Download PlayStation 4 Games Faster With One Small Tweak

Image: Kotaku

You will probably never get these kinds of speeds from the PlayStation Network. And the funny thing is, neither could we. That was until we made one single change.

Everyone knows how crappy download speeds on the PS4 are. And that was the same case for developer Lance McDonald, who tried to download GTA V only to encounter the gut-wrenchingly glacial pace that the PlayStation Network likes to serve content at.

So he looked into why it was. After running some tests, he found that his PS4's were downloading from some foreign servers.

So to speed up the process, he set a firewall rule on the router and blocked them.

And as it turns out, the trick works. After blocking the servers, McDonald found his PS4s were finally downloading at the kinds of speeds his internet was more accustomed to delivering.

We tested the trick out in the Allure Media offices, where we have the luxury of a fat fibre pipe. When we began testing over Wi-Fi, the best download speeds we could achieve were around 18mbps. When connected via an ethernet cable that speed improved to just around 33mbps, which was better but still pretty substandard for 2017.

When we blocked the IP address Lance used, well ... things improved a tad.

I wish I could download all of Destiny in an hour flat. (Before we blocked the IP, it would have taken several hours.) One thing to remember though: if you want to play games online, you'll have to re-whitelist the IP. According to McDonald, the server was necessary for online play and it also hosts a lot of assets on the PSN store. Better to be safe than sorry.

And while Australians shouldn't have to resort to this kind of shenanigans just to get a console downloading at proper speeds in 2017, it's better than the rough 1mb/s we're typically accustomed to. So next time you need to download a big update, or you're buying a game digitally, remember to thank McDonald.


Comments

    Now I just need one for Xbox. Damn they are slow for me.

      no your internet is crap then, when i download anything from Xbox Live store i get 60MB/s easy.
      and big downloads are done within minutes

    Alternate title: Faster downloads with this one weird trick Sony doesn't want you to know about.
    When connected via an ethernet cable that speed improved to just around 33mbps, which was better but still pretty substandard for 2017.Compared to the majority of us still on ADSL2+ because NBN, that's a speed we can only wish for.

      Yeah it's a little depressing still being on the "not in the foreseeable future" list for NBN rollout...

        That's still better than people in our area who go onto the NBN and then end up with speeds less than ADSL1. That's the reason I haven't gone to NBN even though it is available in our street.

          If that occurs make a lot of noise to your provider. Hit up every executive email you can and network upgrades will happen ๐Ÿ˜
          I got Optus to play ball in my area... Took a lot but now consistent high speeds whereas before I would call at having 10mbps of an evening and be told it was 'congestion'... Yeah because you haven't paid for the throughput pricks haha

          You'll end up on it eventually whether you like it or not :(

      Some of us are still stuck on standard ADSL here.

    I dont know where this setting would be on my shameful budii modem

      I'm stuck in the same situation on my Telstra Netgear CG3100D-2 cable modem. I'm looking through my settings and can't find a way to block a single IP so I can use this trick.

        Telstra modems usually have minimal settings.

      most modems don't have an option to block specific ips, hell i *could* do this but i'd probably have to re-flash my router with Dd Wrt or add a firewall to my server and direct my internet through it.

      Last edited 24/01/17 6:06 pm

        Whereas most decent routers do have an option to block specific ips. Telstra modem/routers should be able to do that, but Telstra deliberately lock it down with their own firmware.

          Connect the PS4 via a PC and block the IP with software.

            I thought that was the case with my Telstra one as it would only let me block 1 ip via the firewall, but with mine I found you can block subnets via the parental controlls.

    When connected via an ethernet cable that speed improved to just around 33mbps, which was better but still pretty substandard for 2017.
    Substandard for some perhaps. If I get 30mbps on my fixed wireless (literally the only option) things are pretty sweet. And once the NBN finally rolls around it might give a theoretical max of 25mbps!
    ...
    Wait.

    edit: good tip tho.

    Last edited 24/01/17 5:03 pm

      I've got the NBN and just did a speed test on speedtest.net the result was just over 10Mbps (about 10 times faster than before I got NBN) down and 0.9Mbps up and that was connected via ethernet. The fastest I've got on my Xbone via wi-fi is about 13Mbps.

        It's worth remembering, substandard is in relation to your connection speed. My ADSL2+ at home syncs at just under 12mbps, so I'd be pretty happy with 33mbps.

        But getting 33mbps in an office where the console isn't shaped or on a quota, with a connection over 400mbps+, is balls. And most people have some experience of their PS4's downloading well below what they should.

        Pretty shit that I can get better internet beamed to a rooftop dish in a neighborhood full of damn trees by some local startup than you can on a billion dollar fibre rollout.
        Probably on a cheaper plan too.

        #feelsbadman

    This is a great tip, can't wait to give it a go. I randomly decided to actually unwrap my copy of The Crew on the weekend to give it a quick go only to be faced with a 7gb download wanting to take the better part of the day on an Optus cable connection.

    Wish I had of known this a few days ago when I downloaded Doom. Took me over a day to download the bloody thing on my shite ADSL2+ connection. So glad NBN is due to hit mid year.

    Last edited 24/01/17 5:43 pm

    1 Gbps connection in Singapore,

    Steam - 540 mbps
    Xbox - 180 mbps
    PSN - 32 mbps

    The ps4 always seems to hit a bottleneck at about 38 mbps (something to do with how it habdles server requests, their is a whole reddit about it).

    I will try this hack and see if it allows it got get past the 38 mbps wall.

    Last edited 25/01/17 5:47 pm

    1 Gbps connection in Singapore,

    Steam - 540 mbps
    Xbox - 180 mbps
    PSN - 38 mbps

    The ps4 always seems to hit a bottleneck at about 38 mbps (something to do with how it habdles server requests, their is a whole reddit about it).

    I will try this hack and see if it allows it got get past the 38 mbps wall.

      how did it go? did it make any improvement?

    Better tip yet is to upgrade your hard drive in PS4 to either an sshd or an ssd card if you can. I just put in an sshd and downloaded a digital copy of Bf1 in two hours. With stock hard drive it took overnight to download with the same exact internet connection....easy to do. Videos on YouTube will walk you through it if you don't know how.best thing I've ever done for slow download speeds...

      There is no way your hard drive was slowing down your download unless you had something like 10 simultaneous 1GB NBN connections coming in.

    Cant wait to try this. Spent a few hours the other day trying to determine why Ps4 downloads were so slow on my new fttn connection. Max i could get was around 18mbps, the connection is capable of 90ish. Ethernet was even slower then wifi for some reason. PC and Xbone download fine, up to 9 Megabytes a sec (from good servers).

    Hope it helps!

      Ugh fttn. I feel bad for you son I got 99 problems but a node ain't one

        Not really sure why you feel bad for him?? He clearly stated that he's getting 90Mb! He's obviously really REALLY close to the Node so if anything he's damn lucky! Go feel bad for the people who are 800meters from the Node. Not everyone gets a bad experience on it

    Meh I downloaded RE7 20GB in less than an hour last night at home. Yeah it doesn't work as well as normal net downloads but with fibre it's still plenty quick enough

    That IP address is in Hong Kong, China no wonder it is so slow. Interestingly, I have a proper firewall at home and China is one of the blocked countries and the PS4 keeps working properly. Now I understand why our downloads are so much faster. Thanks for the article.

    "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing"

    First of all, this is against the PlayStation Network Terms of Service as it is deliberate act of network disruption between the console and servers. It is unfortunate that the author and/or Kotaku failed to mention this, even if only for the interest of public disclosure.

    Additionally, the "IP address" 111.119.22.0/24 is actually a subnet, NOT an IP address. Meaning it's a range of IP addresses from 111.119.22.0 to 111.119.22.255. This particular IP range is owned by Limelight Networks, the CDN which has hosted PlayStation Network and other Sony Interactive Entertainment content since 2007. The 203.26.28.0/24 subnet also mentioned in the video is owned by TPG Telecom who aquired Limelight Networks as a customer though their takeover of AAPT in 2013; so we can put two and two together and determine that Limelight's CDN is involved and 'could' be to blame (perhaps more for architectural reasons than technical).

    I'd like to make two cautions here, firstly the CDN is a shared service, meaning by blocking those particular IP addresses (plural) you may be inadvertently disrupting other services on your network. Secondly, while what this article is encouraging may seem harmless, without comment from Sony or one of its subsidiaries there is no way to know whether the routing of traffic offshore is by design or not; there may be a very good reason why content is not served first by a local content source....

    However, after saying that, I also happen to be a proud owner of a PS4 and upon checking my network logs I don't see any connections to either of those two subnets mentioned by Mr McDonald. Instead I see a lot of activity between my console and Limelight servers hosted by Telstra (my ISP). I've also never had any speed issues when downloading on the console, neither on previously ADSL or on the NBN currently. This suggests to me that maybe, just maybe, the issue resides at your ISP (and maybe Limelight by proxy) and is not Sony's fault after all.

    That's my 2ยข worth. You're welcome.

    I really should get a router with RouterOS so easy to enable/disable firewall rules.

    Well that explains a hell of a lot.

    PSN's download speeds have been unacceptably poor for me since day dot. It should not take me a day and a half to download a game the same size as something that downloads in an hour on Steam.
    Piss-poor design on Sony's part. Really unacceptable.

      I'm interested to see if it works for you, I'm going to have a go tonight and see if it works for me; I don't really know how to create a firewall with my router so this could be a lengthy process lol.

    Recently had a similar problem, auto setup would sync to a server in America, manually set it to Victoria, and suddenly I'm up from 2-5 Mbps to almost my cap of 10 Mbps, avg now about 8.7 Mbps most days now.

    Is it easy to do, though?

    Cool story bros, but the actual cause of slow PS4 WAN has been found. Search on reddit.

    Tl;dr it uses an extremely short data "window", more suited for ADSL1 speeds. This means that on fast connections it does a lot of waiting for ACK acknowledge and confirm packets, which is highly dependant on your ping. Since we're in Australia, our pings suck at best. So no matter what, PS4 WAN downloads will be gimped.

    What you can do is download some programs and use a PC on your network to use as a CDN, and LAN downloads are using a normal packet encapsulation.

      That may be the case, but I tried blocking the IP range, and my downloads jumped from 4mb/s to 61mb/s, so it isn't just the short data window problem at play.

    Wonder if I can do the same on Xbox one? Their speeds are disgusting

    I find it very interesting they are saying this is for Australia. The top NBN plan in Australia is currently 100 Mbps download so good luck getting 300+ Mbps. Not to mention the fact, as already mentioned by several people, that most modems do not allow you to block specific IPs as well as the fact that you then have to unblock those IPs to actually play the game. I'd say a not helpful article at all.

    I never have any problems with PS4 downloads. Every game downloads at close to my 55Mb speed. My Xbox One on the other hand is woeful! Flacutates from 55Mb right down to 500Kbps!

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