Frustrated with sluggish, constantly-buffering video streams? Try these suggestions to accelerate your streaming services.
Humans appear to have an insatiable need for media. This is how we keep up with current events and amuse ourselves. And despite the recent emergence of a plethora of modern network channels presenting material in various formats, some media impose more tremendous compression on our expertise than others.
Anyone who routinely streams music or video is aware of this fact. Unlimited streaming is a nice feature. That is in anticipation of your streaming slowing to a crawl or your movie fades into a pixelated heap caused by the buffering process. In light of this, here are eight strategies to increase the speed of your streaming services.
1. Turn off other connected devices
How many gadgets are linked to the internet in your home? When attempting to watch Netflix, HBO Max movies, or another streaming service, the sheer number of devices in our homes that rely on internet connectivity may cause problems.
In addition, the use of smart devices is on the rise, further straining your bandwidth. Even though many of these gadgets are low-powered and have negligible network overhead, it all adds up.
If you’re having trouble streaming on your TV or laptop, investigate what your other devices are doing. Is your partner already using a torrent or a video-on-demand service? Is a smart device consuming all of your internets and acting erratically?
Determine which devices in your home are slowing down your streaming service.
2. Evaluate Your Network
In addition to inspecting your home for gadgets consuming an excessive amount of bandwidth, you should also inspect your network for any unexpected devices.
If you live in an area where others can access your Wi-Fi connection and your Wi-Fi password protection is insufficient, someone could use your bandwidth without your permission. If somebody else is applying your Internet connection, this may clarify why your video streaming service is facing complications.
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3. Use an Ethernet Cable Rather Than Wi-Fi
Wires and cables are unsightly. They obstruct the path and create a tripping danger. Nevertheless, if you want the optimum performance from your consumer-grade technology, cables are required for specific tasks. Most PC gamers prefer wired peripherals, such as mouse and keyboards, over wireless alternatives, in order to gain a small performance advantage.
Ethernet cables provide a direct link between your router and your hardware for streaming purposes. Using a wired connection as opposed to a Wi-Fi network can make a significant difference in the stream’s quality.
For example, the majority of Ethernet connections enable speeds up to 1Gbps, whilst the most recent Cat 7 Ethernet cables support an astounding 10Gbps.
Additionally, your connection speed will degrade owing to Wi-Fi technical limits. An older router may bottleneck at approximately 150Mbps, but a router utilizing the most prevalent Wi-Fi technology today, 802.11ac, will reach a maximum speed of around 1.3Gbps. Even if your WiFi router ranges the maximum speed, interference can still occur. And interference results in sluggish streaming and inconsistent video playback.
Obviously, the actual limiting element is your internet speed. There is no magic that can significantly boost the speed of a slow Internet connection. Installing wires throughout your home may not be aesthetically pleasing, but it will improve the speed of your streaming services.
4. Relocate Your Router for better signal reception
I am aware that I just recommended using Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi. However, this is not doable for everyone, thus changing your router is the best alternative.
Your Wi-Fi signal will have difficulty penetrating thick walls and traveling over great distances. If possible, move your router closer to the streaming device to improve connection stability. With a more reliable connection, you will have fewer streaming issues and enjoy higher-quality video streaming.
Place your router away from solid walls, out of cabinets, and other hiding spots, and install it in a location where the Wi-Fi signal can go throughout your home.
Change the Wi-Fi Channel
You must also think about shifting your Wi-Fi channel if you are moving your router’s position.
Your Wi-Fi connection transmits over a certain channel. Channel 6 is the default Wi-Fi frequency channel for the typical “2.4 GHz Wi-Fi frequency”. Due to this, it is also the most crowded Wi-Fi channel, and high-density regions may face interference.
There are alternative Wi-Fi channels on the 2.4GHz frequency, as well as other channels on the 5GHz band. Here’s how to adjust your Wi-Fi channel to improve the quality of your video streaming.
5. Select a lower resolution for streaming
Some of the most obvious techniques to increase your streaming speed are also the simplest. Reducing your video streaming resolution is a simple adjustment that could have a significant impact.
The video resolution you select has a significant impact on the quantity of data your internet connection attempts to stream. With increasing resolution, more data is necessary. In addition, the data stream must be consistent to accommodate the high resolutions. A classic example is the distinction between HD and 4K Netflix streaming. Netflix can be streamed in HD at 5Mbps, while a 4K stream requires a continuous 25Mbps connection.
Pay close attention the next time you launch a video stream to how your browser or device handles it. Does it attempt to play the video with the highest definition first? Or does it begin with a low resolution and gradually increase as the stream progresses?
If it appears that your videos always default to the highest resolution and this causes poor speeds or infinite buffering, you should switch to the next-best resolution. The reduction from 1080p to 720p could substantially enhance your viewing experience. And visually, the change is negligible on the majority of mobile devices.
There is an additional advantage. If you stream at a lesser resolution on a mobile device, you’ll use less of your data plan. We have crunched the facts, so read our article on the data consumption of streaming video to compare the most popular streaming services.
6 Remove temporary cache files.
Strange as it may seem, transient files that create digital clutter may slow down your online streaming service. Cache files and temporary licenses have a tendency to clog our local directories and force our devices to work harder than necessary to offer fresh information. When a website is updated in the background, many of these files become superfluous.
If you want to get to the bottom of your streaming problems, it’s time to learn how to remove cache files.
Modern internet browsers and OS are competent at periodically removing temporary files. However, if you are not accustomed to properly or frequently turning down your devices, you are likely not realizing the benefits of these capabilities.
7. Turn off Hardware Acceleration in the Settings
The “Disable Hardware Acceleration” option is buried deep within your preferred web browser. Have you viewed it previously? Do you understand its function?
This option is a solution to a common problem encountered by streaming and graphics experts. The purpose of hardware acceleration is to shift some of the load from the software to the machine’s processors. The reversal of responsibility should enhance the performance of specific jobs, such as streaming and manipulating digital material.
Due to the wide variety of available hardware, certain devices or combinations of internal components function more reliably with this option disabled. If you’ve tried everything else without success to improve your streaming speeds, locate this setting and disable it.
8. Utilize Local Storage
Downloading the files to a playback device is one method for enjoying crisp video playing. You will need to organize your viewing of films and television programs. However, the vast majority of popular video-on-demand streaming services now permit users to download and retain a limited quantity of information.
While not exactly the same as video streaming, downloading the film in advance could assist you deal with a slow Internet connection. Instead of attempting to stream video in the middle of the day, when others are also using the internet, download a show or movie the night before so that it is available to be viewed the following evening.
When you wish to watch a new video, you need delete the local files and download a new one.
Using these helpful video streaming strategies, you will never longer experience buffering.
Even if you previously knew that you should lower your resolution, you now have a few other troubleshooting tips to attempt before abandoning your efforts.
Look for the annoying Hardware Acceleration option in the settings menu and clear your browser cookies and caches while you’re there. Consider reducing the number of linked devices or investing in Ethernet for its physical connection benefits.