Set up a cheap network storage with a USB flash drive and a BT Home Hub 2.0 in 4 steps

This evening I put the finishing touches to my new cheap-and-cheerful network storage: a USB drive attached to my BT Home Hub 2.0 (the shiny, black one).

Step 1: USB drive

The first step was to buy a new USB flash drive. I went for this one from It’s a 32GB USB 2.0 drive and cost me £20.99. Usefully the swivel cap comes off quite easily.


(When I tried this out at first I used an old 256 MB flash drive that I had in my Big Boy’s Drawer of Interesting Things™.)

Step 2: BT Home Hub 2.0

Round the back of the BT Home Hub 2.0 is a USB port. They’ve even, conveniently labelled it “USB”. Plug the USB drive into the port.


(The dust is optional.)

Step 3: Connect with Windows Explorer

Assuming that you’re connected to your BT Home Hub, open a Windows Explorer window and enter the following network address in the address bar: \\BTHUB\Disk_a1 then hit Enter.


Step 4: Map a network drive

To save you having to type in the network address every time you can map a network drive to that location.

In Windows 7, open My Computer and click on the “Map network drive” button on the toolbar at the top:


A dialog windows will pop-up. Select a drive letter and enter the network address, as before, in the Folder input box:


Then click Finish.

You now have a network drive:



I’m going to use mine for backing up a few files and as a useful location for sharing documents between PC and laptop.

I imagine that this isn’t the most secure of solutions, as anyone with access to the network could gain access to the files, if they know the network address, but as a cheap and cheerful way to share files across multiple computers without the other PCs needing to be switched on this is ideal.


Oddly, after a couple of weeks of this working fine I can no longer connect to \\BTHUB\Disk_a1, the PC just tells me that it cannot find the hostname.

It appears that this is not an exact science.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

3 thoughts on “Set up a cheap network storage with a USB flash drive and a BT Home Hub 2.0 in 4 steps”

  1. This worked great for me – thanks.
    If you ‘c:\>ping bthub’, you will find the IP address that is associated with the USB drive.
    Mine was
    You can use this in the map network drive operation instead of the hostname ‘bthub’, this ought to give it persistence.

  2. Update: Although I have the Home Hub 3.0 now, I could only get this to work intermittently. It would working initially but then I could never connect to the USB drive again. Very odd.

    I now use Dropbox to sync files across the network, or access them from other PCs or mobile devices.

  3. Yep, my online solution today is Google Drive – I have it running on my laptop so any time I save a file ‘of significance’ it is instantly uploaded.

    Had previously used the BT HH2 as a NAS. Always seem to fall foul of the FAT32 thing – I tend to be hooking up hard drives to it and they seem to be picky about being not NTFS… This may have changed in later versions of the homehub, not sure…

    Anyhow, just back again to remind myself how it’s done – going to use this as an offline NAS in work to share media with a couple of TV-connected tablets.

    I has formatted to FAT32 and restored my media. Now just need to hook it up and try it out! Thanks 🙂

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