Question FIOS buffering/lag/drop problem that seems to go away when I switch to VPN


Nov 28, 2007
It's hard to explain this problem. But essentially, after 2 years of network stability in my home, over the past week or so my wired connection has begun to buffer/lag/drop frequently. This happens whether I use Firefox or Chrome. We use pcs with windows 10.

Pages won't load properly, I get messages saying that unexpected errors have prevented pages from loading, messages saying that I have no internet connection, the browsers lag when I try to log in to accounts. Various services--paramount, netflix, others buffer far more frequently than before.

The speed test at dslreports doesn't finish. Verizon's speed test lags initially, then eventually finishes and says the connection is fine, reporting numbers that are so good I frankly don't believe them.

I've tried resetting the router. A G3100. But that hasn't solved it either.

I've changed the dns to opendns. That helps, but not entirely.

I've looked at the router log, but (1) I don't really understand the shorthand; and (2) I don't see a correlation between the problems and log entries (but this may be due to my ignorance).

I discovered today that (apparently) the problem goes away (or at least dissipates significantly) when I switch to a VPN.

Sure, a simple solution is to use the VPN all the time, but this just doesn't make any sense to me at all. Why would a "normal" FIOS connection degrade while a VPN, running over that same connection, be fine?

Also--my son says that he's encountering the same problem at my ex's house.

It seems to be related to browsing and streaming; we don't notice it when we're gaming.

I've run a virus scanner (bit defender); it's found nothing.

Verizon's techs only say to run a speed test, but speed isn't the problem. Drops/buffering is the problem.

I'm really mystified.

I would appreciate any suggestions/guidance.

Thank you.
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If you are using openvpn it is very close to HTTPS sessions. It is designed to be very similar to web traffic to make it harder for some countries like china to block it.
So in effect most vpn traffic is no different than very large data transfers over normal web pages.

Now I guess there could be some issue in verizons network that is different than the path the data takes to get to the vpn data center. This is very unlikely since verizon is still one of the tier1 ISP and their network makes up a large part of the core internet.

Someone else just today posted a similiar issue and in that case it was IPv6 causing it. Try to disable IPv6 in your pc, in the router would be better if it is possible since it is hard to turn off ipv6 in things like phones.
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