Setting up Amazon’s Echo speaker with a BT Home Hub is a car crash. A nasty four-car pile up with bits of bumper strewn across the carriageway. You go through what seems like a simple set-up procedure, only for Alexa to abruptly inform you that she can’t “register” with your network, and sits there with her angry amber light spinning like the AA bloke who’s come to tow your Zafira off the M25.
Shamefully, Amazon offers no practical help for this breakdown in communications. Seemingly, nobody in Amazon’s hardware division bothered to test the device with the most commonly used router in the country, which is bewildering in itself. As ever, fellow users come to the rescue, so hat tips ahoy to @mattdriley and AmazonEchoUK.com for pointing me in the right direction.
Here’s how I fixed my connection issues. I hope it works for you too:
First, go into your BT Home Hub’s router settings (normally at http://192.168.1.254/index.cgi) and navigate to Advanced Settings (you’ll need the admin password tucked in the back of your router to access these). Then go to Home Network and IP Addresses and note down your Home Hub’s IP Address and Subnet mask.
Now restart the Amazon Echo set-up procedure, using the Alexa app or (better still) the web-based Alexa control panel (http://alexa.amazon.co.uk). You’ll need to hold down the action button on the Echo speaker itself for five seconds to put it back in set-up mode.
Go through the set-up procedure, and at the point it asks for your Wi-Fi network credentials, click on your Wi-Fi network. If you’ve attempted to connect on that Wi-Fi network (SSID) before, click Forget This Network and then select it again (this bit’s really important!).
Enter your Wi-Fi password, but before you click Connect, select Advanced Settings. Now enter the following details:
Router: Enter the IP address you copied down from your own router
Subnet: Again, as supplied by your router
IP address: Now here’s where it gets a wee bit iffy. I selected 192.168.1.160 (as advised by @mattdriley) but there’s a chance another device on your network may have already nabbed that address. You can check if one has by clicking on the Devices tab in the Home Hub’s advanced settings. If it’s gone, try changing to 161, 162 etc at the end).
DNS 1: 184.108.40.206 (BT’s default DNS server address)
DNS 2: 220.127.116.11 (BT’s default backup DNS)
Now click Connect, and with a bit of luck, you should be good to go.