Colin Nederkoorn pays for a 75Mbps Verizon FiOS connection. That should be screamingly fast for streaming HD video, yet he often finds his video buffering and the quality regularly scales back to a mess of 8-Bit impressionism.
Connecting to Netflix directly, even a 320 x 240 resolution video at a meager bitrate of 235Kbps will often stutter. It’s an insanely frustrating situation to pay for that level of service and not be able to watch even the bare minimum quality video without interruption.
The funny thing is, when Colin connects to Netflix through a VPN, his video SCREAMS, chewing through 720p streams at 3Mbps without issue.
To over-simplify, the VPN masks the final destination for Colin’s web traffic, which means Verizon can’t see that he’s pulling info from Netflix. Suddenly that “Network Congestion” evaporates.
This is of course one person’s experience, so we shouldn’t extrapolate this as a company-wide business practice without more evidence, but it certainly doesn’t paint Verizon in a positive light, especially after their recent feuds with Netflix over who is to blame for streaming interruptions.