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Free YouTube?

If you’ve been surfing YouTube the past week, whether for academic purposes or for your video fix, you might have noticed something interesting – Inetkey wasn’t always necesary to access videos. And you observation would be correct.

Good news for us, but we first we need to explain how it works so you won’t be caught off guard.

Stellenbosch University’s internet is routed through Tenet (The Tertiary Education and Research network), a network infrastructure aiming to provide the best possible internet infrastructure to academic institutions. For this reason Tenet’s server is open and accessible to SU staff at no cost and without Inetkey.

But how is this relevant to YouTube? Tenet is hosting a version of YouTube on it’s server cache to enable easier and faster access for their users.

To establish which network should be used for a request and to select the shortest route  for traffic to travel to follow, Google uses algorithms, also known as geo-tagging. In our case Google decides to direct your YouTube request to Tenet instead of one of their servers located overseas.

The risk in the current situation is that Google might decide to use another cache for optimal network capacity and free content will change to paid content once again.

All YouTube content isn’t necessarily part of the cache. Tenet caches the data according to demand. To ensure you don’t pay, keep’Inetkey closed when browsing YouTube.

However, until Google changes it’s route, you can play around on YouTube to your heart’s content. Just remember to keep your Inetkey closed, otherwise you’re in for a big surprise at the end of the month.

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