Posted by Szlifier (481 posts) -

With the start of the new site a CDN provider has been changed to Akamai. This caused a problem for many users here and also for me.

Today I got pissed for not being able to watch new mailbag with close shots of Vinny in HD in HTML5 - it randomly stops and crashes. Why are download speeds lower and inconsistent now? I don't know (edit: are we directed to far away servers?), but the thing with CDN, which is a network of servers located in many countries, is that you are supposed to download stuff from a server located close to you. If you're in California, then you download from servers in California, if you're from Belgium you propably download stuff from Holland. Either way, there may be a situation when the server that's close to you simply sucks, or sucks just for downloading the content you want.

Now you might have though: Hey, so can I try using another server from say, Germany? Maybe it will work better? I'm on fucking Internet, I can download stuff from wherever I want, right? Yes, this is a fantastic idea! So how do you do that?

First you should check from what IP address (of a CDN server) you are actually downloading with these bad speeds. Open cmd and type:

ping v.giantbomb.com

Press Enter and see what this address is:

Checking v.giantbomb.com [ip address] <-------

Leave that window open and go to a website which does the same thing, but from many locations. That way you will have IP's of other servers, maybe other one will be much better?

http://www.whatsmydns.net

I've got a good one on first try, I've picked one from California and, mind you, I live in Poland! So what do you do with that address?

Here is a way to do this on Windows: hosts file located in C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\. This file is a common way to override an IP address of a given hostname. I'm not lying, look it up on the Internet!

Open this file in Notepad and at the end, in a new line type an IP address you chose from that website (try California first) and v.giantbomb.com, separated by 2 or 3 spaces, it doesn't really matter. Like this:

192.168.255.255 v.giantbomb.com <--- this is a fake one, don't use it.

Save the file and restart your PC, or type ipconfig /flushdns in cmd and restart your browser, and try if it works. Use cmd and ping v.giantbomb.com again, it must point to the address you picked.

Now test the download performance from Giant Bomb. If it's not really better, try Germany, or Iceland, or UK, whatever. If this method doesn't work, then your internet sucks.

Edit: Responses to this post suggest also that some people are directed to servers which are far away, causing poor performance. Which is quite opposite to my situation described here. However, in that case you should try the nearest server.

#1 Edited by Rigour (2 posts) -

You sir are a hero among men!

I've been having problems for the past week or so. If you're in Australia and are having problems I suggest you try the NZ server, I changed to that and my videos are now streaming perfectly.

#2 Edited by undecided (5 posts) -

You should be able to skip restarting and just type "ipconfig /flushdns" at a command prompt after editing your hosts file on Windows.

Linux/OSX it is /etc/hosts and you shouldn't have to restart or flush your dns for it to take effect.

Since you are bypassing akamai's load balancers, your results may vary greatly at different times on the same server.

#3 Posted by Szlifier (481 posts) -
#4 Posted by Saik0u (77 posts) -

@szlifier:

Thank you for making this post!
I will watch this week's TNT now to see if there is any difference.

These video problems have been driving me mad, and i am so glad someone have at least tried to figure this out.

Good show sir!

#5 Posted by icoangel (47 posts) -

you are amazing!

#6 Posted by kidman (465 posts) -

Thanks for that fix! I'm currently looking for a good server, but as a fellow Pole could you tell me which one you chose? I went through a german and a french one but the speeds haven't been great (10mbit instead of 30). On top of that a basic 'ipconfig /flushdns' command is enough to reload the hosts file.

Now when I think about it I didn't reload my chrome browser..

#7 Edited by Szlifier (481 posts) -

@kidman: Yep, Chrome needs "flushing" too, restarting it will do the job. I'm using one from California.

#8 Posted by tmj (66 posts) -

This worked fantastic. I'm in the US on the East Coast and was getting about 1/3 speed of my actual speed. Made the change, flushed dns and restarted Chrome and now my connection is maxed out.

For some reason it was using a server in California. :/

#9 Edited by jimmyfenix (3836 posts) -

kings among men

Online
#10 Edited by Potatispress (2 posts) -

#11 Edited by TruthTellah (8573 posts) -

Interesting! I'll see if it helps. I'm in Texas, but I was receiving from Australia. ha. Switched to California.

#12 Posted by Marcius (9 posts) -

Any fellow Singaporeans here? What servers are you all using? I'm using the Malaysian ones and it's still kinda slow (660mb/s).

#13 Edited by Ravelle (1196 posts) -

I'm located in The Netherlands and selected France but videos still pause now and then.

I will try a California server and see if that's any better.

#14 Posted by Duder_Me (307 posts) -

So, are the Top Men going to do anything about this?

#15 Posted by supamon (1333 posts) -

Odd, I pinged and got 125.56.199.82 which isn't on the list of servers (I'm a network noob). Good thing though is I changed servers anyway and instantly improved my speeds so OP, you sir are a winner.

@marcius: Fellow SG here! Malaysian servers seems to doing fine for me. At least now I can actually watch something on the site.

#16 Edited by Fattony12000 (7097 posts) -

I'm in the UK and I get listed under Istanbul, Turkey. Thanks Giant Bomb!

Super sweet thanks for this dope guide, @szlifier!

#17 Posted by alexisg (379 posts) -

@duder_me said:

So, are the Top Men going to do anything about this?

You can possibly imagine how difficult this kind of thing is since the problem is two fold. A person's DNS and then what Akimai does with the info given to them from said DNS. We had a similar issue with Amazon before where some people's DNS providers where sending them to servers which were the absolutely farthest point possible. We especially always saw trouble with people using opendns or google dns. That all being said, we are constantly having talks with Akimai so I'll see if we can bring up this thread.

Staff
#18 Posted by mrpibb (460 posts) -

Thanks for the finding. Unfortunately, this seems to point towards one of our findings in that ISP's are putting a proxy in front of akamai via DNS routing. Since you are forcing your computer to not talk to the ISP's DNS, they have no way of putting a proxy in front of akamai. It does make me think we can do some proxy rerouting on our side so the providers don't know we're hitting akamai (we act as the proxy) which I'll try out and see if it works.

Staff
#19 Posted by Haze (368 posts) -

Ok how the heck do you do this in OSX?

#20 Edited by Szlifier (481 posts) -
@haze said:

Ok how the heck do you do this in OSX?

This way, I guess.

#21 Edited by Ravelle (1196 posts) -

CA server also doesn't really fix videos stopping in their tracks out of nowhere and then refusing to continue. Also tried London and Germany but videos still keep freezing constantly. This is getting really frustrating.

#22 Edited by indieslaw (333 posts) -

My ISP had me switch from their DNS to Google's DNS. They said theirs was unreliable. Sure am glad theyre the only choice here, municipal internet. When I move 5 mins away to Provo for Google Fiber, I'm sure Google's DNS will be a better solution :D

#23 Posted by Mendelson9 (402 posts) -

Good to know. Also if you are a subscriber, you can copy and paste the video download address and stick it in VLC and stream the video. I did that a bunch before the relaunch when the video player was unreliable for long videos.

Got a Roku box recently and watching GB on the TV as easy and awesome. NICE.

#24 Edited by kmg90 (418 posts) -

This is an Akamai problem, they have terrible DNS/edge server routing, you want to know why PSN network speeds are unreliable? Akamai...

Also I would advise against changing the HOST file as Akamai servers are constantly changing IP addresses

I'm a little irked that only months ago I complained and offered some explanation (and possible fix) for the PSNs jumpy download speeds, only to be written off and declared crazy... But here we are Giant Bomb and PSN using the same CDN Akamai and having the same problems.

When I found out what Giant Bomb's new video host was, in the back of my mind I was hoping that my findings of Akamai's shitty network infrastructure would not bite people in the ass the same as it does the PSN... But here we are.

#25 Edited by Szlifier (481 posts) -

@kmg90 said:

This is an Akamai problem, they have terrible DNS/edge server routing, you want to know why PSN network speeds are unreliable? Akamai...

Also I would advise against changing the HOST file as Akamai servers are constantly changing IP addresses

I'm a little irked that only months ago I complained and offered some explanation (and possible fix) for the PSNs jumpy download speeds, only to be written off and declared crazy... But here we are Giant Bomb and PSN using the same CDN Akamai and having the same problems.

When I found out what Giant Bomb's new video host was, in the back of my mind I was hoping that my findings of Akamai's shitty network infrastructure would not bite people in the ass the same as it does the PSN... But here we are.

Thanks for the info. You're suggesting using OpenDNS or Google DNS, but few posts above Alexis mentioned these as causing the same problems with their previous setup with Amazon CDN. So, unless those DNS's suck only with Amazon servers then it's not going to help either.

I will try it anyway with OpenDNS, we'll see.

#26 Edited by Sidewalkchalk (122 posts) -

Every single server is pinging at least 50ms. Not really helping.

#27 Posted by Szlifier (481 posts) -

Every single server is pinging at least 50ms. Not really helping.

I'm using one with 56ms right now and it couldn't be better, actually.

#28 Posted by Ravelle (1196 posts) -

I've tried about anything, the fix mentioned and tried different servers, changing my DNS to google DNS which also didn't help. Every browser seems to have the same problem too. I even updated my router and put it back to factory default but no dice.

#29 Edited by Bakumatsu (354 posts) -

I have a question. Since about 5 days ago I can't watch a decent video on my tablet. Wait that's not true. I can watch the latest Quick Look and only the latest Quick Look. I tried the last TNT, other quicklooks, trailers recent and old, and the result is always the same: poor speeds on streaming the videos resulting in lag and unwatchable videos. I've already reset my router and my tablet. On my pc I don't have any problem. Oh and I tested using the tablet next to the router. Do you think it has something to do with this issue? And if it is what can I do to solve it?

Edit: Nevermind. Solved it by installing an app called DNS changer and I can watch the videos again :) Or maybe it doesn't have anything to do with the app...Anyway I've also used the tips left here by Szlifier on my pc and they work great. Thank you.

#30 Edited by Dacnomaniac (440 posts) -

Awesome! Thanks so much!

#31 Edited by Szlifier (481 posts) -

If you're using Chrome then after saving the hosts file go to: chrome://net-internals/#dns and click on Clear host cache. This way there is no need to restart anything. This page can also be used to check if the IP has changed properly.

#32 Edited by Ravelle (1196 posts) -

@szlifier said:

@contrarygravitas said:

Every single server is pinging at least 50ms. Not really helping.

I'm using one with 56ms right now and it couldn't be better, actually.

My pings are ( and I'm using the London DNS from The Netherlands Min 15, Maximum 404 and average 114 ms.

I'm seriously clueless and nothing seems to help, watching videos is still a nightmare.