Buffering, Everything you need to know (part one)

BUFFERING – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.

Buffering is without doubt one of the most frustrating and misunderstood free streaming issues. Be it whilst using Kodi, Free Streaming apps or websites we have all had to deal with it at some point.  I need to be clear and inform you that despite what countless YouTube Videos, FaceBook Groups, Less informed Bloggers or one of the many maintainance addons available that all claim to have the secret to Buffer-Free free streaming. I can tell you with complete certainty right now that NONE of them actually have any   or in most cases even the slightest idea what they are talking about.

THERE IS NO MAGIC CURE FOR BUFFERING

There is NO magic cure for buffering so please forget any idea you had of cutting the cord and watching constant buffer free 4k streams. That really is NEVER going to be the case. If only it could be as easy as Appeasing the Wee-fee Gods like in the TV Ad, Sadly it’s not. That being said there are some things you can do to better your chances of minimising any instances of buffering you may have.

MYTHS ABOUT BUFFERING FIXES

  1. Clearing app cache

  2. Running a VPN

  3. Using ad-free versions of apps

  4. Factory restoring device (A bit like burning down your house because it needed cleaned)

UNDERSTANDING THE LODGISTICS OF STREAMING.

1.- STREAMING-

When you stream it comes from a source which then goes to a server and then the server connects to the network, so if there are limitations then you’ll not get the best stream.

2.- STREAMING TIME’S

As we all know the busiest time for streaming is going to be Saturday afternoon.(Football), but also times of the day of the week also have an impact on the source you are trying to stream from.

3.- WHERE DO YOU LIVE

Yes servers have physical locations and there are some places on this earth (believe it or not) that cannot connect to the source as good as others so these could be impaired.

4.- INTERNET CONNECTION-

Self explanatory, no need to go into any great detail here, the Higher the Better. Run regular speed tests to monitor it.

5.- HARDWARE-

If streaming thru your Router, then that could very well be the cause as that might not have the strongest WiFi power. The device you’re trying to stream from might be in the same predicament as the Router

BE PRO-ACTIVE – ESTABLISH A MAINTAINCE ROUTINE

Like everything in life you will find that ensuring you show your free streaming set up some regular TLC will help keep everything running that little bit smoother for you. It really doesn’t take a lot effort to keep on-top of the basic’s.

  1. Making sure to keep your routers firmware is up to date

  2. Apps/Addons are up to date

  3. Use a wired connection rather than Wifi if possible

  4. Reboot your Router and device by unplugging for a few moments.

  5. Check that all leads wires and plugs are securely connected and have not come loose.

  6. Ensure the time and date on your device is correct.

  7. Ensure that your device is connected to the Internet

  8. Log into your router and check that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) have not remotely activated your internet blocks (This is done fairly regularly)

D.I.Y ANTI-BUFFERING TIPS

With the Cordcutting community growing at such a vast rate. There are now 10 times as many people using the same providers and host sites as before.  That’s bound to have an effect on things. If a host site has limited bandwidth and even twice the usual people are trying to access movies/shows on it then the rate a file comes to you will be less, which can cause buffering.

TIPS & TRICKS

  1. Try different sources. (Google Video etc)

  2. Don’t opt for the highest quality Stream (Use 720p instead of 1080p)

  3. Or try a smaller sized file.

  4. Use Pairing sites where available (Better quality streams)

  5. Sign up to Real Debrid (More HD Sources)

MEDIA PLAYERS

A lot of people find simply changing players can solve buffering problems.

Examples of Player apps

  1. Yes Player (TTVs own player)

  2. Exoplayer,

  3. VLC Player

  4. MX Pro Player

  5. Plex

  6. SPMC

If none of these options solve buffering, you can also choose “play with” and pick whatever player you prefer. Many people find that using either Plex a blank SPMC reduces buffering considerably.

There is no one size fits all for media players. Each of us will have different devices, Internet restrictions and have set our home media center up differently so how could there be one magic player to suit every variable?

YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION

How many times have you heard understandably frustrated people say “but I have good internet speeds, Why is it still buffering”. What you pay for and what you get can sometimes be two different things. The best thing to do is run a Speedtest

RECOMMENDED SPEEDS

It is recommended at least 5 Mbps for basic HD (up to 720 Mbps), 10 Mbps for 1080p full HD, and 25 Mbps for anything higher than that. The connection needs to remain steady, with little fluctuation. Wireless V Hardwired Being on a wireless network can also sometimes cause lesser speeds. Try checking the speed with a device that is connected via Ethernet cable too see if wireless gives different results. If it does, you may need to hook up rather than use wireless.

ISP BLOCKS – WHAT ARE THEY?

ISP = Internet Service Provider

Your Internet Service Provider is the company which provides you with your internet connection. There are many different Internet Service providers available depending on your location. EXAMPLES = BT, Virgin, Sky, Vodaphone, Plusnet – To name but a few. BLOCKS = Blocks or Restrictions are placed on certain Websites or URLs by your Internet Service Provider.

For A List Of Websites Being Blocked In The UK See here

WHAT DO ISP BLOCKS DO?

Just because you’re connected to the Internet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have access to everything available. Some Internet Service Providers block access to certain websites. For example, an ISP might choose to prevent its subscribers from downloading potentially illegal sites such as those that offer file sharing programs.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ISP BLOCKS?

ISP Blocks are not something you need to worry about too much unless you are living in the UK. ISP Blocks are automatically and remotely set up by your Internet Service Provider. ISP Blocks can be removed by yourself to give you access to any of the content you may require.  ISP Blocks can and do be reactivated by your ISP remotely and any time without your knowledge. In order to check if there are any Blocks in place for your account you will need to log into your Router and check to Parental and security setting are not switched on.

OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER

Number of devices connected The more devices using the same network as you the less speed you will have. If they are also streaming or downloading this will decrease the speed and share of the network you have. If you are going to stream, try and do it at a time when other devices are either off or not using much bandwidth. Improving your Wi-Fi performance If speed tests results appear to be a lot less than what you are paying for and there is no significant difference between wired and wireless devices. It may be that the signal strength of your Wi-Fi router isn’t the best. There are a few things you can try to help with this: Make sure your router is not positioned near walls, metal objects or other objects that can interfere with Wi-Fi (like microwaves or cordless phones, wireless door chimes and even baby monitors!) For streaming, try and be in the same room as the router If your router allows it, and most do, change to a different channel, as other Wi-Fi signals from homes near yours may all be using the same channel as you.

PROVIDER THROTTLING

Another cause buffering is if your ISP throttles speeds to streaming sites. This is one way of them trying to prevent users from being able to stream from these sites, by slowing your speed down so much that you give up. One way to check if this is happening is to download a VPN app, turn it on, and try streaming If there is less buffering, chances are that your ISP is throttling speeds on streaming, and the only options to get around it would be to invest in a good VPN or change providers.

An easy and quick trick to test if you home network is what is causing your issues:-

Use your Mobile broadband Network to check the same source/download you are currently having the issues with by using your Mobile phones connection instead of your home Wifi connection.

WIDESPREAD ISSUES

Check that there is not a more widespread issue with your ISP in your area. It is also worth checking the your provider isn’t experiencing any issues of their own. There is a few helpful sites below to help you with this:

DOWNLOAD DETECTORS FOR UK IRELAND AND USA

Check for problems on isp`s and Websites

USERS IN UK

http://downdetector.co.uk/

FOR IRISH USERS

http://irishoutages.com

FOR US USERS

http://downdetector.com

IS IT DOWN RIGHT NOW.

http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/

IN CONCLUSTION

If your instances of buffering are only on the odd stream then this is most likely just due to you selecting a bad stream. The easiest and quickest way to remedy this is to exit the stream wait a few minutes the Click the program/Movie of your choice again to start fresh with a nice new stream.

#Buffering #FixBuffering #Fix