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BT Home Hub Firmware Upgrade Procedure

BT Home Hub & Hub Phone

A fully tested procedure to force a BT Home Hub firmware upgrade or downgrade is provided below. The same manual software upgrade procedure is used by BT Technicians in India when customers experience problems with their Home Hub or BT Total Broadband, so if undertaken with care no harm should be done to your Homehub.

It's worth noting that the BT Home Hub firmware upgrade procedure doesn't work when initiated from a PC running some older versions of Norton Internet Security, even when Norton Auto Protect is disabled for the software update process.

This is unfortunate as it's the same internet security software that BT supply as part of the BT Total Broadband package! To solve the problem, I used an old Windows 2000 laptop without anti-virus software to upgrade the Home Hub software to the latest firmware version 6.2.2. Upgrading to Norton Internet Security 2007 may also help (see below for tips on upgrading for free).

BT Broadband Router Settings

If you are experiencing problems upgrading or downgrading the firmware on your BT Home Hub, you might want to consider using a different ADSL Router model / manufacturer. Most popular ADSL Routers will work with BT Broadband if correctly configured. The configuration settings for using another manufacturer of Router are as follows:

Router Parameter
BT Broadband Settings
Connection Type PPPoA or PPP over ATM
VPI/VCI 0/38
Encapsulation VCMUX
MTU 1458
Username your.account@btopenworld.com
Password no password is needed

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BT Home Hub Problems

The BT Home Hub firmware is supposed to upgrade itself automatically by contacting the BT software upgrade server during the night to check for new software versions - although mine never did, even after being left on for 36 hours! Therefore, I wrote this page out of frustration, to assist any BT Total Broadband user in upgrading their BT Home Hub firmware manually. In fact the procedure below can be used to upgrade or downgrade the Home Hub software as required, thus avoiding the need to leave the Home Hub powered up 24 hours a day, saving energy.

Force Firmware Upgrade Procedure for BT Home Hub to V6.2.2.6

The article below describes the software update procedure for the BT Home Hub in detail from a Windows XP PC. Windows Vista users may have to do modify the instructions to make them work:

  • Connect your PC to the BT Home Hub using a LAN (Ethernet cable). Ensure that this cabled Internet connection is fully working before proceeding with the Home Hub firmware upgrade procedure. Do not attempt this procedure on a PC wireless connected to the BT Home Hub.

  • If you'd prefer to get a BT Technician to carry out a forced firmware upgrade for you using screen sharing technology, then call 0800 111 4567 (UK only) and choose the technical support option.

  • If you wish to do the firmware upgrade yourself then read on. I emphasise that the BT Home Hub software update procedure should only be carried out by PC literate individuals. I will not be held responsible for damage to your Home Hub or it being rendered useless. Follow this procedure at your own risk. Never unplug the power to your Home Hub during the upgrade or it will be damaged. Similarly, ensure you don't unplug the Ethernet cable from the PC being used for the upgrade process.

  • If you have a Windows XP computer, go to Start > My Network Places > View Network Connections (from left menu) > Right mouse click your "Local Area Connection" icon > Choose "Properties" > Click once on "Internet Protocol" > Click the Properties button > Enter the settings below:
BT Home Hub Upgrade LAN IP Settings

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  • Download the latest version of BT Home Hub software from BT by clicking here. You'll then need to download the BT Home Hub Firmware Recovery Tool. The recovery tool is a Winzip file, so you'll need a copy of Winzip to extract the files into a folder on your desktop. Create a folder called "Hub" on your desktop, then unzip the files into the folder.

  • Disable any Anti Virus software on your PC in readiness to start the BT Home Hub firmware update. The icon to do this is usually in your PC's system tray (bottom right hand corner of the screen). If you have Norton Anti Virus 2007, then the software upgrade procedure may not work. Try to obtain a PC without an Anti Virus package containing a Firewall and anti-spyware software as (on my machine at least) Norton caused firmware upgrade problems that resulted in the upgrade failing. No such problems were experienced when running the Home Hub software upgrade from a PC without Anti Virus software.

  • Locate the BT Total Broadband CD which came inside the BT Total Broadband "Getting Started" pack. Place this into your CD drive. The CD will autorun, so you will need to Exit Setup to stop the software installation process. Then go to "My Computer" and right mouse click on your CD Drive icon (BT logo) and choose "Explore" > Then double click on the folder "Utlis" > Double click on the folder "UpgradeWizard". Double click on the upgradeBTHH utility. The "Welcome to the BT Home Hub Upgrader" screen will appear. Click "Next" to continue. This will invoke a check of your Hub.

  • To downgrade the firmware of your hub (if you have an older software version on your BT Total Broadband CD, like V6.1.1.R) ignore the next bullet point (below) to click "Have Disk" and just re-install the software image that came with your BT Total Broadband CD.

  • Only if you wish to upgrade your Home Hub firmware to the latest version - click the "Have Disk" button and then click "Browse". Select "Desktop > Hub Folder > BTHHrecover_Win_v55 with 6226 > BThubSW > 6226_bant-z_Live.bli > Click "Open" then click "OK". Then select the firmware by clicking once on the 6226_bant-z_Live.bli BANT-Z 6.2.2.6.0 2.0.0 13/12/2006 entry. Then click "Next" and follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with the software upgrade.
BT Home Hub Firmware Upgrade Screenshot
  • The BT Home Hub firmware upgrade process can take several minutes to complete. Do not disconnect the power to the hub during the firmware upgrade, or unplug the Ethernet cables!

  • When the Home Hub software update has completed and the on-screen message states that it was successful, press and hold the grey "Wireless association button" on the back of the BT Home Hub for 20 - 30 seconds" to factory default the Home Hub. Failure to do so may result in erratic behaviour and Internet connectivity problems.

  • If you have changed any settings in your Home Hub, you will need to change them using the Hub Manager or by entering 192.168.1.254 using a Firefox 2.0.x or Internet Explorer 6 browser and then login with the default username: admin and password: admin to re-configure your hub (assuming you haven't changed it). It you have forgotten your password then you'll need to reset the Home Hub to factory settings by pressing and holding the rear panel grey wireless association button, then visit https://service.btbroadbandvoice.bt.com/bbv/online/consumerConfig to re-enable your Hub Phone (if you have one). Please note that using Internet Explorer 7 may cause problems with Home Hub admin login.

  • When the BT Home Hub firmware upgrade is complete, reset your PC's Local Area Network settings as follows: Click Start > Network Places > View Network Connections (from left menu) > Right mouse click your "Local Area Connection" icon > Choose "Properties" > Click once on "Internet Protocol" >  Click the Properties button > select "Obtain IP address automatically" and "Obtain DNS Server address automatically". Then apply / save the changes and exit the menu.

  • After any BT Home Hub firmware upgrade or downgrade, you will find that your BT Hub phone stops working. This problem is easy to fix. Just visit http://www.bt.com/bbv and enter your BT Broadband Talk phone number and account password to re-activate the service. If you have forgotten your password, then you will need the e-mail address that you used to register with BT Total Broadband in order to reset your password.

  • Following a successful software upgrade the BT Home Hub phone should be returned to its charging cradle (on the Hub) and the Home Hub rebooted to check for a new BT Hub telephone software update. A message will appear in the Hub Phone colour display if a firmware update is available.

  • The BT Home Hub firmware update procedure should now be complete. We hope that you found the information easy to follow, accurate and useful. if you find any errors or omissions, please e-mail me at m0sbf<at>hotmail.com.

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Downgrading BT Home Hub Software

The latest Home Hub firmware 6.2.6E will only work with BT Broadband, so if you are using your Home Hub with any other ISP, then do not upgrade to firmware version 6.2.6E or you will encounter problems selecting other VCP and VCI ADSL line parameters.

Please note that the procedure described above can be used to downgrade your Home Hub firmware down to 6.1.1.R if necessary. This will be needed if you plan on downgrading your BT Home Hub software to work on another ISP.

BT Home Hub Firmware Version 6.2.6E

Happily, Version 6.2.6E has a much more intuitive Router admin menu than 6.1.1R and so far the product seems stable. This version also fixed some known issues when running WPA encryption on the Home Hub. Finding your way around the old 6.1.1.R version was a real headache, especially to find the wireless configuration settings in order to change the encryption key and method.

Personally, I prefer WPA wireless encryption to WEP as WEP is not as secure and the encryption key can be discovered by statistical analysis of the data stream. WPA encryption does not suffer this flaw, so is inherently more secure when used for any home wireless network.

Disclaimer

Information about BT Total Broadband, BT Home Hub firmware and BT Hub Phone is provided in good faith. The information on this page was accurate at the time of writing, but firmware versions change continually and this procedure cannot be guaranteed to work. Use this information at your own risk. We will not be held responsible for equipment damage caused by misunderstanding or misinterpreting our software update procedure or damaged caused as a result of any errors contained in it.

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