Setting Up a BT Business Hub as a WiFi Access Point

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Setting Up a BT Business Hub as a WiFi Access Point
A History Lesson
A couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to be given a couple of new BT Business hubs (BT 2700HGV). I took them
reckoning to maybe use them as switches on my network, then stuck them somewhere safe and forgot about them as I was in the middle of a degree.
I rediscovered them a year later and offered one to a mate who is pretty clued up on computer stuff.
A year after that, I rediscovered the remaining one, and decided to look into how I might use it.
The hub can be used wirelessly, and although I think wireless is inherently insecure, if a friend visited with their laptop and wanted to work where I
couldn't connect them with an ethernet cable, I would need to provide a wifi link.
Finding Information
I don't use BT as my ISP, so it had to work within my network as an access point. So where to find out how to do it? Like any other person, I googled
for info. There wasn't much out there which is why I am writing this in the hope that some other might find this useful.
There is one site out there with some sketchy info on how this might be achieved, but his/her setup is a bit different from mine. However, without the
article at thewatertower my efforts would have taken a lot longer. Many thanks to him/her.
How I Got It To Work
In The Beginning...the hardware
This is what I did to get a secure-ish wifi connection to the internet through my network for an old PC running XP Home.
I bought and installed a PCI wireless 54 Mbps ethernet card in the old PC and installed the drivers.
I powered up the BT hub and when the power light was steady I pressed the reset button at the back of the hub for 5 seconds to give it a reset to default
values.
I gave the hub a minute or two just to settle down.
I connected an ethernet cable from the any one of the ethernet ports on the hub to the PC ethernet connection. The PC was not connected to any
network at this point.
I went to the network connections (Start > Control Panel > Network connections) to see the current status of my connections.
The wireless was disconnected but the ethernet was OK.
If you look at the hub, the power and ethernet green lights should be on. The broadband will be flashing (annoyingly).
Into the Hub Interface...Setting Up a New DHCP Range and Hub Address
The default IP address of the hub is usually 192.168.1.254, but I checked by going to the command prompt and typing IPCONFIG /ALL.
The address against the DHCP server was the address of the hub.
There are other ways of doing this but this worked for me.
The hub defaults to being a DHCP server for a network and if you have set up your PC to get its address automatically it will get its address from the
hub. You do not in fact have to set up a new DHCP range, for later on you will be disabling the DHCP service from the hub, unless you want to use the
hub as your DHCP server.
I then opened up a browser and typed in HTTP://192.168.1.254 to get to the hub interface so that I could configure it to my needs.
I found the Fusion Devices confusing at first and also unnecessary so I switched it off by going to the Local Network tab and then to the Summary link
(which was open by default). In the Status at a Glance section, I clicked on the button opposite the Fusion Devices to disable it.
I clicked the Local Network tab then the Advanced settings link on the web interface page.
I changed the settings to
Configure Manually
Router Address: 192.168.1.99
Enable DHCP
First Address: 192.168.1.1
Last Address: 192.168.1.90
No, these are not my real settings but will work for you if you use them.
It doesn't matter what you stick in for range and router address but the router (hub) address must be outside your DHCP range.
At the bottom of the page is the Display Settings section.
I unchecked the 'Show inactive devices in network list as I found it to be distracting later on.
I clicked SAVE at the bottom of the page.
First time around I forgot to do this and spent ages trying to see what I had done wrong.
I unplugged the ethernet cable then plugged it back in to be sure that the IP address the PC was getting was one that was inside the new DHCP range.
There are other ways you can do this, but this may be simplest. You can see the new computer address in the Device List if you reopen the Local
Network > Advanced Settings.
After doing this I had to close the browser window and reopen it with the new IP address; 192.168.1.99.
Setting up the Wireless Connection...Securing with WPA2
I then opened up the Wireless Settings link and went to the Wireless Security section.
I ticked the Enabled box then changed the authentication to WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK.
I selected the 'Use a custom pass phrase' option and typed in a pass phrase e.g. 'mycathasfur'.
If you want secure, you have to go for WPA2. I have heard this can be partially cracked, but I reckon with a long complex password (63 random chars)
this is effectively impossible even with state of the art heavy duty deciphering kit. If in doubt google 'WPA2' to see what the experts think. Password
generator at grc if you really want a good one! Save it to a USB pen and copy it in when you need it.
I closed the browser.
Making the Wireless Connection
I went to Network Connections (Start > Control Panel > Network Connections and right clicked on the wireless icon.
From the Drop down list I chose “View all wireless connections”.
This brought up several possibilities including a SKY connection from a neighbour.
I then chose the BTBusinessHub-XXX connection and clicked the Connect button to connect.
A pop-up asked for the encryption key (pass phrase). You have to input this twice.
Click connect and that should be that.
In my case the little connection icon in the Notification area at the bottom right hand side had little green semi circles emanating from it. If I moused
over it I got a pop up telling me the quality of the connection.
The front of the hub had a green light against the Wireless title.
Just to check the connection, I removed the ethernet cable, reopened the browser and typed in HTTP://192.168.1.99 to connect to the interface again.
The hub interface appeared once more which confirmed the wireless connection was working.
Setting up the Wireless Connection...Securing with MAC Filtering
I also wanted to use MAC filtering so that only computers I allow can connect wirelessly to the hub.
I went to the Edit MAC filtering section (in Local Network > Wireless Settings) then added the MAC address of the wireless network card and ticked
the Enable box.
You can get this by opening a command prompt and typing ipconfig /all. The address is the wireless card NIC address in the list of stuff that appears. It
is in the form xx-xx-xx-xx-xx-xx but should be entered as xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx.
I entered it in the 'Add MAC Address' box and click' Add To List'.
I went back to the Wireless Security page and clicked SAVE (probably unnecessary).
It may already be in the list as the connected computer name. In this case it's 'bullet'.
I removed the computer name in the allowed list after I had input the computer's MAC address.
I didn't need to do this but I wanted to check that I had understood the principle correctly.
At this point I closed the browser and returned to the Network settings in the PC, right clicking the wireless icon and choosing the 'View all wireless
connections' option.
I selected the BTBusinessHub-XXX from the list and disconnected the link.
I then chose the BTBusinessHub-XXX connection ( it should have 'security enabled wireless network (WPA2)) and clicked Connect. As before I had to
enter the pass phrase.
This was just to check it was OK with the MAC address.
That done, I checked again for a connection by opening the browser then opening up the interface using the address http://192.168.1.99.
It worked.
Disabling the DHCP Service
Before I moved the hub, I had to return to the Local Network > Advanced settings and remove the DHCP server option since I already have a DHCP
server on the network I was about to connect it to. That just involved unchecking the Enable DHCP server option.
Connecting the Hub to the Network
I wanted now to move the hub and connect to my main network and thus connect the old PC wirelessly to the Internet.
I will not go into detail, but first time this did not go well.
After much mucking about I found that I had to add additional configuration info to the old PC to get it to connect properly.
The reason for this was that I run a DNS server and a DHCP server on my network and the old PC wasn't seeing them properly.
To configure these, I went back to the 'Network Connections' on the PC and right clicked the wireless connection selecting Properties from the drop
down box.
On the Networking tab I chose Internet Protocol then Properties button.
On the General tab I ticked 'Use the following DNS server' and entered the IP address 192.168.1.xxx of my network DNS server.
I clicked the Advanced button and clicked the 'Add' button below the Default Gateway box.
I added the IP address 192.168.1.xxx of my default gateway then clicked 'Add' the OK and OK again then Close and exited the Network Connections
panel.
That cured the problem.
To check that this has worked, open a browser and insert an address in the address bar, e.g., www.google.com. This should connect you to the well
known search engine's site.
My Network (greatly simplified)
Done and Dusted
And that is that for me. The PC reconnects every time I boot it up, so I don't have to stick in the pass phrase each time. This worked for me after a few
experimental tries. The first time I gave up at 2.30am when nothing seemed to be going right. I got it, then messed around with it and it broke. What a
friend calls the 'fiddle factor'. I haven't included all the fooling about I did to see what else would work.
Not remembering to SAVE when you change settings can make life very puzzling.
If it all goes belly up, just hit the reset button on the back of the hub for 5 seconds and start again from scratch.
If you are really puzzled, mail me at buddha127@hotmail.com. I can't guarantee a solution, but I will try to assist if I can. Best make the subject
BTHub or I may just bin it without reading. I get a lot of spam.
Bye the bye, if anyone can tell me what the button on the front of the hub with the key icon on it is for, I shall be grateful. It is not mentioned in any
literature I have seen.
If I have missed out any steps then I apologise. Tell me about it and I shall fix this article.
Any useful comments and additions that may help others are welcome. I shall include them in this article.
I have connected it to XP (as above) and also a Windows7 laptop and it seems to work just fine.
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