Many times YouTube has been acting agonizingly slow across my computer. I have a DSL connection, which should provide smooth streaming of all video resolutions, but it regularly has trouble even with 240p video. There is a very simple “hack” (Firewall Rule) that will significantly improve your YouTube video viewing experience. The “hack” running in a one-line command in Command Prompt.
1. Launch Command Prompt as Administrator on your Windows PC. Hit the Windows button or press Win Flag, type in search box “cmd” (without quotes), right-click Command Prompt icon (cmd.exe) and click “Run as administrator”. Confirm it with click on “Yes” on the User Account Control (UAC) window if it pops up.
2. Copy the following command, exactly as written and paste it in Administrator: Command Prompt Window.
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="YouTubePerformance" dir=in action=block remoteip=126.96.36.199/24,188.8.131.52/16 enable=yes
Right-click in the Command Prompt window and click Paste. Please note: CTRL+C and CTRL+V do not work in Command Prompt.
3. Press Enter to execute the command. If everything goes well, you should get an “Ok.” response, as shown in picture below.
Now, load a YouTube video in your browser, you should see significantly improved buffering performance. You may successfully able to stream videos in 480p resolution without any hiccups after implementing this “hack”. Also some videos resolutions that were completely out of reach for me also work now, albeit with a little buffering.
How does this command work? Some Internet Service Providers throttle downloads from servers that host cached videos, such those by YouTube. Running this command forces YouTube’s servers to push the video to you directly instead of the cached version, bypassing your ISP’s throttling, I thought.
Please note: Since this command blocks a massive range of IP addresses belonging to Google and Xo’s content delivery network, it may cause issues with connecting to some random website in the future that uses these IP addresses.
So, you can easily remove this “hack” (Firewall Rule) by running the following command in command prompt again (with the same steps as described before):
netsh advfirewall firewall delete rule name="YouTubePerformance"
You can try it out on your Windows PC, at your own risk. We will not be held responsible if running this command has any negative consequences.
Author: Mitchell Ribar