For the last year or more, YouTube has been unusable here. Pretty much any video clip you start to play, it freezes after a short while, and the whirling circle appears. I assumed at first it was in the browser, so I searched the Internet and found lots of suggestions. I cleared the cache, cleared my cookies, cleared my plugins. None of these things worked. So I had a long think about it. I use the same desktop at work and at home, with the same hardware. I have no problems with YouTube at work. It is clear on all devices at work, but freezes on all devices at home. My MacBook and iPad will work fine at work, but not at home. So what can it be?
I thought it had to be my router at home. I have a D-Link DGL-4100. It was a top router when I bought, and I think that was 2006. Dang, I didn't realise it was so old. But it's still pretty good, except for this YouTube problem. I went over the configuration carefully, and couldn't find anything. So we've pretty much had a YouTube free year.
Tonight, with the Olympics on, I couldn't stand it. I went over the router configuration again, ever so carefully. And found one item I had overlooked before. I had SPI turned on. That's Stateful Packet Inspection. The router allegedly looks inside packets for malformation, and tosses away problem packets. Hmm, I wonder if that is the problem?
I turned it off, the router rebooted, and YouTube has not frozen once since then. YouTube is usable again. We can watch the Olympics.
What I would like to know is what happens? Is YouTube taking shortcuts with speed and the packets look bad? Maybe my router firmware is old. Maybe lots of things. But right now, I have Olympic rowing to watch and I will speculate about the why of it after the Olympics.