Using a VPN to unblock It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia?
Smart move – it’s the only way to watch this series without having to get an extra subscription for Hulu or Amazon Prime Video, really.
But watching IASIP on Netflix with a VPN has its drawbacks for some people – the speeds. They’re normally decent, but you can experience annoying slowdowns if your original speeds are already sluggish.
If you’re in that situation, we’ll do our best to help you out. We’ll tell you what speeds you need for Netflix and show you five easy ways to improve your VPN speeds.
What Internet Speeds Does Netflix Require?
Netflix actually has some very decent speed requirements:
- SD quality – At least 3 Mbps
- HD quality – At least 5 Mbps
- 4K quality – At least 25 Mbps
Most VPN users encounter issues when binging content in 4K. If their original speeds hover around 30-40 Mbps, using a VPN can make them too slow for 4K.
How to Improve Your VPN Speeds While Watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
We ran different tests, and found that these are the five most efficient ways to boost your VPN speeds:
1. Use Fast VPN Protocols
By default, most VPN apps will use OpenVPN. It’s an excellent protocol since it offers amazing security. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do so well in the speed department. Because OpenVPN is single-threaded (only uses one CPU) and has a pretty big codebase (anywhere from 70,000 to 600,000 lines), its speeds are pretty slow. On average, we experience a 40-50% speed reduction with this protocol.
To get better speeds, you need to use more lightweight protocols. We had the best experience with WireGuard. It’s extremely fast and has quick connection times. Lightway is also an excellent protocol, but it’s only available to ExpressVPN users. It’s definitely worth the subscription, though – connecting to a server takes only a fraction of a second!
Other good options include L2TP/IPSec and IKEv2. IKEv2 is particularly good on smartphones because it can resist network changes (your connection won’t drop when you switch from WiFI to mobile data or the other way around).
WARNING: PPTP is very fast too, but you shouldn’t use it. Its security is very weak – to the point where the NSA cracked its encryption. Due to that, we can’t say how good it is against bandwidth throttling either.
2. Use Wired Connections Instead of WiFi
When you use WiFi, your VPN speeds will tank if your WiFi signal will be too weak. And that often happens when you move too far away from the router. Or when too many devices are connected to the router.
You’ll get much better speeds with wired connections since the signal won’t be necessary anymore. All you’ll need for that is an ethernet cable, and you’re good to go!
What if your device doesn’t have an ethernet port, or you just can’t hook it up to the router?
In that case, you should either bring the device as close as you can to the router, get a 5GHz router, or get a range extender. The latter option means you’ll improve the strength of the WiFi signal throughout your home, so it shouldn’t drop so much when you’re too far away from the router.
3. Use Split Tunneling
Split-tunneling means you’re forcing the VPN to only encrypt certain web traffic. Since it has to encrypt and decrypt less data, your speeds will be slightly faster.
In this case, you’ll just have to configure the VPN to only route data from the Netflix app. If you’re watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia in your browser, use split-tunneling to only tunnel traffic from said browser. Just be sure to close any tabs you don’t need.
4. Disable Background Apps
Low on RAM memory or have a weaker CPU?
Leaving web-connected apps running in the background won’t do you any favors. They’ll make it harder for the VPN to encrypt and decrypt data (meaning you get slower speeds).
So make sure you only leave the Netflix app running, or the browser you’re using to watch Netflix. No need to have Steam, Skype, Discord, or your torrent client running too.
5. Restart Your Router/Modem
Routers and modems can suffer memory leaks – incorrect memory allocations that only slow down your online speeds.
The easiest way to fix a memory leak is to just reset your router or modem. We recommend just assuming you’re dealing with a memory leak, since testing your router/modem for one is a lot of hassle.
Doesn’t Using a Nearby Server Help Too?
Yes, of course, it does. There’s less distance between you and the VPN server, so data packets travel faster (that means you get better speeds).
So why didn’t we mention this tip?
Because it doesn’t really work when it comes to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. As far as we know, this Netflix title is only available in the UK. You don’t really have many options when it comes to picking server locations.
You could pick a server in a city that’s closer to you. For example, if you’re from France, you would use a server in London instead of Belfast, Glasgow, or Manchester. Don’t expect a huge speed boost, but it might be a bit noticeable.
The only problem is that many providers only let you choose the country where the server is located, not the city. The good news is we can recommend some VPNs that let you do that (pick the city):
- CyberGhost VPN
How Else Can You Speed Up VPNs?
If you know other ways to get smoother VPN speeds while binging It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (or any other Netflix title), please mention them in the comments. Also, if you found this article helpful, don’t forget to share it online!