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Cox Jamming Traffic Just Like Comcast

from the always-good-to-be-second... dept

You didn’t think Comcast was the only company jamming certain types of traffic, did you? With all the heat on Comcast, it’s no surprise that others are being discovered as well. For example, people are now noticing that cable provider Cox is using a very similar method to jam bittorrent uploads. It’s too bad to hear this from a cable company that prided itself on actually being consumer friendly. Perhaps that means that Cox will actually admit to what it’s doing, unlike Comcast. Of course, it also probably helps Cox that it wasn’t the first one called out on this. Just like Sony took all the heat for the rootkit, even though the same rootkit was also found on CDs from other labels, it’s likely that Comcast will take most of the heat for its bittorrent jamming.

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Companies: comcast, cox

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Comments on “Cox Jamming Traffic Just Like Comcast”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Not for me... not yet anyways

Are you using Utorrent? I have Cox cable and although I have no problem with download speeds Cox has suspended my internet twice for “illegal downloads of copyrighted tv programs” Have you had any such trouble? Is there any way you can tell which programs are being monitored by the internet providers?

Larry says:

News to me.

I haven’t been on a torrent for a few weeks, but it was working then.

As a side note, my Dad has Charter, and last month, he couldn’t run an (authorized) update to a dongle. Turns out the software site was in Sweden and Charter had those overseas IP’s blocked (somehow). He had to do it at a friends house on a different provider.

JR says:


Why are we calling this jamming? Jamming sounds like blocking or otherwise stopping. That’s not what’s going on here. They are using traffic shaping, which slows down traffic based on protocol, but doesn’t stop it from happening completely. It’s just as annoying as blocking it, but perhaps jamming isn’t the best word for what they’re doing?

Loraan says:

Re: Jamming?

No they’re not. Comcast, at least, is spoofing a TCP RST packet to both ends of the conversation. Each end receives a TCP RST packet that looks as though it came from the other end, even though neither end actually sent such a packet. The TCP RST packet kills the connection that is uploading the file.

That is not traffic shaping. It’s not slowing things down based on protocol. It’s out and out killing the connection. And what’s worse is that they won’t own up to doing it, even though it’s been documented.

Overcast says:

Cox blocked

heheh, good one.

Well.. TIme Warner sent a notice to someone I know about ‘putting up unauthorized content via torrent’.

And a new one I heard – the place I work is supposedly going to scan systems with SMS for ‘unauthorized music’ and report offenders. Of course, I wonder how they can tell if it’s legal or not – it is likely just a scare tactic. None of the music I ripped from my CD’s have any DRM at all.

If they wanna take me to court, let ’em – of course, it will be an issue of them paying court costs when I bring in original CD’s for the stuff.

Todd says:

Ports blocked

I have DSL and my ISP gave me a modem with a built in router, this sucks because I can’t get into the settings (password blocked) to open ports from even playing games or doing any thing like that. This seems unfair to me becasue it is not like I want to host a file server but would like to host some teamspeak or maybe host a game every once in a while.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Ports blocked

Google the model of your modem/router, along with “password”. Most of these routers have a default password. I’ve changed settings on my friend’s Verizon Westell Wireless modem/router with no problem.

I like that the ISPs are adding router functionality, because a lot of folks don’t know to buy a router, and they’re really an important part of securing your broadband system. Of course, they usually ship from the ISP with the security settings wide open, so you have to go in and lock them down.

If the DSL ISPs are really blocking access to the router settings, that’s a significant change.

dualboot says:

Re: Ports blocked


I had a similar situation with a modem/router/ip phone port and resolved it pretty quickly. I wanted my 128 bit WEP encryption, as well as my “G with speedbooster” so I used a Cat5 cable from the company supplied router to my own router and configured that one. I removed the antennas from the original one so no one can piggyback an my signal.My range and speed improved, and now I have wireless plus 4 hardwired ports. Our Xbox 360s work just fine, both via Cat5 and wireless, although hubby and I don’t host on wireless due to lag.

Anyway, that’s with Comcast Cable, but I’ve also done it for relatives with SBC (DSL) and Brighthouse cable. I agree with Anonymous Coward that they provide the router because many people can’t set one up on their own, but they could do a better job of making the settings accessible.

Anyway, I hope this helps you get set up with your own encryption settings.

Javarod says:

Well, they’re not tampering with my uploads. I wonder ifn its a matter of where you are though, as when I first moved out here to PHX, I checked DSL Reports about Cox, and it seemed that location made a big difference when it came to services and features. Basically out here because much of the area is new construction, they’re building out with bandwith to spare, and don’t seem to care very much ifn you use a lot of it. On the other hand, if its an area where they bought into, they may be struggling to find enough bandwith for the average users until they can rebuild the network, so they’re looking to do everything they can to stretch that bandwith.

Big Picture says:

Why the complaining?

From the TOS and AUP statements from Cox and Comcast (You agreed to these as a part of subscribing to their services):



You may not operate, or allow others to operate, servers of any type or any other device, equipment, and/or software providing server-like functionality in connection with the Service…

Cox reserves the right to manage its network for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of subscribers including, without limitation, the following: rate limiting, rejection or removal of “spam” or otherwise unsolicited bulk email, anti-virus mechanisms, traffic prioritization, and protocol filtering. You expressly accept that such action on the part of Cox may affect the performance of the Service.


Prohibited Uses and Activities:

Prohibited uses include, but are not limited to, using the Service, Customer Equipment, or the Comcast Equipment to: run programs, equipment, or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises LAN (Local Area Network), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited services and servers include, but are not limited to, e-mail, Web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers; …

if the Service is used in a way that Comcast or its suppliers, in their sole discretion, believe violate this AUP, Comcast or its suppliers may take any responsive actions they deem appropriate. These actions include, but are not limited to, temporary or permanent removal of content, cancellation of newsgroup posts, filtering of Internet transmissions, and the immediate suspension or termination of all or any portion of the Service. Neither Comcast nor its affiliates, suppliers, or agents will have any liability for any these responsive actions. These actions are not Comcast’s exclusive remedies and Comcast may take any other legal or technical action it deems appropriate.


So, all whiners, what exactly is your gripe? Any of you with any shred of honesty has to admit that in function, your P2P torrent client is also a server, and that falls under these prohibitions. Doesn’t matter if you’re DL’ing Shrek3, Debbie Does Dallas, or the latest Debian distro — the program is still a server, and Cox and Comcast have already told all of their subscribers what they may do (read the part about “filtering of Internet transmissions…may take any other legal or technical action…” and “including, without limitation, the following: rate limiting…traffic prioritization, and protocol filtering”).

Don’t like it? Unfortunately you agreed to it when you signed up for service. How can this be fraud, when they told you up front they might take this type of action? Unhappy now? Vote with your feet and your wallet, otherwise realize that they own the ball field, the bases, the bat, balls and gloves — you want to play the game, you have to play by their rules.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m just a messenger.

Man Chu says:

Re: Why the complaining?

You couldn’t be more correct.

My 20 year old son thought he would download movies using a Torrent client. Our phone service (Vonage) would deteriorate on occasion,and I thought it was my router. After checking around, I see his PC was serving as many as 30 Torrent downloads! No wonder my Comcast bandwidth was being eaten up.

There are no more Torrents being served at this address, and our phone service is excellent once again.

I informed my son that if he was willing to pay for a business class T1 line, he could download anything he wanted. But he figured out all on his own a subscription to Netflix would be cheaper.

Jerry says:

Re: Why the complaining?

The isp could just let it rip, and turn over all of the customers using ptp protocols, to the FBI. Have you ever heard of COLEA?? It gives the FBI access to ISP customer logs. Every website, download, upload, etc. Let’s face it,
99.9% of all ptp is for illegal purposes. I find it kinda ludicrous that you want to sue because they are interfering with your stealing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Why the complaining?

hmmm so you mean that when I take a windows based pc out of the box and slap it on the network that its out-of-the-box “server functions” like file sharing, internet connection sharing, DNS, DHCP, p2psvc, FAX, telephony, or any other service that is “listining” and acts a a server when another system attempts to connect to it is a violation of TOS…. broad TOS’s like that are bullshit, its just another way that large corporations use legal formalities to do whatever the hell they want. Like Verizon reserves the right to snoop through my computer just because I use them as an ISP? That’s a load of crap, private data is meant to be just that, and Verizon’s TOS is a clear breach of privacy law. You monopolize an areas broadband internet services, and force users to waive their rights to private data, wait until they actually attempt to use their TOS to snoop through someones computer and it goes to court, it will never stand up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Why the complaining?

hmmm so you mean that when I take a windows based pc out of the box and slap it on the network that its out-of-the-box “server functions” like file sharing, internet connection sharing, DNS, DHCP, p2psvc, FAX, telephony, or any other service that is “listining” and acts a a server when another system attempts to connect to it is a violation of TOS

Of course! Of course ANYTHING could be a violation of the TOS/AUP because it’s totally up to their own “sole discretion”.

HD Fury says:

Re: Re: Re: Why the complaining?

Not to mention that there is a huge difference between your “out of the box” windows pc handing an IP address to another pc in your LAN and providing one to someone on the outside. “services to anyone outside of your Premises LAN (Local Area Network)” You are more than welcome to have these services running within your LAN. Now when you start offering these services to people on the internet you are in violation of the TOS. Did people forget how to read? Or do you guys just like to complain and work yourselves up on pointless crap?

90% of torrent traffic is illegal. Are you going to sue Wal-Mart because their alarm system is throttling your shoplifting? You agreed to the TOS and if you just now read it and don’t like it then take your business elseware. They are providing a service and may do so at their discretion.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Why the complaining?

Not to mention that there is a huge difference between your “out of the box” windows pc handing an IP address to another pc in your LAN and providing one to someone on the outside.

Right out of the box it has full file sharing enabled on whatever Internet address the modem assigns to it. In other words, it’s “offering these services to people on the internet” by default. So by default “you are in violation of the TOS”. What’s so hard to understand about that?

Eh says:

My University..

Meh, my university serves broadband (symmetric, my upload speeds equal my download speeds) faster than that of 99% of the united states. The only thing that limits our internet here really is the server being download from or uploaded to, as I have seen consistent speeds of 5 Megabytes per second and above (in benchmarks, the average speed is indicated to be over 20 Megabytes/s) – that being said, we pay by an allocated bandwidth amount, and I’ve got the 15.5 gigabytes/week plan.

No traffic shaping (we electrical engineering kids would blow a fuse) and we can act as servers all we want. Albeit price for my plan is approximately $40, still I struggle to find ways to use up all 15 gigs (i constantly leave peer-to-peer software up and still only end up using about 10 gigs)

Aaron Martin-Colby (profile) says:

I think we already knew.

I think most BitTorrenters already knew about this. Most people I know that are using Bit Torrent, myself included, use a program that allows encryption. Fixes the problem right quick.

For more scuttlebutt, Verizon also jams BitTorrent traffic. As far as I know, they were doing it over a year ago. My friend had Verizon DSL, and his downloads would crawl at 2 KB/sec. Replaced the ordinary client with Azureus, and MAGICALLY, he started seeing 50-100 KB/sec.

I assume their new FiOS is the same.

jb says:

Time Warner...

Seems to limit my downloads after I have been on a while (>1 hr), I’m sure ALL ISP’s are in some way or another shaping their traffic, who is going to stop all of them? The FCC seems to be waffling big time on this and I don’t see any progress toward net neutrality anytime soon, I guess we will have to stay one step ahead with whatever new protocol dijuor is available.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Perhaps you should read that again…because that is not what it states.

“To ensure the best possible online experience for our customers, Cox actively manages network traffic through a variety of methods including traffic prioritization and protocol filtering. Cox does not prohibit the use of file-sharing services for uploads or downloads, or discriminate against any specific services in any way. To help our customers make the most out of their Internet experience, we take proactive measures to ensure that bandwidth intensive applications do not negatively impact their service. These network management practices are outlined in our subscriber agreement and Acceptable Use Policy.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Perhaps you should read that again…because that is not what it states.

“To ensure the best possible online experience for our customers, Cox actively manages network traffic through a variety of methods including traffic prioritization and protocol filtering.

Just what do you think “protocol filtering” is anyway? Something to clean your protocols?

Anonymous Coward says:

If your router is restarting, that is likely not intentional, and simply a result of having an old or detiorated router. Any router I’ve used has eventually gotten to the point where it can’t manage multiple connections at the same time. You can see this for yourself, by going to an image-heavy web forum and opening up, say, 20 threads with, say, 40 posts on each page at once. Your router will most likely restart itself.

If you’re using your own router, replace it. If you’re using an ISP-provided router, ask them to send a new one. Bell Canada sent me a replacement wireless router/modem and it works swell for me, both for P2P and forum browsing.

if you don't like it... says:

start your own isp

if you don’t like the terms, start your own ISP. otherwise, shut up and stop causeing my ISP to spend their time and money throttling your illegal downloading. Gimme a break! as for other legit traffic using torrent, get your company to get a vpn client, and tunnel your legit traffic into your company.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: start your own isp

if you don’t like the terms, start your own ISP

And just how would you connect your “ISP” to the internet? The only broadband connectivity available in most areas is through either the cable company or the phone company. Both of these enjoy govt protected monopolies in most places that prevent you from installing your own lines alongside theirs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: start your own isp

It’s FCC law that the internet is free for all, There for Illegal for ISP to block any intrnet traffic. It’s bush and his group that has turn a blind eye to the fact that the FCC is not doing there job, Both Obama and Hilery have said they would End this BS and make the FCC inforce its laws of net neutrality. You want to end this Vote Democrat.

Anonymous Coward says:

You are all ridiculous

ISPs do not care if what you’re downloading is illegal or legal content. An ISP may temporarily suspend your service for illegal downloading…but not because they care about what you’re downloading/sharing. It’s because they were notified by the RIAA/MPAA/etc. The suspension protects you and them, by suspending your service, they are able to notify you and protect you from further action, such as being forced to turn over your name by subpeona. It’s about managing network security and bandwidth. No content is ever blocked…you’re always free to access whatever you want. So the traffic gets throttled some during periods of high utilization, you are still accessing the content. You can always get a dedicated circuit installed to your home and manage the connection yourself, but I hardly think anyone wants to bear that cost. The price of internet access provided by ISPs for the Quality of Service provided is a great deal. As noted by an earlier poster, some network management takes place to help prevent the proliferation of botnets such as Storm. I applaud any provider that takes these actions, if this wasn’t prevented, the bandwidth/spam/security breaches posed by these botnets would put more strain on the network than torrents themselves. So don’t say that an ISP blocks your access you are free to download whatever you want, yes your connection may be managed, but the content is always available.

Cox Customer says:

Depends on Local Whims

I once had a problem with Cox where I couldn’t connect to certain IP addresses in Europe. It looked like they were being blocked but Cox assured me in writing (I still have the e-mails) that they weren’t. I finally got an insider at Cox to look into it for me and he reported that indeed the local network administrator at Cox in my area had placed a block on addresses assigned to French ISP’s (for political reasons).

Cox appears to let it’s local network administrators set their own policies to a large extent. Whether or not things are getting jammed in your area may depend on the personal whims on your local Cox network administrator. In any case, I know from personal experience that you can’t take Cox’s word about it.

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