Almost everybody loves to stream their favorite shows, movies, animes, documentaries, gaming streams, and whatnot. However, a legend once said, Nobody likes interruptions.
Yes, I am talking about an advertisement from the Prime video. It was about the ads, but in this blog, I’ll talk about buffering issues that anyone can experience using Android devices.
Android devices are one of the most popular devices for streaming videos. These devices allow all APK files, third-party apps, videos, and more. They are more customizable than their competitors too.
Let’s start with some tips regarding buffering in Android.
What Causes Buffering?
There can be several reasons a video can buffer, like slow internet or device, large-sized video, router issues, and more. These are common issues you can experience on other devices like Firestick, Apple, Smart TV, and more.
Buffering in Firestick is a headache because I love streaming on a large screen. Also, there is no point in watching a video in 480 or sometimes 720p if you have a large TV.
I prefer watching videos in 4K, but mostly, it does not go as planned. However, I watched some tutorials and videos and learned to stop Firestick from freezing. I used methods like restart, reset, VPN, etc., and they worked for me.
Using a premium VPN was a game changer because it solved issues like ISP throttling and geo-locked content. However, the results were not the same with free VPNs.
Tips to Stop Buffering From Android Devices
1) Start by Closing Other Programs, Games, and Apps
This method works for both android devices and PCs. Your device might not be capable of streaming video smoothly if several tasks or apps run simultaneously.
We often think that minimizing or closing the apps always does the job for us, but that is a lie. Apps and programs can consume a lot of internet data even if running in the background.
They can start updates, downloads, playing ads, etc., without you even noticing. One of the primary reasons for this is not closing tabs, apps, and games after using them.
So, closing the software, app, or game you are not using should be the first action to stop buffering. It can be tricky for PC users because you have to manually go to the task manager and check for the background apps. Moreover, most of them start again after you restart your computer.
Always turn off the apps from running at the startup, which saves RAM, battery, and internet. You can also use third-party resources like Avast Cleanup to ensure your PC or laptop is running optimally.
You can also try a cleaner on Android devices, but I prefer uninstalling and closing tabs manually on Android devices. I do not prefer installing cleaner apps on my Android phone.
2) Reduce video quality
This tip is not for pros because you all would surely know about this. It is for new users that do not know enough about the settings you can change on OTT apps, YouTube, social apps, etc.
Larger files take a lot of time to play and download. You can download a file in parts but can not stream it that way. So, you need to stream video at a lower resolution to load faster.
Almost all video platforms give options to reduce resolution, like Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, and more. Also, it makes more sense to reduce video quality if you are only streaming on a small device like a phone or tab.
For instance, most phones support video quality up to 720p or 1080p. So, there is no point in watching videos on 1440p, 4K, etc. You won’t notice a difference between 720p and 1080p in a video. It will also help you save internet data if you use a limited data plan.
3) Pause the stream for a few moments
Again, it is not for pros. Pausing a video is easy but stopping yourself from the temptation of clicking the play button immediately after it is hard. Take a break, do something else for some time and then come back to play the video to reduce the buffering. It will be worth the wait. You might also want to know that some apps won’t allow you to stream a video for more than 2-3 minutes. So, do not waste your time by staying away for 10-20 minutes only to watch uninterrupted content for 3-4 minutes.
3) Fix Your Internet Connection
ISPs provide a variety of internet speeds depending upon the price you pay. You might want to buy a higher internet connection if several devices keep using the internet.
You might want to check your internet speed and usage before buying a pack. You might also want to know about internet throttling. Sometimes, you can get a lower internet speed than other people using the same internet pack on the same number of devices.
It is called internet throttling. Most of the time, your ISP is responsible for this. However, sometimes, the government can also do it. Using a VPN can be the best step to avoid it.
4) Power Cycle Your Router and Modem
All it takes to power cycle the modem and router are unplugging these devices, counting to 10-15, and then reconnecting them. It might sound like a boring or old-fashioned idea, but it works most of the time.
You might want to perform these common steps related to the router and modem before other ones.
1) Set the wireless router’s frequency to the 5GHz band to encounter less interference/traffic,
2) Keep an eye on the monthly traffic/data allowance,
3) Make sure not to stream at the time of ISP’s premium/favorite users. Several ISPs give almost 60-70% of the internet to a specific group(s) of people, and if you are not one of them, you might want to change streaming hours,
4) Consider changing your DNS server. DNS server from your Internet Service Provider might be slow, so you can configure the router to use Cloud Flare or Google DNS servers,
5) Scanning your routers or devices for potential viruses or malware scan is also an important step. However, turn off all notifications, browser scanning, auto scanning, and all similar features to increase internet speed,
6) Speeding up your PC’s or router’s hardware can also do the trick,
5) Find and Remove All Connected Devices to Your Network
There was a time when it was impossible to manage connected devices on your mobile’s hotspot. However, it is possible nowadays. Free up bandwidth however you can to stream without buffering. Make sure to turn off the devices/Wifi option to save bandwidth and avoid automatic updates and downloads.
6) Upgrade Drivers
Demanding more than possible from your video, audio, gaming, or screen drivers makes them slow. You might want to make sure you are not giving them a lot of tasks and keeping them up to the date.
You can also change your gaming drivers if they are not performing well. These drivers get updates now and then, so you might want to keep an eye on them.
7) Try a Wired Connection
A wired connection is not as convenient as a wireless connection, but it is faster. There is no better substitute for a wired connection till now. Make sure to use a LAN wire to get the maximum internet speed. You might find an ethernet cable burdensome, but it will do the job.
A premium VPN might decrease the internet speed a little bit, but it will stop issues like ISP throttling, access to restricted or geo-locked content, and more.
Do not use a free VPN if you want to stream without buffering. They might unblock websites and content, but do not stop buffering.
You can also follow steps like resetting the devices, changing ISP, router, or more. For better inner peace, set your streaming expectations as the internet pack you have.