You may have heard the term buffering when it comes to viewing content online, but what does buffering actually mean?
In this article, we look at what buffering is and how you can fix it.
What does buffering mean?
Buffering is a delay in content output whilst data is loaded in the background.
Excessive buffering can cause constant pausing when viewing videos online.
Often, simple measures such as resetting your internet connection and updating your software resolve most buffering issues, but there are plenty of other things that you can try.
Here are some tips on how to stop buffering:
- Reboot your streaming device or TV
- Reboot your router
- Update your streaming device or TV software
- Reduce the devices connect to your internet
- Close other apps on your streaming device or TV
- Decrease the video quality when streaming
- Use a wired connection rather than WiFi
- Upgrade your home internet
- Disable any VPNs or ad blockers
- Upgrade your internet router
- Contact the streaming device or TV support
How to stop buffering
Method 1: Reboot your streaming device or TV
Buffering issues may be resolved by restarting your streaming device or TV to resolve any potential software issues.
Additionally, by completing this step, the RAM and cache will be cleared. When they are full, streaming devices and TVs may experience content buffering.
To complete a power cycle, unplug your TV for 60 seconds before connecting it back in.
Check to see whether you can now play content on your streaming device or TV without buffering after plugging it back in and turning it on.
Method 2: Reboot your Router
Another useful tip to stop buffering is to reset your router.
How do I reset my router?
Simply unplugging your router from the wall socket for 30 seconds and then plugging it back in is the simplest way to reset it.
By performing this, you’ll “power-cycle” your router and give your streaming device or TV extra bandwidth, which can help you avoid buffering.
Think of all the devices that are or have been connected to the router. I’m sure that in today’s digital world, quite a few devices are connected to the router.
Your router is like a mini-PC and will slow down as more tasks are added.
With all of those devices connected, your streaming device or TV will have less bandwidth available, which will slow down your download speed and lead to buffering.
Method 3: Update your streaming device or TV firmware
When streaming content to your device or TV, we’ve noticed that outdated, unsupported streaming device or TV firmware can cause buffering.
To guarantee that you have the most recent software, access to new apps, and an enhanced watching experience, I advise that you update the firmware on your streaming device or TV.
Method 4: Disconnect other devices in your home from the internet
If you are experiencing buffering on your streaming device or TV, it’s a great idea to disconnect other devices from your home internet.
Every device that you can disconnect from your internet connection will help reduce buffering.
Method 5: Close any apps that are running
If you restarted your streaming device or TV, then this step would have been completed for you, otherwise, please continue to close any open apps.
How does having open apps cause buffering?
The more open apps you have, the slower your streaming device, TV and internet connection will be.
When streaming content, this performance decline may cause buffering.
Method 6: Decrease Streaming Quality
You can usually lower the video quality of the streaming content inside the app that you are using.
The likelihood of buffering increases with the quality of the video that you are playing.
Try and decrease the video quality, especially if you have the quality set to 4K.
Method 7: Use an Ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi
To reduce buffering issues, an Ethernet cable is a better option than using a Wi-Fi connection.
Data is transmitted more quickly and with less interference over wired connections. Additionally, there are fewer variables that could impair the connection’s quality.
Wi-Fi connections are slower and generally have a slower response time.
The quality of your internet connection can be negatively impacted by the distance between your playback device and walls, floors, and ceilings, which can lead to buffering problems.
I always use a wired connection when it is available, and you should too!
Method 8: Disable any Ad blockers or VPNs
VPNs and ad blockers can negatively affect the playback performance and cause buffering.
The speed at which you may play content will always be constrained by your VPN connection.
We understand that using a VPN can be a sensible choice, mainly due to privacy concerns.
Unfortunately, utilizing a VPN adds yet another dependency that, in the event of trouble or speed limitations, may result in buffering problems.
Method 9: Upgrade your Internet Connection
Not everyone has access to high download speed through their ISP (Internet Service Provider), but for those that do, consider upgrading your internet connection.
It should go without saying that a connection with 100 Mbps will have a slower download speed than one with 1 Gbps.
Method 10: Upgrade your Router
You might want to check the maximum download speed of your router if you have continuously upgraded your internet speed through your ISP but are still using an outdated router.
It’s all good having a 1gbps connection, but if your router can only download at 100mbps, you’ve got a massive bottleneck and a solid explanation for why your TV is buffering.
Method 11: Contact TV Support
If you have tried all of the steps and your streaming device or TV is still buffering, then it may be time to consider contacting the support team for that device.
We hope that you have a better understanding of what buffering is, and the steps that you can take to reduce it.