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People in Portland are leaving fancy pastries on people’s windshields as a prank, but what’s an even more crazy prank someone might pull in Portland? Hey you! Respond with your best prank idea and it might be on the show!
Verizon has been caught throttling Netflix streaming (much like Comcast was before Netflix paid the cable company for a "fast lane" access). If you're having speed or quality issues with Verizon or any other ISP—and with any kind of streaming service—try using a VPN.
The video above by Colin Nederkoorn, co-founder and CEO of Customer.io, demonstrates the dramatic difference in speed using Netflix before and after connecting to a VPN. The Netflix video test without the VPN stutters along at 235 kpbs, even though Nederkoorn is paying Verizon for 75 mbps down and 35 mbps up on FiOS. With the VPN connection, he gets the maximum bitrate this video would show, 3000 kbps. (How-To Geek has an excellent explanation of the bitrate here.)
Since I'm on FiOS too, I also ran the Netflix video test with and without using VPN—and got the same saddening results. Not everyone will necessarily have the same results with different ISPs—one of our writers using Comcast saw no benefit when watching Netflix with a VPN. Nonetheless, try it for yourself and see.
Using a VPN hides the kind of traffic you're using, so ISPs can't discriminate against high-bandwith ones—not just Netflix, but possibly other streaming services like Hulu or YouTube.
Maybe it's time to look for a new internet provider or a VPN service if you don't already use one.
Verizon made an enemy tonight | Colin Nederkoorn's Blog