Can the BT Home Hub be used as a wireless print server?

  Williep 17:11 27 Sep 2011

Hi, I have a networkable printer (it has both an ethernet port and a USB port but it isn't wireless) in room 1 and a wireless router in room 2 that connects to my Virgin broadband modem. I need to be able to print from any of my laptops in any room in the house.

Now, I have an old BT Home Hub v2 that BT didn't want returning after I went over to Virgin and it seemed a shame to throw it away. Is it possible to connect it (via either USB or ethernet cable) to the printer and configure the printer to print wirelessly? I have plugged it into the wall and switched it on, though it obviously doesn't have any internet signal coming into it. But naturally it's showing up on my computer wireless settings as a separate network....does that mean that if I need to print something, I have to disconnect from the internet network and connect to the BT network? Can my computer connect to both my wireless internet router and the Home Hub at the same time? When I tried installing the printer on my computer using "Add a network printer" it can't find my printer....presumably because the computer needs to connect to the BT home hub. Can I connect to more than one router at a time, and how do I set the BT Home Hub to connect to my existing home network?

If I can't use the Home Hub as a wireless printer server, then what do I need to enable my printer to print from anywhere on my home network?

  mgmcc 17:48 27 Sep 2011

As it is a "network printer" with an ethernet port, the simplest solution would be to plug it into the Virgin wireless router in Room 2. Any computer connecting to the router, whether by ethernet cable or "wirelessly", could then print from it.

Wireless routers incorporate a Wireless Access Point to which Wireless Network Adapters (in computers) connect, but two Wireless Access Points (routers) cannot communicate directly. If the printer has to be in Room 1 and connect wirelessly to the router in Room 2, then you would need to install a Wireless Network Bridge.

A Wireless Network Bridge is effectively the opposite of a Wireless Access Point:

Wireless Access Point - allows wireless devices to connect to a wired network.

Wireless Network Bridge - allows wired devices to connect to a wireless network.

...if I haven't made that too confusing!

  retep888™ 17:49 27 Sep 2011

You have 2 options:

  1. Move the networkable printer to room 1 & plug into 1 of the LAN ports on the back of the wireless router using an ethernet cable.


  1. Get a pair of this homeplugs click here, 1 for your printer & the other for your wireless router.
  Williep 18:19 27 Sep 2011

Thanks for comments so far.

The printer can't be in the room with the existing router since that's the baby's room (and where the cable comes in through the wall from outside.

So only option is for printer to be in a separate room, thus raising the question, what do I need to connect it to my existing home network and can I make use of my redundant BT Hub given it's also supposedly a wireless router, or do I need to buy a dedicated hardware printer server whatever one of those is.

Are you saying that I have to go out and buy something hardware physical, or can I convert the router into a wireless access bridge? The link to Amazon brought up what looked like a load of wireless routers which don't seem any different from my home hub router.

Equally I'm confused about the powerline adaptor - I had plugged the printer and the home hub into the same pair of wall sockets and I don't understand what is trying to be achieved. What is supposed to be plugged into what, and should the first router (the internet one) be connected to the mains rather than the printer?

  Nontek 19:20 27 Sep 2011

In the link, they are not routers - they are what is known as HomePlugs. One should be plugged into a mains socket near the Router and connected to the PC via Ethernet cable (usually provided with the plugs). Any number of other homeplugs (all identical) can be used to connect peripherals or other laptops/PCs in any room from any Mains Socket with Ethernet cable connected to homeplug and whatever peripheral is required.

Only proviso is that all Mains Sockets must be on the same Mains Ring to the main electric meter.

  Nontek 19:22 27 Sep 2011

I use the same system, but my homeplugs are from Solwise.

  Williep 20:18 27 Sep 2011

Thanks, but my existing broadband/home network router is in room 1, printer is in room 2 and laptop is in room 3 or various other places in the house. In any case why would I need to connect to the PC via ethernet cable. Did you mean to say the first homeplug has to be connected to the room 1 network router and the second homeplug connects to the printer?

In which case I take it it's byebye BT Home Hub, there's nothing I can do to it that would make it work as a bridge?

  Nontek 20:25 27 Sep 2011
  mgmcc 20:30 27 Sep 2011

"I take it it's byebye BT Home Hub, there's nothing I can do to it that would make it work as a bridge?"

That is correct. It isn't going to be able to connect wirelessly to your main Virgin router.

  Williep 20:36 27 Sep 2011

Thanks a bunch!

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