Why YouTube gets stuck buffering so much


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16 megs is business-class? Wow.

[edit:] Also, that is one edumacational and interesting article. I’ma make folks read it. there may be a test.

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Rarely have much in the way of problems with it here… or rather, when there are issues, it’s with the same videos every time. Still curious as to why 99% of videos buffer just fine, but the other 1% have tons of issues.

I get a lot of stalled, buffering youtube videos.

But if I use a Firefox add-on like DownloadHelper to directly download the youtube video to my computer for later viewing, it always seems to download extremely quickly and uniformly.

Not sure what the difference would be to the ISP.

I found an article about this on http://mitchribar.com/ a while back when investigating the same issue. He goes into detail about how to work around the issue.
Since I’ve used his tweak, my YouTube experience has been great!

The gist of it seems to be:
“Your ISP is throttling downloads from servers that host cached videos. By rejecting these IP address ranges you will force the video to be served to you directly.”

Original Article: http://mitchribar.com/2013/02/time-warner-cable-sucks-for-youtube-twitchtv/

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Any throttling constitutes flat-out fraud by the ISP. When your ISP sells you 16 mbps down, that is what you should expect - freedom to demand bits from any source, which your ISP will do their level best to deliver at the contracted 16 mbps. The ISP shouldn’t care who you ask for bits from. You’ve paid for them to deliver 16 million bits per second from the internet at large. Any attempt to extort money from any particular source of bits is double-billing for the same service.

What’s more, by paying attention to who you are in contact with on the internet, the ISP should be jeopardising their safe harbor as a common carrier. If they’re limiting your access to Netflix, can you sue them for not limiting your access to a site that is known to infect computers with malware?


Virgin user from London here. YouTube is incredibly crap (even at lowest resolutions), Vimeo and other not so popular sites - just fine. Then… Skype (voice only) is also unusable while Google hangouts works perfectly, even with quite high quality video. That’s 20mbps internet… I should probably get a VPN and see what happens.

That seems logical except that this problem has affected all urls erratically at various times for the last 12 years that I have been aware of it. Several forums have lost members because they accused the sysop of using crummy software or cheap equipment or too many searches in the database.

It’s a nice theory, but it doesn’t explain the whole problem.

And this is why I find that my 6mbps WiMax clear.com device beats the hell out of the experience with comcast and att fiber to the pole, both of which, on paper, should be much faster. Comcast cannot even handle dns resolution reliably.

I looked into this a number of weeks ago, after getting increasingly frustrated with YouTube on Verizon in the US. I eventually settled on a browser extension (“SmartVideo for YouTube”, for Chrome on Linux) that seems to help. I’m not sure why it helps, to be honest, since it doesn’t actually solve (or even address) the cache-proxy problem, but it definitely helps.

I’m not affiliated with this extension, I’m just a happy customer.

I guess not a lot of this applies to me, here down under… probably different commercial relationships to some extent, not to mention that at my longitude (coincident peak times), we have pretty much only the Japanese to compete with for bandwidth. Only have trouble buffering YT occasionally, if ever. Though I seem to recall it being worse a year or two ago…

Anyway, the article prompted me to look into YT adblocking, and I found a great little ap that not only knocks out the pre-roll ads, but also the almost equally annoying pop-ups, for great victory : D

Disclaimer: it asks to install a mile of crapware, change your homepage and so on, and I even had to decline one thing by unchecking the EULA agreement and hitting the lone ‘accept’ button in the absence of a ‘decline’ one; pretty rude, and not a little ironic. Anyway, it does what it says on the tin, for me at least. Not sure if it’s responsible for the few-second delay I’m getting at the start, but if so it’s a small price to pay IMO.

Bandwidth is just one consideration of business services. Market segments have different needs. (e.g., reliability, hosting, static-ips, bandwidth cap, etc)

Well, aye, obviously. I’d just expect the bandwidth to be higher as well. All that stuff is standard on my home connection, and faster to boot, apart from youtube, natch. I think you guys properly get the piss taken out of you in the states by telcos/ISPs.

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