Buffering Got You Down? (Part 4)

5 Advanced Fixes to Solve Buffering Issues

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying the easy fixes to reduce buffering, and nothing works! That is why I added five more advanced fixes for buffering so you can watch Netflix thrillers or YouTube playlists without worry. I saved these for last because they are not easy and may require spending money to update something. However, these may be necessary if you want happy, efficient elves working to quickly store data and eliminate buffering.

#1 Speed up Your Internet Connection

We discussed in the last blog that virtually every internet provider has different levels of service that determine the speed of your service and the amount of data you can use per month. Your first step is to determine the speed you are receiving, and you can do this through a site like https://www.speedtest.net. This will tell you how fast your speed is, and then you can discuss with your internet provider to determine if your speed is being throttled regularly due to exceeding the allowed monthly data amount. If it is determined that you need to use more data, it is time to up your speed and data allowance to the next tier with your provider or switch to a provider that better meets those needs.

#2 Update your Graphics Card Drivers

Streaming movies or videos is asking a lot from a graphics driver, and because of that, the software is constantly being updated and enhanced. By keeping your driver(s) up to date, you can take advantage of the best advancement available, improving the overall performance when streaming Netflix, YouTube, or any other streaming site. As a bonus, it will enhance your gaming experience too.

#3 Try a Wired Ethernet Connection

There are times, especially when you are at a hotel or maybe an Airbnb when a wired Ethernet connection is necessary to stop or reduce buffering. It is a very simple workaround, and while most IT people carry a spare ethernet with them for this thing when they travel, it could be an excellent addition to your suitcase. Even when you are home, if you have high-speed internet but are having a frustrating streaming experience and can’t quickly diagnose it, this is a fast and simple workaround that might work.

#4 Reset your Router or Replace it

While it’s become a joke almost everywhere, it is very effective to unplug your router, wait ten seconds, and then plug it back in. This is called power cycling your router, and it is like a full reset. It works well in many circumstances because it allows that router to reset and reboot, clearing out any possible issues that may be causing a slowdown. If this doesn’t show an improvement, it may be time to replace that router. This piece of equipment is a relatively low cost yet can have a tremendous impact on buffering and overall performance. It's like trading in those old elves on disability for a bunch of new fresh ones, which makes a huge difference. 

I will warn you, though, when you update one device, like a router, you may realize you need to upgrade other devices, like your computer. This is a good thing, especially if that device is four or five years old. Streaming services like Netflix and even YouTube are dependent on you having newer equipment to get the best experience, so be aware that upgrading may be needed if you have high expectations.

#5 VPNs (Virtual Private Network)

As more and more people have been working from home over the last few years, many have started using a VPN to ensure privacy. VPNs work by encrypting data which is then unencrypted at a remote server. Older VPNs use single socket technology, which is limiting and can cause things to slow down dramatically on occasion. By updating your VPN and choosing one with multiple socket technology, you will dramatically improve the speed and performance of any steaming service while still maintaining your security and privacy. 

As I noted at the beginning of this blog, some of these solutions are more advanced, but if you are determined to fix your buffering issues, then one or more of these solutions might help. No matter what, eliminating the annoyance of buffering will improve your overall video or movie viewing experience, and your personal army of elves will be incredibly grateful.

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