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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Have you Really? Wow!


This isn't really radio related, but I'm scribbling here to document my steps (well, thats what a blog is for - isn't it?).

At home we have a really pants copper telephone line based Internet connection provided by Sky. Now, nothing Sky can do really as its the infrastructure that makes the connection speeds so slow. We have also been having issues with Wireless speeds generally and also often hit a "bonkers" (as far as I can work out) restriction on the number of devices that can connect to my network. For some reason the DHCP works fine up to 16 devices, but as soon as device 17 tries to connect it fails.

Often this will be my Spectrum Analyser but also it happens to be the visiting sprogs laptop - all very inconvenient.

So today I've bought a TP-Link router with 5GHz and 2.4GHz wi-fi to replace the Sky provided box. The man in the shop told me this was impossible, as Sky will not release the username and password needed to connect to their network.

So, hacking hat on, here's how I've done it:
  1. First, I downloaded some software called Wire Shark from here
  2. Then I installed the software on a PC connected with a wired connection to my Sky router.
  3. Start Wire Shark recording network traffic and then re-boot the router so we capture the network traffic as the router starts up.
  4. Once re-booted, stop the software capture.
  5. use the filter in the Wire Shark software to look only at "udp.port == 67"
  6. In the search results look for "DHCP Discover" traffic and expand
  7. In the expanded area you will find "Option (61) Client Identifier"
  8. Right click and find the option to copy as printable text
  9. Paste the results into a text editor (I used Notepad++)
  10. Low and indeed behold, there is your Sky username and password in the format "=username|password"
I then quickly connected to the router and noted down the MAC address from the "Broadband Port" section of the config screens.

So, armed with this information I plugged in my new shiny TP-Link router, selected "Sky Broadband" as the ISP and entered my username and password. Bingo! I then checked the help on the router and changed (or rather cloned) the MAC address of the Sky router - this is so that from an external perspective you can't tell that the router has been changed.

Result: Much faster wi-fi and no restriction on the number of devices I can connect.

Local conditions.

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