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To test whether your wireless service provider throttles your bandwidth for Netflix or YouTube streaming



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Your wireless service provider may be throttling YouTube videos.


Angela Lang / CNET

If you have ever noticed that a YouTube or Netflix video on your phone slows down, your data may be throttled even if you have excellent network coverage. A recent study by Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst found that AT & T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon artificially slowed down all online video. If you're not sure how to tell if your carrier is slowing down your data, you can test it with the Wehe app.

Wehes tests show you the speed of certain apps like Netflix and YouTube compared to other apps running on your phone. A difference between the two usually indicates that your ISP has slowed down the app in question.

We've executed woe on all four major US carriers. The results did not show any differentiation for Spotify (which means it does not seem to be throttled), but YouTube was slower on most providers.

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Here are some of the T-Mobile results.


Screenshot by Katie Conner / CNET

  • Verizon: Spotify No Differentiation, YouTube Throughput 4.5 Mbps vs. Non-Throughput 17.7 Mbps
  • T-Mobile: Spotify No Differentiation, YouTube 1.5 Mbps / s vs. 17 Mbps
  • AT & T: No differentiation on Spotify, slight differentiation on YouTube found 1.2 Mbps versus 1.5 Mbps
  • Sprint: No differentiation on Spotify, no differentiation on YouTube

AT & T said it did not throttle, discriminate or compromise network performance based on content. [19659006] "We offer our customers the choice, including the speed and features to manage their data," AT & T spokesman Jim Greer said in an e-mailed statement. "This [Wehe] app does not take account of user-selected settings or plans that may affect speed, and we've previously contacted the app developers to discuss how they can improve their app's performance."

In a Message According to Choffnes, the team does not dispute that the plan chosen by a user or the plan's settings may affect throttling.

"It is true that AT & T throttles a significant portion of our user's Wehe video tests (about 70%), so for our users it's very likely that their plans / settings are set to handle the video throttle, "said Choffnes.

T-Mobile declined commenting on the study, but referred to a 2015 press release on efforts to streamline more.

Verizon and Sprint did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Here's how it works: See if your videos are slower than your other apps.

1. First, you need to download the Wehe app for Android or iPhone.

2. Make sure Wi-Fi is turned off so your phone uses your carrier's network during testing.

3. Select each app for which WeHe should run a test. Your options include YouTube, NBC Sports, Skype, Vimeo, Amazon Video, Netflix, and Spotify.

4. Tap Run Tests . Take a few minutes to load the test results.

5. If the results show that there is no differentiation, the app runs smoothly. If there are differences, it means that your network may be throttling your data.

Have you tested your apps for pain? Please tell us your results in the comments. If you want to know more about the speed of your phone, read the article.

Do you need a speed increase? So you can improve the slow data connection or the poor signal strength of your phone.


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