VPN instantly improves Netflix performance

Discussion in 'Streaming and Digital Media' started by bigshot, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I've always had poorer response from Netflix using my computer than when I use Warner Archive streaming. Today, my usenet server offered free VPN service included at no extra charge. VPN is a virtual private network, meaning, you connect securely to a local server and from that point on, your info is untraceable. If you download material or stream, it all goes through the VPN. To your ISP it looks like everything you are downloading is coming from your virtual private network, not the IP addresses of the various sites you visit.

    This effectively makes Netflix streaming invisible to your ISP. If you connect directly to Netflix, they see the Netflix IP on the other end and throttle the connection. But going through the VPN, it goes full speed.

    Strangely, using my Roku 3 box, Netflix HD locks in quickly and the stream is rock solid. I suspect the Roku box is going through something that hides the Netflix IP from my ISP, but my Mac using Silverlight gets flagged by my ISP (Verizon) and throttled. No longer.

    Anyone who is getting poor Netflix performance, yet has a super strong internet connection might want to look into a VPN account. The benefits are worth the trouble... super safe and secure data transmission, no hacking, no cyber spying, and great Netflix streaming. The service I am using logs you in automatically at start up and has no data caps or limits. You can even use it on the road in foreign countries to bypass internet region blocks and have secure private connections at shared public networks at coffee shops, etc.

    Pretty slick.
     
  2. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter
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    I am not an expert on the subject, but everything I have read about using a VPN to speed up Netflix seems to indicate it is a matter of getting around network congestion by going through the VPN's servers to get to Netflix rather than your ISPs and NOT because the ISP is actively throttling Netflix streams.

    I haven't seen anyone claim, or provide concrete proof of, that ISPs are slowing Netflix traffic once it is on their network heading to customers. The slow downs have been occurring because the connection between the ISP's network and Netflix's CDN get too congested. By using a VPN you might (it isn't guaranteed) be connecting to Netflix through a different ISP with less congestion to Netflix's CDN.

    Unfortunately, from what I have read, using a VPN to get around this congestion isn't always successful because VPN servers can be in congested networks as well. Anyone that wants to try this to improve Netflix, Youtube, Amazon, etc. performance should do some research first and find other people in their area that have been successful with a particular VPN service and then use that service/server combination.

    -Keith
     
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  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Well said Keith! And also note that with this workaround past performance is not a guarantee of future success!
     
  4. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    Why would my Roku box be able to get through network congestion when my computer isn't? I get two completely different levels of performance at the exact same time. Whenever my computer buffers and takes a long time to snap into HD, I go to the Roku box and it does it immediately. My computer is always worse performance than my Roku. Wouldn't network congestion affect them both the same?

    In any case, VPN certainly did fix the problem, however it managed to do it.
     
  5. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    When my Roku box sends a ping to Netflix, is it doing it directly, or is it going through Roku's server to connect me to Netflix? I'm curious what the Roku box is doing to make the connections so much better than the web interface using Silverlight. Does Roku have its own back door to Netflix?
     
  6. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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  7. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I bet a lot of Verizon customers use Roku to access Verizon's streaming service. That's probably why the Roku isn't throttled too.
     
  8. Keith Plucker

    Keith Plucker Screenwriter
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    I don't know if Roku is doing something with their Netflix app to improve streaming performance. That would be a good move on their part as it would give them a competitive advantage in the streaming box market but I haven't heard them claim they are doing such a thing. I had read (but haven't been able to confirm) that the AppleTV Netflix app streams traffic through Apple's CDN to help with streaming performance.

    If anyone is interested, there are routers available that can connect to a VPN service directly giving everything on your network access to the VPN. The expensive way to go is to purchase a preconfigured router from a place like FlashRouters or you can get a router that supports DD-WRT, Tomato, etc and set up everything yourself. However, be advised that some websites detect and block access if you are using a VPN, Hulu comes to mind, so you might have to deal with that.

    -Keith
     
  9. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I watch Netflix through my PS3 and have been having trouble with the resolution dropping. Is there a way to do it through there?
     
  10. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    If you do like Keith suggests... running your entire internet connection through the VPN... it would help your PS3, Matthew. My VPN server offers the addresses to configure your router, but I am using an application on my computer right now because it does it all automatically. Really simple.
     
  11. startcordcuttin

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    How is Netflix working now with the VPN ban, or has that not taken effect yet?
     
  12. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    There is no ban. The theory was that people were using VPNs to spoof that they were from a different country to access Netflix outside of their region. The problem is, when you register with Netflix, you give them a name and address that is used to provide a location for your account. If you try to log into Netflix.co.uk from a server in another country for instance, even if you use a VPN in London, it still tells you that you are in the wrong country. I think that news story was written by someone who has never used Netflix through a VPN.

    Netflix actually likes VPNs because their customers get better streaming from internet services owned by Netflix's competitors.

    I just checked Netflix through my VPN and it locked into HD and DD+ in less than five seconds. It used to take as much as two minutes to do that.
     

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