Sky Broadband Sky Hub router claims to have best Wi-Fi range
Sky's got a new router, which it claims offers the best range of any major broadband provider.
Luke WestawaySenior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Sky's got a new broadband router, which it claims gives customers the best range of any major provider.
Dubbed the Sky Hub, this Internet-spewing box beats rivals when it comes to spreading signal over the furthest area -- handy if you're a fan of surfing the web from atop your neighbour's roof, or watching Netflix while ensconced in your solid steel panic room.
Sky says its best-range verdict comes via third-party research that compared its own toy with the likes of BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media in a home environment.
I've asked Sky for more information on what exactly would make its router more capable than those of rival services and I'll let you know if I hear anything. I've also contacted BT for a response.
Update: Sky's been in touch to explain its testing procedures -- a third-party organisation pitted the range of Sky's device against BT's Home Hub 3, Virgin Media's Netgear VMDG480 and TalkTalk's Huawei HG533.
Speed was measured in various locations in an occupied house, with files sent from a server to a laptop via the router. During the tests, Sky says the location of the laptop and the orientation of the router was changed repeatedly.
The first test involved signal travelling from the most obstructed room in the house through two floors, a wall and an intervening room. The second test saw a 19m distance across a garden. On average, across both locations and router positions, Sky's Wi-Fi-pumping gadget was faster than its rivals.
The router itself is a monolithic block and sports four 100mb Ethernet ports for wiring in gadgets that need a cabled Internet connection.
The bad news is that getting your hands on this box isn't cheap. You can get it free if you join or switch to Sky Broadband from 18 October, but existing customers will need to fork out £39.
That price is only for a limited period, after which the cost jumps to £69. You'll also need to pay £2.18 for delivery.
At that price you could also consider getting something like the Netgear Wi-Fi Booster, which you can plug into the wall in rooms or parts of the house that don't receive great wireless signal. It can currently be snapped up for £35 at Maplin.
How's the Wi-Fi in your domicile? Can you download apps at the bottom of the garden or do you browse hunched over your router? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.