|Online streaming has become increasingly popular over the past few years; more and more people are streaming video, radio and audio as part of their everyday lives. Several internet radio sites such as Last FM and Spotify have made it easy and enjoyable to listen to songs and radio on your computer, whereas websites YouTube and other TV networks offer great quality video content for those who want to catch up on their favourite shows and movies. |
However, many people find they have issues playing this content without realising there are some simple steps you can take to improve the experience and make streaming run more smoothly.
The first thing to do if you are having issues with streaming video, audio or other online media is to check your internet connection via a broadband speed test website; the most common problem with slow streaming is that your broadband connection is not suitable for your needs. Therefore make sure you are receiving the fastest possible connection available in your area and within your price bracket.
If you are unhappy with your internet connection, then upgrade to a faster option. If you have dial-up, get DSL or a cable modem connection. If you have a cable modem, try streaming during the day when fewer people are online or see if your ISP offers a higher-speed connection.
Another simple habit to get into is to wait until the entire video or song has loaded! Most online players will offer two progress bars which overlap. One shows the amount of media which has played, while the other shows the amount of media which has being downloaded. Wait until the media has fully downloaded to receive uninterrupted streaming with no buffering.
If you are streaming video, then consider looking for a lower resolution option. Many sites offer several sizes of video, or the choice between regular and high definition (HD); if you are having streaming issues then choose the lower resolution option which doesn’t take as much bandwidth to download.
Consider buying a new router, especially if you have one which is several years old. You can connect your computer to the router using an Ethernet cable as opposed to a wireless connection to help increase your connection speed. If you share a connection with others in your household or office, then try to stream media when the other computers are not online.
Lastly, you can increase your system's available memory. This is easily done by upgrading your computer’s hardware RAM, or even by closing programs which are not needed when you are attempting to stream video, audio or any other media.
Additionally, close any extra open browser tabs as well as each other these use up extra bits of memory.
If you are still having issues, consider rebooting your computer right before you begin to stream media to make sure the RAM cache is cleared out. This however is not a long term option, so it is recommended you consider using one of the other above options for a long term improvement to your streaming.