Networking & 3rd party router with Sky Q/SkyQ Minis

jonbunk

Standard Member
Appreciate any expert guidance please to the issues and potential solutions I think might help with WiFi. It might be I am missing something and over complicating things and there is a very simple addition to my existing set-up which can help with the Wi-Fi situation and laptop point like the Develo Magic 2 WiFi.

Current Sky Products
  • Sky Broadband Superfast
  • 1 x Sky Q Box - hard wired connection (kitchen)
  • 3 x Sky Minis - wifi connection (bedroom, lounge, dinining room - no simple known option to hard wire)
  • 3 x Sky Boosters
  • 1 x Sky Hub (under stairs cupboard - cannot be moved as all wiring returns here as a hub)
  • Wired minimum download Speed 79 Mb/s, average upload speed 20 Mb/s
  • WiFi speed when good (50% time): download 22 - 55 Mb/s, upload 5-18 Mb/s
  • WiFi speed when poor (50% time): download 0.3 - 4 Mb/S, upload 1.7 - 5.9 Mb/s
Core issues to resolve
1. Poor and intermittant WiFi - frequent drop outs 2.4Ghz and 5 Ghz or very low download/upload

2. Laptop used in a room for work meetings over WiFi - connection very poor

Potential Solutions
1. Improve WiFI
  • Replace Sky Hub with 3rd party router (under stairs) and a 3rd party modem (under stairs) and install Ubiquiti AP AC Pro x 3 wired throughout the house to serve as WiFi transmitter
Q. Would this render the Sky Mini's unusable? What are the solutions to consider?
  • Potential to hard wire 3 Sky Minis
    • Issue: - v. high cost £1k+, significant cosmetic repair in/outside house diverting existing wiring
  • Powerline Adapters: Devolo Magic 2 WiFi. Plug Sky Minis into ethernet on Powerline Adapters
    • Would this work and are these the best Powerline Adapters to get?
    • Where would main powerline adapter be best to start and why - plug into 3rd party router under stairs or hard wired Sky Q box in kitchen?
    • Would WiFi on Poerline Adapters need to be turned off or ok to use as further booster for house
Q. Would this resolve Laptop issue with if much better WiFi. Any further solutions to consider?
  • Potential to hard wire in the room laptop used
    • Issue: - v. high cost £1k+, significant cosmetic repair in/outside house diverting existing wiring
  • Powerline Adapters: Devolo Magic 2 WiFi. Plug laptop into ethernet on Powerline Adapte
    • Would this work and are these the best Powerline Adapters to get?
  • I assume main powerline adapter plugs into 3rd party router under stairs?
  • Would WiFi on Powerline Adapter need to be turned off or ok to use as further booster for house
 

psychopomp1

Member
First of all an important point: you can't just use any third party router or Access Point willy-nilly on Sky as it has to support DHCP 60/61 - many don't. Secondly, a decent third party router will almost certainly provide better wifi coverage than the Sky router, as the latter is quite poor for wifi. How much better, you won't know until you try as everyone's home and environment is unique. Better to see how you get on with a different router first before potentially wasting money on additional Access Points.

Many on here have bought TP Link modem/routers on Sky (they support DHCP Option 60/61) and noticed a massive improvement wrt wifi. The TP Link VR900 on Sky adsl/vdsl connections is a popular choice on these forums but if you can stretch your budget, go for the VR2800 - its TP Link's best modem/router (its 4x4 whereas the VR900 is 3x3). Have a read here:

 

jonbunk

Standard Member
First of all an important point: you can't just use any third party router or Access Point willy-nilly on Sky as it has to support DHCP 60/61 - many don't. Secondly, a decent third party router will almost certainly provide better wifi coverage than the Sky router, as the latter is quite poor for wifi. How much better, you won't know until you try as everyone's home and environment is unique. Better to see how you get on with a different router first before potentially wasting money on additional Access Points.

Many on here have bought TP Link modem/routers on Sky (they support DHCP Option 60/61) and noticed a massive improvement wrt wifi. The TP Link VR900 on Sky adsl/vdsl connections is a popular choice on these forums but if you can stretch your budget, go for the VR2800 - its TP Link's best modem/router (its 4x4 whereas the VR900 is 3x3). Have a read here:


Thank you - advice greatly appreciated and would always research before buying anything.

Before moving ahead with a 3rd party modem / router (happy to spend whatever is needed to get the best - is VR2800 your recommendation or are there even better?), how would I overcome the problem with the 3 Sky Q Mini's which are connected via WiFi.

I am led to believe that if the Sky router is replaced then the 3 x Sky Q Mini's have to be hard wired to work? - which is a huge job & expensive due to cosmetic building works but not impossible.

Also, if I bought a 3rd party modem / router like the one you suggest then I am assuming it is a 3 in 1 - modem, router, wifi - which I'd still need to keep under the stairs cupboards nd no guarantee that it would 100% solve WiFi issue - am sure it would improve it.

So would it not be full proof to go straight for a modem (any recommendation?) and a router (any recommendation?) under the stairs and still have several wired APs around the house for WiFi? Would that not be WiFi guaranteed and save in cost having to add it later? Not sure whether that would still leave an issue with the Sky Minis on WiFi?

Thanks
 

psychopomp1

Member
Sorry can't help with the nitty gritty details (I don't have Sky) but worth posting in that other AVForums thread I linked to earlier as others are also using Sky Mini units with TP Link routers and will be in a better position to provide more details.

Yep, the VR2800 is a modem, router and wifi radios all-in-one. However......placing any wifi router in a enclosed space such as cupboard or TV cabinet is a BAAAAAAAD idea. You would need to put router out in the open - doesn't have to be in the bang centre of the home - just out in the open. Of course it may not be very spouse or pet friendly, but needs must and all that :)
 

neilball

Well-known Member
If you want decent 5GHz performance then sim to have your router and any wired access points on the rooms that you want to have best performance - 5GHz radio waves do not penetrate easily through building structure so signal strength/quality falls away quickly the further away from the source or the more physical structure you put in between the source and client devices. 2.4GHz does penetrate further and that presents other challenges when deploying access points around the house. You may need to use lower power on 2.4GHz, as well as sticking to 20MHz channels and only channel numbers 1, 6 & 11 to avoid access points intefering with each other, and from providing such a strong signal as to prevent 5GHz capable devices from choosing the higher bandwidth 5GHz band for wifi use (it is the client devices that choose when to roam between access points and when to switch from 5GHz to 2.4GHz for better reliability of signal). Having lots of APs and boosters all operating at maximum output simply adds so much noise that performance drops significantly. So perversely by turing down radio output you can actually improve performance in many cases. This is of no help when you add lots of extenders such as those used by Sky that allow no fine tuning of their output, so designing a wireless infrastructure that allows these to be removed is a good start!

I have not recently tried to connect an Sky Minis to non-Sky wifi (in all my installs I aim to have all Sky boxes connected via wired ethernet and turn off the wifi in the Sky box installer menus), but you certainly used to be able to link Minis to an access point using WPS (which is what the button with two arrows is on the individual Sky boxes). So if your new APs support WDS then this could be worth a try to see if this still works.
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Its a maximum of 2 watching live tv. The third can be watching Netflix, streaming or recorded programs. You just cant have more than 3 Sky Boxes watching live (satellite) TV at once.
 

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