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How to Get Smooth Video Streaming Without Buffering

Sep 23, 2020Blog

We’ve all been there in some way:

You’re watching a movie with the family. An intense scene is happening and the video freezes, buffers or cuts out. How annoying!

Buffering is the frustrating result of poor video streaming. Bad video streaming experiences are the result of poor Wi-Fi or Internet connection.

If you are looking for how to get smooth video streaming and banish buffering, we can help. With a wireless home network, the most important thing you need to do is boost your Wi-Fi signal. This is because a weak Wi-Fi signal means bad video streaming.

Boosting your Wi-Fi signal
You can boost your Wi-Fi signal in a few quick ways:

  • Re-position your router
  • Elevate your router
  • Re-position your router’s antennas (if it has them)
  • Upgrade your router’s antenna(s) to omnidirectional ones
  • Use Wi-Fi extenders​ for full coverage in your home

Aside from boosting your Wi-Fi signal, there are other things to consider to enhance your video streaming.

Internet service plans
Is your Internet service plan optimized for better video streaming? Talk to your Internet service provider (ISP) to ​make sure your subscription plan is the right speed and has a data allowance for your needs. For example, Netflix requires 5 Mbps of bandwidth for an HD stream and 25 Mbps for 4K Ultra HDTV. You can use that as a baseline. While you can stream at slower speeds, to make sure you don’t deal with buffering (especially when multiple people are connected to the Internet at the same time) go for a faster connection.

Internet bandwidth
Internet bandwidth relates to your Internet service plan as well. Homes with multiple devices can eat up a lot of bandwidth. Make sure your Internet plan has enough bandwidth so that when everyone is connected at once, you don’t suffer slower connections.

Data caps
Some ISPs limit data allowances based on different Internet plans. This means download limits, which is a problem for people that stream a lot of videos. When you reach your cap, you don’t lose your Internet, but ISPs can drastically slow down your download time and connection. Make sure your cap is high or unlimited.

The gear you are using
Once you have Internet in your home, you have to look at the devices that are communicating to your ISP and delivering the signal to your devices. This is your router and modem. For the best video streaming, make sure your router is modern – either Wi-Fi (802.11ac) or Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) compatible. Your modem should have a DOCSIS 3.0 or 3.1 standard for the fastest download speeds.

Go wired
Lastly, consider a wired setup instead of Wi-Fi. When you wire up your home network or devices, you have a reliable, direct connection that combats buffering. Using ​MoCA technology​ with ​MoCA adapters​ from Actiontec as a wired solution can make all of your video streaming smooth.

Learn more about MoCA with our ​Complete Guide to MoCA​.

We know that home networking can be overwhelming. For the latest in technology and home networking tips, check out the ​Actiontec Blog​!

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