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Intoxicus

Avoid Shaw Blue Curve(no DNS or VPN w/ BlueCurve)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Got mine today and was shocked by what they're doing and not telling customers about.

First we have only 2 ethernet ports, the other were converted to...
Phone Jacks!

That's right! In 2019, the age of mobile and smartphones, Shaw thinks we need not one, but two hardline RJ-11 phone jacks. And obviously 4 ethernet ports is too many. I wonder how much it cost them to convert standard ethernet ports to outdated connectors. If you want a phone jack then make it *additional* to the 4 ethernet ports.

But it gets better!

Like to use Google DNS or 1.1.1.1? 
Not anymore. BlueCurve takes away the inconvenience of setting your own DNS for privacy and speed. Big Brother Shaw can now monitor your internet traffic and catch you torrenting and you can't stop them. Just what every customer always wanted! I always want to receive more copyright takedown notices!

And your favorite VPN you pay monthly for? Time to save some money because you can cancel that subscription to Tunnel Bear or Nord VPN. Blue Curve doesn't allow VPNs because you need to spoof your DNS to be able to VPN. Locked DNS means no VPN.

/sarcastic rant over

Ivory Tower disconnected decisions that are unethical and anti consumer seem to be the norm these days. The people that made these decisions did so at extra expense to do non standard things that only serve to anger customers that know what they're doing. It will also cost them in making reparations to people that are upset about being lied to by omission. Reasonably it is expected that non standard configurations and/or removal of standard featured should be disclosed to the customer. I would never have considered BlueCurve if I knew about the DNS settings. I could live with a network switch and 2 ports if I had to, but no DNS settings is too much.

The frakking manager that trains people on BlueCurve agreed with me and told me they also had strong negative reactions when they got there hands on it. She did also suggest the more people that let Shaw no how upset they are about this will most likely result in change. And also she said the more complaints about Blue Curve the faster that change is likely to happen.

If you do jump on Twitter or call Shaw try to be respectful(I know) and don't yell at them or anything.

I would love to stick with BlueCurve and all it would have taken is being able to set the DNS to 1.1.1.1

 

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44 minutes ago, Intoxicus said:

That's right! In 2019, the age of mobile and smartphones, Shaw thinks we need not one, but two hardline RJ-11 phone jacks. And obviously 4 ethernet ports is too many. I wonder how much it cost them to convert standard ethernet ports to outdated connectors. If you want a phone jack then make it *additional* to the 4 ethernet ports.

Aren't there combination ports where the jack can accept either or? (assuming it can be wired for both) If that's the case, why wouldn't they have chosen that then? Perhaps they included those ports for small business. They could have also just made it an option you select at checkout.

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
17 hours ago, TempestCatto said:

I'm sure there are, and that would be too logical for the execs that make these decisions.

I can't imagine what the engineers must have thought when they were told to design it like that by some big wig. I mean if the manager that trains people on BlueCurve(what a fluke it was getting that manager) was derisive of it and agreed with all my criticisms the engineers must have really hated it.

I assume they thought people would want it for their landlines. Which on something advertised as "Future Proof" seems incongruent to say the least.

 

 

 

 

Oh Cheesus Christ. Saw on their website that the phone jacks are not even enabled. They took away 2 ethernet ports for literally nothing!!!!

 

And the plot thickens. Tried to make some posts about this on the Shaw forums and of course they are censoring me.

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What if you bought your own router and plugged that in, then ran your whole network off that, configured it how you like, etc.?  Basically make the whole LAN one client on the shaw router

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I would have to spend a significant amount of money on a proper quality gaming router otherwise I would have just put it in bridge mode.

I've intended to get a proper gaming router for some time but anything good costs a couple hundred bucks in Canada.

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It looks like Shaw is claiming this as their own unique service? Who is the actual manufacturer of the device?


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On 5/14/2019 at 8:22 PM, Intoxicus said:

That's right! In 2019, the age of mobile and smartphones, Shaw thinks we need not one, but two hardline RJ-11 phone jacks. And obviously 4 ethernet ports is too many. I wonder how much it cost them to convert standard ethernet ports to outdated connectors. If you want a phone jack then make it *additional* to the 4 ethernet ports.

The port choices that any ISP's sharing the hardware have to use are limited to what Comcast specified in their original design. :( To be clear, I fully support the notion of having a minimum of 4 gigabit ethernet jacks on a modem, but since the XB6 is capable of being a whole home gateway + smarthome aggregator, Comcast decided to put 2 phone jacks on it for future use with up to 2 phone lines. It's not a great solution, but 5 port gigabit network switches can be bought for $20 CAD.

Quote

Like to use Google DNS or 1.1.1.1? 
Not anymore. BlueCurve takes away the inconvenience of setting your own DNS for privacy and speed. Big Brother Shaw can now monitor your internet traffic and catch you torrenting and you can't stop them. Just what every customer always wanted! I always want to receive more copyright takedown notices!

Again, the inability to change DNS is also a Comcast limitation, as you must use the default DNS in order to have the XB6 serve as the video gateway wireless 4K TV boxes. Users should be able to have 2 VLANs setup: one private for internal TV hardware usage and the other for our wireless computing devices. This would allow you to have 2 separate DNS zones, so the TV hardware could connect through the internal DNS, while your devices could use whatever DNS you wish.

Quote

And your favorite VPN you pay monthly for? Time to save some money because you can cancel that subscription to Tunnel Bear or Nord VPN. Blue Curve doesn't allow VPNs because you need to spoof your DNS to be able to VPN. Locked DNS means no VPN.

Incorrect; you can absolutely use VPNs with the XB6 modem, whether you're on Shaw, Comcast, or any other provider using the same hardware. Private Internet Access works just fine on a per-device level in our house, although I do prefer being able to enable it from the routing-side of things which is why... (read on)

 

... for the advanced networking users, bridging your modem and installing networking gear with firmware capable of providing the features you want/need is the way to go. Sure, it requires an extra step, an extra piece (or 2) of gear, and more effort configuring the setup for your requirements, but it provides you with complete control over your network, and allows you to run things like torrent or irc clients, and VPN the entire house at once.

 

Otherwise smarthome-ready modems with accompanying mobile management apps are quite fine for the majority of consumers, and actually take the guesswork out of things like parental controls, time limits, content filtering, and guest network setup. Plus, as I mentioned before, the XB6 has Zigbee chipsets built-in, which allows it to function as a smarthome hub should any providers choose to enable this feature in the future.

 

TL;DR: If you need more control over your network, bridge and purchase something better.

 

3 hours ago, jake9000 said:

It looks like Shaw is claiming this as their own unique service? Who is the actual manufacturer of the device?

Nah, they're made by Arris or Technicolor, courtesy of WikiDevi and openly available documentation on the FCC's website.

Arris TG3482ER - WikiDevi

technicolor CGM4140COM - WikiDevi

Arris TG3482P2 - WikiDevi


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1 hour ago, kirashi said:

The port choices that any ISP's sharing the hardware have to use are limited to what Comcast specified in their original design. :( To be clear, I fully support the notion of having a minimum of 4 gigabit ethernet jacks on a modem, but since the XB6 is capable of being a whole home gateway + smarthome aggregator, Comcast decided to put 2 phone jacks on it for future use with up to 2 phone lines. It's not a great solution, but 5 port gigabit network switches can be bought for $20 CAD

 

What does Comcast have to do with this?  This is a totally different ISP in a different country.  Plus I know this ISP offers router/modems with 4 gigabit ports

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20 minutes ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

What does Comcast have to do with this?  This is a totally different ISP in a different country.  Plus I know this ISP offers router/modems with 4 gigabit ports

Shaw, Rogers, & Videotron are among the first (and so far only) Canadian ISP's to partner with Comcast for TV & Internet delivery, and thus are using much of the same hardware designed & engineered by Comcast. Looking on Comcast's own Xfinity website, you'll see they utilize the same modem, and you'll find hints of Comcast/Xfinity if you watch your browser's URL requests in Chrome's developer tools when streaming via FreerangeTV, which makes sense since again, Shaw is one of a few ISP's using the X1 platform.

https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/broadband-gateways-userguides

 

https://business.financialpost.com/technology/shaw-communications-inc-launches-comcasts-x1-tv-platform-to-wrestle-back-market-share-from-telus

http://fortune.com/2017/01/11/shaw-comcast-technology-market-share/

https://www.lightreading.com/video/video-services/rogers-sparks-ignite-tv-using-comcasts-x1/d/d-id/744594

https://mobilesyrup.com/2018/10/29/videotron-helix-iptv-2019-comcast-x1/

 

I can't really say much more than what's available on the public internet though, but can 100% confirm that the future of IPTV technology is headed in the right direction with the stuff Comcast has in their engineering pipeline. Now, if only content creators & distributors would stop living in the 80's and get on board with broader distribution rights in favor of giving consumers access to whatever they want, whenever & wherever they want it, at an affordable price.

 

You are 100% correct though that a 4-port modem is available, however, it's not compatible with the additional down/up stream channels required to achieve real-world speeds much faster than 300-400mbps, max. When DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex launches ... soon™? you'd have to upgrade to a compatible modem anyway to experience the faster speeds that should come with the more efficient OFDM channels.


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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like this is an issue with the hardware and not the service... also @Intoxicus you don't need a "gaming" router - if you're that serious about gaming you will be hardwired anyway which a $30 router will do just as well as a $600 one would. I would definitely look at getting a conventional router like an asus (https://amzn.com/B07628HLTM).

 

Out of curosity, does not setting your DNS locally not work - are they blocking UDP 53 outbound? Or using cloudflare's mobile app to use 1.1.1.1 not work?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Ok guys. You're kinda missing the point of the post.

I know about bridge mode and would definitely prefer that. Not everyone can buy a nice gaming router easily, and buying a cheap one isn't worth the money imho. I've been dealing with some medical issues and been on a tight budget. I have a GST rebate coming I'm going to use to finally buy that gaming router as I know should have saved up for sooner.

But that is not the point.

The point is that Shaw is taking action that is deeply anti consumer and anti privacy. Removing options that give consumers more privacy and security is unarguably anti consumer and anti privacy. 

If you're telling me to use bridge mode and all that you're telling me what I already know about all that and you're missing the point completely. Yes, buying a new router and going to bridge mode will work and bypass Shaw's Bad Action. *But you should not have to buy extra equipment to retain standardized functionality.* If they normally charge rent for the damned Gateway then they should not be asking customers to buy extra stuff to have basic functionality.

A cable modem w/ wireless router should have 4 ethernet ports and DNS settings options as in the standard everywhere else. If you *paid for* a cable modem and/or router that did not have DNS settings and only 2 ethernet ports, with the other two replaced by two disabled phone jacks, and the packaging told you nothing about these unusual feature removals you would not be happy about it.

It is unethical of Shaw to restrict customers privacy and security in this manner. We know they're doing it so they can monitor your internet traffic for various reasons, all of them greasy.

 

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The product is built for typical households who do not know what DNS is and it fullfils their needs. It also greatly reduces any issues when you cannot change settings of the device. Smart move, that even MSPs do for their clients. Lock the device down / idiot proof it.

 

It would be a real issue if the service provider blocked DNS - but this is a limitation defined at the hardware levelThis means they gave you and other entheusists the ability to still roll your own solution without breaking theirs. Also @kirashi gave you an explanation of why DNS is locked down on the device - to ensure your XB6 works correctly.

 

If you're brainwashed into thinking that the "gaming" marketing for routers is legit and that you must buy it - that's your personal problem, not Shaw's or anyone else's.

 

I've also given you a free solution - just configure the DNS per device that you think you need privacy for. You should also set your torrent traffic to enforced encryption - after that they will have no idea what you're doing.

 

If you're just ranting without wanting a solution this probably isn't the best place, majority of us on this forum want to help.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

A friend offered to sell me his Nighthawk Router he doesn't use anymore. I can now put the Cisco in Bridge mode and bypass Shaw completely. Which I would have done sooner if I were able to afford an additional router sooner. The friend offering his was by pure chance.

But again you are all missing the point.

Ask yourself why are they engaging in a *removal of standardized features that is anti consumer and anti privacy?*

There are enough people out there that are not serious enough to get a serious router, but know enough to use 1.1.1.1 or OpenDNS.

The real point is that Shaw would remove a standard feature like DNS Settings except to be able to monitor more people. And what I'm really concerned about is if they try and take this further.

It's a discussion worth having about ISPs and privacy. Apparently Comcast in the US is also doing this and Shaw is following suit and using similar or the same hardware. 

Perhaps I could have reframed my OP to make it more focused on the privacy concerns which is the real focus. I was still quite upset by the whole ordeal when I made the OP.

 

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Intoxicus said:

Ask yourself why are they engaging in a *removal of standardized features that is anti consumer and anti privacy?*

They do not - you're just ignoring what everyone else is telling you and trying to fear monger.

 

16 hours ago, Intoxicus said:

There are enough people out there that are not serious enough to get a serious router, but know enough to use 1.1.1.1 or OpenDNS.

Then why not do what all those same people do and configure it per device???

*snip*

 

16 hours ago, Intoxicus said:

It's a discussion worth having about ISPs and privacy. Apparently Comcast in the US is also doing this and Shaw is following suit and using similar or the same hardware. 

Having been a Comcast customer, they do not block anything just like Shaw is not blocking anything. I was given a choice just like everyone else - rent their shit or buy my own.

 

You chose and are paying EXTRA for a product (the bluecurve @ an additional $7/m) and are not happy with it, and blaiming the service (shaw). That's $84/yr for hardware you do not like - whose fault is that?

 

 

 

Trying so hard to remain civil. I never thought I would be defending an ISP but I also can't stand misinformation. My only hope is that any other person who thinks this is a legitimate issue reads through the comments and understands it is not. The complaint in this thread is the equivelant of trying to ride a bike in a river and blaiming the river. 

Edited by wkdpaul
LMGTFY links aren't allowed.
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Posted · Original PosterOP

-If the gateway is still using Shaw DNS pointing all your devices to 1.1.1.1 while the gateway is on Shaw's DNS can cause conflicts and issues. And because all traffic has to go through the gateway if the gateway uses Shaw DNS they can still monitor you. The only solution is Bridge Mode which makes the Cable Modem purely passthrough and it doesn't really do much of anything anymore.

-Shaw advertised Blue Curve as "Future Proof" The expectations are that such advertising does not come with a regression in features and usability.

-Shaw is buying the saem XB6 gateways Comcast is using and uses a lot of the same equipment Comcast does. This is easily fact checked. 

-The promotion is that I would have been paying the same I was paying for 300 to get 600. Because the Cisco Gateway I chose to keep instead of the Technicolor XB6 can support 600 but their system won't let it do 600 they put me back on 300 at the promo price. I would have paid the same I paid for 300 previously. Perhaps ask questions instead of make assumptions.

-Yes it is anti consumer and anti privacy to remove DNS settings and break customers VPNs. Removing a standard feature to be able to monitor more customers is unethical and anti consumer. This is the only gateway and/or modem I have ever known to not allow DNS settings. You should not have to use any sort of workaround or buy anything extra to retain a standard and standardized level of functionality unless they tell you upfront that is what you are getting into. Being able to use a workaround does not moot the fact they choose to remove your ability to choose your own DNS on their gateway.

I had someone post on Reddit with a similar situation. They don't want to spend 200-300 on a proper and nice router(cheap ones are barely worth the money imho) and by the way Shaw advertised it (Future Proof) one would expect it have standard functions such as 4 ethernet ports and DNS Settings. **All they had to do is tell customers upfront about these non standard removal of features.*

If they had advertised it truthfully I would have waited to buy a nice router with my coming GST rebate and waited to pull the trigger for three weeks and then ordered without pods and put in Bridge Mode right away.

The point is **they did not tell anyone in advance of non standard removal of features and functions.*

The manager in charge of training their employees on Blue Curve(was a fluke getting her when I called in) agreed with me 100% and told me she had the same reaction when she saw them. Even Shaw's middle management agrees this is ridiculous. They told me the more people make noise to Shaw about this the faster and more likely something will be changed. The big wigs need to see a lot of people bitching about it to take it seriously enough to fix it.

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

You can try using DNS traceroute and see for yourself that if you gateway uses the ISP DNS and you set the DNS of everything else to 1.1.1.1 the gateway wins and uses the ISP DNS *because all traffic routes through the gateway/router and then uses the ISP DNS overriding any other DNS setting and potentially causing conflicts and errors.* The point of setting custom DNS settings on devices is keep everything on the same DNS if automatic is giving issues.

Setting you NIC and other devices so that it points to 1.1.1.1 does not override your DNS settings on the gateway. It's not like your devices can bypass the gateway and do their own DNS resolution. They have to send all their data through the gateway that will be saying to all the other devices "Nope, my DNS settings come first." Only way to bypass blocked DNS settings on the XB6 is bridge mode and making a pure passthrough and allowing an independent router to manage DNS routing.

In fact many Google Devices will attempt to use Google Open DNS even if you set them to another DNS. Just because you set it one way does not mean something else is not attempting to override those settings.


https://github.com/farrokhi/dnsdiag#dnstraceroute

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