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Ravynmagi7

join:2002-07-12
Gilbert, AZ

[CenturyTel] Is CenturyLink throttling YouTube?

I have consistent buffering issues with YouTube that makes it difficult to stream 720 or 1080p videos. I kinda assumed it was an issue on YouTube's end. But I decided to really troubleshoot everything I could on my end.

I'll add my troubleshooting further down, but I'll jump straight to what has me thinking the problem might be Century Link...

Connected directly to my Century Link Q1000 router with 40/5Mbps service. Using a popular YouTube 1080p video I get buffering within seconds of playing.

I enabled wifi tethering on my Nexus 4 phone with T-Mobile service, which I get only about 4/1Mbps speeds with. And tested the same video at 1080p and it buffered up the video insanely fast and never had to stop. From the same computer, same browser.

If I right click the video and Show Video Info, I can see the speed it's downloading. On T-Mobile it's getting about 6000 kbps. On Century Link the speeds bounce around more, sometimes stopping completely at 0 kbps, usually around 800 to 1000 kbps. Considerably slower.

Before I got to this point I did a lot of other things. Reinstalled the browser and Flash. This laptop has a fresh install of Windows 7 on it. I rebooted my router (using an ASUS RT-N66U added to the DMZ of my Q1000), updated it's firmware, tried disabling QOS. I tried Google's 8.8.8.8 DNS servers. Changed the MTU from 1492 to 1400. Someone said try ca.youtube.com (Canadian YouTube). None of these things helped a bit.

My laptop tethered to my T-Mobile phone has no problems playing 1080p videos, but on Century Link it's constantly stopping for buffering.

Is there anything I could possibly be missing?



Youtubeme

@centurytel.net

I had some issues like you until I came across a video that said try right clicking on a video on youtube and go to flash settings and change your storage to unlimited and make sure hardware acceleration is enabled.

It did help with youtube buffering.



Hazy Arc

join:2006-04-10
Greenwood, SC
reply to Ravynmagi7

Nope - I have the exact same problems, and like you, I tested it via tethering with the same results. Either Centurylink is throttling Youtube, or Youtube is throttling Centurylink customers.



Youtubeme

@centurytel.net

You can test if your being target of throttling via the link below.
»broadband.mpi-sws.org/transparen···test.php


Ravynmagi7

join:2002-07-12
Gilbert, AZ
reply to Youtubeme

said by Youtubeme :

I had some issues like you until I came across a video that said try right clicking on a video on youtube and go to flash settings and change your storage to unlimited and make sure hardware acceleration is enabled.

It did help with youtube buffering.

I tried that and it didn't help me unfortunately.

Ravynmagi7

join:2002-07-12
Gilbert, AZ
reply to Youtubeme

said by Youtubeme :

You can test if your being target of throttling via the link below.
»broadband.mpi-sws.org/transparen···test.php

I ran the streaming video test and it showed I was downloading 34,000 kbps speeds and said no evidence of traffic shaping. The issue is I'm not having issues with streaming from other websites like Netflix, Amazon, and such. It's only YouTube, so I'm not sure if this test would let me know if this particular website is being throttled or not.

PS. It does seem late at night my YouTube performance improves. Around 11pm last night I finally started getting 11,000 kbps from YouTube. But again this morning it's back down to 1,000 kbps and HD is unwatachable again.


Youtubeme

@centurytel.net

said by Ravynmagi7:

said by Youtubeme :

You can test if your being target of throttling via the link below.
»broadband.mpi-sws.org/transparen···test.php

I ran the streaming video test and it showed I was downloading 34,000 kbps speeds and said no evidence of traffic shaping. The issue is I'm not having issues with streaming from other websites like Netflix, Amazon, and such. It's only YouTube, so I'm not sure if this test would let me know if this particular website is being throttled or not.

PS. It does seem late at night my YouTube performance improves. Around 11pm last night I finally started getting 11,000 kbps from YouTube. But again this morning it's back down to 1,000 kbps and HD is unwatachable again.

It seems like your having in issue with you line so don't hesitate to call CenturyLink tech support and have someone come out and check your lines.

Sometimes the easiest solution is to power cycle to get full speeds again and another is eliminate the number of devices you got connecting to one router.

I have seen a few people that have 4 wifi devices and then some lan connected devices that overload the router.

You can try removing everything accept just your pc and see if it improves, If not give them a call.

Ravynmagi7

join:2002-07-12
Gilbert, AZ

said by Youtubeme :

It seems like your having in issue with you line so don't hesitate to call CenturyLink tech support and have someone come out and check your lines.

Sometimes the easiest solution is to power cycle to get full speeds again and another is eliminate the number of devices you got connecting to one router.

I have seen a few people that have 4 wifi devices and then some lan connected devices that overload the router.

You can try removing everything accept just your pc and see if it improves, If not give them a call.

Yeah, I suppose my next step is to call Century Link. But I don't think it's an issue with my line. I have no issue with speed with anything else. Speedtest.net always shows me getting about 40/5Mbps. Bit torrents are speedy. Downloads are fast. I have zero complaints about the speed of my service with the sole exception of only YouTube is running much slower.

I've power cycled the Q1000 router and turned off the wifi on my tablets and phones. It definitely seems like something is throttling YouTube, which probably means I'll have to try switching ISPs (what a huge hassle, will have to think about that).

Ravynmagi7

join:2002-07-12
Gilbert, AZ

I tested a free proxy server. Now 1080p videos load blazingly fast.



EmoHobo

join:2010-07-16

You know everyday from 5 PM to like 1 AM youtube runs painfully slow, I don't know if this is the same thing, but it takes videos ten minutes to load a minute or two. However everything runs fine after and before those times.

The problem only started after an outage that lasted several hours, so I don't know if they changed something or if this is just some kind of Bandwidth Exhaustion in Indiana.


Ravynmagi7

join:2002-07-12
Gilbert, AZ

said by EmoHobo:

You know everyday from 5 PM to like 1 AM youtube runs painfully slow, I don't know if this is the same thing, but it takes videos ten minutes to load a minute or two. However everything runs fine after and before those times.

The problem only started after an outage that lasted several hours, so I don't know if they changed something or if this is just some kind of Bandwidth Exhaustion in Indiana.

My confusion is why does it run painfully slow on my high speed DSL connection during these peak hours, but my mobile 3G phone can stream 1080p content at the same time just fine.


Hazy Arc

join:2006-04-10
Greenwood, SC
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
·Embarq Now Centu..
reply to Ravynmagi7

said by Ravynmagi7:

I tested a free proxy server. Now 1080p videos load blazingly fast.

I've also tested it by VPN'ing into my work network (which runs on symmetrical 100Mbps) and videos ran flawlessly - keeping in mind that my connection speed was still essentially limited by my incoming bandwidth at home.


mooch
No Booing Allowed

join:2001-11-11
Dublin, OH
Reviews:
·Embarq Now Centu..
reply to Youtubeme

said by Youtubeme :

You can test if your being target of throttling via the link below.
»broadband.mpi-sws.org/transparen···test.php

I have a 6 / 512 connection and my wireless router has a wired connection to my desktop...running a test with this link shows that my upload was potentially being throttled. Wonder if the test somehow indicated that due to my connection's half meg upload speed.

Youtube runs fine with 720 vids, but stutters with 1080 at times.

praetoralpha

join:2005-08-06
Pittsburgh, PA
reply to Ravynmagi7

Youtube in general sucks. Even on my 50/25 FIOS, I don't even bother with 1080p, since it can't load without buffering for 3x longer than the video itself. I stick with 720p, but recently that has started to buffer like hell too.



youtubeme

@centurytel.net

said by praetoralpha:

Youtube in general sucks. Even on my 50/25 FIOS, I don't even bother with 1080p, since it can't load without buffering for 3x longer than the video itself. I stick with 720p, but recently that has started to buffer like hell too.

Some people have problems with firefox and youtube at 1080p cause it does not support GPU Acceleration but a quick fix is get greasemonkey and script called YousableTubeFix. After that you can set GPU mode/wMode so every video is accelerated.

This might be a little off topic but people have been using IE over firefox just to get videos to play correctly.

CenturyLink
VIP
join:2009-03-09
Boise, ID
kudos:7
reply to Ravynmagi7

Ravynmagi7,

Our team is happy to review & troubleshoot the service issues with you. Please send account details to us via the link »t.co/lm5JYoPO or email talktous@centurylink.com When sending information please include the screen name from this post so we may identify you properly.

Thanks
Patti
CenturyLink Help Team



Sivart21

@centurytel.net

I have also recently started having issues with CenturyLink + Youtube -- Other sites, Hulu, Netflix etc. stream just fine in full HD, but not Youtube. If I tether to phone videos play no problem. I believe CenturyLink has started performing some sort of traffic shaping recently -- it was never an issue until a few days ago. I tried at both of my locations in the same town that have a centurylink connection. Disappointed that they would do this, but not surprised -- if CenturyLink wasn't the only option, I would be elsewhere in a heartbeat.



injeuirnguei

@indigeotech.com
reply to Ravynmagi7

+1 for "Yes I tested youtube through a VPN and got 6Mbps, 1080p works great, CenturyLink is DEFINITELY up to some mischief. I doubt a peon customer service agent would know about it."
Either CenturyLink is trying really hard to lose customers, or trying to force people to VPN all their traffic. F-You Centurylink. (Posted through my VPN so they can't stalk me down. They seem to look at all traffic nowadays too...)



Dcinqc

@qwest.net
reply to Sivart21

I too am having the same problem and only with YouTube, all other streaming services work fine. I am on a 40/20 circuit and should have no issues whatsoever, never had the problem with a 20mb circuit with COX, I think it is time to switch back as much as I hate to. So sad to see CenturyLink shaping traffic, we are not getting what we pay for, I knew the price was too good to be true and this is why, they are scamming us all with this BS.



former qwest

@qwest.net
reply to Ravynmagi7

no troubles here, using firefox. must be your setup.


techjockey

join:2005-02-07
Boise, ID
reply to Ravynmagi7

What DNS servers are you using? I had the same issue with CL and using opendns. They seemed to be routed all traffic to the same youtube servers and streaming sucked. Once I switched to google dns all was well.

Tim


Zero8270

join:2012-06-26
reply to Ravynmagi7

I really doubt there throttling youtube. Use wireshark and post your results.



roeland

@qwest.net
reply to Ravynmagi7

i am having the exact same problem here in denver. i was trying to watch a you tube video last night and it stuttered nonestop.. (buffering over and over). i then found the exact same video on vimeo and it buffered perfectly fine. i also ran speed tests and ran some newsgroup downloads which were getting full speed. when only streaming from youtube i just dont hit my cap that i hit when i do ANYTHING else. my guess is that they are doing some funky routing to youtube servers who knows.. but it is definitely an issue which is ridiculously annoying. currently i am trying to stream a simple stream of a sound track at 720p (

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah-3r3EghT4
) and it keeps stuttering, on my remote connection to my work (on Comcast) this exact same youtube stream works perfectly fine.


bctrainers

join:2004-08-03
Olathe, KS
reply to Ravynmagi7

Get the application named jDownloader; it will allow you to directly download a youtube video. Just copy paste the link from your browser that's on youtube into jDownloader. Start the download, and see what speeds that you get.

When i pull 1080p quality videos from my own account@youtube or from other peoples accounts, i am getting a full 10mbps. It's their flash / HTML5 player having issues. Why do I state this "assumption"? I've had the same thing going on for over two months now, and it's not the ISP doing it. It's on youtube/Googles end.



xsbell

join:2008-12-22
Canada
kudos:8
reply to Ravynmagi7

The issue is with CenturyLink's cache servers, which are provided to them by Google.

If changing your DNS servers still lands you on their congested cache servers, just start adding them to your HOSTS file.



Hazy Arc

join:2006-04-10
Greenwood, SC
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
·Embarq Now Centu..

said by xsbell:

The issue is with CenturyLink's cache servers, which are provided to them by Google.

If changing your DNS servers still lands you on their congested cache servers, just start adding them to your HOSTS file.

Can you expound on this a bit more? Do you have any suggested cache servers to add?

TheMayor

join:2002-05-09
reply to Ravynmagi7

When I use IE & keep the res at either 360 or 480, I have no problems with the video. If I bump it up to 720, then it only wants to load 10% of the video & when the video gets to 8% played, it attempts to try to load the next 10%, but usually the video catches up to the buffer.

However if I try playing the video at 720 thru FF, then it seems to load faster.


Technicholas

join:2010-11-11
Winterset, IA

You are also right if I VPN into my works VPN and load YouTube videos I can stream them at 1080p I could not do this before on my 12mb CL connection.



xsbell

join:2008-12-22
Canada
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Primus Telecommu..

2 edits
reply to Hazy Arc

said by Hazy Arc:

said by xsbell:

The issue is with CenturyLink's cache servers, which are provided to them by Google.

If changing your DNS servers still lands you on their congested cache servers, just start adding them to your HOSTS file.

Can you expound on this a bit more? Do you have any suggested cache servers to add?

I will never be able to land on a CenturyLink cache server, so I can't help you with hostnames, but if you use Wireshark, TCPdump, or even URLsnooper (easiest), you can find out where the videos are coming from. You can also do this with IDM and jdownloader. A lot of cache servers I've seen have the word "cache" somewhere in the hostname, but this isn't always the case.

Just download URLsnooper, open it up and change the protocol filter to 'Show All', then start sniffing. Once you hit a video that loads slow and/or buffers a lot, check where it's coming from and add the hostname to your HOSTS..

127.0.0.1     r4---sn-2gph0nj5o-tt1e.c.youtube.com   #//This is one of my ISPs cache servers
 


codyyy

@embarqhsd.net

i have the same exact issue except its fine late at night allmost like youtube is suffering peak hours.