I would like to post about my recent experiences with the Blue Curve GateWay (Arris XB6) and Pods.
I have been using the new Shaw Advanced Router / Modem for the past 8 months or so. I originally had it running my WiFi network but found the throughput a little slow, certainly not at the speed I could get with my trusty AirPort Extreme (630 Mbps over wifi) in Bridged mode. The AirPort Extreme was broadcasting in Dual Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
I then added a Series 8000 Samsung Smart TV to the mix. Directing the TV to the dual band network resulted in a very poor 1.5 Mbps connection. Samsung said that the TV wifi adaptor was not rated for 5GHz. Oddly the opposite seemed to be true. The TV worked very well when I created discrete wifi bands on the Airport router to discrete 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands and pointed the TV to the 5GHz band. I was getting TV wifi connection speeds up to 150 Mbps.
Out of curiosity I ordered a set of the new Blue Curve pods and took down the AirPort Extreme router. After some fiddling and help from Shaw Tech to get the Arris modem unbridged, I created a dual band network and added the pods.
Using the new Blue Curve app everything was very easy to set up. This app reminded me of Apple’s Airport Utility for controlling the wifi gear.
I was sure to take a scan of the QR code on the bottom of the Arris Modem/ Router as directed by Shaw and set up a dual band network using my previous credentials. Most of my peripherals on came back online without much problem and are working fine now.
After scanning the QR code block the Shaw Advanced Router (Arris XB6) all my previous credentials remained and the modem/ router is now a Blue Curve Gateway. The Gateway holds much future potential as it is Docsis 3.1, more on that later.
I have one Bose speaker connected directly to the Gateway as I did with the AirPort Extreme, due to wifi conflicts. The speaker continues to work just fine sitting right next to the Gateway.
Throughput speeds, per Shaw and Ookla Speedtest , is still slower with the Shaw gear as before. The Airport Extreme router performed better in this regard.
Testing with the WiFi Sweet Spots app revealed that range is very good in all areas of my house with the BlueCurve Gateway and Pods.
Interestingly the Samsung TV was able to connect with the BlueCurve dual band network(with and without pods). This wasn’t possible with the AirPort Extreme without setting up discrete 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
Shaw requires the dual band network configuration with the pods. This to take advantage of the slower 2.4GHz band for penetration and range and the speed of the 5GHz band. This made for simple connection of all my devices which include, Bose wifi speakers, Wemo timers, Gemstone exterior lights, Apple TVs and a Samsung smart TV. Bringing back a little symmetry that was lost with the discrete bands required using the Airport Extreme and Samsung TV.
Sadly I have repurposed my AirPort Extreme to work as a wired back up drive because Apple decided to,get out of the router business.
All in all I am pretty happy with the Blue Curve set up procedure. Using all Shaw gear going forward should allow for smoother upgrades. I am happy not to be outlaying money for after market modem / routers down the road.
I would like to see faster Gateway performance on my 600 internet connection, hopefully this will improve as the pods get better synchronized over the next week or so.
I notice with speed testing, the results show a gradual revving up of the progress bars rather than a fast max speed as seen with my old AirPort Extreme. This might be in part to the pods figuring out the best routing. This is pure speculation on my part however.
Talking with a Shaw tech during all of this setup, I was advised the BlueCurve gear will serve as a foundation for future enhancements such as faster internet and IPTV capability, thanks to Docsis 3.1. All of which sounds pretty interesting.