Latin woman looking disappointed at her laptopscreen, sitting behind her desk at the office.

3 Easy Tips to Fix Buffering on Your Favorite Streaming Services


Latin woman looking disappointed at her laptopscreen, sitting behind her desk at the office.Buffering is something that happens to everyone at some point and everyone likes to blame the service. Yet the issue may not be the streaming service, it may be your home network.

Here are three tips to fix buffering on your Roku, Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, Apple TV, and more.

Tip #1: Run a Speed Test

It is not unusual to not get the speed you pay for. You can easily be paying for 100 down but only getting a fraction of that speed. Sometimes your ISP can have damage on their lines running to your house, so run a speed test to make sure you are getting the speed you are paying for.

A few years ago I had all kinds of issues streaming, and I ran a test and found out it was my network. I called my ISP, and they came out and fixed something on the pole outside my house and my internet speed was faster than it had ever been.

Want to test your speed? Check out Fast.com for a quick and easy test. If you find your internet speed is often well bellow what you are paying for contacting your internet service provider.

Tip #2: Buy a Range Extender

Weak Wi-Fi is a common issue that causes buffering. A weak Wi-Fi signal can cause slow speeds and buffering. If you have weak Wi-Fi by your streaming devices getting a range extender or buying a whole home wifi network like the Google WiFi system is an easy fix this issue as it helps fill weak spots in your house to give you the best speed possible. I have one to help reach my backyard for when I want to sit out and enjoy a beautiful day.

One tip for buying a range extender is to make sure you get one that is made by the same company as your router. If you have a Netgear router, buy a Netgear extender. I find that often reduces the number of issues you could face.

#3 Update or Replace Your Router

If your WiFi keeps dropping or you are still having Wi-Fi issues in one part of your house, consider looking into getting a new router that has a Wi-Fi AC standard. You will see a huge improvement going to AC from the old N standard. It is not unusual for routers to go bad. Just like phones and computers at some point routers do break down.

Also if you have an older or cheaper WiFi router it may not be designed to handle all the devices on your network. Not all routers are made to handle the same load. Some max out at about 10-15 devices. That may seem like a lot but in today’s world of doorbells and echo devices you can quickly add up to over 15 devices on your home network.

I currently have a Nighthawk Router but if you want something cheaper Amazon has many for under $100.

(One last tip before you go and buy a new router log into your current router and see if there is an update. It may not fix your issues but could help.)

We hope that helped you fix your issue. If this still has not fixed your issue and you do not have slow speeds, you do have a strong Wi-Fi signal, and you tested your router then contact the service you are using for more help.

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  • brian schwartz

    Also simply check if your current router supports custom firmware. OpenWRT and DD-WRT support hundreds of routers and will enable a lot more fuctionality than the stock firmware. They also can help with bufferbloat. Todays internet speeds are quite high and the memory on a router is not usually more than a few MB. Better router can make a HUGE difference but so can custom firmware.

  • TexMarque

    At times it is the service. On Monday evening, Hallmark Movies Now took forever to come up and then constantly buffered. We got off of Hallmark, went to Netflix and it ran like a champ, as usual. Last night Hallmark worked just fine.

  • Loren Kruse

    Tip #4 Connect your streaming devices by CAT5 instead of using wireless.

    • TV Barrington

      Also if a person isn’t able to run a Cat5 to the location, then they could consider a Moca pair (signal transmission using existing home coax cable and POE) or HomePlug pair (signal transmission using existing home electrical wiring)

    • mikkeee

      Exactly! I had a friend ask me about mesh systems and I told him that it would cost less if he purchased a roll of CAT6 and hired a guy for a day to wire his entire house (single story with plenty of attic access).

  • Jon Schumacher

    Or just buy a mesh network and say goodbye to many issues. We tried range extenders, power line adapters and the newest super router. Then just bought a mesh network setup and have not had a issue since. The system was not much more than a high end router and we can add more range as needed.

  • Fred Koot

    Reboot your router if you see excessive buffering. The only OTT service I experienced buffering was on Direc tv now, during their first months.

  • mr Dave

    Before you buy anything try some simple test of your router in different spots closer to the device. Sometimes simply changing its elevation or location within a room can have a very positive effect on signal strength.

  • HeyRadar

    Do a channel check. You may find that you’re fighting with your neighbors for channels 1, 6, and 11. I had to switch to channel 9 because there was just too many users on the primary channels.

    And check all corners of the house. My downstairs didn’t have any conflicts. It was my upstairs where I had the conflicts.

  • Moose and Squirrel

    Also check to see what cable modem you have. Lots of people are using some old 4 or 8 channel cable modem, either their own or a rental. More channels = less congestion = better quality of service.

    Folks with DSL may want to check their in-home wiring. A lot of homes have cat3 wiring from the side of the house to the POE where the DSL modem is. It can be very susceptible to interference and can’t support top speeds.

  • Fitz Greg

    I had an issue with PS VUE BUFFERING LIKE crazy on my PS4, every other app on there was running fine no buffering issues. Rebooted modem/router, worked ok for like an hour, then same buffering issues again. Finally deleted the PS Vue app from the PS4 and re-installed it. That seemed to work as it hasn’t been buffering at all ever since. 😉