I have tried both settings and not 100% sure what one works best against buffering.
When I am not in FAP, and have Video Data Saver on, it seems like I have more buffering, even when testmy.net speeds show I am getting fast downloads.
Yet while I am in FAP, and Video Data Saver is on still, the video buffering is much less and things seem better. Why is that? I am so much slower on downloads during that time. Seems weird to me.
I would think with it on, and I am not in FAP, it should never buffer on 360p or less video from YouTube or Low Res setting on Netflix yet it does. Then I fall into FAP and things work nicely.
I have also tried turning Video Data Saver off, and keeping my YouTube settings on 360p or less or low res on Netflix, yet I can't find a good setting for more buffer free issues.
Some days it seems good, others no so much.
To me leaving Video Data Saver off I should be sending full speed data to my YouTube and Netflix settings, and since both are on SD or lower resolution, I should save data and things should not buffer. Just does not always seems the case so it gets confusing.
I'm Gen4 but my personal experience is it makes little if any difference on the two main streaming sites I use, Netflix and YouTube. On or off very seldom buffer, I do have Netflix set to low def and immediately set any YouTube video to 360p or 240p.
Do think when on it does help to limit videos embedded in web pages visited.
I'm just not a big fan of "idiot switches", like to control the streaming definition at the originating site if possible.
Don't experience much buffering at all normally. It does take Netflix awhile to load and play, but I don't consider loading the cache buffering. Video plays smoothly once cache is loaded.
Maybe lucky to be on good beam/gateway but think many people have problems trying to stream HD. Besides buffering complaints then they complain about high data use. HD streaming is a total no win IMO, unless very short clips. Even then, they will add up.
Clean my browser cache frequently. Do believe the computer or Smart TV capabilities also has an impact.
Don't know about FAP performance. Been years since I was there. But even without being under FAP when peak time speed is low, like 1-2 mbps, I can still stream Netflix with no buffering.
Does seem totally opposite from what one would expect what you are experiencing with FAP actually being better.
Does Web Acceleration on/off have any impact?
Youtube is downright goofy sometimes. I've had times where my speeds were great and Youtube would buffer, and other times where my speeds were in the tank (including that one day last week) and Youtube would play vids without much buffering at all. Normally, though, Youtube doesn't buffer for me.
I do keep my Video Data Saver on, but only because I don't trust Youtube to remember my commonly used setting, which is 480P. With that said, though, during the Video Data Saver test I performed with fast.com (beware, fast.com uses a LOT of data to run a test with the VDS off) the speed it showed with the VDS on was around 3.1Mbps, which would still be enough for higher than SD streaming. It's odd. I'll have to see if I can Youtube in 720P with the VDS on.
I've never been in FAP with either Gen4 or Gen5, so I can't say what it's like with that.
I know that Youtube can be overly sensitive to speed fluctuations, even if the speeds should be plenty, and I'm wondering if your (macsociety) FAP experience with Youtube is better because the highest speed you're going to get at that time with FAP is, more or less, steadier. I don't know if that's a legitimate possibility, but knowing how sensitive Youtube sometimes is I wonder if this could be the reason.