BT Home Hub 2 with Apple Airport Extreme as the DHCP server

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by parish, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. parish macrumors 65816

    parish

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Wilts., UK
    #1
    For the benefit of non-UK members, the BT (British Telecom, not Bluetooth) Home Hub is an ADSL modem/router that is really a Thompson Speedtouch which BT supply with their broadband service.

    I've got a HH2 and Airport Extreme Base Station with the AEBS acting as the LAN router both wired and wireless (wireless disabled on the HH2).

    The HH2 is acting as the DHCP server so the AEBS is running in Bridge Mode.

    This works fine, except for the poor implementation of DHCP on the HH2, namely that you can't assign your chosen IP addresses to a device, you have to let the HH2 assign one, then select "Always Use This IP address" whereas the AEBS allows you to set your own IP address to a MAC address so I want to have the AEBS as the DHCP server.

    Seems straightforward enough, yes? Well, I've just spent a couple of hours trying to get it to work but couldn't.

    I disabled DHCP on the HH2 and set it up on the AEBS and everything worked fine on the LAN, but nothing could access the Internet.

    I left the HH2 with the IP 192.168.1.254 and tried with that IP both included and not included in the DHCP range on the AEBS. And made sure that IP was in the Router IP on the AEBS.

    I couldn't ping 192.168.1.254 from anything - wired or wireless - but I have an app on my Mac called WakeOnLAN which has the option to scan the LAN for any devices and 192.168.1.254 showed up on that.

    I tried restarting the HH2, but that made no difference.

    As I couldn't access the HH2 at all I had to reset it to factory default. I've disabled DHCP on the AEBS for the time being.

    The problem, I suspect, is that the HH2 only allows you to set a static IP for itself rather than obtain one via DHCP, or that you can't (AFAICT) set the HH2 in Bridge Mode.

    Anyone know if it is possible to set the HH2 and AEBS up so that the AEBS is the DHCP server?
     
  2. colshine macrumors regular

    colshine

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I never even unpacked my HH. I've got the Modem plugged into the AAEB and a switch connected to the AAEB to provide extra ethernet ports. Simple, neat and no need to mess with the HH. Is there a reason you want to use the HH?
     
  3. angelsguardian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    North East Scotland
    #3
    Forgive me if I get this wrong as I've not had the exact same setup but did achieve the same thing recently using the HH as ADSL modem with a Belkin router.
    Firstly, if you can buy a Draytek Vigor 120 modem to replace the HH. The you can have no modem setup and use the PPPoE settings in the AEBS to control it really easily and have superb stability.
    That aside think of this as two networks with the AEBS WAN port plugged into any port on the HH. The HH provides DHCP to the WAN port of the AEBS (using DHCP settings on the Internet tab of the Airport Utility) then the AEBS should be able to provide DHCP to all your attached clients as you would expect. Another to remember with the HH is that to turn off the wireless you will need to opt out of BT FON which does the shared hotspots.
     
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #4
    Have you tried working around the HH's inablility to change the IPs of connected devices? On computers, you could try setting the IP manually, then assigning that IP on the HH. For devices that can't be configured that way, you could connect them one at a time...manipulating the IP range it assigns from to one IP.
     
  5. parish, Oct 21, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012

    parish thread starter macrumors 65816

    parish

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Wilts., UK
    #5
    Further thought and research suggests that the reason this didn't work is because the HH doesn't have a Bridge Mode (apparently the BT Business Hub does) which means that you can't stop it acting as a NAT router. The AEBS also becomes a NAT router when you enable the DHCP server so you end up aith a LAN with two NAT routers, which isn't going to work.

    Only because it came free with my BT Broadband so no need to buy a modem.

    That sounds like a neat solution, except that I can't connect the AEBS WAN port directly to the HH as they are in different rooms. The HH is in the kitchen where the BT master socket is but the AEBS is upstairs on the first floor to give the best Wi-Fi coverage all over the house (it's a 3-storey house) so it connects to the HH via HomePlugs as do other Ethernet devices (TV, Blu-ray player, and Humax PVR) so they are on the same LAN.

    Yeah, tried that once, and once was enough. It was a lot of faffing and a few months later I had to do a factory reset of the HH so it needed doing all over again, which I couldn't be bothered to do.

    EDIT: Can anyone explain why the AEBS appears to have two IP addresses - 192.168.1.1 (which I've assigned it) and 169.254.169.241 - but both on the same MAC address?
     

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  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #6
    Restoring from a saved configuration file didn't work?
     
  7. parish thread starter macrumors 65816

    parish

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Wilts., UK
    #7
    It might have done - if I'd saved a config file :p
     
  8. colshine macrumors regular

    colshine

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Using powerline doesn't stop you from using angelsguardian suggestion. As far the AAEB is concerned there is one long cable from the HH to the WAN port of the AAEB.
     
  9. parish thread starter macrumors 65816

    parish

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Wilts., UK
    #9
    OK, but angelsguardian said (my emphasis)...

    I don't see how I can achieve this. The powerline isn't exclusive to the AEBS<->HH connection, other devices use it too, so I can't see how I can create the two networks. All devices will be able to see two DHCP servers - the HH and the AEBS - and I presume what angelsguardian means is that the WAN port and the LAN ports (and WiFi) should be on different sub-nets.
     
  10. angelsguardian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    North East Scotland
    #10
    Nope not two subsets you're thinking it too complicated. You need to use the HHS as just a modem, effectively, with it handing all traffic straight to the WAN port on the AEBS which then handles all network traffic either wired or wireless. Don't forget you're not limited by the number of LAN ports on the AEBS just buy a cheap unmanaged gigabit switch.
     
  11. parish thread starter macrumors 65816

    parish

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Wilts., UK
    #11
    I think we may have our wires crossed, or it's just me being thick (quite likely :p ).

    That is what I'm trying to achieve - the HH as just a modem.

    I can't see how I can have the HH assigning an IP to only the WAN port on the AEBS but not other devices.

    If only the AEBS WAN port was connected to the HH - either via Cat6 or Powerline - then I could understand it, but the AEBS WAN port is connected to a Powerline but so are the TV, Blu-ray, and PVR so I can't see how I can configure it so that the AEBS is the only device to get its IP from the HH and the TV, Blu-ray, and PVR get theirs from the AEBS - surely they would be able to see two DHCP servers (the HH and the AEBS)?

    My LAN is currently setup as follows:

    HH: WiFi disabled. Is the DHCP server. Ethernet port connected to PowerLine adaptor.

    AEBS: WAN port connected to Powerline. It is the WiFi router. Linux box and iMac G3 connected to LAN ports.

    TV, Blu-ray, and PVR: connected to Powerline.

    Everything else - two iPhones, iPad, two MBPs - connected by WiFi.

    What I'm trying to achieve is as the above, except that the AEBS is the DHCP server rather than the HH.

    I appreciate your help (and patience) with this :)
     
  12. colshine macrumors regular

    colshine

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    This would be a better setup as it is cleaner and will meet your requirements:

    HH - AAEB WAN PORT (AAEB = WiFi Router & DHCP Server

    AAEB - POWERLINE

    POWERLINE - To other devices

    POWERLINE - To new gigabit switch (can be bought for less than £15) for wired connection to Linux box and iMac G3.

    It does mean moving the AAEB close to the HH.
     
  13. parish, Oct 23, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012

    parish thread starter macrumors 65816

    parish

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Wilts., UK
    #13
    It would seem so, but I've had that setup temporarily in the past when a Powerline adaptor has failed (they don't seem to be particularly reliable) by running a 10m Cat5e from the AEBS WAN port to the HH, but even then all devices have been able to get an IP address from the HH so would I not have the same problem that I had when I tried making the AEBS the DHCP server, namely that the HH<->AEBS (WAN port) needs to be a separate network (i.e. a different sub-net)?

    I will try using the 10m Cat5e instead of the Powerline to connect the HH and making the AEBS the DHCP server.

    EDIT: The HH only allows for a static IP address - 192.169.1.254 is the default - so should that IP be in the DHCP range set on the AEBS, or outside it?
     
  14. colshine macrumors regular

    colshine

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    With this configuration you will have two networks - WAN and LAN:

    WAN side:

    HH - AAEB WAN Port (IP address supplied by HH to AAEB)

    LAN SIDE

    AAEB DHCP server - set any range you like - there is no need to make them the same. This will work as long as you remember to connect all your devices to the AAEB. There should only be one connection from the HH and that is to your AAEB WAN port.

    Does that make sense? :)
     
  15. parish thread starter macrumors 65816

    parish

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Wilts., UK
    #15
    Yep, makes sense. The bits I've highlighted are probably the things I got wrong when I tried it before.

    First. I disabled DHCP on the HH and set a static IP in the AEBS setup (which I presumed was for the WAN port).

    Second. I still had my TV, Blu-ray, and PVR connected via Powerline so the AEBS wasn't the only thing connected to the HH.

    I'll try this tomorrow evening after first disconnecting the TV etc. and leaving DHCP enabled on the HH. If it all works, then I'll get an Airport Express for connecting the TV etc. - the Powerline adaptor I use for them is a Cisco PLTS200 which is a 4-port hub with a power cable so, as long as it's passive, I can connect that to an Airport Express just as a hub).
     
  16. parish thread starter macrumors 65816

    parish

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Wilts., UK
    #16
    Well, I tried it again but this time left DHCP enabled on the HH and unplugged the Powerline that the TV etc. are connected to. It all seems to be working - touch wood :p

    I did reconnect the TV Powerline and everything still seems to be working, except that I can't get the TV etc. to get a DHCP lease from the AEBS, they insist on using the HH. I tried disabling DHCP on the HH but they still refused to contact the AEBS, retaining their existing IP but setting Default Gateway to 0.0.0.0

    I guess that you would expect a device to try and renew the lease from the server it originally got it from but, if that server is no longer around, then it should search for another one.

    I'm going to get an Airport Express (wait and see if any more of the old model crop up in the Apple Refurb Store) to replace the Powerline for the TV etc. then the AEBS<->HH is the only link using Pwerline. I might even get a Draytek Vigor 120 as recommended by angelsguaridan - I found a detailed step-by-step guide to setting one up with an AEBS on the Draytek website.

    Thanks for all your help chaps :)
     
  17. colshine macrumors regular

    colshine

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    If you connect the HH to AAEB via cable and then use AAEB - Powerline - TV everything will work as you want it. At the moment all your powerline connections can see the HH as you've got a powerline connected to it. You need to remove that link to stop the HH interfering.
     
  18. parish thread starter macrumors 65816

    parish

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Wilts., UK
    #18
    The problem is running a Cat5e between the two which is why I'm getting an Airport Express to use for the TV etc. then the Powerlines will only be used for connecting the AEBS to the HH which should have the same effect.
     

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