No More Buffering: How to solve buffering issues and find the ultimate high-speed internet experience

Tuesday, Jan 07, 2020 · 2 mins



Imagine this — the season finale of your favorite TV show has just dropped on your OTT platform. You hook up your smart TV and get ready to be enthralled. But five minutes into the show, the video freezes and the dreaded spinning circle shows up in the middle of your screen, rotating slowly. Maybe you’re playing your favorite game which just happens to be the newest version of World of Warships — and once again the dreaded white circle pops up, leaving you feeling helpless and frustrated.

While we’ve come a long way in terms of high-speed internet, buffering is still a problem most of us deal with in our daily lives to some extent. In this article, we’ll help you solve this persistent problem once and for all — we’ll talk about what buffering is, why it happens, and what you can do to fix it.

Why buffering happens

To understand buffering, we first need to understand the concept of video streaming. Streaming devices buffer videos that play from the internet. This simply means that they stream the video ahead of what you’re watching so that it plays continuously while you’re watching it.

If due to some reason, the video catches up to the point at which the file is streaming, you’re no longer able to see a smooth, seamless video. That’s when buffering begins and you see those dreaded white circles, rotating arrows, or loading messages pop up on your screen. It’s only when the video stream catches up that the video plays.

Now if you’re playing a long video, and the streaming speed is not better than the viewing speed, then chances are you’ll experience a number of these buffering sessions.

What you can do to fix buffering

There are a number of reasons for buffering and one or more of them may be responsible for your problem. We start the list with the most common one and go in decreasing order from there. You can go through the list, fixing each problem one by one, to see if it’s solving the issue.

Getting high-speed internet

This is the most obvious fix for buffering videos quickly. When your internet speed simply is not fast enough to stream videos without issues, one obvious work around is that you simply upgrade your internet data plan, and get higher speeds or more data.

However, a lot of the times, you might have a high-speed internet plan but will still face a buffering issue.

Why is this?

This could be because the DNS server itself is slow, or there is poor signal strength in your cable line. In that case, it may be a good idea to change your Internet Service Provider, and find one that’s known for providing fast internet in your area.

Another option is to find a plan that’s designed specifically to provide high-speed internet and prevent buffering issues during video games and videos. ACT, for instance, has a special Gaming Pack that comes with on-demand speed boosts (of 300 MBPS) as well as on-demand data boosts (of up to 1800 GB). This means that when you need particularly high-speed internet, such as while playing high-resolution games or binge-watching your favorite shows, you can always turn to your on-demand speed boost or data boost.

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Stop other active downloads or programs running on your device

This is a temporary way to boost your internet speed. The reason your video might be streaming slower could be because there are other heavy programs running or downloading items on your devices. Make sure you check all your idle devices — desktop, tablets, and mobiles — all your internet bandwidth is going towards your video.

Pause the video for a while

This is another quick fix to allow you to watch your video uninterrupted. Pause the video and let it stream for a while. Play it again and hopefully, there will be enough of a gap between the streaming speed and viewing speed so that you won’t have to face the dreaded buffer again.

Change the time for watching the video

It may not always be your internet speed that’s the issue — it may just be that the servers of the OTT platform (Netflix, Zee5, Hotstar etc) you’re using are busy. Research shows that servers for these platforms are usually overloaded between 8 PM to 10 PM so you might want to find a different time to watch your favorite TV show!

Use a different Wi-Fi router

The wrong router can really affect your internet speed as well. If you want high-speed internet that is best suited for streaming, try using a dual-band Wi-Fi router. This router offers a 5 GHz network with extra bandwidth.

Do a virus check

Use anti-virus or anti-malware software to check whether your device is being slowed down by malicious software. This kind of cleanup can help you increase your internet speed significantly.

Temporarily switch to a wired connection

Wireless connections can sometimes get disrupted by a number of factors — from frequency issues to signal to physical obstructions. Try switching to a wired connection and see if that solves the buffering issue.

Check the number of devices on your internet connection

Having a number of devices plugged into the same internet connection might consume the network’s bandwidth, particularly if the router cannot support heavy traffic load. So if you’re streaming a video try to see if you can limit internet use to that one device.

Buffering is one of the most frustrating problems that most of us can relate to. If you continue to face buffering issues in the long run, getting a truly high-speed internet connection is your best bet.

Read tips and tricks to increase your wifi speed here

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