I Think YouTube Is Throttling Me Because I’m Using an Ad-Blocker

03 Feb 2024 | ~2 minute read

YouTube has felt really sluggish when navigating between pages recently, and I think it's a deliberate thing by them, because I'm using an ad-blocker.

I don't have the fastest internet connection at home, but it's fast enough. I have fibre to the cab, and I average around 30Mbps on wifi throughout the house. But over the last week or so, I've noticed that YouTube seems to be running really slowly. Like, 10 seconds between page loads kinda slow. But it's weird as most of the page content loads, then it just hangs for like 5 or so seconds right at the end of the page load.

The weird thing is, if I turn my ad-blocker off, this no longer happens. I've tried this a hundred times and the behaviour repeats, every single time.

Just in case I'm imagining this, here's a video of me navigating around YouTube both before and after turning my ad-blocker off, so you can judge for yourself:

Ok, so here's what's happening in this video:

  1. I load the homepage of YouTube
  2. Navigate to the subscriptions page and it takes ages to load (note the red bar at the top hanging right at the end)
  3. I go back to the homepage and pause my ad-blocker
  4. Navigating back to the subscriptions page takes around 1 second for the page to load entirely
  5. I head back to the homepage, and turn my ad-blocker on again
  6. Off I go back to the subscriptions page and I'm once again back to ~10 second page loads

I'm not imagining this here, am I folks? Those page loads are slow as fuck when the ad-blocker is enabled. It's the same when I load videos too. The only page that doesn't seem to be affected is the homepage.

Am I alone?

Has anyone else noticed this behaviour? I'm using Safari on MacOS with 1Blocker, but this behaviour also exists on my iOS devices under Safari with 1Blocker too.

I've just tried the same thing with Firefox and AdBlockPlus, but the same behaviour doesn't seem to be happening. So maybe it's just a Safari/1Blocker thing? 🤷‍♂️

If you've been experiencing something similar, I'd love to hear from you - please use the reply button below.

I really wish there was a viable alternative to YouTube, but the fact is, nothing comes close. If YouTube Premium was more reasonably priced, I'd sign up for that and go ad free, but for now, I suppose I'll just stick with my slow page loads.


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