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Sky Anytime, Routers and 3 Home Signal

Still been busy prototyping with NodeJS and MongoDB (nothing too interesting to show yet), but had a couple of things happen in my home network that I’d thought I’d share in case they help anyone suffering with the same issues.

Problems with Sky Anytime and my Netgear Router

I’d bought a wireless connector for my Sky box so I could use the on-demand services of Sky Anytime, but whatever I tried it wouldn’t connect to my home network - which made it worse than useless.

I’ve got a fairly old Netgear DG834GT router that has always worked fine for me with my BT Broadband connection without any issues, so thought it was unlikely there was a problem there.

I spoke with the usually very helpful and knowledgeable Sky support, but other than saying a few people had also reported similar issues, they had no idea what to do.

I’d almost given up on finding a solution, but then I happened upon a support forum where someone mentioned they’d changed their ADSL multiplexing method to “LLC-based” rather than “VC-based” and that had managed to fix the connection issue.

I was very doubtful that could be the problem, but after I switched I immediately made a connection, and can now use BBC iPlayer, 4OD and other services direct from my Sky box.

To be honest it still doesn’t make sense how the ADSL connection type can affect how the wireless network connects to the box, but hey, it worked for me!

3 Home Signal

I’ve been very happy with my iPhone since I got it a few months ago, and reasonably happy being on the 3 network except for one thing - the phone signal in our house was very patchy and much worse than I used to get on Orange.

Now living in a small town (Hexham) in a valley in the country means it’s not totally unexpected we get a weak signal - we only just about get free-to-air digital TV - and our house has pretty thick stone walls. However it’s still not exactly the middle of nowhere, so pretty disappointing to only get a connection in the house about 50% of the time.

However, I’d read that 3 have a solution called Home Signal that they will ship for free if you qualify. It’s basically a Femtocell connector that gives you a private phone network to connect your calls via your broadband router.

The tip I found online - which I will share here - is not to ask 3 directly for a Home Signal box, but simply tell technical support you are having problems, let them test the signal and then they will suggest Home Signal if you qualify for one.

It has definitely worked for me, and now I get at least 3 bars everywhere in the house and don’t miss any calls any more.

N.B. This blog post has now moved to https://writingontablets.com