How to Watch YouTube on Verizon

by Colin Berkshire

For years I have been frustrated by my inability to watch YouTube videos on my Verizon phone.

When I do a SpeedTest there is more than enough speed to watch videos. My data plan has more than enough high speed data. My phone is good and modern.

Yet, when I want to sit down at lunch and watch videos they just stall, stutter, pause, and are a miserable experience. Why? (Of course, Verizon technical support has no answers.)

Eureka! It’s [probably] their transcoders!

You see, when you watch a YouTube video Verizon does two things. They make a note of what video(s) you are watching so that they can sell this information to advertisers so ads can be targeted to you. And, they do NOT serve the video straight to you. They silently re-route you to one of their transcoders, and the transcoder retrieves the video, compresses and degrades and distorts it, and then it is sent to your phone.

Overloaded, swamped transcoders would completely explain why I can’t watch videos on my smartphone even while I have high speed data.

So I found a great workaround…

I have set up a VPN server at my home. I VPN to my home. Then, I watch videos on my smartphone. Wow! What an improved experience!…

  • No more herkey jersey videos (Verizon’s network is blinded to my video viewing by the VPN connection.)
  • Far better video quality (no compression)
  • Verizon can no longer make a note of what videos I am watching.
Verizon’s [apparently] severely overloaded transcoders should be banned.