Unblockingon Flow and UTSPublished: 16-12-2015 | Author: Michel Greijmans
WOW-TV is a application that can be installed on a Roku device allowing access to hundreds of live television streams from all over the world. This service requires a subscription of about $20 a month. The legality of this service however remains "unknown". Over the weekend Flow Curacao (Columbus Networks) has taken measures to block this application, not long after UTS decided join them.
I am in no way associated with WOW-TV. I don't have a WOW-TV Subscription, in fact, I didn't even know what WOW-TV was before everyone started complaining that it stopped working. The below solution to the blockade is provided by me for free, with no support or guarantee what so ever. Use it at your own risk.
Please scroll down for the latest updates!
How does it work, and how is it
When I first became aware of the blockade I was curious as to how the application works, and what method was used to block it.
I created a test network for the Roku device and ran tcpdump to snoop all packages.
What I discovered is that the indexing and authentication takes place using over HTTP (TCP Port 80) on a web server located at www.wowtv.in which resolved to 18.104.22.168.
This is the application's achilles heel.
Troubleshooting this on a Flow connection I noticed that the domain www.wowtv.in isn't being resolved by Flow's DNS servers (which have in the past been involved in a hijacking of the .cw ccTLD). Aside from the DNS block all traffic with the destination of 22.214.171.124 was being dropped. This made it impossible for the application to communicate with the "broker", making it unable to retrieve the necessary streams. UTS has taken (more-or-less) the same measures.
So, in order to by-pass this blockade we'd need to get the Roku/application to connect to an alternative web server (on a non-blocked IP).
How mytrick works
I'm going to finish this part later so you geeks can have a better understanding as to how my solution works.
This is the part where I tell you how to by-pass the blockade using my solution.
To apply my work-around you'll need to use my DNS servers. As Roku doesn't allow you to configure a static/manual IP and DNS we'll need to configure my DNS server in your router. Unfortunately this means that the steps that will have to be taken differs depending on your (home) set-up. This is why I can't write one-size-fits-all instructions. So basic network/internet knowledge is required!
I urge all of you to do some research yourself, and find friends and family that can help you if you're unable to do this yourself.
I simply do not have the time to help each and every single one of you.
Also bare in mind that if your ISP decides to block our servers or if we decide to discontinue this service you will most likely not be able to surf the web until you revert these settings! We might change our DNS IP's with time so bookmark this page. Lastly, as of now I've configured this to ONLY work for Flow and UTS customers.
Basically we'll need to make sure that the Roku uses our modified DNS servers. This can achieved using 2 methods:
1. Make your router use our DNS Servers to resolve requests.
For the routers with a built in DNS server you'll have to configure it to use the below mentioned DNS servers. These settings are most likely to be found under the WAN/Internet connection settings.
2. Make sure your router tells it's client to use our DNS servers when handing out DHCP requests. (Yes I know sounds very technical)
Basically you're most likely to find these settings under the LAN/Network configuration. Here you'll configure our DNS servers.
Make sure you configure the following DNS Servers:
LATEST IP's 126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52 THESE IP's HAVE BEEN BLOCKED AND HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED: 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 18.104.22.168 22.214.171.124 126.96.36.199 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11
Configure both those IP's as DNS (Nameservers), and make sure there are no others configured (this will cause conflicts).
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I understand that this sounds very complicated, but trust me it's the easiest solution I can think of.
Here's an example for a common home wireless router, a Linksys E900. Here we used the second method as described above:
If you're required to add more than 2 DNS servers enter a bogus IP like 10.0.0.2
That's a valid question. Given the questionable nature of the service why would I support it?
To me it's a principal issue. ISP's (Internet Service Providers) or governments shouldn't block off parts of the internet they simply "don't like". To me this is a very troubling development here on our beautiful island knowing that ISP's can (and have) implement(ed) a "great Chinese firewall".
I don't know what official steps can be taken to protest their decision to take these measures, I don't know if Bureau Telecom & Post is (legally) capable of enforcing/prohibiting this activity. But for now I'd recommend everyone to make your voice heard and actively protest against this decision (possibly make it a PR nightmare).
Dec 16 2015 16.30:
UTS is NOT blocking wowtv
After some more thorough research we concluded that UTS is not blocking wowtv. However the service remains offline as a result of a possible peering issue with one of their infamous upstream providers. The solution presented in this article does solve this issue.
Dec 19 2015 14.20: Our work-around has beenNew DNS Servers coming up later today!
Please check back later today, as we're setting up & testing our new DNS Servers. We're also taking measures to prevent a possible blockade of our website. Please check back later today.
Dec 19 2015 16.40:DNS Servers added
Dec 30 2015 14.00:DNS Servers added
Jan 12 2016 8.50:DNS Servers added
Jan 20 2016 12.20:DNS Servers added & Also work for Networks now.
If your organisation want's to play this game of cat and mouse with us, feel free. Just know that it's (going) to be at your own (customer's) expense. We're the Hydra of Lerna. Cut of our head, we'll grow 2 new ones.