My startup has recently launched our Linux Hardware Store.
For those of you who use Sky TV you’ll probably know that to use their on demand services with a wireless connection you’ll need this little device named the Sky Wireless Connector. Essentially this device connects to a wireless network then allows access to that network through an ethernet port. But is it possible to use the wireless connector with another device without the need for plugging it into your Sky box to configure it?
The answer, yes! After spending about 30 minutes looking into how the device works, I found a way to manage the wireless connections via a web based control panel, much like the router control panels that you may have seen.
So I started by resetting the Sky connector and plugging it into my Mac. The connector did assign an IP address and a subnet mask, which led me to assume that there was a DHCP server on this device. So I tried the obvious “192.168.0.1” IP address to see if it brought up the control panel, but it did not resolve. This wasn’t going to be as easy as I’d hoped.
Next I had googled around for some software that would let me read the packets from the ethernet port directly, which is when I found WireShark, an awesome X11 tool which can read raw packets and turn them into readable chunks of data. At first, WireShark was just showing me that the DHCP was broadcasting every few seconds. So I decided to try to connect to a website to see what response the wireless connector would come back with.
Bingo! The magic number was 169.254.4.84, so I tried to visit this IP address in my browser and I was presented with a login screen. At first I tried admin:admin as the username and password, but had no luck, then I tried admin:sky which I remembered was the default admin login for Sky’s broadband router. I was in, with a full web based interface to connect to wireless networks.
So if you want to use your Sky Wireless Connector without a Sky+ HD box, then connect your connector to your device via the ethernet port and configure it with the following details.
URL: http://169.254.4.84/ Username: admin Password: sky