Are your streams loading too slow? Getting constant buffering? Not able to stream at full resolution? Check out these tips to improve your streaming experience:
- Use a modern Router that has advanced features like QoS to prioritize video content. Check out our recommended Routers for Streaming.
- If you are using a Wifi connection, be sure to check out our 9 easy steps to improve your Wifi for Streaming.
- Some Internet Service Providers throttle video streaming traffic without telling their customers. A VPN encrypts all your traffic and circumvents throttling, blocking and geographical restrictions.
1. Don’t compete for airtime
When we connect our home electronics — TVs, fridges, coffee machines and home security systems, to name a few — to the Internet, we usually these smart devices are making our lives easier.
After all, we’re now able to remotely catch when fridge is left open, or brew a cup of coffee from bed.
While those are both positive developments, especially for slow risers, we tend to forget that the more devices we connect to our network, the more it slows down our connection.
Before you stream, go into your network connection, disable Internet sharing and disconnect devices you’re not using. Also, make sure you exit all web applications that compete for bandwidth with your media player.
2. Delete temporary cache and Internet files — they’re weighing your device down
Usually, when we close out of a window or exit out of a browser, our operating system will delete the thousands of small files that it downloads to display web pages.
If you shut your computer down without allowing those browsers to properly close, however, you store files that weigh down your browser and affect its ability to load and play video.
Before you stream, go into your browser’s settings and clear the recent history and all temporary Internet files to ensure you’re allowing it to work unrestrained.
3. ‘Channel’ your devices elsewhere
If you’re using WiFi and your media is buffering from here ’til eternity, try changing the channel that your router is tapped into.
To avoid going from one crowded channel to another, download WiFi scanners like Acrylic WiFi that will inspect channels running on both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz frequencies and show you the number of nearby networks using them.
Once you’ve identified a less clogged channel, go into your browser and type in your router’s IP address. Then, enter your username and password and head to your router’s settings where you’ll select the channel that your analyzer program recommends.
4. Try forgoing WiFi in favor of Ethernet
As omnipotent as WiFi is today, there’s a good chance it could be slowing down your media, even if you buy network extenders and faster modems.
Devices that are wirelessly connected to a router are unable to receive data as quickly as devices that are connected via Ethernet cables, which help maintain the router’s speed.
Without an Ethernet cable, a 10 Mb/s router may only deliver half that speed to your computer, forcing media players to downgrade your video quality.
This tip works best if you’re streaming on a computer; most mobile devices don’t support Ethernet without an adapter.
5. Disable hardware acceleration in your settings
Hardware acceleration is commonly associated with pixelated graphics, slow streams and crashing media players, especially on flash-based web players.
By turning off hardware acceleration, your machine will allow applications to select hardware resource requirements instead of using the computer’s universal settings.
To turn this feature off, access your machine’s control panel and head to the display section. Once there, disable the hardware acceleration, but be sure to switch it back on when you’re finished streaming — it could affect computer gaming and other video card-intensive operations if you don’t properly enable it.