YouTube used to work just fine for me. I could stream videos in 1080p HD with no problems or buffering. Now, for the past few weeks/months I haven't had even close to that experience. Only 480p and lower will actually play without much buffering. 720p will load slowly, and often with buffering. 1080p is almost out of the question now.

I've tried:

  • Chrome and IE9 with the same results.
  • Clearing my cookies in Chrome
  • Turning off the HTML5 player and going back to the flash player
  • Other PC's on my network, with similar results

What's weird is that it isn't a connection issue at all. My fiance regularly streams Netflix and Hulu+ in HD. When I run Speedtest.net, I get ~20MB Down, ~4MB up. I have no lag or issues playing hours of online gaming. I have no issues with other HD video streaming sites—for instance, I can stream twitch.tv at full resolution with no problem. This video on Vimeo loads immediately, and plays smoothly in HD from beginning to end.

What gives? Is my ISP throttling YouTube? Is my router mysteriously refusing packets from YouTube? How can I find out?

  • Maybe just a coincidence, but I was having a stop..buffer..start experience on YouTube earlier this evening. (And that was on 480p!)
    – MrWhite
    Feb 22, 2013 at 0:33
  • 3
    You realized that ISP might be the culprit, and didn't post the name? For that matter, searching for <ISP name> youtube throttle will probably give you a good indication if that's the case.
    – Alok
    Feb 22, 2013 at 1:54
  • Comcast, and results seem mixed.
    – jtheis
    Feb 23, 2013 at 0:52
  • Same here - Flash and HTML5 perform similarly, even at 360p, but HD Vimeo, Netflix, and Amazon Instant are all fine. AT&T user - 24 down, 3 up.
    – Pwninstein
    Mar 2, 2013 at 16:04

3 Answers 3


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

sudo ipfw add reject src-ip in
sudo ipfw add reject src-ip in

This was taken from this post.

His assumptions were not verified but what he found was helpful for a lot of people.

TL;DR: This will most likely block Google's data centers for online video forcing YouTube and other sources to look for a cached source (potentially less bogged down and perhaps a fewer number of hops).


It could be a router problem, or just that your computer is slow.
Try opening task manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del) and killing some unnecessary processes. If that works, then you should uninstall some programs which slow down your computer or set them to not run at startup. Your whole computer will be faster.

  • 1
    The OP has tried different computers. Nov 13, 2013 at 9:07

I recommend getting a new computer but first, try getting a new router or trying to set up a new internet connection. I have this issue when many people are on a network at the same time but if I switch networks then the problem is typically solved. Also anytime after 8 pm is going to be slower because so many more people are on youtube at that time.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.