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Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN

Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Video Yet another person has stepped forward to claim that Verizon is deliberately throttling Netflix traffic, this time with video evidence.

Colin Nederkoorn, CEO of software firm Customer.io, alleged in a personal blog post that his Verizon Fios internet connection in New York slows Netflix traffic to a trickle, but runs at full speed when the connection is encrypted over a VPN tunnel.

Nederkoorn posted a video that first shows a Netflix stream running at 375kbps on what he says is his bareback broadband connection. He then connects through a VPN service and reloads the video, which promptly increases to streaming speeds of up to 3,000kbps.

Netflix on VPN

This, says Nederkoorn, suggests Verizon is manipulating Netflix traffic in some way, which is making it slow. On the other hand, it could be that his VPN provider has better connectivity to Netflix, but Nederkoorn is skeptical.

"It seems absurd to me that adding another hop via a VPN actually improves streaming speed," he wrote.

"Clearly it's not Netflix that doesn't have the capacity. It seems that Verizon are deliberately dragging their feet and failing to provide service that people have paid for."

The CEO notes that he was inspired to test the connection after reading Level 3's take on its own dealings with Verizon. The backbone company, who partners with Netflix to stream content, alleges that Verizon refuses to add capacity to its interconnects with the companies that stream Netflix content.

A Verizon spokesperson did not return a request for comment on the Nederkoorn post. The company declined to comment earlier this week on the Level 3 report.

Verizon and Netflix have long been embroiled in a public tit-for-tat over the poor streaming speeds of Netflix content on Verizon networks. Verizon contends that video is being slowed by backbone providers lacking capacity, while Netflix says that the slowdown is Verizon's fault. ®

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