Hotspot speed

Novice III

So I do understand that you can only get one connection per device and it’s capped, but realistically is 5 Mb per second OK enough to stream things like YouTube TV? I’m getting ripped off by AT&T and since that’s my only provider for internet, I was going to ask opinions.


Intermediate III

YouTube TV consistently streams at 720p for me using Visible. On rare occasions during congested or peak periods, it will drop to 480p or lower.

In addition, to capping the hot spot speed at 5 mbps, note that Visible will throttle detected video streaming to about 2.1 mbps. A speed test confirms that with the key phrase being "detected" - not all streaming is detectable. Barring that use anyone's over there that is a regular contributor to the actual forums and doesn't spam the Savings Spot on a daily basis.

YouTube TV's algorithms are pretty robust and and consistently deliver 720p streams. Other streaming providers have not performed quite as well so I've stuck with YouTube TV - although I do have a promotional Netflix On Us from another provider, I primarily use it for downloading content that I watch offline.

Naturally, YMMV and is really subject to how congested or utilized Visible/Verizon is in your area. I'd suggest giving it a try for a full month without committing or porting. Hop over to the Savings Spot at you'll get $20 off for the month (costing you $5 for a full month to experiment). I'd post my referral code but that would be frowned upon except over there where it can be found.

If nothing else utilize one of the referrals from one of the regular contributors here in the actual forums. Reward those who actually contribute here.

This is very good to know. I don’t mind streaming on one of the time pretty quiet I may try hotspot for a month and see what happens.. (at least until things pick up at work) 

Not applicable

As long as your phone can maintain a data speed of around 7Mbps or more you hotspot speed will be 5Mbps. I stream YouTube at 720p all the time, it does buffer a little starting out of course but then it is fine. I have an extension so all the videos start at 720p. Bad thing is if the person uses 720p60 it will not keep up and you will have frequent buffering. I have read that there are some streaming apps that Visible limits to 2.5Mbps(480p streaming), I don't know which apps and not sure if it affects streaming on a device using hotspot. 

Visible (actually Verizon) doesn't limit stream apps per se but rather "detected" video streaming activity across all apps (include Smart TV apps) and browsers regardless if hot spot usage or simply mobile cellular data.


TL;DR except if interested in the technical/historical background and want to understand it. The detection is weak in that no reliable means exist today to determine if content is video or not since most content providers rely upon secure connections (HTTPS or SSL if you prefer). The content type is encrypted and cannot be examined. As a result nearly all ISPs (Visible/Verizon included) now rely upon the Server Name Indication (SNI) which is an extension to Transport Layer Security (TLS). That extension makes it possible to specify the hostname, or domain name, of the website during the TLS handshake (allowing the server to present the proper SSL certificate), instead of when the encrypted HTTP connection opens after that handshake.

Despite the fact that it was never the intended purpose of SNI (just as IP addresses were never intended to convey anything about your physical location),  ISPs now routinely rely on that SNI to determine the source of the response and utilize it to throttle certain traffic including video streams. The glaring hole in this logic applied by ISPs is that not all traffic from the sources is video streaming and all content winds up being throttled. The ISPs maintain a list of hosts that are "considered" to be streaming content providers.

In the case of non secured HTTP connections ISPs are still able to examine content type headers included in the payload.

All of us can thank T-Mobile's Binge-On feature for this "detected" video throttling.... but those having that knowledge may find it to their advantage and I've only covered the basics of it here.


Not applicable

If you go read what I said again, I said I "READ" it, whether it is true or not is a different story but I guess you know everything!  It has been mention on Visible's Reddit page a number of times. 


As far as the rest of what you wrote I did not bother reading it since it seems like you are trying to make it known here you know everything. I will leave all future threads for you to answer. I am out of here.


Goodbye and unsubscribed!

And had you read what I said even in the short form, you'd see where I said Visible doesn't limit stream apps per se... however, apps do attempt to optimize the streaming experience based on current network conditions including the device and it's current resolution (through a process known as adaptive streaming). Those same apps (e.g. YouTube TV et al) also allow you to choose the resolution you'd like/prefer (however, do so at your own peril).

Don't accept anything you read on the internet (including anything I say and most assuredly reddit) as being true. I've provided you with sufficient background information to verify its veracity (or not as the case may be).

Disagree if you must, but no need for ad hominem in a community where all thoughts are welcome (including those that may be deemed critical of Visible).

Intermediate III

P.S. To the original poster; I see you indicate iOS - dependent on version, iOS may actually enforce Visible's 1 device limit; I've personally  never seen this limit enforced on my Android devices. But it's a moot point having speeds throttled on the personal hot spot; only under the best of circumstances (something I rarely see on Visible unless parked at the rest stop on I-95) would it be viable to use multiple devices but it can be done.