Using a Sky SR101 White Sky Hub Router as a Network Switch

This blog post is about how I used an old Sky SR101 ‘white Sky Hub’ router as a network switch.

Warning: Please be aware that any firmware updates could contain security fixes, as well as features you might require. I wasn’t running the latest firmware.

Note: You should view this blog post as an outdated blog post, but perhaps it might be of interest to someone. This blog post is about how I used an old Sky SR101 router. I’m not providing a recommendation that you do the same, but writing about my own experience.

Sky SR101 White Sky Hub

Introduction
I’m not a Sky broadband customer, but this router was bundled with a Sky set-top box I purchased at a car boot sale. A quick search online and apparently it’s locked to Sky’s broadband, so how can I use it? Well, I thought I would temporarily use the SR101 instead of my Netgear switch.

rear of a Sky SR101 White Sky Hub

How I used the SR101
I was using a Netgear switch, but decided to replace it temporarily with a SR101, but ended up using the Sky Hub for over a year! I didn’t use a SR101 as my main router, but instead connected it to my main ADSL router via an ethernet cable. This enabled me to extend my wired network to another location in my property, which met my specific requirements. You can read more about this later in the blog post.

another rear photo of a Sky SR101 White Sky Hub

Setting up the SR101 for ethernet only use
I connected the SR101 only to a computer via an ethernet cable. I temporarily assigned a static IP address to the computer I was using to configure the SR101. The IP address was in the same range as the SR101. i.e. The computer was assigned 192.168.0.40.

In a web browser I opened the url 192.168.0.1, clicked on a menu item and in the access pop-up box, typed admin as the default username and sky for the password.

I turned off the WiFi access on the SR101 and then under the ‘Advanced’ menu, I selected ‘LAN IP Setup’. To avoid a conflict with my primary broadband router, I changed the IP address to something different and then deselected ‘Use Router as DHCP Server’.

After applying the changes, it rebooted the Sky SR101. I then changed the password, so that is unique.

I had now finished configuring the SR101, so set the computer I had used during configuration, back to using a dynamic IP address.

In addition to a computer already being connected to the SR101 via ethernet, I plugged in three other cables, connecting a Huawei HG633 router (for broadband), a set-top box and another computer.

SR101 router status

Firmware issues
I don’t use Sky broadband, but it appears that Sky updates firmware on routers automatically for their broadband users. I don’t know if this continues to be the situation for this router at the time of writing this blog post. I wish the router had been updated with the latest firmware.

At the time of writing (June 2019) on a web page, Sky lists firmware version as: 2639, 3591 and 3734. However Sky’s Recovery Tool package which contains firmware, appears to only include version 2639, which is a shame.

An example of how I’m using the SR101 Sky Hub
My primary router is a HG633, which the SR101 connects to via a long ethernet cable. Then three computers are connected to the SR101. 

I’ve not experienced any problems connecting to devices plugged directly into the HG633, when my own computer is routing via the SR101.

Below are typical situations:

My computer ↔ SR101 ↔ HG633 (ADSL router) ↔ Powerline adapter ↔ NAS.

Two computers ↔SR101 ↔ HG633 (ADSL router)↔ Steam Multiplayer

I know this isn’t a great network setup, but it worked for me.

Why did I bother?
Without the latest firmware and not being a Sky broadband customer (for updates), I was missing out on features, and also possibly security fixes. In terms of connectivity with services I use, I didn’t experience any problems. i.e. Steam gaming, web browsing, Ftp, Nas connectivity and email.

I picked this router up cheaply to try it out, and ended up using it for over a year! The router doesn’t take up much surface space, which I liked.

I didn’t use the WiFi features and I’ve noticed some people have modified their Sky Hubs to improve the wireless connectivity.

It’s only a 100Mb router and whilst using my NAS, occasionally a faster connection would be nice, the majority of the time I was okay with the ethernet speed.

Last thoughts
I wrote the draft for this blog post in August 2018, and I’m only now publishing the post in June 2019. I have continued to use the SR101 until this month without any issues, but decided to start using another router.

Why did I stop using the Sky Hub? I’m having a clear out of items and wanted to use a different router I already own and give the SR101 to a charity. It was time for me to move onto another router.

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