Tired Of Buffering? 3 Ways To Speed Up YouTube

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speed up youtubeIf you ask me, Internet streaming is one of the best advancements in web technology I’ve ever experienced, at least when it comes to user experience. YouTube has made some serious strides in online video over the last decade – strides which can easily be overlooked and forgotten. But streaming will always suffer from a particular drawback – buffering.

Buffering isn’t just a problem for YouTube; services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO all have to buffer their on-demand content. But YouTube is, without a doubt, the largest video streaming site in the world – it’s hard to imagine a person who has Internet access yet hasn’t ever heard of it – which means there are a lot of people out there who complain about slow YouTube buffers.

The following tips may help you out if your YouTube experience has slowed down so much as to become an inconvenience.

Warning: These suggestions to speed up YouTube should only be pursued at your own discretion. I would never suggest something so dangerous or risky that I would never do it, but MakeUseOf claims no responsibility if you mess up your computer or Internet connection in any way after reading this article.

Join YouTube Feather Beta

Even though I’ve been an avid YouTube user for many years, I was surprised to learn about a hidden program called YouTube Feather. As far as I know, it was never really pushed to users in a public way; instead, it’s an “opt-in” feature that claims that it might be able to speed up your YouTube buffering. It’s an official YouTube program so there’s some real promise in it.

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How does it work to speed up YouTube? By stripping away nearly every extraneous feature and implementing some advanced web techniques, YouTube reduces the amount of information being sent to you every time you view a video. This means that there’s more bandwidth allocated for actual video buffering. It’s basically a lightweight version of the service, hence the name YouTube Feather.

When you enable YouTube Feather, you: lose the ability to view and write comments; lose the ability to like or dislike videos; only see five related videos per page. I think that’s a pretty good trade for faster buffering. However, be aware that YouTube Feather is a work-in-progress so it may not work for all videos.

Bypass ISP Throttling

A few months ago, a guy named Mitch Ribar posted an interesting network tweak for Windows that makes some esoteric changes to the firewall which blocks a big range of IP addresses. I’ve seen this tip circulating around the Internet so I took a deeper look at it and, from what I can see, it should work for most users.

The technology behind it works like this. In an effort to preserve bandwidth, some ISPs will throttle bandwidth and download speeds on connections to servers that deliver cached video content, e.g., YouTube. The following command blocks IP addresses on this content delivering network, which forces YouTube to push the actual video straight to you (not the cached version) without any ISP throttling.

how to speed up youtube

  • Click Start, type cmd, right click on the icon and Run as Administrator to open the command prompt.
  • If you see a UAC prompt, click Yes.
  • Copy this command: netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name=”YoutubeBufferTrick” dir=in action=block remoteip=, enable=yes
  • Right click in the command prompt and select Paste.
  • Hit Enter.

If you ever want to remove this alteration from your network, do the same thing except use this command instead:

  • netsh advfirewall firewall delete rule name=”YoutubeBufferTrick”

Since this trick blocks a wide range of IP addresses, you may run into a site every once in a while that’s blocked by this trick. Use at your own discretion!

Routing Through a Different DNS

You may be able to speed up YouTube downloads by hooking up your Internet connection to a different DNS, like OpenDNS or Google Public DNS. There’s a lot that can be said on DNS optimization – far more than would fit in this article – so just know that it’s possible (not guaranteed) that changing DNS could improve your YouTube buffering speed.

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Google claims that using its Public DNS service can actually enhance your Internet browsing speed by optimizing the traffic routes between you and your destination servers. But, they offer this caveat:

Note, however, that because nameservers geolocate according to the resolver’s IP address rather than the user’s, Google Public DNS has the same limitations as other open DNS services: that is, the server to which a user is referred might be farther away than one to which a local DNS provider would have referred. This could cause a slower browsing experience for certain sites.

The bottom line: this trick to speed up TouTube may or may not work for you. There’s no real way to know without going ahead and giving it a try.


At the end of the day, one truth remains: your YouTube buffering speed will always be capped by your actual Internet speed. If you have a lousy Basic Package from your ISP and your download rate is limited to snail speeds, you won’t be able to buffer faster than that. In other words, the only surefire way to improve your YouTube buffering speed is to upgrade your Internet plan.

But assuming you have a fast Internet connection already yet still suffer from poor buffering, you may be able to gain something from the tricks outlined above. Give them a try and report back to us to share your experience!

Image Credit: Network Routes Via Shutterstock

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41 Comments - Write a Comment


Loiue Stihl Balanquit

If you join Youtube Feather, can you go out of it if you dislike it? Thank you!


Of course!

Joel Lee

Yes, you can disable it at any time. :)


yes of course
when you koin it you will see after “quit “light” beta” just click it and you will quit it


i have another probleme
my internet is enafe to play 1 houre video and its was playing videos great but now its stop every 5 seconds
its buffer good but for a short time ,not just in youtube ,all the videos,everything is fast like downloading of entering websites but the videos wont work, can you help me pleas



Does joining the YouTube HTML5 trial do anything to the YouTube experience?

Elrick B

IM wondering the same thing, but i do realise some video do buffer faster with html5 tho, but only some



Cool. Trying them out now



download the files using the downloadhelper plugin for firefox, it’s cross-platform and free.

or if you want to keep it simple with linux at the command line: youtube-dl or clive, google them.

Joel Lee

Never thought about downloading the videos since it seems like a hassle if you want to just “surf YouTube,” but I suppose it’s a valid method if you want to watch specific videos. Thanks!


If you can only access the internet thru a slow connection, then downloading the video is as bad as playing it.

Dawn Turner

To the contrary, surprisingly, I have found that the videos download in a fraction of the time as when they are playing in a browser.


Hello Joel,

Maybe this will work – “…suggest something so dangerous or risky…” & on the part of MUO, you can always do this – “…MakeUseOf claims no responsibility if you mess up your computer or Internet connection in any way after reading this article.”

I know it’s desperate, but to be honest with you, the tricks in the article just don’t work.



Akhil Kumar

Great post! I can’t even watch 240p videos without buffering. However youtube nowadays has this option for 144p, which is great for me. But this only applies to certain videos. You can watch all the videos in 144p using IDM. Heres the link on how to do it: http://www.techytrack.com/2013/01/Stream-YouTube-video-on-slow-connection.html

Joel Lee

Yikes, 144p is quite low quality but it’s nice that YouTube offers it for people who can’t handle that much bandwidth. Thanks!


Andy Bristow

I got…

The requested operation requires elevation

Do I add Run as administrator in place of username?

Joel Lee

In order to run the command line hack, yes you need to have proper permissions by running as Administrator and disabling/bypassing UAC.


After typing in “cmd” right click it and click, “Run as Administrator”.
Note:This won’t work if you do not have administrator privileges.



Looks very interesting, thank you.


sunil sharma

Wow! really nice tip


Manuel Guillermo L

I got tired of buffering a long time ago.
Now, I download every video before watching it. No more lag for me, but now I have tons of videos I have downloaded to watch later consuming my hard drive.



I have a lot of issues with YouTube videos. I can’t watch HD videos at all, and even 480p is often choppy. It’s weird because I can watch Netflix in HD just fine, but YouTube chokes.

Joel Lee

As far as I know, it’s because Netflix uses a different streaming technology. I can easily buffer full movies on Netflix with my garbage WiFi speeds yet sometimes I stutter on YouTube 360p with my wired ethernet. I’m sure there’s some reason why YouTube can’t implement the same methods as Netflix, though.


hey u can change the open DNS and check it out….



Very interesting. I like the feather beta. Tried it and really see the improvement! Thank you Lee.



I see Windows in your screen shot, will this work for OS X?

Joel Lee

YouTube Feather and DNS Routing will work on OS X (though the steps for DNS routing will differ on OS X). As for the “hack” tip, I don’t know enough about OS X to say whether or not there’s a similar alternative.



I’d really like tips for speeding up Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant video. If you please!


Arif Ibrahim

Wow, that firewall tweak, I’m trying it out now. Hopefully nothing’s gonna break :)


Onaje Asheber

Routing Through a Different DNS. Now i would really love to read a full post on that. But thanks for the information given.


Lisa Santika Onggrid

My only gripe about ‘Feather Beta': I have to login to my Google account when browsing YouTube.



Holy crap. The firewall tweak works beautifully. No. More. Buffering. Whatsoever.

Eff Comcast. My god.



If You Go On That IP Address Your Original IP Will Be Hacked

We Are Anonymous, We Are A Legion, We Do Not Forget, We Do Not Forgive, Expect Us.




C:\ >netsh advfirewall firewall add rule na
me=”YoutubeBufferTrick” dir=in action=block remoteip=,
/16 enable=yes

The following command was not found: advfirewall firewall add rule name=”Youtube
BufferTrick” dir=in action=block remoteip=, enable=


Alex Fit

I find that youtube improves significantly when I sign out.



I tried Bypassing ISP Throttling and it worked! Thanks, dude!



i cant figure out how to get rid of the firewall thing is there another way to disabvle it … I think that i named it incorreclty and can remember what i named it now am i scred can i still pay my taxes on navy federal? plz help



Recently I join Youtube Feather Beta, Youtube become Faster, thanks



Your advice worked for me! Thanks a bunch!


Nahum L

random question! how do I share on tweeter? (its a serious question)



iam using huawaei ec 121 reliance 1x speed modem but iam facing utube watching every second stop and start how to this problem soloving plese give replay in this connection is availble to watching utube any stopages

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