karen is already half way through the process of ripping a strip off BT.

    🙂

  3. armaitus Says:

    The problem is that the offshore guys work from scripts and don’t WANT to understand anything beyond their scripts. There’s no inquisitive nature, there are no skills in troubleshooting.

    Honestly, even the onshore centres are tainted with that apathy inducing focus.

    I work with a chap who spends 8 hours of every day on the phone to these people trying to resolve similar problems, I’ve listened to some of the calls. It’s almost as if you have to be lobotomised to work in one of those places.

    In my experience, issues connecting to the home hub are actually down to the hub itself rather than BT Connection. This means you have to get past the initial scripted nonsense that checks the line.

    If a Windows XP machine connects then in theory the BT line is working and any other device should be able to connect; however, we’ve all come across instances where that just isn’t the case.

    My first port of call is ALWAYS to check that the wireless isn’t the problem. If you can, plug an ethernet cable into your device and then into the home hub (or into a network switch that you’ve plugged into it). If you can’t connect at that point then something is wrong (by wrong, I mean conflicting with the home hub) with your device’s network configuration… if it works then something is wrong (same caveat) with your wifi configuration.

    If you’ve connected to the home hub via wire or wifi but can’t get out to the internet then you can check the connection by pinging the home hub’s IP address, I am assuming that the home hub has an IP address documented somewhere, a colleague tells me the default is likely to be 192.168.1.254 but we’re not sure, not being home hub users.

    In windows you just open a command prompt and type “ping 192.168.1.254” and hit enter… you should get a report back as to whether you get a response or not. By typing “IPCONFIG” and hitting enter, you will be told your own IP addresses on any network you’re connected to… the IP address should be within the same range as your home hub… so sharing the first 3 segments. e.g. 192.168.1.100 if the home hub’s IP is the one suggested above.

    One reason for not being able to connect is sometimes that the device is already configured for a different network IP range. For example, my work laptop connects to a network on a 10.0.0.X range, if this is somehow enforced on the device when not connected to the network then it could prevent your device from seeing the home hub.

    To be fair though, I am clutching at straws as I’ve never had to support a home hub before. The above is vague memories of trying to get a colleague’s new laptop working on his home hub. In the end it just started working in that way things do when you’re supporting somebody remotely.

  4. James Clay Says:

    My advice in these situations is replace the BT equipment with your own.

    My first ISP provided DSL modem was a pile of crap and since then I have always bought my own DSL wireless router.

    I am lucky enough to get FTTC (fibre) in my neck of the woods, but even then I declined to have the provided “hub” from my ISP and I use an Apple Airport Extreme as the PPPoE modem and wireless router. I had to smile at a letter that I received from my ISP recently that indicated that my “provided wireless router” was to be replaced as they had discovered that the model had faults…

    It might cost a little bit of cash, but the peace of mind and it always works it gives is well worth it.


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