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Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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Contributor
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Registered: ‎08-22-2014

Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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When I stream Netflix I never get HD playback.

 

If I turn on my VPN, all of a sudden I get HD playback.

 

If I monitor my network activity I can physically observe significantly greater network activity after enabling my VPN.

 

Why is the data from certain websites like Netflix significantly slower when Verizon knows the origin of the data?

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Platinum Contributor III
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Registered: ‎07-22-2009

Re: Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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Here's a great article from Sandvine on the Netflix over a VPN and Why it might work better in some cases.

 

 

Video Provider and VPNs

 

 


Before we dig deeper, the two key things you need to know about packet delivery on the Internet are as follows:

1)      The sender (Netflix) chooses the path for all packets

2)      Networks are not normally intelligent enough to route around congestion

 

 

...

For those readers, who may immediately jump to the cause of lower quality video being a consumer ISP throttling traffic, know that even the CEO of Netflix doesn’t think this is the case.

 

...

So will a VPN will give some people a better video experience? Yes.

Will it improve video quality for the vast majority of subscribers? Likely not.


 

 And here's a more authoritative test conducted, with large samplings of customers.

 

Verizon: Us throttling AWS and Netflix? Not likely

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Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
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Registered: ‎12-15-2010

Re: Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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There are some known congestion issues between Verizon and some other networks due to the data explosion caused by services such as Netflix. Netflix, being one the biggest players in this has signed deals with Verizon to take dedicated paths in and out of the Verizon network rather than travel over common Internet transit that other websites must share.

 

The reason the VPN works better is due to both the path between you and the VPN being in better shape, and the VPN endpoint and whatever site you're trying to visit having a non-congested route. There isn't throttling or shaping taking place that would be causing this.

 

For Netflix, sit tight. Many locatons are now reporting direct routes showing up for streaming, and playback is starting to flip to HD almost immediately. Performance may be inconsistent for some time until Netflix figures out how to optimally load both their direct circuits, and their general transit. The same goes with Verizon as they have to adjust their network to deal with demands from customers.

 

For the rest of the traffic, one heavier services like Netflix are reduced to dedicated transit, these services should improve.

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Bronze Contributor II
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Re: Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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@woodsja wrote:

When I stream Netflix I never get HD playback.

 

If I turn on my VPN, all of a sudden I get HD playback.

 

If I monitor my network activity I can physically observe significantly greater network activity after enabling my VPN.

 

Why is the data from certain websites like Netflix significantly slower when Verizon knows the origin of the data?


 

 Think "FIOS Redbox"

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Registered: ‎11-10-2009

Re: Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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@woodsja wrote:

When I stream Netflix I never get HD playback.

 

If I turn on my VPN, all of a sudden I get HD playback.

 

If I monitor my network activity I can physically observe significantly greater network activity after enabling my VPN.

 

Why is the data from certain websites like Netflix significantly slower when Verizon knows the origin of the data?


Because you're vpn is using different dns servers which give you a better path.

You'll probably get the same effect by changing your local dns from the verizon dns server to open dns or google.

 

I suspect that's why I don't and never have had any netflix issues.

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Bronze Contributor II
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Re: Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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It has nothing to do with DNS otherwise people would just change their DNS to google or Level 3 etc.

 

"Using a VPN hides the kind of traffic you're using, so ISPs can't discriminate against high-bandwith ones—not just Netflix, but possibly other streaming services like Hulu or YouTube"

 

http://lifehacker.com/use-a-vpn-to-bypass-your-isps-throttling-of-netflix-or-1608538080

 

 

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Re: Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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@db909 wrote:

It has nothing to do with DNS otherwise people would just change their DNS to google or Level 3 etc.

 

"Using a VPN hides the kind of traffic you're using, so ISPs can't discriminate against high-bandwith ones—not just Netflix, but possibly other streaming services like Hulu or YouTube"

 

http://lifehacker.com/use-a-vpn-to-bypass-your-isps-throttling-of-netflix-or-1608538080

 

 


I have and never have had any netflix issues since getting rid of Verizon dns servers.

Maybe the OP who said that it worked fine with a vpn could change his dns servers to see if that also resolves the issues and report back.

 

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Bronze Contributor II
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Re: Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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The Netflix / FIOS issue has been going on for months and it is a well-documented fact that a VPN will alleviate the issue. My suggestion to you is google  "Netflix FIOS VPN”.

 

 

The fact that you have not had the issue is not relevant. I have not either, Netflix works great for me with FIOS, Google, or Level 3 DNS, probably because this issue has nothing to do with DNS.

 

Again google is your friend, do some research and what you will see is hundreds of people are having issues with Netflix on FIOS, they post here, on DSLR, blogs etc etc. What is pretty obvious if you do a bit of research is that the issue is geographical.   Some parts of the country have a lot more congestion than others.  Be glad you don't live in one of those areas.

 

 

"Is Netflix's CDN routing affected by the DNS server you use? I'm not a Netflix user but some in the household are, so I better ask, wifey might not cook dinner. "

 

"No. DNS is for when your computer is looking for something, when the data is coming the other way, its up to the sender what the route will be"

 

" So, if you click for a movie title the DNS server doesn't look for the nearest/closest Netflix CDN? If not, who determines the nearest/closest CDN server for us?"

 

"When you click, that is an application on the Netflix server which decides on their end how to send the movie stream to your device based on IP address which it already has. DNS is never used in this process"

 

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29341990-Networking-1st-Proof-of-Verizon-Netflix-Direct-Peering-~st...

 

 

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Nickel Contributor
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Re: Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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I can confirm that the issue you experience with netflix is entirely due to verizon and there is no other outside issue. Verizon is purposely causing a bottleneck with any traffic from netflix. They are basically extoring money from netflix demanding netflix pay for the traffic we're already paying for with our monthly fees otherwise they wont remove the bottleneck.

 

It's litterally something as simple as verizon need to stick in a few extra network cards/routers to fix the problem - a problem netflix has offered to pay for and do itself and verizon has refused - until netflix finally agreed to pay their extortion fees. 

 

The reason it works when you go over a vpn is the traffic is getting routed differently over verizon's network. The bottleneck verizon has created only effects traffic fron netflix. When you use your vpn, the traffic as far as verizon can tell is just coming from the vpn server. So no bottleneck.

 

I've tested this myself using the vpn service from vypr vpn. This was just before netflix caved in and agreed to pay verizon's extortion fees.  Since then my netflix playback has improved without needing to use the vpn service.

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Re: Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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@db909 wrote:

 

 

"No. DNS is for when your computer is looking for something, when the data is coming the other way, its up to the sender what the route will be"

 

" So, if you click for a movie title the DNS server doesn't look for the nearest/closest Netflix CDN? If not, who determines the nearest/closest CDN server for us?"

 

"When you click, that is an application on the Netflix server which decides on their end how to send the movie stream to your device based on IP address which it already has. DNS is never used in this process"

 

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r29341990-Networking-1st-Proof-of-Verizon-Netflix-Direct-Peering-~st...

 

 

 

I dont' really feel like arguing the point , however
I suspect that what you said here isn't true.  If the OP connects via a vpn and makes a netflix request the data is going to come back to him via the vpn route - no way would that vpn allow unsolicited traffic.

Similarly I would also believe that netflix would not send me unsolicited traffic but would reply to the netflix connection created by the netflix client request from my device.

 

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Bronze Contributor II
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Re: Why are certain websites really slow unless I use a VPN?

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@viafax999 wrote:


 

 

I dont' really feel like arguing the point , however
I suspect that what you said here isn't true.  If the OP connects via a vpn and makes a netflix request the data is going to come back to him via the vpn route - no way would that vpn allow unsolicited traffic.

Similarly I would also believe that netflix would not send me unsolicited traffic but would reply to the netflix connection created by the netflix client request from my device.

 


Believe/suspect what you wish, but before you invent how things should work please research before you give advice here.

 

It would be great if you gave a link to a source that DNS will somehow fix this specific issue.

 

DNS has nothing to do with this and will not fix this issue.  I have been following this issue for 2 years and I find it reprehensible that ISPs are using their customers as pawns to get their issues with Netflix addressed.  They are a lot smarter than to be out foxed by a simple DNS change.

 

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