Buffering Got You Down? (Part 3)

5 Easy Fixes to Try First for Buffering Issues

Because the most common reason that buffering occurs is due to problems with your local computer or device, we will discuss those first, as most buffering issues can be solved entirely or dramatically reduced by taking these simple steps.

#1 Multiple Demands

When you have multiple programs open, that can easily cause interruptions or delays in a YouTube video or Netflix movie stream. Let's go back to the example of the buffer being your own group of elves inside your device. They are working hard to download a certain amount of the video or movie in a particular amount of time to ensure a seamless viewing experience. However, suppose you constantly insist those elves stop what they are doing to attend to other program needs. In that case, there is no way they can efficiently download your movie or video without buffering issues. This is an easy and quick fix, as you simply close all software programs entirely before trying to stream anything. This means all browser tabs not being used are closed, and nothing is minimized. You want everything completely closed except the streaming service you are using that second.

#2 Clean up and Update Your Browser

This is something many of us simply need to remember to do! Every website you visit these days places a tiny cookie on your system to recognize you and allow the site to load quickly using cached information. These items clog up your browser and slow things down, and they need to be cleared frequently just as a matter of routine maintenance. Another part of maintenance is to update your browser often. This allows it to run as efficiently as possible and will often speed up your program, including streaming services or video downloads.

#3 Reduce Video Resolution

While everyone wants high-quality video, those files are large. So when they are in full high definition, you will often have more buffering problems as the chunks that get downloaded still have to fit into the same buffering memory storage space. One quick fix is to click on the video settings and lower the resolution. This is especially helpful on a phone or device with a small screen. You can’t visually tell much difference in resolution when the screen is small, so you will generally still have an excellent viewing experience by lowering the resolution without all the annoying buffering.

#4 Remove Other Devices Connected to your Network

All devices in your home that use Wi-Fi will check the internet to look for updates regularly – even if you think they are sitting there doing nothing. This means your printers, home control unit, phones, tablets, and laptops – even your space-age refrigerator! All these devices allow you to turn the Wi-Fi access off when you choose to, and by doing this, you don’t have random devices interrupting your Netflix movie or YouTube videos. You can also check your router to see which devices are active. This might surprise you if the teenager next door and five of his friends are accessing your router!

#5 Pause the Stream for a Few Minutes

That’s right. Pause the movie, get a bag of popcorn, visit the sandbox and let the elves catch up. If you are experiencing frequent buffering during a program, this is a quick and easy solution. By pausing for a few minutes, there are less frequent buffering interruptions as it allows the memory to refill and then play smoothly.

The final installment of this blog series will discuss more advanced options for solving buffering issues, but most people will be able to solve the problem with the easy five steps above.

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