Skip to main content
Accessibility Resource Center Skip to main content
Have a phone you love? Get up to $500 when you bring your phone. OR get iPhone 13, on us for a limited time. With Select 5G Unlimited plans. Buy now
end of navigation menu
YouTube unbearably slow; everything else fine.
sirmailbox
Newbie

Hi there,

I've been experiencing increasingly severe YouTube buffering times. Speed tests suggest I'm getting the 5mbps I should be, but according to YouTube's stats, my average rate over the last month was 2.39 mbps. Even that is heavily weighted by the more decent download speeds I had a few weeks ago. At this point, I cannot even play a video in 240p without long buffering.

Every other website works fine; I can stream HD videos from Netflix and other sources without issue.

Also, this occurs with every computer I use in the house.

Please help.

0 Likes
Re: YouTube unbearably slow; everything else fine.
walt178
Specialist - Level 3

You Tube is the third most popular website.  They get a LOT of traffic.  So their servers get bogged down at peak times.  They know it. Which is why they give tips on dealing with low speed and suggest not viewing in HD. The only solution is to deal with the buffering or visit in off hours.  In my experience during  early morning and late night hours (11pm) I don't have a problem with any video. During the day and evening a lot of videos don't play well.

Re: YouTube unbearably slow; everything else fine.
sirmailbox
Newbie

Sorry, but I find this explanation totally implausible. Anecdotally, I only experience these issues at home. Not at school, not on phones, not at a friend's house, nowhere else. Just my house. But forget about my personal experience: YouTube keeps statistics about video speeds sorted by ISP and geographical region.

My average is at 2.39.

My ISP's average is 1.76.

Is that typical? No.

Massachusetts average: 9.47.

USA average: 8.15.

Global average: 6.88.

Perhaps most relevant of all is this little bit at the end:

Results from users of other ISPs near you:

Comcast 8.69.

So, again, I'm looking for a plausible explanation for why I'm essentially getting third world internet speeds at one of the most popular websites in the world.

0 Likes
Re: YouTube unbearably slow; everything else fine.
smith6612
Super User
Super User

Consider the following:

1: Peering

2: CDN functionality and distribution based on Netblocks, GeoIP, Peering, metrics, and send/return path quality

3: Location of caching servers and where they are located in the mix

4: Number of Customers versus speed of connections each customer could potentially have per company

5: Popularity of videos for a region

6: Difference between Google's homebrew CDN verus a commercial CDN that other sites like Vimeo use for streaming videos

7: The history of YouTube and what has caused them to slow down in the past

8: How exactly Verizon is routing and aggregating traffic over other providers.

To really troubleshoot YouTube you'll need to take a step into it and see what can be narrowed down as the culprit. to troubleshoot this, you need to get the IP address or hostname of the video server you're streaming from, and then from there, traceroute it and ping it enough, 50 times should do for the sake of things. All of this has to be done from a Wired connection with no other devices using the connection to take out any extra network usage. If you use Google Chrome or Internet Explorer (still looking in Firefox for this) you can often do an audit of the network traffic from the Developer tools to find out what your video server is.

To the above, tracerouting and pinging youtube.com is not a good measure because the videos are not streamed from the servers running youtube.com itself.

Re: YouTube unbearably slow; everything else fine.
sirmailbox
Newbie

Okay. Did an audit on a video page. Pretty sure this is the server, since it looks like over time I received 16 megabytes of data from this one, and less than 900k from all the others.

http://r5---sn-p5qlsn7s.c.youtube.com

But pinging fails; I get the message that the host cannot be found.

0 Likes
Re: YouTube unbearably slow; everything else fine.
smith6612
Super User
Super User

That's okay. It looks similar to the ones I've had trouble with.

It was mentioned at another site, specifically DSLReports that there is in fact a tool that can be ran from any computer running any operating system, for as long as Python is installed that will perform YouTube speed measurements and report on some other statistical information. You might want to give it a try.

See: http://code.google.com/p/pytomo/

Also see: http://www.nanog.org/meetings/nanog57/abstracts.php?pt=MjA1NCZuYW5vZzU3&nm=nanog57

0 Likes