Netflix too slow? New data indicates a VPN or DNS Redirector could improve your Netflix experience significantly
If you’ve seen a drop in performance on your Netflix subscription recently, you’re not the only one. With more and more customers, as well as ongoing disputes around Net neutrality between Netflix and the main ISPs, it is now believed that ISPs such as Comcast or Verizon might be intentionally slowing Netflix traffic down.
The symptoms vary, but all of the following can point to your Internet provider performing some “throttle” (i.e. making it intentionally slow) on your Netflix content
- Netflix slow on your specific device, such as your Roku, your PS3, your PS4, or your computer
- Netflix slow at specific times of the day, in particular in the evening
- Netflix playback is ok, but starting a new movie takes time
- Image quality is pretty bad, or Netflix HD stutters regularly
- Netflix streaming buffers (shows the “loading: x%” symbol) very often
There are of course many reasons that could explain a slow Netflix, but recent experiments tend to point the problem to your ISP. A recent study on ArsTechnica points to Verizon, Comcast potentially throttling Netflix traffic. It is not impossible that other operators such as AT&T, CenturyLink, or Time Warner Cable, could be doing the same.
What’s the solution to that? You could change ISPs, but many people are reporting a huge increase of Netflix quality by simply using a VPN or a DNS Redirector such as unblock-us.
“Netflix on Comcast tanked for us in the past month or two. We would spend more time buffering than actually watching video. Once we set up a VPN with UnblockUs it magically went away.” (source ArsTechnica)
We have tried many VPN and DNS Redirector solutions on this site, as we regularly give advice on how Netflix can be accessed from outside of the US. Unblock-us has been by far the best solution for us at a reasonable price ($4.99/month). The best thing is that they have a free trial, that you can immediately use to see if it improves the situation for you.
Check the unblock-us free trial, see if it helps your performance.
How about other services?
We’ve tried several VPNs. Unblock-us is not a traditional VPN, in that it is specifically targeting media services such as Netflix and the likes. Other “standard” VPNs such as HideMyAss or BoxPN are not optimized for Netflix, and in our tests, are much slower than Unblock-US or other DNS redirectors (comparison video below).
That being said, regular VPNs might help as well depending on the root cause for your slow Netflix, so if you find one with a free trial, it is worth giving it a try and compare it with Unblock-US.
How to set up Unblock-US and speed up Netflix
- The first step is to get the unblock-us free trial here.
- Then head over to the Unblock-us support site to learn how to set up your machine.
Need more help for the initial setup?
Setting up UnblockUS on your computer typically boils down to changing your primary and secondary DNS to 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 respectively. We have dedicated tutorials available for the following machines (the tutorials below are aimed at accessing Netflix from outside the US, but the exact same steps will work for those of you trying to speed up Netflix from within the US):
Disclaimer: the links to unblock-us in this article are associates link. I get a commission if you subscribe to unblock-us through my links (but you don’t pay more!). Independently of that, the recommendation is genuine and I have been a happy user of unblock-us for more than a year now.