Buffering is one of the least pleasant aspects of video streaming. When you are streaming your favorite TV show on the TV set, snuggled up on the couch, buffering is the last thing you want to deal with, which can often make the experience unbearable. To avoid falling victim to buffering, we’ve gathered all the best tips for avoiding it and improving your streaming experience.
How to Avoid Buffering
Video buffering can have several causes, but it is always tied to your internet connection, speed, and limits. Here are some of the most common causes and how to fix them.
Improve Your Internet Connection
The most common reason for buffering is low internet speed. For starters, check that your internet service provider provides the appropriate connection. To see whether or not you’re getting the internet speed you’re paying for; you can use Speedtest. If your internet speed seems correct, then you can move on to other methods for improving your internet connection without upgrading your current package for a more expensive one.
Firstly, to improve your internet speed, you can unplug your modem and router, wait for 10 seconds and reconnect them. This will usually help fix any problems you might be experiencing with your internet, and you’ll be able to stream without buffering.
If that doesn’t seem to be working, you can also try setting your wireless router to use 5GHz instead of 2.4Ghz. That way, your internet connection will encounter less interference, making the internet faster and preventing buffering.
Use a VPN to Avoid Bandwidth Throttling
When a single user is taking up too much data, the internet service provider may decide to throttle your connection, which means they intentionally slow down your internet speed. One way to avoid that is to use a VPN. This way, even if you are using large amounts of data, your ISP will not trace that activity back to you; hence it won’t be able to throttle your connection. If you are concerned about installing a VPN on a device other than your laptop, don’t worry. Many premium VPN companies will offer their apps for various devices, including smart TVs and consoles. So you can use a VPN for Firestick or Roky, and don’t worry about the logistics.
Consider Replacing the Old Cables With New Ones
Let’s face it; we rarely take good care of our modems, routers, and the cables that connect us to the internet. Often, your internet speed will suffer because one of your internet cables is damaged, and the damage is too small to be seen from afar. If you’ve checked everything else but still experience lags and buffering, consider swapping your old cables for some new ones
and see if that helps your internet speed. The good news is that they’re not that expensive, and you can easily swap them yourself.
Disconnect Other Devices Connected to Your Network
If you struggle to stream the video or a TV show without buffering, try freeing up your bandwidth whenever possible. In most homes, there are at least 5 devices connected to the internet at any given moment. This could be part of the reason why your video stream keeps lagging. Try disconnecting all other devices except the one you are streaming on from the internet connection to see if that makes a difference.
Try Switching to the Ethernet Instead
Wi-Fi is an extremely convenient way to stay online, although it does not hold a candle to the strong, stable connection that the Ethernet can provide. If you like streaming large video files or playing games in high resolution, you should definitely consider switching to an Ethernet cable. This is especially true if you see that you have a high-speed connection but still have to deal with buffering. You may need some extra cables, but if speed is your priority, this is one of the best things you can do for an improved experience online.
If All Else Fails, Try Reducing the Video Quality
While this solution is definitely suboptimal, if nothing seems to be working, you can always just reduce the video quality and avoid buffering this way. The bigger the file you are trying to stream, the higher the internet speed is needed to stream without any lags. You can reduce the quality of the video content within the streaming service, whether that be Youtube, Hulu, Netflix, or something else.