How To Finally Stream Youtube Videos in Full HD!

Ever wonder why despite having the elite 100mbps internet connection, YOU STILL CAN’T stream video in full HD? In fact, forget 100mbps… even my 15mbps connection can now stream full HD without a problem. The real problem? Your media is being throttled! Not sure if this affects you? Just go to your favorite youtube channel and try to play a video in 720p / 1080p – If you can’t stream it, you are probably being throttled! Fortunately, It is pretty easy to take back your bandwidth by blocking a few key CDN(Content Delivery Network) IP ranges in your router or PC firewall.

 

While it is difficult to assign blame to an ISP or a specific CDN IP range, let me try to first summarize why your streaming content gets throttled to begin with. Since streaming media now accounts for roughly 50% of all internet traffic, Most Internet Service providers are currently fighting a bandwidth war- the easiest way to reduce bandwidth? Throttle the speeds of half your users who are streaming content! But it may not be entirely the ISP’s fault here….

 

Streaming Content services like Youtube & Twitch.tv also fight this same bandwidth war – It takes a lot of resources to serve up hundreds of thousands of videos, especially if your users are requesting them in Full 1080p HD! The solution? Content Delivery Networks, in fact even I am guilty of using one. It serves up the tons of pictures and screenshots you see on my site to speed up server response time and improve your user experience(That is how it’s suppose to work anyways!) . Basically it caches copies of pictures and video to 1) reduce the stress on the hosting server and  2) improve response time for the end user.

 

So if Content Delivery Networks are suppose to improve our lives…why can they only dish up 320p Youtube videos? While I can’t say for certain, I’m guessing these networks are 1) simply overwhelmed OR  2) they are saving money AND bandwidth by throttling the content they serve out or by only caching copies of 320p videos. So What happens when you block these IP ranges from serving you up content? You are re-directed direclty to the site, where you can take full access of your blazing fast bandwidth and watch all your favorite cat videos in glorious 1080p!

[learn_more caption=”So Which IP Ranges Do I Block?”]

Courtesy of  function0 @ Reddit.com

You can see what cdn servers your local time warner node is using by running a netstat -na command when a video is playing. Adding 74.125.. to my rules did the trick.

Since it doesn’t make much sense to start blocking arbitrary IP ranges, It is a good idea to check what CDN IP ranges your PC is currently connecting to. As function0 states, you can use the “netstat -na” command when streaming content to figure out what these IP ranges are for you.

Here are my before streaming & while streaming “netstat -na” results as reference….

NetStatna_Results

 

If you are having trouble deciphering which IP ranges to block, You can also check out some of the great resources below:

 

[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Blocking The IP Ranges From Your Router”]

By blocking the IP ranges from your router, every device that connects to your network will automatically benefit form these changes! For the sake of keeping this guide manageable, I will be covering the process for Linux based router firmware that is capable of recieving SSH commands. ( Tomato, DD-WRT, OpenWRT, etc… )

 

1.) If you haven’t already done so, Login to your routers Web Interface and enable SSH.

2.) Then Download Putty and connect to your router.

PuttyCert

  • SSH Login should be the same credentials you use to login to the web interface
  • If this is the first time connecting, you should be prompted to accept a cert.

 

3.) Once you are logged in, You want to issue the following command…

 

This is telling the linux firmware to reject any requests sent from the IP address range 206.111.0.0/16. You should now be able to stream HD qaulity content!

 

[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Blocking The IP Ranges In Windows 7″]

So the one caveat to this method is, unlike blocking the IP ranges from your router – It only will effect the PC you make the changes on. That being said, It is generally easier than  setting it up on your router.

1.) To access your Windows Firewall, Go to:
Control Panel > Windows System & Security > Windows Firewall > Advanced Settings

2.) Then Select “Inbound Rules” – R-Click and Select New Rule.

3.) You Will Then be Prompted be the Below Screen. Select Custom and hit “Next”.
Win7_CustomRuleType

4.) At this next screen, we will want leave the default settings and hit “Next”
Win7_AllPrograms

5.) Again at the Protocols & Ports screen, we can leave the settings at their default value and hit “Next”
Win7_ProtoColsandPorts

6.) Once we arrive at the Scrope Screen, This is where we can set our IP ranges….
Win7_SetScope

IP Ranges for your carrier may differ! From first hand experience I can tell you that as a Time Warner Cable customer, blocking the 2 below IP ranges worked for me.

  • 173.194.55.0/24
  • 206.111.0.0/16

 

7.) Next we just need to set the action type to Block.
Win7_BlockAction

8.) You can leave these set to their default values and hit “Next”.Win7_SelectProfiles

 

9.) Now, just name the rule and give it a meaningful description….
Win7_NameTheRule

Finally, Once you are done setting up the rule in your Windows Firewall – You will want to head over to Youtube.com and test it!

[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Blocking The IP Ranges In Linux”]

This will essentially be the same process as blocking the IP address range in your router, since…. well the routers I covered run Linux.

1.) Open up a terminal window

2.) Run the following command.

 

[/learn_more]

 

Did this work for you?

 

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