Sky Broadband ADSL username/password hardware lock-in

NOTE: This post is very outdated. I’m no longer sure that the instructions would be correct, and the sites I linked to seem to be down now. I have modified the link to point to an archived copy of the page.

—Stu, 2016-12-24

I’ve been a satisfied customer of Sky Broadband for the last couple of years now. The router/modem you get sent is usually either rebranded Netgear or Sagem hardware, which is good. The problem with this hardware is that Sky modify it in such a way that they hardcode the username and password for the actual ADSL connection, and never reveal it to the users.

The other week my router decided not to work any more. Luckily I had a spare that my dad bought on eBay for £1 once. I plugged it in and that’s when I realised I didn’t have to enter any details to connect. Very strange. I contacted Sky to get a replacement router and I never got it. It was delivered to me, but I never went to fetch it from the Post Office because I thought I’d be fine with the spare. I regretted that decision last week when the spare died on me too. I now suspect a faulty power cable, for both to die in such a short time.

I contacted Sky and asked them to resend another one so I could connect again. I still hadn’t heard anything back from them by today, and I was getting bored, and fed up of using 3G on my phone for everything, so I went to Argos and bought myself a nice new Linksys router.

After I’d plugged it in I was prompted for a username and password for the ADSL. I typed in my Sky.com user details as they were the only details I thought would be even close to correct, even though I doubted that. When it didn’t work I did a little bit of a search from my phone and found lots of people with the same problem.

I decided to call Sky Broadband technical support to see if they could give me the information I needed to connect. I spoke to a very nice man on the other end of the phone who didn’t really have a clue what I was talking about. He kept saying that Sky can’t offer support for other routers, and I kept saying that I understand how a router works and I just needed my ADSL username and password. Eventually he said there was absolutely no way of him finding out any details that I could use to connect, and that by not using a Sky router I’d be breaking the terms and services. I told him that was ridiculous.

I then complained about ordering a router last week and not having heard anything back. He put me on hold and got one dispatched for me right away. Why had I been waiting so long if it only takes a couple of seconds?

After hanging up I did a bit more searching online and discovered that there way to find your login details is actually very basic. As long as you still have a Sky router/modem around somewhere you can use the details on the label printed on the bottom to generate the same details on this extremely useful website.

I entered the details for one of my Sky routers on the site, then entered the generated details on my Linksys configuration page and everything worked perfectly! 🙂 I now have a working Sky Broadband Internet connection with a non-crippled router.

The only reason I can think of for this whole setup is to prevent Sky from getting support calls for problems that are nothing to do with their hardware from people who don’t know what they’re doing. This is fine for most people, but they shouldn’t be forcing people to use only their equipment. Sky should have a way of generating a username and password for users of non-Sky-branded routers, and they should provide them to customers who call and request them. It wouldn’t be that hard, and the people who would buy another router and configure it themselves are the people who are intelligent enough not to call Sky when something goes wrong with their Belkin router.

5 thoughts on “Sky Broadband ADSL username/password hardware lock-in

  1. I entered those details on my new Linksys router and it worked.

    I also decided to spoof my MAC address to match just in case Sky decide to check that kind of thing.

  2. it worked 😀 if it didnt work for anyone check caps lockv and that yourusing the colons in between every two numbers fgor max address suck that sky 😀

  3. Did you try the things that Ādam suggested above?

    Have you double-checked you’ve got the right version of the router? Perhaps Sky have released a new one with different security.

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