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Cannot connect BT Premium Whole Home Wifi with Sky Q

So this is a share my experience post, hopefully it will help others.

Sky Q hub (router and modem), Sky Q Ultra HD and two sky Q mini boxes.

Normal issues that seem very common with Sky, devices dropping out, couldn't get back onto the network, those that are getting slower and slower, constant need to reboot the hub - even issues getting on to administer the hub. in some of the areas wifi was very poor, like our conservatory and you simply couldnt get it at all in some areas. After some research seems the basically the Sky routers are very poor at managing connections and issuing IP addresses. We have a number of children, and we work from home - so in lockdown the amount of connected devices has gone nuts.

So, invested in BT Premium Whole Home Wifi 3 disc set, purcased an additional disc so we could really get great coverage. Well, though the first node would connect, could not get a single additional disc to connect at all. Followed all the instructions which are very basic (and troubleshooting is next to useless) and made zero progress. I did the factory resets etc etc etc. 

Problem 1: Firmeware on the discs had a known bug with Sky Q - advice, upgrade the firmware. However, since you couldnt get the discs connected that was very tricky. Had to in the end add the first disc, perform no less than 3 firmware updates - then remove from the network, delete the app, factory reset the next disc and perform all over again. This is a really lengthy process, but at least i had 4 discs on the same firmware.

Problem 2: Sky devices seem to like to broadcast everywhere and cause no end of issues. So the discs were not connecting still. Decided to stop all wifi and have sky q devices run wired through our switch. This appeared to help the first node and that had great internet connectivity (note had switched off wifi on the Sky router itself). However, still was not able to attach the next disc.

Problem 3: Make sure ALL sky Q devices are not connected to your router at all, wired or wifi. Long story short, they are attempting to create a mesh amongst themselves, but are extremely poor at doing so and basically I end up with Failed to obtain IP address or a message regarding Temporary unavailable for access. Once i had done this, i was able to get the 2 other discs attached (NB the 4th, disc which was a separate "set" refused to connect. Decided to just forget that and push forward.

All started to seem to work

Problem 4: Couldnt add much more than 5 devices before i started to get failed to connect due to unable to obtain an IP address. This turns out to be Sky Q router being utterly poor at allocating IPs and managing connections. The only resolution here was to set specific IP addresses for my devices as they connected. This then stopped conflicts and stopped the router doing really strange things. I could then add my devices to the Whole Home Wifi and start to see them connecting... 

Problem 5: As soon as i tried to connect any Sky Q device, my internet was dropped, couldnt connect and the same issues as before (even though i am now connecting my phone and PC through the BT discs). This is due to the sky q boxes defaulting to specific wave lengths and using all the 5g and 2.4 networks. I also noticed that numerous sky networks would show up when i turned on all the sky devices (this is them broadcasting to try form a mesh). 

Resolution, you have to have 2 different WiFi networks running essentially, the standard Sky stuff and then BT runnign everything you need. Sky however, you must configure to make sure there are no conflicts. So, set specific channels on both Sky router and your BT discs. Then on each of your sky devices ensure you change the 5g broadcasting from the device (i changed away from ch 36 as this was being used by my BT wifi solution). Make sure you confirm your changes in the sky box itself. NB there is no real menu for this - scroll down to settings afting hitting the home key, DO NOT select settings, rather type 001 and then hit the dot button in the middle of the arrow keys. Then you get some interesting settings you can change.

When connecting SKY devices, DO NOT connect to another sky device via WPS, only connect to your HUB. Then get onto your sky router and assign the IP address for that sky device so its fixed. This stops it just reconnecting and obtaining newer IP addresses - cuts down on the stupidty of sky basically. (Have a quick look how to set a static IP address on youtube for a sky router - dont worry if a video isnt your exact router, they are pretty much all the same with sky).

Problem 6. Connecting the last disc was a real pain - and i am not 100% confident with its connection as is. The BT Premium Whole Home Wifi app seems flaky to me to be honest, it has never once detected a disc and yet i have them showing. I find it much better to check what is going on by accessing the actual IP of the primary node (the one connected to your router via a cable). The btweb app doesnt always load, or i had issues with it resolving, but if i pinged the primary node and then put the ip in the browser i got it. This was much more accurate than the app and helped.

Basically the connection process is NOT what the app says, the WPS button didnt do a single thing. The trick was to connect via ethernet to the primary node. Wait until the lights did their thing and solid blue light. You might think thats it, but it really wasnt. You have to wait a while, and i mean for me this felt like a long time, but i was fuming by this point. Eventually the device showed up. I then went to my sky router and allocated the the IPs of the BT discs to be static (added them in). Reboot the sky q box and fingers crossed. Took a while for all the discs to come back online but they all did. Left the additional disc still connected via ethernet. (Now i will skip the amount of time it took me to solve this but) DO NOT turn off the device then unplug, simply pull the cable out of the primary node that connects to the additional node. Then leave the device for a few mins. If the light stayed blue, go reposition it, turn it on. DO NOT use the app or try to discover the device, rather use the web app (from the primary node IP address) and check its there. For me - it was.....

So, after 2 days of sheer hell, everything seems to be working ok...Fingers crossed this remains the case. Summary

1. Run Sky Q devices on the Sky Q default network on your Sky Hub (fix the channels - i went 11 for 2.4 and 44 for 5g)

2. Ensure all sky q devices have their settings to use the 44 channel for 5g

3. Get the latest firmware onto each of the BT discs individually (it will not connect them up and then do it with Sky)

4. On the primary node, fix the channels for your BT Whole Home Wifi (i went channel 1 for 2.4 and 36 for 5)

5. Get your primary node working - then add in the other devices. DO NOT bother with the app, do this via the web app, simply add the device - you may not need to press the WPS key even since you hardwired it in earlier to do the firmware update

6. Additional discs connect into the primary disc - then simply yank it out (once solid blue and you can see on the web app from the primary node) and place 

7. Just wait for everything to settle

8. Wherever possible - add static IP addresses for all your sky devices and some of those devices in the house that dont move - TV, desktop PC for example...

5. Make




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