YouTube Slow on iPhone through Wi-Fi – RESOLVED

YouTube Slow on iPhone Wi-Fi After a few hours of testing (& hair pulling), I was finally able to use an iPhone to view YouTube videos on a Wi-Fi connection without the dreaded buffering problem. For those who are also suffering from slow YouTube connections on your iPhones over Wi-Fi, here is a fix.

There is more than enough evidence out there that when using an iPhone over Wi-Fi, YouTube videos are barely (if at all) watchable. Here are a few of these discussions:

Something is bottle-necking the connection and most videos are extremely slow to load or they simply time out. Ironically, the hang ups do not happen when viewing YouTube content on the slower 3G network; the problems only occur over Wi-Fi. Having read quite a few online discussions about this problem, I began methodically testing variables on our Linksys WRT54GL wireless router.

Here are some of the most relevant settings that were tweaked:

  • Afterburner
  • Frame Burst
  • SecureEasySetup
  • Wireless Channels
  • Bradcasting SSID
  • Wireless Network Mode

Currently, the wireless network is set to G-Only since this was the best setup for our office. It was only when I switched the Wireless Network Mode to B-Only that YouTube videos began watchable again. None of the other settings had any effect.

YouTube Videos Play Fine on Slower 3G Network; Not Wi-Fi

So why would watching YouTube videos on the slower 3G network play fine but not over the speedier G-Only Wi-Fi? While on the 3G network, the lower resolution of YouTube videos are downloaded while on Wi-Fi, the higher resolution of the video would try and load. So the reason why video would play well on the slower 3G network is because a lower resolution video is being loaded.

iPhone YouTube Wi-Fi Slow – RESOLUTION not SOLUTION

Sure, B-Only wireless settings allowed the iPhone to view YouTube videos but the iPhone app does show slower speeds while the router setting was on B-Only versus G-only. Not only just for the iPhone but using B-Only would slow down the entire wireless network in the office. Although B-Only was a fix, it was not a solution. Needless to say, after finding this fix, our router was re-setup for G-Only.

After hours of testing, I believe this hiccup has something to do with Safari on the iPhone and its ability to run YouTube videos properly over Wi-Fi on 802.11g. Everything seems to work smoothly over 802.11b.

Let’s hope Apple has a fix on the next update! In the meantime, if you really need to watch YouTube videos on your iPhone, try using the built-in YouTube app on your iPhone to view them or set your wireless router to B-Only mode.

Ian Lee
Work from home dad, marketer and photographer. Fallen in love with basketball all over again as I coach my daughter's team.

22 thoughts on “YouTube Slow on iPhone through Wi-Fi – RESOLVED”

  1. Had the same problem with iphone 3G and Belkin Mimo router. Left 802.11g/b on and turned off QOS 802.11e, as apple site states iphone is only g & b compatible. Now it flies on wifi, youtube loads instantly and videos play with no lag. Downloading from app store no longer times out, and my hotmail app works perfectly. I have also installed Skype and this runs without problems too.

  2. Thanks for this article. I had the same exact problem with iPhone OS 3.1.2 and always thought it’s my internet. when I set my Linksys router to B only, youtube loads faster and more importantly, ALL the way. also, iPhone speedtest app showed about 5 times faster speed (2.5 mbps vs 200-400k before)

    I only have one linksys router so I am not sure if this is just linksys router problems

  3. All this solutions didn’t help me. My app is still so slow that it is unbelievable. Sometimes it doesn’t load movies at all. I have brand net 3gs with os 3.1.2 and nothing is fixed and nothing help. I tried all solutions from whole web. Damn apple. It is always one thing that doesn’t work. But always.

  4. Disabling Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM)in a D-Link 300 (i.e. the same Doran suggested about QOS 802.11e) seems to be working for me. A little bit at random, though. Sometimes it works excellent and simetimes the same crap.

  5. .. I just got 2 iphones last week (3gs – 8gig)& same buffer problem on almost Every WiFi I can find at any store or home!!!!Even called ATT & their tech gad the same problem on her i4 …I can play only if i hit ‘pause’ & let the buffer run through a third of the video – then it may not catch up for about 5mins – seems like the FREE wifi does not work smoothly for video – but the PAID 3g WiFi works fine on my phones – am switching to a couple og Droids this Sunday & hope I do not have the same problems… Good luck Apple John C

  6. You may want to give this link a try if you still see slow wifi on iphone 3gs. It is the solution that worked for me. Although this could be considered a device issue, I think the router config solutions work well. I don’t see the slowness on most routers, but I was experiencing it on my home router, which is a Linksys.

  7. dude! i am not sure but i tihnk i fixed it! turn off ur bluetooth!!! if the youtube is fast again. thats the fix. Please let me know!

  8. Resetting my wireless routed to factory settings worked wonders for me, wifi on my iPhone 4 was unbearably slow. I tried all of the above and nothing worked, then I did a factory settings reset for my router now it all nice and fast

  9. I’ve tried EVERY “solution” and nothing has worked. Thankfully I found this link which IS the only solution:

    Tap Settings
    Tap Wi-Fi on the left-hand side
    Tap the blue arrow next to your current Wi-Fi network
    Tap the “DNS” field and enter the following:,
    Exit Settings”

    I copied and pasted that from the Apple Support forum where I found it. The DNS settings above are from which is a free DNS service that speeds everything up, especially Youtube. It went from unbearably slow, unreliable and intermittent to purring like a kitten and loads instantly every time now. Try it. It works. All the other stuff (changing encryption, changing/rerouting ports, turning off encryption, etc.) is all a waste of time.

  10. I had problem with ipad and iphone not streaming youtube and netflix without hiccups. I had N router. I made it B and G only mode and it worked like a charm

  11. By San Do on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply
    dude! i am not sure but i tihnk i fixed it! turn off ur bluetooth!!! if the youtube is fast again. thats the fix. Please let me know!
    …San Do – The above worked for me.

  12. Thank you so much Mr. Tangent did what u said and wow what a difference!! Youtube and Safari works amazingly faster iv been struggling so much with my iphone4 the day I got it(first week released) I thought it was because it was one of the first batch sent out! I still have trouble connecting aoutmaticly to wifi very often I have to go in and hit off-on button in the network settings to recognize my wifi but it might just be my router! Anywho thanks again for your help!

  13. So after my last post yesterday the fix worked for about 12 hours then it was back to being slow again.. I don’t get it.. Oh well I’ll keep trying different things and maybe someday my iPhone 4 safari and YouTube will be fast again.

  14. All you need to do is unplug cable or telephone wire out wall jacket about 1 minute then plug it back in
    Now your loading youtube faster

  15. Jimmy K,

    Sadly, it stopped working for me too. Not sure what’s going on. The only thing I can surmise is that Youtube’s pipes are the problem. I’ve noticed that Youtube is often slow on my Mac (over Wi-Fi) now as well, which would indicate they’re over capacity. But using does seem to help. The Youtube app degrades the quality, especially over 3G, so I only use via Mobile Safari now on my iPhone. Still wish it was faster, especially over Wi-Fi.

  16. I had problem with ipad and iphone not streaming youtube and netflix without hiccups. I had N router. I made it B and G only mode and it worked like a charm


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