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Question Sky Q booster and Powerline adapters

Loup Garou

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2019
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I am getting Sky Q and Sky broadband installed in the penthouse flat into which we are moving in 6 weeks. I want to be able to get the best possible wifi signal but have not completely understood the various points of advice given by other sources. I request someone to explain the Dos and Don'ts please.

- As the community dish was not yet upgraded for Sky Q, we have had a private Sky Q compatible dish installed in our balcony.
-We have requested a BT/Sky Open Reach Engineer to visit to install additional landline points close to where we plan to place the router.
-The local 'Green Box' is less than 200 metres away from the balcony in our flat with no intervening obstructions.
-I plan to get a Sky Q 2TB box with 3 mini boxes, to be placed in the lounge, both bedrooms and the large loft conversion of this duplex flat.
-Being retired, we watch a lot of TV and movies (Netflix etc included) but do NOT do gaming.

That is the plan as it stands. Now I want to know how to get the best out of the TV/Internet package and this is where I am confused.
1. A Sky spokesman in one of those shopping mall Sky stands advised me to get Superfast Sky Broadband with Boost. OK, we will request that but should I rely on the Sky Q booster supplied by Sky or get my own? I read somewhere that a Wifi Network Extender is the best option but not sure if this is true and if so, which brand I should get.
2. I have also been asked to use a good Powerline Adapter to connect the router to the mains. Will this be in addition to the aforementioned booster or instead of? If the latter, which is better?
3. I have also been advised to run Cat 6 LAN cables between the router and the Sky Q box, powerline adapter, TV and Blu-ray player. I can do this with the main Sky 2TB Box which will be located alongside the router but not the mini boxes in other rooms. Will that make a difference?
4. Is there any additional way by which I can improve the ability of the 3 Sky Q mini boxes to receive the wifi signals for the pother TVs?

That's it. Sorry about the long post but I confess that I am not very familiar with these things and so have to ask.
 

Tonestar1

Moderator
Nov 4, 2008
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18,670
Hi,
I'll try to answer each point as best I can then summarise on what I think is your best course of action.
1. I assume you cannot get ultrafast therefore superfast is the best available at your address. I wouldn't bother with boost as it only guarantees 3meg per room with isn't worth much. Each Sky Q mini box acts as a wi-fi extender anyway so don't bother adding anything additional in that department.
2. Powerline adapters act as ethernet extension points utilising your existing electrical wiring to carry the signal. You plug an ethernet cable from the router into one then add end points at other power outlets throughout your home. These may not be required unless you have really thick stone walls or a massive property. I'd hang off on buying these until you establish if the wi-fi is up to scratch. If you are having problems in a specific room you can add a powerline adapter at anytime. Powerline adapters tend to be more stable and are faster than wi-fi but for your needs wi-fi should be more than sufficient.
3. Running Cat6 to the router and primary Sky Q box is advisable. If you intend to be accessing streaming services from the sky Q box I wouldn't bother running Cat6 to the TV or Blu-Ray. Wi-fi should be more than sufficient for occasional firmware updates. If you intend to use another source (TV perhaps) I would run a Cat6 to that device also.
One thing to note is the Sky Q hub only has two ethernet outputs. If you want four you may need to upgrade to Sky Hub 2019. I'm not sure if you will get it with your proposed package.
4. You could possibly look at other wi-fi extenders such as the BT discs which are brilliant but I would give Sky Q a go first.

I work in the telecommunications/IT field and you can make these type of solutions rock solid, spend a lot of money and overly complicate things very easily. Keep it simple in the first instance and try the Sky Q wifi on its own as it should meet your expectations.
If it doesn't then I would look to add powerline adapters, one master connected to the main router then one at each on the mini hubs.
 
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Loup Garou

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2019
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1. I assume you cannot get ultrafast therefore superfast is the best available at your address.

2. Powerline adapters act as ethernet extension points utilising your existing electrical wiring to carry the signal. You plug an ethernet cable from the router into one then add end points at other power outlets throughout your home. These may not be required unless you have really thick stone walls or a massive property.

3. If you are having problems in a specific room you can add a powerline adapter at anytime.


4. Running Cat6 to the router and primary Sky Q box is advisable. If you intend to be accessing streaming services from the sky Q box I wouldn't bother running Cat6 to the TV or Blu-Ray. Wi-fi should be more than sufficient for occasional firmware updates. If you intend to use another source (TV perhaps) I would run a Cat6 to that device also.

5. I would look to add powerline adapters, one master connected to the main router then one at each on the mini hubs.
Thank you very much Tonestar 1. I have selected points from your reply which I felt I needed to understand a bit more. I hope that you don't mind.

1. Yes, there is no Ultrafast Broadband in that area. I checked.

2. The building is moderate in size - 16 flats over 3 floors - but does have unusually thick concrete walls and floors. But the 'internal floor' between levels of our duplex flat is a boarded one.
At the main A-V cabinet, should I plug only the router through the powerline adapter or should I do the same with the Sky Q 2TB box as well? I will connect the router and the box by a Cat 6 cable.

3. There will be 3 other rooms with mini boxes but these will be not close to the router (which will be in the lounge near the main box). So, are you saying that I can plug the mini-boxes via powerline adapters to improve the signal reception from the main box?

4. Understood that point but IF I do plug the other devices via Cat 6 to the router, it won't cause any interference, will it?

5. Can you explain this point? Not sure what you mean by 'mini-hubs'. Are you referring to the mini-boxes themselves or will there be an additional powered device alongside the mini-box the receive signals?

Thanks again.
 

Tonestar1

Moderator
Nov 4, 2008
186
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18,670
Hi,
No problem. It's a slow day at work :)

2. As the router will be in your property it's only the internal walls and floors that matter. If the internal walls are thick concrete you may have issues but not necessarily as the sky Q minis and main box form a strong mesh network between all devices. Suspended internal floor should not present any problems.

The Sky Q 2TB box only has one ethernet port which would need to be connected to the router itself. The router would have another connection to the powerline adapter.

3. Yes you can connect the mini boxes via powerline. Though if i may stress again, mesh networks are pretty strong and there may be NO need for powerline adapters at all and it will complicate troubleshooting any issues.

4. Certainly shouldn't cause and interference.

5. Sorry my bad. I meant the mini boxes themselves there is no need for any other devices.

To reiterate I would strongly suggest using only wi-fi first, that was how the system was primarily designed to work and by all accounts it works very well.
If you have issues then go down the powerline route. Don't over-complicate things
 
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Loup Garou

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2019
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The Sky Q 2TB box only has one ethernet port which would need to be connected to the router itself. The router would have another connection to the powerline adapter.
Understood and thank you very much.

If I need more ethernet ports for the router, will a device like this be helpful?

 
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Loup Garou

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2019
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5
45
I had a look at images of Sky's new 2019 Sky Broadband hub (SR203)and it appears to have 4 LAN ports plus a few others. The blurb says as below (italics)

The new Sky Broadband Hub (SR203) wireless router (pictured – top) is of a similar size to the current Sky Q Hub, albeit with 4 x Gigabit LAN ports (the Q Hub only had 2) – one of which is for WAN – 2 x Telephone ports (ATA for VoIP connection via older analogue handsets and SOGEA / SoG.Fast lines), a built-in G.fast / VDSL2 / ADSL2+ modem and 8 antenna. We believe it’s combined WiFi speed peaks at around 2Gbps (theoretical).
1577832867125.png

Can this be used instead of the new Sky Q router along side the main box? If the yellow ports are LAN, what is the pink one for and the one that says 'UK'?
 

Tonestar1

Moderator
Nov 4, 2008
186
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18,670
Yes I think so but you will need to check with them you can get one on your package if it's not already included. The pink port is for the broadband connection from the telephone socket.
 
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Loup Garou

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2019
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I have to refresh this post to update and request help.

We now have had Sky Q for just over 3 months. During that time only the hardwired 2TB Sky Main Box has worked properly. NONE of the 3 mini-boxes have worked for more than an hour without freezing-up and connectivity error messages appearing. Rebooting the box usually works but after an hour or two the problem is back. Looks like the Wifi Signal is dropping out.

We do not have any games consoles or anything like that could potentially cause interference

We have 2 options as I can see - get the mini boxes hardwired as well. Sky have offered to do this for free if they cannot solve the wifi issue but due to the COVID situation, this cannot be done right now.

The other is - as per my OP in this thread - to connect all 3 mini boxes through wifi capable powerline adapters AND connect CAT 6 cables between the two. That can be done right away and involves no drilling walls etc, But will it work?
 

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