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YouTube slow buffering speed.

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January 20, 2013 5:01:49 PM

For some reason, the past few days, youtube has been incredibly slow at buffering any video i click on.
A few days ago, it was fine, nothing has been installed that would hinder it's performance, and nothing to do with my LAN has changed.

I just did a speedtest and i got 5.76Mbps download speed. I have no idea what i'm getting from my ISP (who is orange) but it'll probably be 20Mbps. I am using a homeplug, and there are a five wireless devices on the network.

If i right click on the youtube video and select "show video info" it says i am getting under 1Mbps download speed.

I can close anything using the internet on my computer and it's still the same speed. So i want to know whether it's youtubes problem or mine, i've looked online and i can't find any recent threads about this, but people have had the issue in the past.

Any suggestions are welcome :) 
January 20, 2013 5:12:02 PM

Anytime you go to a web page there will be varying degrees of buffering and low or high sownload speeds and it all has to do with the amount of traffic that the particular site has at any given moment.
A site like youtube is very popular and depending on the bandwidth that the site has it can get overwhelmed with traffic. There is also the possability of hackers doing a DoS attack which will slow the site down and even shut it down.
Your ISP can also be at fault and they will of course deny it and blame your equipment , but ISP's are not immune from having issues with connections and slow speeds.
You can go to this web page and use some of the tools there to diagnose your end and see if there's something that you can fix.

http://www.dslreports.com/tools
January 20, 2013 11:07:24 PM

Hi,i'm with orange (Now EE).It appears they are having problems with youtube,or as i suspect throttling youtube.

my experience is identical to yours.Was fine a few days ago.And i do speedtests and its reporting over 7mb.

I suspect throttling because youtube is fine at off peak times.I've just tried playing videos & they play fine with zero buffering (including 720p videos).(1.00am)

Ive never had problems with youtube in the past.I'm seeing the same thing with all devices in my house - Laptop,desktop,ps3 & Ipad.

If this continues i'm asking for for a MAC code - I cant even stream at 240p.And those videos with adverts at the start just freeze,with no way of skipping them.

I really hope its Youtube having issues - But having gone round to my brothers house (whos with O2) the same videos i cant play (peak times) play fine on his devices.
Related resources
January 21, 2013 4:30:40 PM

Update.

Speed on youtube is now appalling,less than 300kbps (usually over 7000kbps),according to the "view video info" option,accessed by right clicking on the video.

Done speedtests,downloaded files - Streamed other videos off various sites.Iplayer,ITV,4OD,Demand5,IGN etc ...All play fine with zero buffering.Files downloading at full speed.

I have not been to work today.Been using youtube all day without issue - everything played instatly - until after 15:30.

Its either youtube or orange having serious issues - But i'm not seeing many reports anywhere about youtube - Ive read a few comments from Orange customers (on youtube).

i wonder if Orange's/EE's recent spat with google over bandwidth has anything to do with this?
January 22, 2013 3:25:37 PM

Thanks for the update man.

All i know is that it is very selective, sometimes it will buffer a 1080p 30 minute video without it stopping the actual video, other times it can't even buffer a 320p 3 minute video.
Right now i'm averaging around 7000Kbps, as long as it stays that way, i don't really care!

Thanks for coming back to the thread anyway man, it really shows that toms hardware users are very nice and caring people! :D 
January 22, 2013 7:50:49 PM

No problem.I actually found your post via google,after getting frustrated over the last few days.I signed up to reply to you.

I hope i have not spoke too soon,but youtube seems to be better for me today as well - Exactly what you are reporting.Still not right though & like you said it seems random as to what video buffers ..or when.

Yesterday was the worst yet though.Hopefully Youtube or Orange has now got on top of it ...Fingers crossed.
January 24, 2013 12:28:52 AM

I'm having the same problem, but it happens to me at all hours of the day. It's just always unacceptably slow.
Edit: Also I'm with Bell.
January 24, 2013 3:16:04 AM

This is happening on other ISP's as well. I'm on comcast and having the same issues. I'm finding scattered examples of this happening not only across ISP's but across physical space as well. Seems to add up to this being a youtube issue that they don't feel like addressing for some reason.
January 24, 2013 10:54:30 AM

Ok, thanks a lot for letting me know. To be honest, you can't really blame google, it's one of the most active sites in the world, they just need to sort this out because you have basically confirmed that it is their problem.

Fair enough, there could be a problem with our ISPs but it sounding more like googles problem if i can buffer other videos on the internet, stream hd movies and load infinite amounts of webpages perfectly fine.
January 24, 2013 11:11:34 AM

But if it is a problem on google's end with their youtube servers, why can I download a 720p youtube video using a firefox eztension faster than I can stream it in the flash player? I feel like it has something to do with flash more than anything, but hey, it's all just speculation from me.
January 25, 2013 8:48:18 AM

I would like to add - When youtube is playing up,its playing up on all browsers,downloaders & devices.

In my experience,i dont think it has anything to do with flash - The ipad doesnt use flash.

I tried downloading a video yesterday with Winx youtube downloader,that i was having trouble playing ...It was incredibly slow,dial-up speed.Also tried playing video in same APP ...no go.

Just tried again (off-peak) & it downloaded within 30 seconds.
January 25, 2013 1:19:16 PM

I don't think it has anything to do with on peak times, even though the randomness of the slow buffering would suggest that. Flash is a possibility but it is more than likely going to be on googles end, rather than ours. You said you could download it quicker than you could stream it, this obviously means you are downloading it from another site, because if this was false, it wouldn't make any sense.

It really is a puzzle this.
January 27, 2013 3:07:56 PM

No.What i mean is - When i have trouble streaming,i have trouble downloading the videos as well.

When they stream fine,i can download them fine.

Sorry if i didnt make this clear.

It either points to a problem at youtubes end,or our ISP's.

I can however confirm - I have zero issues "off-peak" i can stream all videos on youtube without issue.

As soon as 5.30pm approaches,youtube stops operating correctly.

This is so frustrating - I can stream HD video at all times,from various sites at all times (on or off peak)....I can download all other types at files at full speed form various sources (on or off peak).Speedtests confirm i'm getting the fastest speed possible for my line.

It is only youtube that i am having issues with.

I have contacted orange about this issue - But i was given their usual ran around.
February 13, 2013 11:42:00 AM

I'm in the UK and Youtube been getting worse and worse over last month and is now quite unusable for watching in real time at anything above 240p. My internet speed is 5.8Mbps constantly and is not the issue. The only way to watch a video is to open it, pause it and leave it for several minutes to buffer. For a 30 minute video it may need 15 minutes to buffer before successfully being able to watch it through. The worst time seems to be around lunchtime & afternoon. I'm using a fast PC with hard-wired internet connection.

Does anyone know why this is happening ??
February 13, 2013 12:54:51 PM

I'm on Comcast / Xfinity with the 50/10 service, and my test results from sites vary, but are all well above 30mbps down. Youtube is, at times, painfully slow. During "Bankers Hours" in the U.S. I can stream high def 30 minute programs without a single hesitation. During peak "pime time" hours, it's just awful. I stop trying... Other streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu and others don't seem to have the same trouble. I am figuring it is a load issue with Youtube...
February 15, 2013 7:36:54 PM

I too have the streaming issue with youtube. Im in the UK, ISP is Sky. However all other sites (wimp.com, liveleak, apple move trailers all work flawlessly 24/7 even at 1080p. My speed is 30mbps dl 9mbps ul and is stable. Youtbue suffers terribly at peak times in the UK, and even my mother is starting to notice it.

They must be having some serious bandwidth issues which must be embarrasing for them. :??: 

Pleased I found this thread, as the frustration has made me browse to see if I was an isloated case, but clearly this is more widespread than I initially thought. :( 
February 15, 2013 9:13:39 PM

Found this thread via google. Having the same unacceptable buffering speed issues described here for at least 24 hours now. I live in Austin, Texas, my ISP is AT&T uverse. This seems more widespread than I thought it'd be.
February 16, 2013 4:38:06 PM

This is not typical buffering issues at all Phil. I find some comfort in your message because I've been very frustrated - A given video might work fine, and then another video plays for 5 seconds, hangs, stalls, plays another 8 seconds, hangs, stalls, etc. There is no reason for it, and the video (if you look at the grey 'downloading' indicator) is not downloading anything. Something has changed dramatically in just the past few days, and it's not just 'varying buffering speeds'.
February 16, 2013 11:21:09 PM

Hi, I've been experiencing this issue for about 4 days now. Everything else is fine, every web page or other video service site streams videos flawlessly. But I cannot watch YT videos anymore because the buffer speed is incredibly slow. My ISP is AT&T UVerse in California.

Here's a graph I got by right clicking a YT video and clicking "Take speed test":



Will continue to look for a solution!
February 16, 2013 11:40:53 PM

Same issue with slow buffering speeds from youtube. I have AT&T u-verse too (Nashville, TN). High speeds from dslreport (around 6 or 7 mbps).
February 17, 2013 4:06:59 PM

Echoing this problem on the east coast of USA. For a few days now YouTube has been simply unusable. I've tried just about every single hour during the day.



It's clearly not my Internet speed....
February 17, 2013 7:02:44 PM

doomsayer said:
Echoing this problem on the east coast of USA. For a few days now YouTube has been simply unusable. I've tried just about every single hour during the day.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/2515250209.png

It's clearly not my Internet speed....




Same here. East coast, near DC, absolutely abysmal YouTube speeds on anything but the most popular videos. It's largely unusable.
February 18, 2013 4:25:16 PM

Same here, NYC area. Found this forum when Googling for any more buzz on this.
February 18, 2013 7:45:21 PM

feb 18th and I've been dealing with this problem for at least 2 weeks. I've tried everything I could possibly think of:

-deleted adobe and reinstalled
-reset modem
-left modem unplugged for an hour
-tried IE(using firefox)
-tried Chrome
-tried different computers on the same network
-ran speed test
-tried different videos
-disabled wifi and ran a wire
-multiple scans/defrag
-cleared cache
-deleted all sorts of old files and freed up at least 75gb of space(needed to do this anyway)
(p.s. list is not in order of what I tried)

nothing seemed to work. at this point, I'm convinced it's a) at&t uverse(houston) or b) youtube.
February 18, 2013 8:00:29 PM

I'm having the same issue. I decided to try to downloading a video from keepvid.com. This is usually my last resort when youtube is being slow, and it almost always gets me the video quickly. Not this time. A 351mb video is set to take 3 hours to download. I have a 50/25 internet connection and all is well according to speed tests. This is definitely youtube's problem.
February 18, 2013 10:11:18 PM

Look at all the ISPs here, and we're all getting the same sluggishness. Too bad YouTube is notoriously unresponsive when it comes to their site issues.
February 18, 2013 11:40:54 PM

I'm getting problems as well with constant buffering... even using different routers, computers, phones, etc.... any other site like vimeo, liveleak, dailymotion, cnn, etc... are blazing fast but YT is buffering like realplayer!
February 19, 2013 2:00:17 AM

Same problem, pretty intolerable. I'm running 23 mbps down. New to AT&T UVerse, this wasn't a problem with Charter (btw checking in from LA, CA).

Called AT&T and 3 separate reps said they had zero complaints regarding this. They offered no solutions. Perhaps if more of us called to to UVerse to complain?

Any solutions out there?
February 19, 2013 10:22:17 AM

It's become very clear that the problem lies with YouTube. I suggest everyone lodge complaints with them...though they (maddeningly) respond with canned "Thanks for the feedback!" type replies.
February 21, 2013 6:07:37 PM

The problem isn't your ISP connection. I am having the same issue here on Comcast / Xfinity 50/10 service. Everything I use BUT youtube is crazy fast. And even Youtube has been fast, at certain times. And I am not telling when because I don't want people rushing to those times to watch videos when I am doing it...

Just look at this thread and all the different regions and ISPs... The only thing consistent is Youtube...
February 21, 2013 10:11:18 PM

AT&T U-Verse here...

Never had a problem with Youtube until the past two weeks. We don't have screaming fast speeds, but I've never had a problem watching HD streaming videos (even with multiple users at once) until recently with Youtube. Pages load quickly, but the video buffering is as stated before - few seconds of playing, then approx. 8-10 seconds of load time.

When I pause a video, the loading bar seems to go for a bit, but once I hit play, the bar seems to disappear and restarts the buffering process for some unknown reason. Even if the video completely loads while paused, it will re-buffer the entire video. 240p loads the fastest, but even that's still slow, too. Already defragged, cleared cache, etc... nothing works.

I'm certain that the problem is with Youtube now that I've read all of the other posts. Once again... another problem that Google does not address.
February 22, 2013 7:46:27 PM

May I add some input into this. I have been having this issue for a while now and although I don't have the fastest speed (3mbps I believe), I have never had this extent of a problem. Being a logical thinker that I am, I have decided to do a test. Not very complex, play videos of various lengths with right clicking the video and showing the video info while playing. Although not conclusive, it seems there is a pattern I am seeing. Videos uploaded after 2011 seem to be the videos affected. Not only that but the videos seem to be 720p or higher. If a video was uploaded at 480p or lower, it seems to be playing fine. Long videos also seem to be affected after 2011, doesn't matter if HD or not.

A few questions arose from this, if it affected videos after 2011, when was the exact date? At what length of video does it affect? The most important one though is, does this finding only affect me personally or is it a global issue? This is why I am posting, to see if what I found is the same for others. Try it and post back since I would love to have this one problem resolved. I will be doing more of these test during this weekend.
February 28, 2013 12:08:31 AM

This thread has been going on for almost as long as my own youtube problems have. I noticed one post here that confirms my suspicion that indeed youtube is laboring with a demand it cannot meet. I've noticed when streaming is at its worse, you can always go to one of the popular channels and stream an HD video without a problem. My guess is that youtube is shifting those high paying videos to servers that are dedicated to getting a few high paying videos out. For the rest of the poor slugs who do not rate, those videos are stuck on over used servers and youtube doesn't give a hoot. They're still getting paid for views.

Solution: Watch the popular videos and make more money for google... or read a book.

Question: Why is there not a public uproar or online (or main stream for that matter) press about this? Tom's Hardware is the only place I found with any meaningful discussion on this ongoing problem.
February 28, 2013 6:56:43 PM

Staff-Tech said:
This thread has been going on for almost as long as my own youtube problems have. I noticed one post here that confirms my suspicion that indeed youtube is laboring with a demand it cannot meet. I've noticed when streaming is at its worse, you can always go to one of the popular channels and stream an HD video without a problem. My guess is that youtube is shifting those high paying videos to servers that are dedicated to getting a few high paying videos out. For the rest of the poor slugs who do not rate, those videos are stuck on over used servers and youtube doesn't give a hoot. They're still getting paid for views.

Solution: Watch the popular videos and make more money for google... or read a book.

Question: Why is there not a public uproar or online (or main stream for that matter) press about this? Tom's Hardware is the only place I found with any meaningful discussion on this ongoing problem.


I definitely support your question. I disprove your theory about different servers. The Newegg videos and the freddiew videos both suck and stutter on 1080p and I have Verizon FiOS.
February 28, 2013 6:57:01 PM

Staff-Tech said:
This thread has been going on for almost as long as my own youtube problems have. I noticed one post here that confirms my suspicion that indeed youtube is laboring with a demand it cannot meet. I've noticed when streaming is at its worse, you can always go to one of the popular channels and stream an HD video without a problem. My guess is that youtube is shifting those high paying videos to servers that are dedicated to getting a few high paying videos out. For the rest of the poor slugs who do not rate, those videos are stuck on over used servers and youtube doesn't give a hoot. They're still getting paid for views.

Solution: Watch the popular videos and make more money for google... or read a book.

Question: Why is there not a public uproar or online (or main stream for that matter) press about this? Tom's Hardware is the only place I found with any meaningful discussion on this ongoing problem.

I definitely support your question. I disprove your theory about different servers. The Newegg videos and the freddiew videos both suck and stutter on 1080p and I have Verizon FiOS.
February 28, 2013 7:28:42 PM

whatismyproblem said:
I definitely support your question. I disprove your theory about different servers. The Newegg videos and the freddiew videos both suck and stutter on 1080p and I have Verizon FiOS.



While your experience may not support my "money server" theory, it certainly does not disprove it. Of course there may be times when all servers are sucking wind. But quite often (enough to raise suspicions) when an obscure video is lagging, a money maker is streaming fine. I too have the faster FIOS.

BTW, I didn't know NewEgg vids were that popular.
February 28, 2013 7:43:47 PM

161028,36,55412 said:
While your experience may not support my "money server" theory, it certainly does not disprove it. Of course there may be times when all servers are sucking wind. But quite often (enough to raise suspicions) when an obscure video is lagging, a money maker is streaming fine. I too have the faster FIOS.

BTW, I didn't know NewEgg vids were that popular.

I used NewEgg to test an unpopular channel against a popular one. Other ISPs are throttling YouTube, but I doubt that Verizon is. Maybe its a theoretical bandwidth issue? I was downloading some iTunes TV shows and I was only using only about 6 Mbps out of the 25 that I actually get.
[/quote]
March 1, 2013 1:16:38 AM

Here's my speed chart from right-clicking:

Holy crap - what's going on?
March 26, 2013 8:38:22 PM

YouTube is preparing to charge for certain channels. This, we know. We also know that they absolutely refuse to acknowledge the slow buffering that has angry throngs of its users wielding torches and pitchforks. Now Barb reports that the popular channels' videos are performing fine.

Sounds to me like YT is putting all its resources behind the channels for which it intends to charge users, and everybody else can go fly a kite.

Now, if only more people uploaded the videos I enjoy to other sites.
March 27, 2013 10:43:14 AM

we'll make our own youtube! With blackjack and hookers!
April 1, 2013 12:02:03 PM

I live in Tampa, FL, USA and have Bright House and for the past 2 months I have been having major intermittent YouTube issues. It happens on both of my PC's, tablet computer and phones. It only happens at certain times of day and only on certain videos. I thought it was my connection speed, but I would pull up speed test pages and get 12 mbps download. I also tried changing browsers and increasing cache sizes. I contacted my ISP to upgrade to a 30/2 plan, but then decided to google this issue before increasing my monthly bill... LOL. Now i'm sold that this is a YouTube issue and i'm going to test this theory by going on DailyMotion and Vimeo tonight at peak time.
April 2, 2013 11:27:04 AM

**UPDATE**
I watched YouTube for about 2 hours last night and it was smooth, but gradually got slower until 10:30pm hit, then it would'nt even buffer a 360p video. So i hopped over to Vimeo, and sure enough, i watche dthe Russian Cat Circus video on HD with no lag or pre-buffer at all! Darn you YouTube!!!
April 2, 2013 9:12:56 PM

I've figured out a (kind of) solution to this. Completely uninstall all versions of flash and any flash plugins, and load youtube in Firefox (doesn't work with Chrome). You will initially get a message saying that you need a plugin but this will then disappear and the video will load. I've watched about 50 TV clips with this method and each one has buffered to 100% almost immediately with no stopping at all.
April 3, 2013 7:22:24 PM

fedup-1010 said:
Update.

Speed on youtube is now appalling,less than 300kbps (usually over 7000kbps),according to the "view video info" option,accessed by right clicking on the video.

Done speedtests,downloaded files - Streamed other videos off various sites.Iplayer,ITV,4OD,Demand5,IGN etc ...All play fine with zero buffering.Files downloading at full speed.

I have not been to work today.Been using youtube all day without issue - everything played instatly - until after 15:30.

Its either youtube or orange having serious issues - But i'm not seeing many reports anywhere about youtube - Ive read a few comments from Orange customers (on youtube).

i wonder if Orange's/EE's recent spat with google over bandwidth has anything to do with this?

I am having the exact same problem around the same time. I have no idea how to fix it :( 
I can stream beautifully with 1080p without any problems before I get a sudden drop in buffering youtube videos around 8-9pm EST.
April 3, 2013 7:32:42 PM

Its starting to seem like its affecting a lot more people...I have already seen multiple comments describing this problem.
April 3, 2013 11:28:19 PM

Time to close this one - it's clearly a YouTube problem and not something anyone here can assist further. 2flyguy's link is deleted because of some of the comments in the page.
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