How to replace your Sky fibre router

A person having handcuffs put on them

Not keen on paying Sky to do this to your connection?

Whatever your reasons are for wanting to replace your Sky fibre router (and there are a few) the common denominator is that Sky don’t make it easy. These instructions will allow you to connect to your Sky fibre connection using your own router. The model I’m demonstrating is the Asus RT-N66U.

The legal bit

  • You can read Sky Fibre Broadband’s T&Cs here.
  • Your old Sky fibre router is your property, but the software on it belongs to Sky. You’re not allowed to flash the firmware, and selling it could be dubious. Best hang on to it for as long as you’re a customer.
  • If you need to speak to Sky customer services the easiest thing to do would be plug your Sky router back in and pretend to be just like the rest of their customers. They’ll only support the hardware they’ve supplied.

I’m keen! But how?

  1. Obtain your Sky username and password by doing a little sniffing around your router.
  2. Unplug your Sky router and hide it in the back of a dark cupboard.
  3. Get a new router and flash the firmware on it to a Sky-compatible version.
  4. Put your Sky username into the new router and connect.
  5. Win!

Getting your Sky username and password

As you’re no doubt aware, you’re not told what the Sky username and password you use to connect to their network is. But it is tucked away in the innards of your Sky router, and the router does broadcast them when it connects, so if we watch the output from the router we can deduce what they are. I’m assuming you have the standard white Sky fibre router, which looks like this:

The white Sky fibre router

Essentially you need to install software called Wireshark and use it to snoop in on the packets the Sky fibre router broadcasts when it starts up. Full instructions for that are available here:

How to get the Sky Username and Password for the Sky Hub SR101

Set up your new router

I can personally recommend the Asus RT-N66U. It’s not cheap, but it does pack a lot of cool features. You can get refurbed ones for about £70-80 if you keep a lookout. I got mine because I wanted to do things like use OpenDNS to filter content on my network (I’ve got kids and want finer-grained control than the blunt tool of the ISP filters) and run a VPN so I can access my network when out and about. It’s also fast (gigabit ethernet and 5GHz wifi-n) and stable.

To set it up for Sky you’ll need to install a slightly modified firmware. Merlin’s custom firmware for the Asus RT-N66U router is a minimally modified version of the standard firmware. All the changes Merlin has made are open source, if you’re paranoid you can read the source code. Instructions are on Merlin’s site; it’s really not hard and there’s apparently no risk of bricking your router.

Once you’ve got the new firmware installed go to the router’s admin page (which will be at something like 192.168.0.1 in your browser) go to the “WAN” section and enter your Sky username and password into the Special Requirement from ISP > Manual client ID (for some ISPs). Here’s mine:

router

 

Note the single quotes, IIRC they are required, and don’t forget the | between @skydsl and the password. You may need to reboot the router and/or give it a bit before it connects, but it will. Enjoy your new router on Sky fibre!

 

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47 Responses to “How to replace your Sky fibre router”

  1. Daniel Says:

    Nice tutorial, I’m hoping to follow this but with a different router, at the moment I’m having trouble finding firmware to work with sky fibre.

    Could you link me to some if you know of anywhere? My router is TP-Link TD-W8970 v1

  2. Andy Says:

    Hi Daniel,

    You might want to take a look here:
    http://www.skyuser.co.uk/forum/sky-broadband-fibre-help/52946-tp-link-td-w8970-fibre.html

    Looks like your best bet might be to install something like DD-WRT? If you manage to sort it out let me know. I’d be happy to link to your write-up or post your stuff here.

  3. Rob Says:

    How do you set it up when the skyfibre has an rj11 socket and the asus rt-n66u has only ethernet/rj45 ports?

    So i have my username and password from sky.
    Disconnect the sky modem and put it to one side, now where do i put the rj11 connector?

    Do i need some sort of inbetween modem or something?

  4. Andy Says:

    You should have a BT Openreach modem plugged into your Sky fibre router. You can replace the Sky device, but you’ll need to keep using the BT modem. It plugs into the blue RJ45 port on the RT-N66U.

  5. kevin Says:

    hi i have sky fibre with a SR102 modem/router and no BO OPENREACH MODEM, I want to replace this with the ASUS router – only to realize that it does not have a modem built in for VDSL.

    What is the best replacement for the SR102?

  6. Andy Says:

    Hi, you’ve got a couple of options. You can either go for a new VDSL modem router such as the Asus DSL-N66U, or you could just get one of the Openreach modems to go with the RT-N66U.

  7. bob Says:

    Thanks, Just got up and running with this router on sky. but after many failed attempts to connect, I removed the single quotes and it worked.

  8. Keith Says:

    Hi Andy

    If I replace the SR102 with the Asus DSL-N66U, do I still flash the Merlin custom firmware you mentioned in the guide at the top of the page?
    Not being able to disable SIP ALG on the SR102 is a real pain with my IP phone.

    I look forward to your response.

    Thanks in advance

    Keith

  9. Andy Says:

    I assume you do Keith, although I’ve not used that exact router myself. You could always try without and flash it if required. It’s not difficult.

  10. Tendai Says:

    Hi Andy

    I have just replaced my SR 102 with the DSL-N66U. I followed SF00’s instructions. You do not need to flash the Merlin firmware. You need to flash the latest firmware from Asus whilst setting it all up. Still having some stability issues but holding so far.

    Now that I’ve managed that, how do I then get my Netflix US etc. It’s the business of DNS/DHCP etc that’s making my brain go to mush. Do you have any easy suggestions to guide from the point ” now that you’ve managed to get connected…..do A/B/C”? I hope that doesn’t come across as gobbledygook

    Tendai

  11. Jonathan Says:

    Tendai,

    Just got the DSL n55u – I can’t get it to work!! Can you help?

    Jonathan

  12. Tendai Says:

    Hi Jonathan
    I gave up. It just wouldn’t maintain the DSL connection. The light kept on flashing. Returned it and got the RT instead as I had an old Openreach modem in the house. Much simpler. I had emailed ASUS about the problems I was having but they took their time to respond, by which time I’d already returned the router.

    They said: Hi 

    Regarding the interruptions concern, please go to Advanced Settings >
    Administration > DSL Setting and configure with the following, see whether
    your DSL line could be stabilized. Any other issue please feel free to let
    us know. Thanks.

    – Set “Stability Adjustment (VDSL)” to 10 dB.

    – Set “Rx AGC GAIN Adjustment (VDSL)” to Stable.

    – Set “Tx Power Control (VDSL)” to -3 dB.

    Additionally, I am wondering whether VDSL faceplate installed?

    VDSL faceplate:
    http://www.run-it-direct.co.uk/btvdslfaceplate.html
    The faceplate has to be installed at the master socket(NTE5) which is the
    first termination point from the external line.
    Also the NEW 2014 MK2 Version allows a separate extension facility for
    extending the VDSL wiring if needed.

    Best regards,
    Paul Lee

    Hope it works out for you. I just didn’t have the patience

  13. Jonathan Says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply. It is a pain in the arse! I’ve just bridged from the Sky hub to the n55u and disabled the wifi on the Sky hub. The result is basically the same. The asus pumps the wifi round much better than the sky hub. I like the unlimited fibre that sky offer, but they need to up their kit or allow people to use their own equipment because the current hub is simply not good enough. Anyway all the best,
    Jonathan

  14. Masa Says:

    Great toturial.

    I’m fed up with my SR101’s wireless performance. I looked at reviews for SR102 which at £69 seems not a very good option.

    So at the moment I’m looking at “D-Link DIR-850L Wireless AC1200 Router” (£58 on Amazon) which at that price looks like a bargain. I don’t want to spend huge amounts on a router as I won’t use most of the advanced features.

    Question: how can I check if this is compatible with Sky Fiber? And do I have a better option at £60-£75 price range?

    Many thanks
    Masa

  15. utopianfish Says:

    Hi

    Just bought the Asus RT-N66U. to replace the SKY muck router .. a bit of wiresharking, merlin firmware upgrade and input of said username and password and i was up n running in 15 mins… just a note didn’t need any quotes round the username/password ,, have now setup VPN and different VLANs for my network.. wonderful

  16. Yaron Says:

    Hi Guys,
    Hoping this info will be of help. I have been trying for months to find a solution and finally last night made the breakthrough!
    I am using SKY Fibre VDSL and I managed to connect with a Draytek Vigor 2860 instead of the SKY SR102
    I have a static IP and needed to have my own router to connect to multiple site-to-site VPNs
    it looks like Draytek have upgraded their Firmwares to support DHCP options 60 and 61 which is what you need to connect to SKY Fibre VDSL2
    You can try this link to Draytek support page, but you will only get access if registered. And to register they want your product serial number. Kind of a catch 22 for those who just want to snoop around…. http://www.draytek.co.uk/support/guides/sky-mer-setup-guide?return=1897155
    Anyway, if you want more info, reply to me and I will try to get you more info.
    good luck to all
    Yaron

  17. Andrea Says:

    Hey Andy

    I had mistakenly purchased a standard ADSL2 modem to replace my Sky Fibre. I have an open reach modem from my previous BT connection, but I simply can’t get the two working.

    I keep getting the same PPP user error in the log of the ADSL router. I guess the best option is to send it back, though a couple of lines on how to set them both could be nice for whoever has the same situation.

    I’m concerned about the quality of the Wi-Fi signal offered from the new asus DSL n66. And also can’t understand what are the SF00’s instructions Tendai refers to. Can I have a link?

    Thanks for your help
    Andrea

  18. Chris Says:

    Hi there and thanks for this guide… Apologies if this is a stupid question, but I have the same sky router in the guide but not on fibre, just normal broadband! Does the same process apply?

  19. Andy Says:

    Hi Chris,

    I wrote a guide for standard broadband a while back:

    http://andyduffell.com/techblog/?p=911

    You might want to look for something more up to date though, depending on what kind of router you’ve got.

  20. chris Says:

    Thank you kindly Andy, I am looking at a Netgear D6300-100UKS, would the replacement of the Sky Home Hub be similar to that in your description? i would like fibre at some stage but its not yet in my area!

  21. Andy Says:

    Chris, there’s some information on getting that router working with Sky here:

    http://www.skyuser.co.uk/forum/technical-discussion/52209-replace-sky-modem.html#post407671

    That post is a couple of years old though, there might be something more up-to-date available. I recommend joining that forum and talking to the folks there, they can give you the benefit of their experience with that router.

  22. Richard Says:

    You might want to check the full terms and conditions – http://www.sky.com/shop/terms-conditions/broadband/ .
    2j specifically states only Sky equipment can be used on their fibre equipment.

  23. Andy Says:

    So it does. They must have updated that at some point. It’s probably wise to keep hold of your Sky-issued roiuter in case you need tech support then, as you’ll get less than no help if you’re not complying with their T&Cs.

  24. Trev Says:

    Thanks for this Andy. I’ll have my fiber switched on tomorrow and now I won’t have to use skys good awful equipment.

  25. Chris Says:

    Hi Andy, all seems to be going good in terms of set up but when I do a diagnostics, my set up passes all sections apart from gateway IP address… It just says fail. Essentially, it’s seems to try and connect to the Internet but just keeps loading. Do you have any idea why it may do this? Sorry to be a pain. Another thing, when I have acquired my router pass word, which sections should I put in the username and password boxes on my new router, the info I have is nlnllnnnnnll@skydsl/nnnlnnln ? Hope that makes sense?

  26. Andy Says:

    Not sure about the gateway issue Chris, sorry. That string you’ve got is in the form of usernam@skydsl|password. If you’re using the same router I wrote this for you just enter the whole thing into the “manual client ID” box. If you’ve got a different router I would try putting in username@skydsl into the username box and everything after the | into the password box.

  27. darren Says:

    dont forget to get the mac address from sr102 and put in clone

    ive just bought and succesfully implemented an ASUS dsl ac68nu ,
    if you get this router make sure you update firmware

  28. Stephen Says:

    Hi Andy, this guide is great but wondered if you could recommend any cheaper routers that are fully compatible with sky fibre as my SR102 is doing my head in! I’m on a tight budget so cheaper the better. Thanks in advance!

  29. Mike E Says:

    Hi, Andy – many thanks for this! I purchased the NT-R66U router as I am keen to streamline my current set up which is an older model ASUS router but still interfacing through the Sky Hub (with wireless turned off) and the Openreach modem – so 3 devices.

    I did manage to use Wireshark to track down the username and password. The user name format is 12 letters and numbers followed by @skydsl.com. The password is 15 letters and numbers ending in +

    I also used the password generator which is now recommended as first step – and got a different user name and password in the same format.

    I am not sure which one is correct – but I tried both and unfortunately neither worked. Any ideas welcome! Thanks in advance. Mike

  30. Andy Says:

    Sorry Mike, that’s a new one to me.

  31. Dave Young Says:

    Hey Andy you state on your site that Sky’s T&C’s state you do not have to use the Sky hub,your wrong they do you might want to change that part as your misleading people.The following is from the T&C’s.

    2.Using Sky Broadband

    (j)
    If you wish to use a modem or any other equipment that we have not supplied to you in order to access Sky Broadband we cannot guarantee that ADSL Sky Broadband will work with these. You must not use a modem or any other equipment that we have not supplied to you in order to access Sky Fibre Broadband

  32. Andy Says:

    Thanks for the heads-up Dave. They must have changed their T&Cs.

  33. George Says:

    I’ve replaced the Sky hub with a Billion BiPAC 8800AXL. Using the latest official firmware there is an option to enter your sky username & password, as discovered using the link above.

    This is without using an Openreach modem, connecting the router directly, and it has worked fine so far.

  34. Anne Says:

    Hi, just reading through this thread. I have a SR101. It’s dreadful. Do the instructions above also work for a mac?
    Thanks

  35. Andy Says:

    Absolutely Anne. Most of it’s just done through a browser.

    If you need to use Wireshark to get your username/password you can get the Mac version here:
    https://www.wireshark.org/download.html

  36. Tam Calman Says:

    Hi All

    I have to post this as I spent days trying to get my Netgear N6400 working with my SKY fibre. I did Wireshark to extract the password but in the end all I need was the MAC address of the router.

    If you update the Netgear N6400 router to the latest firmware (V1.0.0.34_1.3.34) and let it take you through the wizard, when it asks for the Client ID (Option 61) just use [your MAC address]@skydsl ie. 123g5g33g1y1@skydsl – that was all that was needed. Finally have 1 router with good wifi AND doesnt keep dropping connection!

  37. Mark K Says:

    Tam, do you now get higher wifi speeds with the d6400?
    Have been looking at that router.

  38. Tam Calman Says:

    Hi Mark, compared to the router that SKY provided a potato with 2 bits of copper stuck in it would’ve provided better WIFI! ….

    But yes the N6400 has fantastic WIFI coverage and speed, transferring files off my QNAP NAS I was getting around 12MB/sec (thats based on what my PC was reporting, I wasn’t using any benchmark tools).

  39. Colin A Says:

    Hi, I’m trying to replace my SR101 with an ASUS RT-AC87U.
    I’ve got the U/N and P/W from wireshark, but am a little unsure where to use them. There is a box for username and password in the “Account Settings” section, but also the Special Requirement from ISP > Manual client ID (as per your screen shot.)
    I’ve tried populating both entries with and without single quotes in the Manual client ID.
    I have the Openreach modem plugged in to the blue modem port, but the router is not connecting.
    I know there’s potentially a million other things which could be wrong, but any ideas on common mistakes?

  40. Max Says:

    Hi Colin,

    I’m having a similar problem with an RT3200 – If I find a solution I’ll let you know, any updates progress you make would be appreciated! Out of interest did you MAC match the MAC on the back of your sky router? I’ve seen on forums it doesn’t always, mine does when looking on the router’s admin pages and via Wireshark. Cheers

  41. HELP! How do I get Asus rt-n66u working on sky fibre Says:

    […] […]

  42. Ewa Says:

    Hello Andy
    I hope you can help. I have searched here for TPLink 9980 but there is no reference. I am a total novice.

    I just recently purchased a TP Link TD W9980 router
    However, now that I have the router and am not experienced in setting these things up, I would be grateful for some help.

    I am currently subscribed to Sky broadband so I have a sky hub and an Open Reach modem.

    So far, I have managed to run through the setup and made all the right connections. The status report shows success in every category but one – I can’t get internet. I have tried everything but there is one thing I am getting wrong and I can’t figure out what.
    I have tried TP Link tech support and they are off loading me telling me to contact sky.
    TP Link says that Sky modem is not powerful enough.

    If someone can help, please let me know. Would be most grateful.

  43. Richard Says:

    Hi there I have exactly the same modem and done everything you say but it just won’t find the Internet. What am I doing wrong?

  44. jo99 Says:

    Hi Andy,

    Could you confirm the WAN Settings that you are using above the Username

    e.g. – automatic config

    Yes to all the settings?

    Was your WAN ip address assigned by Sky or should it be the MODEM IP Address?

  45. Andy Says:

    Jo99, I can’t be 100% certain as I’ve switched to PlusNet since writing this post, but I’m pretty sure I just had the router get the IP automatically.

  46. tayer Says:

    Hi, I Have a Netgear Nighthawk D7000 VDSL router, i have captured the username and password using wireshark. The DSL light comes on but i can’t connect. I have put the user name and password. Is there any other setting i should do. Can you please help. thank you

  47. jjjj Says:

    Using these settings made my RT-N66U connect

    http://www.skyuser.co.uk/forum/sky-broadband-fibre-help/58562-asus-rt-ac68u-sky-fibre-setup.html

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This page last updated 16 June 2015