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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone knew about Shaw's new "DNS redirect" page?

According to Shaw.ca, they implemented this "feature" on April 5 (although I haven't noticed any redirects), and there's an opt-out link on http://nxr.shaw.ca (which currently gives me a "failed" message).

Does anybody know if they have actually implemented the DNS redirect yet, and if so what sort of experiences have you had with it?
 

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Link is working for me now. However - the Shaw re-direct of bad URL's does not seem to be working. I used to the link to opt out anyway.
 

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Rogers started this about five years ago

See this representative thread
http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=54669

I recommend visiting the OPENDNS link and consider using that for DNS lookup.

Personally I use the Google Servers for DNS look-ups and recommend it to all

In your router
Primary DNS: 8.8.8.8
SEcondary DNS:8.8.8.4


Problem gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Although there is an "opt-out" link, I'm wondering what happens if someone changes their mind, and wants to opt back in? Is there an "opt-in" link, and can this be managed through secure.shaw.ca?

I'm fine using the Shaw DNS servers myself, as long as the opt-out works once they start implementing it. I'd assume that Shaw's implementation will be similar to how Comcast launched it:

(1) redirect DNS servers have different IP addresses
(2) opt-in or -out changes your modem config, requiring a modem reset
(3) modem config determines which set of DNS servers you get by DHCP
(4) Static or third-party DNS settings remain unaffected.
 

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Seriously, do you think people would want to "opt-in" to advertisements?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That depends what you mean by an "advertisement" page. The Shaw FAQ simply refers to it as a "Shaw-guided search results page", and I haven't actually seen the page yet, since it's not redirecting me.

Certainly, there will be a Shaw logo on the page, and search results, but beyond that, it will probably be cleaner than your average Google search results, and less ugly than your IE "Page cannot be displayed" error.

Users who are more tech-savvy (which would include users of this forum) would probably disable it without a second thought; however less tech-savvy users may see the Shaw page as a feature which they want enabled, and having the feature accidentally disabled could be an inconvenience.
 

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I think if you read the Rogers pages on the topic, most people found the redirects confusing, often times annoying and frequently wrong. For VPN users, it can really screw things up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, I was tech support for Comcast when they implemented their redirect, so I know all about the issues. The majority of people just wanted it disabled, and there were a few VPN users with odd DNS problems, but there were also a few people who liked it (a minority). However, the ability was there to either enable or disable the DNS redirect through the member services page, we were able to process customer DNS opt-outs, and a list of all DNS servers was publicly available for people wishing to use static settings, divided into redirect and non-redirect lists.

I don't completely understand the issues that people were having with VPNs; the redirects only occurred with the ISP DNS servers, and the VPN users who were having issues were claiming to be using their workplace DNS servers through a secure tunnel. I'm assuming that they had their DNS setup not to tunnel through their VPN; regardless, opting out generally fixed their problems.
 

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Personally I think ISP's implementing this on users and forcing them to "opt out" is pretty scummy. Users should have to OPT IN. I hated it when Primus and Rogers did it to me. At the time, they made OPTing out near impossible so it was doubly frustrating.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, even though I'm still not getting redirects, the opt-out link is finally working for me ("Please allow 1 day for this change to take effect."). To test whether I'm being redirected, I enter a URL with an invalid TLD (such as http://www.shaw.x ). If I get "page cannot be displayed", I'm not being redirected.

There's also still nothing in the Shaw Customer Centre about it.
 

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It doesn't work here either. I get the generic Firefox (or IE) "can't load the page" message.

I don't really care either way...99% of the time when I get a message like that I have simply misspelled the address...I'll just retype it.
 

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Remember, the DNS redirection page goes against your monthly cap. Nickle and dime by a small degree which could add up for those with small caps.
 

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My Experience:

At some point, a few days agao, I noticed that any invalid URLs I typed in weren't generating the usual error message but instead resulted in a strange looking "Shaw Assist" page with a URL of assist.shaw.ca which, when entered in to the address bar, switched to shaw.assist.ca. Somewhere on the page was also an "About This Page" button. I tried searching for those URLS and for "Shaw Assist" and "shawassist", all without luck. Being paranoid I did not click on the "About this page link".

Instead I invoked a Shaw chat session. My mistake. After describing things much as I did above, I was asked the usual irrelevant questions about settings, browser settings, security settings, etc. Even my telling the rep that the behaviours occurred on PCs and Macs using FF, IE and Safari on three different computers didn't help. I suspected that it was Shaw intercepting the 404 response but even telling rep that didn't help. Oh, I was also told that there was no such server as assist.shaw.ca.

After some time (possibly a coupleo f hours) and after two or three discussions with his/her higher-ups I was told "Oh, it's a new service from SHaw....DNS Redirection..."

Only after that was I able to find the one solitary Shaw reference to (mentioned earlier in this thread) and only then was I able to find this thread about the topic.

I can see that some might find such a service useful but for heaven's sake Shaw, please tell us about it.

Incidentally, Opting out worked for me.

Aside: Now I have to try and find when Shaw's outgoing email servers started intercepting bad outbound Shaw email addresses (maybe it's nothing new) - It drove a friend (and hence me) nuts trying to debug an error with his Outlook Express that had nothing to do with anything he was trying to do now - It had to do with Shaw's repeatedly rejecting his Outlook Express programs attempt to retransmit an earlier Shaw-blocked message. Undoubtedly another new feature. But that is for another time and place. end Aside
 

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Ran across the same issue today, near Red Deer.

Shaw has implemented the following product/solution:

http://www.nominum.com/what-we-do/software-systems/vantio-nxr

Which is yet another in a long line of bad decisions which break existing RFC's, applications, the end-user experience, and will require legislation to prevent.

Happily, Shaw tech support had never heard of " assist . shaw . ca "

http://assist.shaw.ca/shawcaassist/dnsassist/main/?domain=www.thisdomaindoesnotexist444.com

nor the opt out feature, nor the Vantio product in general. So way to go Shaw in keeping your own tech support people in the dark for ~20 days.

Also, the opt out feature is also non RFC compliant, as once you have opted out, your responses are actively TCP RESET instead of returning 404 NOT FOUNDs.

So again, Shaw fails, even in the opt-out.:rolleyes:
 

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I switched to the Open DNS servers a year or two ago when Shaw had their DNS servers go down for a few hours. Considered google but saw some benchmark that had the Open DNS servers (at the time) a bit faster. I don't think it really matters either way. The google one is super easy to remember.
 

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Steps to Disable Redirect on Routers

I just got hit by the DNS redirect yesterday and was having trouble opting out. Rebooting my router didn't help but after experimenting a bit, I was able to figure out how to make the new settings stick. Follow these steps to successfully disable this "feature" for routers:

  1. Go to nxr.shaw.ca and opt out of redirection.
  2. Log in to your router settings page.
  3. Locate the WAN settings (this should be the one with the external IP and DNS settings). There should be two buttons: "Release" and "Renew".
  4. Click "Release". Wait about 30 seconds and then click "Renew". Your IP and DNS addresses should not have changed from before.
  5. Test that DNS redirection is disabled by trying to load the following invalid address in a browser: www.a.comr.
If you are still being redirected, try repeating the above steps, but unplug the cable modem for 30 seconds after releasing your IP.

Also note that the redirection only occurs for addresses with www or web appended to the front of them. So an invalid address like a.comr would not be redirected whereas www.a.comr would be.
 

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I tried the above, the solution does not work. I am not connected via router but directly via modem. I get an error message: Opt Out Failed Your request to opt out of this service has failed.

Shaw's hold times and call backs have been insanely ridiculous the last few days. This redirect has to stop.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If NXR's not working, a simple solution would be to manually enter third-party DNS entries in your router (such as 8.8.8.8 or 4.4.4.4), or the IP address of any Shaw opt-out DNS servers (if you know them).
 
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