Compare Skyway to Telus and Shaw

Companies face a lot of choice when it comes to high speed business internet services. In British Columbia and Alberta, particularly, you'll hear a lot of competing claims between the speed of Shaw cable services and the quality of Telus ADSL. For some applications speed is paramount, but for others, like VoIP, video conferencing and virtual private networks, it's the quality of the network that is more important.

What if you could have the best of both worlds? At Skyway West we are able to provide you with either one of these services alone, but even better, we recommend and have the ability to combine high speed ADSL with cable services. In this scenario you're the winner, benefiting from the strengths of each service and, if there's an outage in one, we fail over from one service to the other, leaving your internet access and the critical business processes which rely on it uninterrupted.

Check out the chart below comparing Telus ADSL to Shaw cable, and compare Skyway ADSL and cable to both. By not relying on a single technology, Skyway is dedicated to delivering the best internet experience possible for you and your business.

SERVICE

SKYWAY Cable/ADSL

TELUS ADSL

SHAW Cable

Speed
up to 250 Mbps
up to 15 Mbps
up to 250 Mbps
Onsite Install
Yes
Yes
Yes
Includes Modem
Yes
Yes
Yes
Includes Router
Yes
Yes
Yes
5 Real Static IPs (/29 Subnet)
Yes
No
No
Reverse DNS lookups of your choice
Yes
No
No

ADVANCED NETWORKING

SKYWAY Cable/ADSL

TELUS ADSL

SHAW Cable

Failover: to ADSL, or to Cable
Yes
No
No
Bonding: ADSL with ADSL, ADSL with Cable, and Cable with Cable
Yes
No
No
Private Networks: Interconnect private IPs of your choice
Yes
No
No
WAN Optimization: ?Separate/Policy Routing and Compress/Accelerate Traffic
Yes
No
No
2-Way Traffic Prioritization: apply QoS to DNS, VoIP, RDP, terminal server, etc.
Yes
No
No

SUPPORT

SKYWAY Cable/ADSL

TELUS ADSL

SHAW Cable

Check your service status every 6 minutes
Yes
No
No
Begin working on problems before you call
Yes
No
No

Personal service Health

SKYWAY Cable/ADSL

TELUS ADSL

SHAW Cable

Network Health: Graphs of network latency, jitter and packet loss
Yes
No
No
Line Health*: Charts of signal to noise ratio, sync rate, attenuation
Yes
No
No
Traffic Health: Network congestion alerts, traffic analysis
Yes
No
No

* applies to ADSL only



Skyway Business Class Managed ADSL

          - Transparent Proxy

          - Deep Packet Inspection

          - Net Neutrality

          - Assigning blocks of IP addresses to neighbourhoods

          - Hub network design flaws

          

Explaining IP Addresses

Virus Protection and Port Blocking

 

Skyway's Business Class Managed ADSL Service compared to telus

Comparing Skyway's Business Class Managed ADSL services to Telus requires recognizing that Telus markets two streams of ADSL. Their "High Speed Internet for Business" ADSL services target Small and Medium sized businesses while their "Managed ADSL" service is intended for more demanding large businesses and enterprises. Skyway's Business Class Managed ADSL starting at $99/month compares favourably to Telus' $450/month "Managed ADSL" service. Both Managed services include a router, real static addresses and network management. Unlike Telus, Skyway also provides traffic analysis and security tools. Plus our flexible pricing lets small and medium sized businesses take advantage of the same Internet tools essential to large corporations.

Skyway's Business Class Managed ADSL Service compared to shaw

There are five important differences between Skyway West and Shaw cable. First, Shaw stores copies of web sites and redirects their customers to the copy. This is done using a "Transparent Proxy" which as the name implies, is unavoidable and often unknown to the customer. Caching copies of web sites allows Shaw to avoid the cost of repeatedly providing their customers access to the same site. However, some sites (e.g., dynamic sites, etc.) may not work properly through a caching server and Shaw customers have no way of knowing which sites these are. Caching also violates the widely held principle that ISP's do not modify the traffic they pass through to customers. Skyway does not cache copies of web sites.

Second, Shaw uses deep packet inspection (DPI) devices to "prioritize bandwidth usage among applications in Shaw’s network". For example, restrict the amount of bandwidth used by a particular customer for high bandwidth applications such as FTP, News and P2P file sharing or favour Shaw's VoIP services over a competitor's. Skyway does not restrict traffic and only favours one type of traffic over another when requested by, and for, a particular customer.

DPI infringes upon a customer's privacy because it examines the contents of a packet (commonly called the "payload") rather than just the packet header. A packet is analogous to a letter, the To and From address on the outside of the envelope is the “packet header” and the information inside the envelope is the “payload". Hence, DPI is analogous to reading the letter inside the envelope. Skyway does not use DPI.

Third, restricting bandwidth used by particular applications or favouring certain applications over others is contrary to the concept of Net Neutrality. Supporters of Net Neutrality are lobbying governments to legislate that the Internet is a public resource that everybody should have equal access to. The want to prevent actions such as:

a) In 2005, Telus blocked access to voices-for-change.ca, a website supporting the company’s labour union during a worker’s dispute

b) In 2007, Verizon Wireless refused to allow a Pro-Choice organization from sending text messages over its network.

c) In 2008, Bell Canada began slowing down third party Internet service providers (ISPs).

Fourth, Shaw's practice of assigning blocks of IP addresses to neighbourhoods makes their IP addresses less stable than Skyway's IP addresses. For example, when the number of Shaw customers grows to exceed the block size, customers must renumber into a larger block. And, Shaw customers moving to a new neighbourhood must also renumber into a new block. Skyway customers maintain their existing IP addresses as Skyway's customer base grows and retain their IP addresses when they move.

Sharing a block of IP addresses means that the actions of one Shaw customer puts every other customer at risk. For example, Shaw customers have been known to have their mail server's outgoing mail blocked because another user was blacklisted for sending spam.

Finally, the "hub" design of the Shaw cable network makes cable Internet more problematic than ADSL Internet. A hub network is one where all customers within a neighbourhood share a single network. Some neighbourhoods are much worse than others.

 

skyway Static IP addresses

Static IP addresses included with Skyway's Business Class Managed ADSL services differ significantly from those included with Telus' Small and Medium sized Business services, other ISP's and Shaw. Skyway static IP addresses are permanently "hard coded" into your network firewall, server or workstation. Telus and Shaw use a DHCP server to lease "static" IP addresses.

telus DHCP IP addresses assigned to mac addresses

Telus does not support hard coding of IP addresses. Instead, Telus and some other ISP's uses a DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) server to assign each machine an IP address when it boots up. The "static" IP address is assigned based on your machine's MAC address. Using a DHCP server and relying on MAC addresses introduces more points of failure into Telus' Small and Medium sized Businesses services. DHCP failures are often responsible for the networking problems that affect Telus customers and customers of other ISP's using DHCP servers.

How Telus.net DHCP "static" IP Addresses are assigned

  • firewall/server/workstation settings are set to DHCP instead of manual entry
  • firewall/server/workstation obtains IP address from DHCP server every time the firewall/server/workstation boots up
  • DHCP server assigns IP address based on firewall/server/workstation "MAC" address
  • DHCP assigned IP address is leased for a limited period of time
  • before the lease expires, firewall/server/workstation requests another address from the DHCP server
  • DHCP server decides whether to reissue the same address or issue a new address

Problems with Telus DHCP IP addresses assigned to MAC addresses

  • Some devices are incompatible with the way Telus.net uses DHCP, especially firewall network appliances. In some cases it is a breach of security to let the outside world see the firewall's "MAC" address.
  • Every time you want to allow a new device to access Telus.net, you must first register the MAC address of that device at the Telus web site. This can be time consuming and inconvenient, especially if you have more devices than allowable MAC addresses.

 

shaw DHCP IP addresses

Shaw offers static hard coded, static DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) and dynamic DHCP addresses.

How Shaw DHCP IP Addresses are assigned

  • firewall/server/workstation settings are set to DHCP instead of manual entry
  • When the cable modem first boots up, Shaw's server instructs it to accept a maximum number of MAC addresses specific to the account type. The modem automatically accepts MAC addresses until it reaches that limit, then refuse to accept further.
  • firewall/server/workstation obtains IP address from DHCP server every time the firewall/server/workstation boots up
  • DHCP assigned IP address is leased for a limited period of time
  • before the lease expires, firewall/server/workstation requests another address from the DHCP server
  • DHCP server decides whether to reissue the same address or issue a new address
  • traffic from the Internet routed directly to router or firewall/server/workstation

Problems with Telus and Shaw dhcp addresses

  • DHCP server introduces an unnecessary point of failure.
  • Some firewall devices are very difficult to configure with DHCP addresses.
  • Telus and Shaw Domain Name Server (DNS) identify to all other ISP's that the IP's issued their customers are DHCP. However, some ISP's black list email sent from dynamically assigned IP addresses despite the PTR record matching the IP address. Black listed email is rejected by the receiving mail server and the sender may not advised.

Virus Protection

Skyway takes an active approach to indentifying and preventing vulnerabilities from threatening our network and our customer's. We receive Cert advisories, respond by blocking ports for security reasons when necessary and inform our customer's technical contacts when preventative action is taken. Consequently, our customers are largely protected from the frustration of problems like denial of service attacks and attacks to/from Microsoft systems.

Please visit our Customer Internet Security Page for more information.

Telus, on the other hand, has chosen a different approach. Telus ADSL service was crippled September 2003 by their decision to allow viruses to pass through their network to their customers. The resulting problems were covered in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesday, September 17/03. Telus' response, "Blame it on the many viruses floating around the Net, and yourself for not properly dealing with them".