Thursday, December 11, 2014

Getting HD for YouTube

Do you pay for expensive internet yet when you go to watch YouTube or Netflix find yourself questioning why the video looks so distorted and fuzzy? Well my friend it is because of a little thing called bandwidth throttling. What is bandwidth throttling exactly?  The process of intentionally slowing down internet by the provider. But why would they do this? Well with subscription based internet, you are not actually paying for the speed that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) sells. You are paying to be lumped into a group of users all allocated to that specific bandwidth. It's simple really, the ISP buys or owns fiber lines, which are dedicated lines. A dedicated line is one that if you pay for 100 Mbps then you will always get 100 Mbps assuming that no one else on your network is utilizing that bandwidth. You might ask, why don't I just buy a dedicated fiber line? Well the problem is twofold, first of all good luck getting a fiber line run to your house (go ahead try) and second it would cost you a vastly more amount of money. Not only is that fiber line dedicated but it has a very high up-time rate, meaning if your internet is down, either your provider will be paying you back a portion of your bill or you could even sue them for failure to provide service.

But why exactly does last mile providers (the ISP's that deliver to homes) throttle? Well think about this five years ago, no lone was watching Netflix and YouTube was there but wasn't really that popular yet. Most of home user's bandwidth came from P2P software like BitTorrent or just simply downloading a file. Now fast forward and the users of today are the bandwidth hogs of yesterday. Netflix will use 3 GB for just one hour of internet viewing at 720p and 7 GB for an hour at Ultra HD. Assuming that average family of four today watches more digital movies than cable. Think about that, in less than five years the average American went from watching more cable to watching more internet videos.

So I know your position, your saying well that isn't fair I'm paying for X amount of bandwidth for service like Netflix or YouTube, so that I don't have to wait for my video to buffer or for my video to be so distorted that it isn't worth watching. Exactly, I agree, so let me help. There are a few things you can do, first if you want to stop getting throttled you will need to buy a VPN. This is pretty simple go onto Google and search for a "VPN" choose which one fits you best and voila no more throttling for you, and most importantly better quality, non-buffering videos. One last thing, do you hate having to switch YouTube from the default 320p to 1080p every time you try to watch a video? Well I got the program for you, this extension for Google Chrome will automatically set the highest available quality to start playing, go check it out.

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