With a heavy heart, I say “It’s just like in the movies” the Coronavirus lockdown seems like something we would have experienced only on screen. While having said that each individual must play their part against this fearsome disease.
Now that we’re all locked down, the empty streets portray sadness into my heart, no gatherings, no meetups, we’re all locked down in our rooms. The only way to pass this painfully lock down period with some joy is to stream, and indeed, internet speed globally has decreased due to such a massive hike in traffic.
Here I’m going to guide you on how to have a better internet experience, just follow the tips and tricks mentioned and enjoy streaming be it on your laptop, Tablet or Phone.
Tip No.1- Use Save Data Mode on Netflix
Netflix is synonymous with video streaming, so if you’re one of those who like to Netflix and Chill on your phone, here’s a great tip for you!
If you have an Android, the great news is that Netflix has started using AV1 on Android which helps compress files better resulting in saving data as well.
Compared to the conventional VP9 it results in a 20% saving of data, which ultimately means cheaper and faster Netflix for you!
Upon opening the Netflix app, go to Settings >App Settings > Cellular Data Usage > Save Data
Tip No.2 – Set your Router to 5 GHz Channel Instead of 2.4 GHz
Most routers are set to 2.4GHz by default, however, switching to 5 GHz will make data transfer faster but you will have to be nearer to the router as it has a shorter range.
If your router is close by, then this is the best option to choose, you will be SURPRISED by how much of a difference it makes to the speed you receive while streaming. If you’re using Windows go to Network settings and change the frequency of your router.
Go to Wireless Properties to change the frequency of your router, however, it must be kept in mind that this technique is good for those who are near the router. For long ranges, it will not work as well and 2.4GHz is recommended.
Tip No.3- Install a VPN service
VPN is for security, right? And you heard it slows down your Internet speed, so why would I recommend you to get a VPN?
Well, the best VPN services don’t really slow down your internet speed, instead, they can help you browse faster.
ISPs throttle your speed when they detect high bandwidth usage, with a VPN they have no idea of your online activities. This is how a VPN will help you stream faster and seamlessly, ExpressVPN is our top recommendation for blazing-fast speeds.
A VPN will also help you browse faster during peak hours, you might have noticed that your internet speed becomes lousy in the evening. Ever wondered why? ISPs slow down speed on peak hours but with a VPN you can easily get rid of this problem too! And of course access multiple libraries of Netflix, especially the American Netflix.
Tip No.4- Invest in a Wi-Fi Booster
Well, purchasing a new router that covers a greater range is a costly and less effective option. Instead, invest in a Wi-Fi Booster. The thing is Wi-Fi signals have a very long range but it is due to the walls and other objects that surround us causing signals to get weak.
Even if you buy a bigger router, chances are you won’t notice much of a difference due to the reasons mentioned above. Getting a Wi-Fi booster is a better option in this case, simply place the booster where the signals are weak or where you stream the most. You will see an immense improvement in speed and performance.
A long-range router will cost you around $100 vs $30 for a Wi-Fi booster and the best part is you can change its place whenever and wherever you like.
Tip No.5- Clear Cache
I just can’t emphasize enough how important this process is! Whichever device you’re using clearing your cache periodically will enhance the performance of your device and provide you a smoother streaming experience.
For example let’s assume you use Chrome to stream videos, overtime useless junk files pile up in the application. This hinders the performance of the application and hence results in buffering, whether you’re watching Netflix or YouTube or any other streaming platform.
If you’re using Chrome on PC, follow the below steps to clear cache:
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- At the top right, click more.
- Click more tools. Clear browsing data.
- At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select all time.
- Next to “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes.
- Click Clear data.
To clear the cache on your Android Phone, follow the below steps:
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app .
- At the top right, tap More .
- Tap History. Clear browsing data.
- At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.
- Next to “Cookies and site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes.
- Tap Clear data.
Tip No.6- Limit the Number of Connected Devices
In this day and age, we don’t even realize how much of the devices around us are connected to the internet. Our refrigerators, Air conditioners, smart door locking systems all are connected to the internet.
On top of that everyone in the house has at the very least, one device that is connected to the Wi-Fi. Think of your router as a water tank and the number of connected devices as open pipes. The more the pipes the lesser the pressure.
Exactly this is the case with your internet speed and router. Try limiting the number of devices connected to the Wi-Fi, or get a different connection for other purposes and you will never have to face buffering issues again.
As mentioned in the beginning, it’s not always internet speed that affects your streaming experience. There are so many other factors involved that I just addressed, once you apply these tricks Buffering will become a thing of the past.
HERE’S A BONUS TIP: Try using Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi when you can, you will notice a difference of at least 35% on the internet speed.