Is youtube-dl throttled by ...?

So I’m using youtube-dl to back up some youtube content that I like, and for the last years it all worked quite nicely. The download speed that I was getting were usually between 2-12MiB/s.
But as of some time I’m being throttled to 20-90KiB/s. I usually could get around this by quitting the download with Ctrl+C and relaunching it, but this is not working anymore.
I’m using VPN and I’m piping youtube through it with:
youtube-dl --proxy socks5://__VPN-IP__:__VPN-PORT__
I tested many locations, and some have slightly better speeds but nothing more than 100KiB/s.
Is there anything that can be done to increase the download speeds or at least to investigate who it to blame for this? Did YT started throttling VPN IPs?


YT-DLP a fork of yt-dl is actively worked on. YT-DL is not. YT-DLP does not have the throttling issue.

yt-dl is throttled no matter the vpn or non vpn that is used. It is an issue with youtube throttling yt-dl.


Google themselves throttles non-viewed requests now.

Youtube-dl forks with more active maintenance use the Android JS to minimic views, bypassing the throttle.

It’s mostly a drop-in replacement for the original youtube-dl, though some options have been changed.

The package in pip is called yt-dlp


:ok_hand: That’s much better now. I hope this will end in yt-dlp replacing youtube-dl in the repos.


Just a heads up, you will need this commit added if you’re using the current release to decode the JS challenge some of the players are serving:

1 Like