I’ve had TWC for over a year and have been frustrated at the shockingly crap Youtube performance. I never had issues with other web browsing, downloads, or Netflix, so I simply shrugged it off and continued with life. A few days ago I came across this video and some discussions on Reddit which prompted me to explore further.
A few terminal commands later to reject certain IP addresses and I was back to blazingly fast Youtube streaming (and Twitch.tv). Doing this will cause the stream to take 1-2 seconds to start because of the IP rejection handling, but then you are greeted with a silky smooth, ultra fast experience.
Open up your terminal and run these commands (you will be prompted for the admin password):
sudo ipfw add reject src-ip 18.104.22.168/24 in
sudo ipfw add reject src-ip 22.214.171.124/16 in
You can check the rules were added by using this command:
sudo ipfw list
Need to delete these rules? No problem, just run the ‘sudo ipfw list’ command again. Next to each rule is a reference number, so take the number of the rule you want to delete and replace the ‘X’ in this command with that number:
sudo ipfw delete X
Why do these commands create a better streaming experience? TWC is throttling downloads from servers (CDN) that host cached videos. By rejecting these IP address ranges you will force the video to be served to you directly. This harnesses the full download speed of your internet connection. Other people can dive into the complexity much better than I ever could, but that’s the overall theme.
If you’re not using a Mac, here’s some tips to make this work:
- Linux – instead of ipfw use iptables command
- Windows – check out this guide
- Multiple computers – configure the IP blocks via your router.
Did this trick work for you? Let me know in the comments below.
EDIT (Feb 25, 2013): After some great discussion on HN, I wanted to address that before posting I did test a number of ISPs, and also I read various on message boards, that complained about speed, appeared to be overwhelmingly TWC. That’s not ideal proof, but this was just intended to be a share of a personal quick fix. I’ve modified the title to reflect that is not specific to TWC. Enjoy the hack!