Oasis Broadband - Eliminate Buffering

10 Ways to Eliminate Buffering

When you are streaming content, the buffer is what pre-loads the content that you are going to watch next so that the data can be accessed more quickly. If your internet is slow or your connection drops, however, the buffer won’t fill up quickly enough and the quality of your stream will decrease or your content will stop altogether. Sometimes when this happens your device will display the message “buffering” as it tries to fill up its memory again. 

There are two main factors that affect buffering: internet speed and your equipment, namely your computer and router. We are going to break these down further in just a bit. The reality is, it is almost impossible to 100% avoid buffering because even with the fastest internet and top-of-the-line equipment, internet providers may undergo updates that temporarily slow down service. This being said, there are many factors that can cause unnecessary buffering that you have control over: 

  1. Identify what type of internet provider you are using. See if there is a way to switch to a different provider. There are many different ways to transmit Internet including fiber, cable, satellite, DSL and fixed wireless, and each of these methods has pros and cons depending on your location. Learn more about them here
  2. How many devices are connected to your network? Many wireless devices such as smart doorbells, cameras, smartwatches etc, can use up bandwidth and slow down your service. If this is the case, consider upgrading your Internet package, so that it can handle all of your devices at once or you can remove other devices from your network to free up bandwidth. Even when you are not currently using a WiFi device, it is constantly pinging your router, which can add up if you have multiple devices constantly connected. 
  3. Identify how fast your network is. Streaming is a relatively recent development because your broadband connection has to be fast enough to transmit the data in real time.Your computer will buffer data and start playback once there is enough video to prevent a lag. However, if you are experiencing buffering or lag often it is a sign that you need to upgrade your broadband speed or reset your router to make sure you are getting the speeds that you purchased.  
  4. Pause the stream. Pausing the video or audio content that you are streaming should allow enough data to load into the buffer that your content can stream more continuously.  
  5. Update virus protection on your device. Computer viruses and malware can slow down operations and make it difficult to stream without problems. Virus protection software can help eliminate these problems so that your device is more efficient. 
  6. Close other applications. If your device is trying to perform a multitude of tasks at once, it can make it more difficult to stream continuously. 
  7. Reducing content quality. Reducing the quality of the content that you are trying to stream will make it easier for the data to be transmitted to your device. This is because streaming requires data files to be sent from a remote location to your device. If you stream lower quality content, it requires smaller files which can be transmitted faster. 
  8. Use a wired connection. There are two ways to connect to the internet: wired and wireless. A wired connection uses an Ethernet cable to connect your device directly to the router which can help provide a more stable connection and make streaming easier. Wireless connections can be more easily interrupted by factors such as distance and obstructing objects, and thus result in a greater potential for problems streaming. 
  9. Buy a new router. Routers are the access point for your devices to connect to the Internet. If your router is more than 4 or 5 years old, internal heat damage or outdated Wifi protocols can cause slow performance. Furthermore, there are different routers that transmit WiFi different distances. If you are having trouble connecting from certain parts of your house, it may be time to purchase a more powerful router that can transmit the Wifi signal further. Finally, routers have different speed abilities, so double check that your router is able to provide you with maximum speeds. 
  10. Update graphics card driver. The graphics driver controls how graphic components work with the rest of your computer. Graphics cards enhance this video capability on your computer screen. If you are streaming a movie, which demands a lot from your computer’s graphics card, it makes sense to ensure that your hardware and the driver are up to date. 

As you can see, there are many different ways to reduce buffering time. If you are interested in switching Internet Providers and receiving fast reliable Internet to reduce buffering, enter your zip code here to find the Oasis Broadband Services available for your location.