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    O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB?

    This is a discussion on O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB? within the O2 / Be Customer Information forums, part of the Sky Broadband help and support category; I know if just switching over BB alone to Sky, you can continue to use your O2 router. However what ...

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      O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB?

      I know if just switching over BB alone to Sky, you can continue to use your O2 router.

      However what happens if you choose to move Line Rental from BT to Sky and have both? Now I know that Sky will send out its own Sky Hub but out of interest would the O2 router continue to work on Sky's full LLU network?


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      Re: O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB?

      This depends on whether you can configure it to use the log in details which you will need to capture (use Wireshark) from the Sky router. Also you will need to have PPPoA as the connection, not MER.

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

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      Re: O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB?

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      This depends on whether you can configure it to use the log in details which you will need to capture (use Wireshark) from the Sky router. Also you will need to have PPPoA as the connection, not MER.
      Thanks.

      I believe there has been a firmware update to O2 routers which will allow them to connect to the Sky network. So presumably if this has taken place, it will not matter whether the user is on the old legacy network with BB only or is on the newer voice and broadband network.

      Would there be any advantage over using the O2 router or is the Sky SR101 a better choice anyway?

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      Re: O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB?

      Quote Originally Posted by jem16 View Post
      I believe there has been a firmware update to O2 routers which will allow them to connect to the Sky network. So presumably if this has taken place, it will not matter whether the user is on the old legacy network with BB only or is on the newer voice and broadband network.
      Since my post yesterday I too have heard this, but am not in a position to test it at the moment.

      Quote Originally Posted by jem16 View Post
      Would there be any advantage over using the O2 router or is the Sky SR101 a better choice anyway?
      Depends on what you want from it.

      The router a friend was supplied only supported a WiFi speed of 65mbps, where the SR101 supports 144mbps.

      The O2 router has a USB port, where the SR101 doesn't.

      There are some comments about the fact that the Sky router's GUI is quite locked down. I'm not familiar enough with the O2 routers to compare.

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

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      Re: O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB?

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      The router a friend was supplied only supported a WiFi speed of 65mbps, where the SR101 supports 144mbps.
      None of the O2 routers are "n" based, all are "g" based.

      So WiFi speed should be better with the Sky hub? Will that matter if your connection is only 6/7mb?

      The O2 router has a USB port, where the SR101 doesn't.
      My O2 router does have a USB port but never used it.

      There are some comments about the fact that the Sky router's GUI is quite locked down. I'm not familiar enough with the O2 routers to compare.
      The O2 router is also locked down so very little you can change.

      Is there an advantage to using a completely different router with Sky - ie one not locked down in any way?

      Do Sky allow use of your own router or is it a case of allowing it but not supporting it?

    9. #6
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      Re: O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB?

      Ok, so their own routers are not significantly better that the Sky routers.

      Quote Originally Posted by jem16 View Post
      Is there an advantage to using a completely different router with Sky - ie one not locked down in any way?

      Do Sky allow use of your own router or is it a case of allowing it but not supporting it?
      Ok, 2nd question first:

      In Sky's Terms and Conditions they do state that that you must use the router supplied. However Sky has never knowingly punished a customer for not using the supplied Sky router and many members of this forum do use a non-Sky router.

      Apologies in advance for the rest of the answer, it is a long one...

      Advantages?

      Depends on what you want from the router. For many people the Sky router is enough to provide access to the Internet and is reliable. These are two very important things and as it works straight out the box there is no complex setting up, typing in passwords, etc. Yes I know that the O2 router is the same in this respect, so too are most other ISP supplied routers now.

      So where might you look for something better?

      The WiFi signal is on par with most other WiFi n routers. I understand that the latest Netgear routers (R6300, R6200, D6300 & Centria) do produce a better signal strength due to their design. This can be important if you have a part of your home where the signal is poor or a large garden.

      WiFi speed is a critical issue for myself. Whilst most devices will be fine with the 144mbps connection speed of the Sky Hub SR101, it doesn't work well for all devices. This laptop I am using this morning was supplied with a 150mbps adaptor, provided it connects to a "paired channel". The SR101 uses a single channel. It would therefore connect at 72mbps. I changed the adaptor to one which can connect at up to 450mbps, but I have only used it on a router which works at up to 300mbps at the most to date. It connects at the full 144mbps on the SR101.

      I copy/backup/restore files to my NAS. Having a fast connection is therefore very useful to me. You can get routers whose WiFi speed is faster and yes I personally would benefit from that too.

      WiFi frequency
      The Sky Hub SR101 only uses the 2.4GHz channel. This is the same as most ISP routers until earlier this year when BT and VM released routers which use the 5GHz channels. TalkTalk too now supply a router which also uses the 5GHz channel.

      Why use the 5GHz channels? Many people live in areas where the 2.4GHz channels are saturated. This results in the performance being affected, often without them realising. The 5GHz frequency has many more channels available, but doesn't carry as far. Many new smart phones and tablets do support this frequency and some laptops do as well. The adaptor I fitted in this laptop does, the original didn't. Where I live there are a very large number of WiFi routers around (I've counted more than 80 before today).

      Ethernet LAN speed
      Most devices in the shops still only support a 10/100mb Ethernet port. Many Internet ready TVs, sound systems, Blu-rays, etc., all support a 100mb port. The Sky+ HD and SkyHD STBs all have a 100mb port and this is sufficient for their current needs. This laptop only has a 100mb port, but my NAS has a 1Gbit port, so too does my PC which I use for downloading torrents.

      The link between my torrent PC and NAS runs at 1Gbit. It makes a huge difference to transferring files. In the past I would have counted in hours the length of time it would have taken, now it is in minutes.

      My other laptop also has a 1Gbit port and backing that up is a lot quicker than backing up this laptop when I connect it via the Ethernet port (WiFi is longer as there is more on it and it connects at the same WiFi speed).

      Other features
      What else does a router do? Well they all provide a simple firewall to prevent some bots from accessing your home network and computers. They also look up that address you type in (www...) and send the request in the right direction according to a table which they access. Not all tables are equal and although Sky's works well, it isn't the fastest. OpenDNS and Google's DNS servers are a little quicker.

      Talking of OpenDNS, some routers have a built-in feature to utilise their Parental Controls service. This has been around for a while now and is quite popular with some people.

      Other 'toys' include tools such as Netgear Genie (allows me to see what is connect to my router and at what speed and much more), guest networks (special password for guests without giving full access to my entire LAN), Internet printer/Media sharing (USB port), traffic meter, emailing reports & VPN support in the router (allows you to connect the network at your 2nd home for example). There will be other features with other routers.

      Not everyone will want all these features. Out of Sky's over 4 million Broadband customers I don't know how many use their own routers, but the majority will be using the Sky router. It is enough for them at the present time. However things change.

      Home equipment is improving though. I mentioned the 5GHz frequency and the fact that most new tablets and smart phones can use it, but they only connect at up to 65mbps. The majority of Laptops in the shops sadly don't have a decent WiFi n adaptor and most fail to support a 300mbps WiFi let alone the 5GHz frequency.

      NAS units have been around for a while now. Many members of this forum do have them, but I suspect their cost will put a lot of people off. They can also be quite frightening to setup, but actually once set up require very little maintenance.

      For myself I use them (I have two) to store various videos, my music and to backup my computers. They are quite important to me now. They are far easier to use than an external drive as they are always on and I can access them when away from home too (password protected).

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

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      Re: O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB?

      Many thanks for such a comprehensive reply.

      It sounds like for the moment I will be fine using the SR101 when my connection switches over on Tuesday. I have accepted a deal for BB and Line Rental and my new hub arrived a few days ago.

      Most of my network is wired with Sky HD boxes, Apple TV, a Blu-Ray player and my 2 PCs all connecting. None are using 1gb ports though at the moment.

      The only devices using wireless are my iPad and Samsung smartphone.

      Just one last question. I know that Sky technically has 2 networks - ie the old legacy network for BB only with other providers for line rental and the new voice and BB network for those with Sky line rental and BB.

      Is there any advantage or disadvantage to being on either?

    12. #8
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      Re: O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB?

      Sorry it was a long response. Each person will have a different reason for wanting to use their own router, but most will be fine with the standard router.

      Sky networks from the perspective of most people will not vary hugely. There are a couple of things which can benefit on the SVBN system though:


      • Some phones can support texting on it (like with the BT Retail network) in some areas, not all
      • The new DLM software can get a better connection speed when you have one of the 3 latest Sky routers (other routers will be updated, don't know when or which though) and is only on Sky's kit. Connection speeds have been improved as a direct result on ADSL lines


      Previously I was on WLR3. I am now SVBN. If I now dial 17070 I get "Zo", not BT's Line testing system.

      I did read that 100 would now get me Sky but this isn't the case. I still get BT's Operator service.

      Of course from Sky's perspective the costs will be lower as they no longer have to pay BT as much when routing calls. However all phone calls are directed through a few hubs across the UK so there will be some costs shared.

      Call quality should be the same across all networks now. Your analogue conversation is digitised at the exchange and from there it will join a fibre network.

      All the other Sky Talk services are very much the same, even for those who are on the Sky Broadband Connect service, where they don't have Sky's kit in the telephone exchange.

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

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      Re: O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB?

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      Sorry it was a long response. Each person will have a different reason for wanting to use their own router, but most will be fine with the standard router.
      No I appreciated the time you spent writing it. At least if I feel my own router would be beneficial, I know the reasons why.

      Some phones can support texting on it (like with the BT Retail network) in some areas, not all
      I do have a phone that supports texting although never used it. Partly because my Orchid dialler ( used for routing calls via the best low cost provider ) seemed to stop the texts getting through and also because it seemed a bit daft considering my mobile is used for texting. However I did get the occasional text via voice - strangely enough from Vodafone who you would think would use my mobile!

      My Orchid dialler will be redundant after the move so it should allow texts through then. Do you know which areas allow it?

      The new DLM software can get a better connection speed when you have one of the 3 latest Sky routers (other routers will be updated, don't know when or which though) and is only on Sky's kit. Connection speeds have been improved as a direct result on ADSL lines
      Well that would be nice if it happens. I'm quite far away from the exchange and only get around 6mb which is enough for everything I do but I won't complain if I get a bit extra. Fibre is not an option on my exchange at the moment and no mention of even a date in the future.

      Call quality should be the same across all networks now. Your analogue conversation is digitised at the exchange and from there it will join a fibre network.
      I always found call quality a bit of a mix with BT. When I phone another BT line with BB enabled, often the volume of the call is considerably lower than when I call a BT line with no BB or when I call a Virgin line. Some days I can hardly hear the other caller and yet some days it is clear. I have no idea what's happening here.

      Thank you for confirming that Sky does still operate 2 networks though. I mentioned this on another forum which is covering the O2/BE switchover and was told I must be confused!

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      Re: O2 router with Sky Line Rental & BB?

      The texting is very hit or miss. There are some details if you search on this forum on how to set it up, but remember you will be charged for texting a mobile. Personally I would stick to using a mobile for texting.

      As for Vodafone, sign in to your on-line account and check your settings. You'll probably find that your landline is your contact number for text messages.

      You probably won't notice a huge benefit on your line. It is where the lines are a little shorter (something like 12mb+) which have really benefitted. However, it is still possible so you never know.

      Depending where your connection is going you could be connected in one of 4 ways:


      1. SVBN (Sky Voice and Broadband Network)
      2. ???? (Another Sky network I can't recall the full name of)
      3. WLR3
      4. BT Wholesale (i.e. Connect)


      #4 is possible in areas where Sky is very popular and has run out of sockets on their own kit. It is also what is provided to those on exchanges without Sky's kit.

      As Sky roll out more kit to the different telephone exchanges #2 & #3 are being phased out. To the best of my knowledge though Sky Fibre connections are only going through on option #1. I was on WLR3 but I was switched to SVBN when I upgraded to Fibre.

      As for the voloume issue that you picked up, I don't have an answer for this. It is possible that the handsets being used are the cause, rather than the line. A lot of people use DECT phones and the quality does vary between them.

      Sky Fibre Unlimited Pro: Connected at 80,000 kbps / 20,000 kbps
      Previous ADSL2+ Speed 19999 kbps 1153 kbps, Line Attenuation 17.5 db 6.9 db, Noise Margin 7.5 dB 8.7 dB
      Speedtest: 17.15MB/s 0.97Mb/s Ping 31 ms

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