How to stop YouTube sucking (Windows guide)

win-broken

My first blog post in three years has been a crazy ride. It blew up all over the web, and I’m humbled. A big thanks to everyone from HackerNews, Reddit, and most recently YouTube. Really glad this helped a lot of you guys.

The biggest question I’ve had so far is “how can I get this to work on Windiows?”, and I am back to answer that. I’ve written a guide how to block the CDN IP ranges from the command prompt on Windows, so it should work on all versions (Windows 7, Windows XP, and others). That said, I run a Mac as my primary computer and I welcome any feedback from the Windows gurus out there.

Just like yesterday’s post, you will have blazingly fast Youtube streaming (and Twitch.tv) by running a few commands to reject certain IP addresses. Also, remember that this will cause the stream to take 1-2 seconds to start because of the IP block handling, but then you are greeted with a silky smooth, ultra fast experience.

Enough talking. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click the Start button, type “cmd”, and right click the icon to ‘Run As Administrator’ (Screenshot 1)
  2. You will likely see a UAC prompt, hit “Yes” (Screenshot 2)
  3. The command prompt window will open, this is where you will type in the commands to set your firewall rules (Screenshot 3)
  4. Enter the following command and hit Enter. If it works, you should see a big “OK”.

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="MITCHRIBARYTUBE" dir=in action=block remoteip=173.194.55.0/24,206.111.0.0/16 enable=yes

Rules can be easily removed too. Just get back into the command prompt in the same way and run this command, hit Enter again:

netsh advfirewall firewall delete rule name="MITCHRIBARYTUBE"

Did this trick work for you? Let me know in the comments below, Windows users!

EDIT (Feb 27, 2013): I’ve updated the blog with a new add rule command that’s lets you use one line instead of two. Thanks to Darren for the tip!

496 Comments How to stop YouTube sucking (Windows guide)

  1. onafixedincome

    When I looked at my internet temp files, I see a whole GOB of codes with, oddly enough, ‘throttle factor’ in there. Can you say Google is doing it? Dunno. But the ‘cure’ isn’t working as well as advertised, although it sure does HELP! (So does deleting that crap from my temp files. But only for a while.)

    Reply
  2. Billy Hope

    Didn’t work did nothing. (Im using a netgear router and getting a zyxel router soon.)(ADSL2+ and Wireless N)

    Reply
  3. thanh ngo

    tks it’s really work for me for a few days and youtube seem to slow again and then i do your tip again and it faster like before =.=” so weird

    Reply
  4. Matt

    Its a no-go for XP. I might try a crude method of redirecting the offending traffic…
    route ADD 173.194.55.0 MASK 255.255.255.0 192.168.0.99 (Any duff local address)
    route ADD 206.111.0.0 MASK 255.255.0.0 192.168.0.99

    Reply
  5. nunt dom

    Cheers from central america. I want to say this fix helps, but it’s definitely not fixed so I call it a placebo effect. Will keep looking for fixes.

    Reply
  6. John

    Thanks, a million times easier than going through the Windows firewall. A tip for everyone: once you do this, you can go into the Windows Firewall > Inbound Rules > Sort by Name, and you’ll find the rule as MITCHRIBARYTUBE or whatever name you gave it.

    Reply
  7. Happy Now

    Thank you Mitch. I used it on Kaspersky on Win XP. Weent from 20kbps to 700kbps. What I don’t get is what TW has to do with it? I’m not with them.

    Reply
  8. Wes

    I had this problem on live streams on twitch.tv, this solved my problem and the streams are really smooth now.
    Thanks alot!

    Reply
  9. Giovanni GT

    It didn’t work for me. =/ For a couple of days Youtube has been acting very strange. It works fine during the day but late at night it refuses to play anything for some reason.

    I’ve tried a bunch of suggestions and nothing works(cleaning the cache multiple times, different computer, different browsers, reboot, enable hardware acceleration, checking if I have the latest Flash…). Dailymotion is working fine, if that makes any difference.

    Reply
  10. Corey

    This didn’t help me, it turned out that my issue was related to a feature in Blue Coat’s K9 Web Protection. Once I turned off their advanced youtube features the delay went away. Blue Coat support acknowledged it as an issue with the newer updates to youtube. Hope this helps someone!

    Reply
  11. David Guzman

    Hi I’m PixelOz from Puerto Rico and even here I had had a few issues including among several buffering weird pauses and slow performance etc. with YouTube too (my ISP here is called Liberty Cablevision) and I was able to solve them all with a bit of research and trying several things.

    A few weeks ago I started to have all kinds of trouble with YouTube with one particular PC in my house, an HP Pavillion G6 with an A6 CPU and Win 7 64 bit. The first thing that I was having was that the Safety feature at the bottom of the YouTube pages started to appear as On and when I tried to switch it to Off all I had was the famous “An error occurred message blah blah that is all we know wait 30 seconds” but I tried several times to reset it back to Off but I only got that message over and over (no matter if I waited the 30 seconds or more).

    The other thing that started to happen was that I got the write captcha letters page all the time with this message: “We have received a large number of requests etc. blah, blah from your location” or something like that but I tried to input the catcha and it would only display the same error page as with the Safety On feature and would not allow me to watch any videos whatsoever.

    These problems were happening with all browsers (IE, Firefox and even Opera and Chrome) but at least with IE it allowed me to input the capcha and it accepted it and allowed me to continue to see videos but not so the other browsers and the YouTube Safety remained in On status no matter which browser I used.

    The other issue I started to have around the same time or shortly after those is the crazy buffering pauses and therefore the playback head getting stuck all the time, the video then sometimes jumping out of sudden to the end after the pause and overall a triumph if I managed to get to see a whole video at all.

    Again this was happening with all browsers but only with this particular PC that belongs to my niece. We have other PCs in the house including a higher end desktop and two other laptops that belong to different people and one of those is a similar laptop (a HP Pavillion G6 but with an A8 CPU and Win 8 64 bit instead). The desktop uses Vista 64 bit and the other laptop uses Win 7 64 bit too.

    None of those PCs were having any of these issues with YouTube. They all had the Safety thing in Off position and none were giving me the captcha problem or the weird pauses either so I knew that in my case in particular it could not be an ISP issue, in this case it was obviously a local issue in this PC and that is one of the first things that some of you guys should try, to use a different PC (of course if you can access one) like a friend’s laptop for example that you can try at your location to see if it is an outside issue or a local one in your particular area or network or with your particular ISP because if it doesn’t happen with other PCs it then becomes pretty obvious that the issue is a very localized one.

    If it happens with all PCs you could have a bigger problem but in the case of the Safety On and the captcha page appearing all the time for me in this PC I found that it was an IP related issue and that it could be handled by turning the cable modem off for 5 minutes and then starting it again so the modem assigned a new IP (a lot of ISPs these days work with Dynamic Addresses as you probably know) which is my case so I did that and turned the modem off for 5 minutes and when it came back “lo and behold” the Safety had resetted to Off in the YouTube page in all browsers and the capcha page appearing all the time disappeared. This particular 2 problems did not return after that.

    The third problem (the bad frequent pauses and playback stopping altogether) remained but again only in this particular laptop so I said to myself “OK 2 down a and one to go” ja,ja,ja. With the other PCs YouTube was working as it always did for me. We have 5 megs speed at home and I tell you that that it worked perfectly for me with videos (99 percent or so of them playing smoothly even at 1080p) so the download speed was not an issue (I run speed tests here and there to see how things are going anyway) and besides it couldn’t be because it was happening only to this one PC.

    I was trying to figure out what was different with this particular PC and I tried all the regular stuff like deinstalling and reinstalling Flash and even Shockwave and deinstalling and reinstalling Java, tried other portable browsers, starting the browsers (like the Firefox which is the one I use the most) in Safe mode and disabling all plugins but the problem did not go away. I also tried disabling my firewall (I use Comodo firewall) and that didn’t solve my issue. Tried all the remove all cookies, history, cleaning completely the cache thing, nope, problem was still there.

    Then thinking along the same line of what was particularly different in the configuration of this laptop I remembered that I had installed in it the K9 parental control software because we have a small girl in the house. So I removed this software and voila! the problem was gone, the weird playback pauses in YouTube disappeared in all browsers and they have not come back so in this particular case it seems that this software was causing the problem. I have yet to get in contact with the K9 people because I think that this could to be filed as a bug report.

    The K9 software has an administrator mode that you can enter with a password that unblocks all restrictions temporarily but even with this the YouTube playback problems continued.

    I have not tried to use the PC with another parental control software yet but I will soon. Now, if causes the same problems like the other one it will be out too of course.

    I also saw somebody on the web having big issues similar to mine with YouTube in their work computers and they were able to trace it to a local problem with their hardware firewall that was restricting in some way or another the YouTube addresses and when they opened exceptions to YouTube the problems disappeared completely too.

    So sometimes these problems are external ones but a lot of times they are local related either to your local network or even to one PC or to a few PCs only and it is important to try to determine if the problem is localized or external first. One way to determine if it is related to your ISP or to your modem or anything like that is to try to move your PC to another Internet access point to see if it goes away.

    Of course this can only be done in most cases with laptops, as for desktops it will be more difficult unless you have a good friend with Internet access (with a different ISP best but it could be good to test it with the same ISP in a different location too of course if it is possible) that allows you to test your desktop in his/her home for a little while. Another possibility is to take your desktop PC to your workplace if it has Internet access with permission from your boss of course to test it for a while after hours.

    In my case as you can see it was obvious that it was localized to one PC only because in all the others including smartphones and tablets YouTube worked fine.

    Anyway I hope that this info with my particular experience can help some people with some of their YouTube playback problems just in case they run into the same K9 software problem and maybe some others with the capcha problem. The tip given hereby Mitch seems to have helped some people too. I have heard of the blocking some addresses trick here and there and it seems that it works for some people as it did with Mitch.

    Reply
  12. Gregg Whitman

    Videos don’t usually stop from loading, sometimes they still do, but even worse is my overall internet speeds went from 25Mb to 1Mb. So I took it off, didn’t make sense to have it on there for a chance that it might work on youtube, when it slowed down all other fios internet access.

    Reply
  13. xmpp:FirewallJoy@chatme.im/

    use a router that doesn’t SUCK. The router very likely sucks if

    * from ISP
    * from office supply store
    * from big box electronics store

    pfSense is $0 + x86/64 workstation with 2 NICs (~< 200 usd)

    ISPs "nicely" provide wifi routers to deprive you from using the bandwidth you purchase — a more demonic overselling approach.

    also stick it to the mobile carrier:

    $0 texting = XMPP

    Reply
  14. Alan

    Thank you Mitch. Is this something permanent until removed or do I have to do this with every Windows reboot?

    As for a Tomato based router, where do I plug this in so that all computers at home will have smoother Youtube playback?

    Reply
    1. Mike

      This is a simplified explanation, but basically when you bring up a YouTube video, behind the scenes YouTube connects you to one of many different video streaming servers. What this line is doing is preventing any servers in those address ranges from being able to “talk” to your computer. So it defaults to a different one. In this case (presumably) one that your ISP is not limiting the speed on. Or perhaps one that is just less used. Opinions differ on the exact reason for the speed increase.

      Reply
  15. starkiller

    I guess time will tell, I haven’t been watching many Youtube videos lately because of the frustration level involved. I used to have 256KB, I could buffer the videos or run them through, muted, while I was reading something else and then watch even if it took 10 minutes to buffer or play a minute long video. I’ve gotten faster and faster internet, I have 6MB now and most youtube video has been unwatchable and unbufferable. I can and could watch the TV network’s streams with no problem at 1.5MB. Maximum available here is 10MB, SOHO and it would cost $60 more per month, I think my small ISP’s upstream provider is Verizon, it’s how we can get fiber and 4G LTE in the middle of nowhere from a dinky little company.
    I do wonder if the IPs I’ll need to block vary based on location or upstream provider. It’s a big country and I’m in flyover country, basically hundreds of miles from anything important.

    Reply
  16. Dimitris - Greece

    Yes ! It solved a long standing issue !
    After endless attempts to flushdns ipconfig /all reset /renew etc etc THIS WORKS LIKE A CHARM!
    ONE LINE 10 SECONDS SOLUTION !
    AMAZED !

    Reply
  17. rodtrevizan

    So I used this for a few months and my youtube really got faster. But now I subscribed to Google Play Music All Access and sometimes the music wouldn’t even load. I deleted the rule and got it working again. Thanks, anyway!

    Reply
  18. bobo

    I got it to work on xp and 7. But how do you get it to work with a router. And how do you test the blocked isp on wlan.

    Reply
      1. BOBO

        I had Norton on my second computer-the one which has XP. Norton did a good job of blocking TWC. However, I was too cheap to renew my subscription. I then installed ZoneAlarm free. It was not effective, because Youtube started sucking. I determined through Pcflank.com’s leak test that Zone Alarm leaked. I now have Comodo Internet Security w/ firewall free. Youtube sucked under this one, too. I am experimenting with Openxtra Commander and Ntop on my XP. All I can do is monitor traffic, all of them. But blocking TWC effectively, since dumping Norton, has been daunting.

        Reply
        1. BOBO

          I ran the IP’s 173.194.055.000/24 on ip-tracker.org and it came back as unregistered. I then went to network solutions.com and did a domain search for twcable.com. I found two domain servers: ns1.twcable.com, ns2.twcable.com. I also saw that the website is registered through company: Markmonitor.com at IP. 1.1.1.1.

          You know, I really hate how companies claim to be legit then they spend tens of hundreds and thousands of dollars to protect their privacy, meanwhile, our privacy means nothing.

          I need a hobby where I see results. I’m lonely, ya’all.

          Reply
          1. Bob

            According to whois 173.194.0.0/16 (which includes 173.194.55.0/24) is owned by google.com.

            ns1.twcable.com and ns2.twcable.com are both owned and operated by time warner cable who’s located at “60 Columbus Circle; New York, NY, 10023 United States; (212) 364-8200″.

            None of that information is private you just used bad tools.

            Reply
    1. Dario

      It would depend on the model of your router but basically you need to block all traffic to and from the networks 173.194.55.0/24 (173.194.55.1 – 173.194.55.254) and 206.111.0.0/16 (206.111.0.1 – 206.111.255.254). For the second part I’m going to assume you want to test connectivity with said networks, maybe you can try a software like Angry Ip Scanner to ping those IP addresses. Be warned that a /16 network has more than 65,000 IPs and scanning that will take a long time.

      Reply
      1. BOBO

        Oy vey. I got the EA4500 from Linksys. Frys electronics supposedly replaced my Netgear N900 with a compatible device. Hardy har har. The only thing compatible was the price. The Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app is like driving an automatic transmission vehicle. The classic Linksys firmware is more like a manual transmission. I will be reverting to the classic firmware in a week or so. I used Netproofer and, still, certain websites, such as ads.doubleclick. net will get through, according to Ntop. I looked at ‘customizable’ DNS servers such as Umbrella from openDNS. However, I did a DNS benchmark, and OpenDNS was not recommended. I am currently looking at peerblock and pfsense, but these items have too much raw data and above my skill level. Norton was good for one thing-it effectively blocked at the computer only. I want to block at the router, to unbloat, reduce throttle speed, or increase my bandwidth when I stream to PS3 or my smart-tv.

        I understand what you are saying. Stick to the ip ranges and that should cover it.

        I have used Wireshark, netbrute, etc., but still, my literacy is subpar.

        I want a Netgear!!!

        Reply
    1. SQRLY

      Ken, this command will not work in XP because the command that Mitch referenced above uses Windows’ “Firewall with Advanced Security”, hence why the command calls the “advfirewall”. The advanced firewall was introduced with Windows Vista and all future versions. Users of Win XP will need to use the “netsh firewall” (note the lack of adv in front of firewall) command, which has been deprecated.

      Reply
  19. razahussain khan

    thanks a ton…. tried so many things was fed up….. thanks very much…. it helped .. now works awesom

    Reply
  20. John Mark S. Datingaling

    Please help. I need to know how block the IP in Comodo Firewall. I’m using Windows 7 Home Premium. Thanks. :)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>