How to stop isps slow youtube

I’ve had TWC for over a year and have been frustrated at the shockingly slow YouTube performance. I never had issues with other streaming, downloads, or web browseing, so I simply shrugged it off and continued with life. A few days ago I came across this video and some discussions on Reddit which prompted me to explore further.

A few terminal commands later and I was back to blazingly fast YouTube streaming. Doing this will cause the stream to take 1-2 seconds to start because of the IP rejection handling, but then you are greeted with a silky smooth, ultra-fast experience.

Open up your terminal and run these commands (you will be prompted for the admin password):

sudo ipfw add reject src-ip 173.194.55.0/24 in
sudo ipfw add reject src-ip 206.111.0.0/16 in

You can check the rules were added by using this command:

sudo ipfw list

Why do these commands create a better streaming experience? TWC is throttling downloads from servers (CDN) that host cached videos. By rejecting these IP address ranges you will force the video to be served to you directly. This harnesses the full download speed of your internet connection. Other people can dive into the complexity much better than I ever could, but that’s the overall theme.

If you’re not using a Mac, here’s some tips to make this work:

  • Linux – instead of ipfw use iptables command
  • Windows – check out this guide
  • Multiple computers – configure the IP blocks via your router.

Did this trick work for you?

EDIT: Great discussion happening over at Hacker News that points to this not being TWC specific. Before posting I did test two other Verizon connections and found that they did not have YouTube issues, so I crafted the title. I feel that the title no longer specifically applies to TWC, and it’s been edited as such.

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