As a Verizon FiOS Internet subscriber, Colin Nederkoorn expected his viewing experience with Netflix to be top-notch. But despite the 75Mbps downstream connection Verizon promises, his connection was only able to muster a measly 375kbps when streaming video from Netflix.
It goes without saying that such a slow connection resulted in a low-quality stream that paused often to buffer. Instead of waiting around for Verizon and Netflix to come to an agreement regarding bandwidth, Nederkoorn took matters into his own hands.
For $15 per month, he was able to use a virtual private network (VPN) called VyprVPN from Golden Frog as a virtual ISP. With this method, traffic from Netflix would take a longer route with more hops across different providers versus the path it would normally travel.
His results were staggering as streaming speeds increased from 375kbps to 3,000kbps - the maximum that Netflix will allow for an HD video. At that rate, there was zero buffering and the picture quality was much improved.
Golden Frog CTO Philip Molter said they go out of their way to avoid Level 3, not because they think they are bad guys, but because they know they are feuding with Verizon. That said, they use a link that isn't as congested.
Nederkoorn isn't pointing blame at anyone in particular as he realizes it boils down to a business dispute between two companies. Even still, however, he said he expects to get the level of service he pays for as a consumer and doesn't have much sympathy when they can't deliver on their promise.