Canadian internet provider Shaw offers various and enticing high-speed packages to Western Canada. With speeds ranging from 10Mbps all the way to 1.5 Gbps, Shaw has something ideal for nearly any living quarters. They also offer bundles that allow you to save money and access both the internet and TV at the same time.
There are drawbacks though. Shaw has a few drawbacks that hurt them in the long run, including excessive fees and two-year contracts that only charge you more over time. While their service is fairly strong and available in many popular areas of Western Canada, you have to consider some of these shortcomings before signing up.
Shaw Pros and Cons
- Bundles: Shaw offers a few bundles that are perfect for any customer looking for home internet and TV.
- Install the Internet Yourself: With self-installation options, you are able to set up your internet at home without scheduling assistance from Shaw representatives.
- Speeds up to 1.5Gbps: Shaw offers some fast internet, especially for certain areas in Western Canada. Compared to other providers, their speeds compete fairly well.
- Usage Caps: Shaw may cap your speeds after use of a certain amount of data.
- Not Available Everywhere: Shaw is focused on mostly British Columbia and Alberta and their coverage is spotty or unavailable in certain other areas.
- Rental Fees: You will be charged $10 a month to rent the modem needed for Shaw’s services.
- Activation Fee: Shaw will also charge you about $50 to get your modem installed and running.
Shaw has a variety of plans for many different types of Canadian households, starting as low as $50 a month. And their speeds, while maybe not as fast as some competitors, are more than enough to download and upload and stream with ease.
Shaw offers both basic and BlueCurve plans. The basics are exactly what you would expect and typically offer speeds of around 50Mbps to 300Mbps. When you sign on for BlueCurve, you are going to get download speeds up to 600Mbps with no data caps. As you can imagine, you will be charged more for BlueCurve plans. It is worth it though because Shaw’s typical data caps are ultimately quite annoying if you use the internet often.
Shaw’s payment plans are tricky, to put it gently. You can pay month-to-month, which will costs you $110 in your first 12 months and then $125 for any month after. That is nearly $3,000 for two years. However, when paying month-to-month you will not be charged any sort of cancellation fee if you decide to seek another provider. For customers who move often or don’t want a contract, this approach is a deal.
If you do want a contract, Shaw offers a two-year deal that will charge you $65 for the first 12 months and $110 for the last 12. That is just a bit over $2,000 for two years, a good deal lower than the month-to-month prices. Of course, if you want to end your contract earlier you will be charged a fee.
While it isn’t necessarily cheap, those prices are relatively comparable to other providers in the area. And the benefit of self-installation is nice, especially in a day and age where you can wait days for in-person assistance. However, Shaw’s data caps are a real pain and they have other tricky features that aren’t user-friendly. For example, if you want true whole-home Wi-Fi coverage, you will have to pay for BlueCurve pods. They are little devices you place around your home to provide your highest available internet. The fact that you have to pay extra monthly for these pods is a bit frustrating and, frankly, odd. Other things like the $50 activation fee are annoying too but fairly common with internet providers.