This 2020 blog post about the BT Home Hub 3 covers connecting external storage, using it as a switch, an access point, provides the default IP address and much more information.
Last updated: 16th June 2020
Please note: I am using the Type B model of the BT Home Hub 3. I’m not a BT customer, but I am using the HH3 as part of my home network. I’m not using the Home Hub as an ADSL router or as a DHCP server. I don’t think people should use the ADSL functionality of this router in 2020 and beyond.
Here is how I’m using the old router:
- An access point.
- A switch to help extend my wired network.
- As a network-attached storage (NAS).
I found this router in a box of electronics at a car boot sale in 2019 and now in June 2020 I’ve started to use it. Yes, I know it’s an ancient BT router, but I have a use for the old hardware.
By setting the router up as an access point, I’ve been temporarily using it as a second access point in my home. I’ve also connected the HH3 to another switch as a cheap way to temporarily extend my wired network. By plugging in an old memory stick, I’ve created a cheap NAS, ideal for transferring files between my mobile phone and other network devices.
I’ve found a few uses for something I paid under £2 GBP at a car boot sale. The only disappointment is that I don’t think I can install custom firmware on my version B model.
When I purchased the router it was still set up for the previous owner. As I reset and set up the router, I compiled this blog post to help others.
If you’ve got this router, I recommend you bookmark this blog post for future reference.
BT Home Hub 3.0 Type B details:
- ADSL2+ Broadband router (I’m unsure if it works with non-BT providers and VDSL2)
- 3x 10/100 Mbps ethernet
- 1x 10/100/1000 Mbs ethernet
- 1x USB memory stick port
- Wireless b/g/n (WEP, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK) – Not 5 GHz WiFi
- DHCP Server, DMZ, Firewall, UPnP, Port Forwarding & VPN port clambing
- Dynamic DNS (configure with another service provider details)
- As far as I’m aware there is no custom firmware available for the version B.
Warning: I’ve tried to provide accurate details above, but please don’t hold me responsible if there are any errors in the list. I’m not sure about VDSL2 support and I have no intention of testing or researching.
The above list isn’t complete, but likely gives you an idea of what you need to know. If you have a version A of the router, you might be interested in the custom firmware discussion here.
I don’t know the length of the power adapter that came with my router, but it’s quite long.
How do you reset a BT Home Hub 3?
- With the hub on, insert a paperclip into the reset hole at the back.
- Keep gentle pressure on the reset button until the blue lights turn off.
- With the paperclip removed, wait until the blue lights return.
Upon a reset, connect to the router, open a web browser and use the default IP address 192.168.1.254 to access the configuration. On the first screen you see, you should hopefully be able to change the default administrator password.
What is the default IP address of my BT Home Hub 3?
The default IP address of the BT Home Hub 3 is 192.168.1.254
How can I log into the BT Home Hub 3 Manager?
- Connect to the router via an ethernet cable or the WiFi network.
- Open a web browser and type in the router’s IP address. i.e. 192.168.1.254
What is the default admin password for a BT Home Hub 3?
At the back of the router is a tab that you can pull out, which shows the default admin password. If the tab is missing, you can also find the details underneath the BT wireless router.
How do I change the BT Home Hub 3 wireless password?
- Log into the administration area.
- From the ‘Settings’ menu option, select ‘Wireless’.
- Now you can change the ‘Wireless key’.
Personally I took this opportunity to change the security type to ‘WPA2 only’, rather than leave it as ‘WPA & WPA2’.
How to change the BT Home Hub 3 wireless name/SSID
- Via the administration web pages, select ‘Settings’, then ‘Advanced Settings’.
- Now select ‘Continue to Advanced Settings’.
- Select ‘Wireless’ and as you’re using the advanced options, you can change the wireless SSID.
How to use a BT Home Hub 3 as a NAS
- Plug a USB memory stick into the BT HH.
- To find the USB storage on a network, you browse to the router’s IP address. i.e. \\192.168.1.254\
- To safely disconnect the USB storage, select ‘Safely disconnect’ from the HH’s administrator page via a web browser.
On my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone, I typed in the IP address of the HH3 in the Cx File Explorer application I obtained via Google Play. I connected to the device as ‘anonymous’ and had no issue using the files on a 32GB Toshiba memory stick product code U301.
How to change the BT Home Hub 3 IP address
- In the administrator pages, select ‘Advanced Settings’ under the ‘Settings’ menu.
- Select ‘Home network’, then ‘IP Addresses’.
- Change the IP address, then select ‘Apply’.
This is also the same area where you can turn the DHCP server off.
How to use a Home Home 3 as a second Access Point and not as the main router.
I thought perhaps this wouldn’t work as I couldn’t configure DNS or a gateway, but it worked as a second access point on my network without issue.
Here is what I did:
- I set the HH3’s IP address to be in the same range as my main router.
- I disabled DHCP and configured it with a different AP as my main’s AP.
I’m not saying you need to complete all the same steps above, but I’ve just listed what I did. I then connected my mobile phone and I was able to browse the internet and using a file manager on my phone, use the files on the connected USB memory stick.
I view the HH3 as an inferior alternative to a router using OpenWRT, but for basic AP use, I’ve been happy to use it.
How to use the HHB3 as a switch
There isn’t much to write about here! I had given the HHB3 a static IP in the same range as my network, connected it to my network and it passes traffic without issue. It helped me temporarily extend my wired network.
I like reusing old hardware and the HH3 is not bad for something that cost me a couple of quid in 2019. I wouldn’t buy this hardware over a similar device that can have custom firmware. It was an impulse purchase!
For me the BT Home Hub 3 has been used as a temporary solution for my home network and shortly I will be turning it off and putting it back on a shelf.