8K streaming and in other homes 4K streaming is the in thing when it comes to watching movies, games, and other videos. It is an excellent way to enjoy your free time. However, it is quite a challenge when you have fast internet but slow streaming.
Buffering in the midst of a video is one of the traumatizing things ever. You feel like pulling off your hair when waiting for a goal, a touchdown, or an action area in a movie, and your best smart TV for streaming starts going round and round without playing the scene.
Due to this trauma, some people have even broken their TVs or routers in the heat of the moment. However, there are several reasons why you can get slow streaming even though you have subscribed to fast internet from your ISP.
Most of the people have invested in excellent hardware such as the best router for streaming, the best ISP service, and even a good 4K or 8K TV. Therefore, what can be the cause of slow streaming when all the devices and services that provide the internet are of the highest quality?
Fast Internet but Slow Streaming
The following are the main reasons for slow streaming even with fast internet:
- Network congestion with many devices, applications, or browsers
- Having outdated firmware for your router and other software on other devices also using outdated hardware/Graphics Card Drivers
- Using very high-quality video settings for your internet
- Hardware acceleration in older devices
- Using a slow Wi-Fi connection for streaming instead of a wired connection
These are several reasons why you may have a poor streaming experience even with a high-performance internet subscription. Some of these reasons are because of the hardware challenges while others are because of software challenges.
1. Network congestion with many devices, applications, or browsers
Network congestion can be described as a reduction in the quality of service (QOS) that results in packet loss, queuing delay, or the blocking of new connections.
When a link or network node is handling data in excess of its capacity, traffic overload is the result.
When network congestion is caused by excessive traffic on a link or network node, it is referred to as traffic overloading. Congestion avoidance and congestion control methods are used to prevent network collapse and reduce congestion.
They include TCP/IP window reduction, fair queueing in network equipment such as routers, switches, and other devices, priority schemes that send higher priority packets before other traffic, and explicit network resource allocation through admission controls for certain flows.
Network congestion can be because of the following reasons:
- Overused load balancers, switches, routers, and firewalls
- Over-Subscription on a certain network causing congestion in the evenings
- Getting traffic that is not needed such as streaming video on a work network, VoIP phone calls, or unsolicited traffic like advertisements
- Faulty Devices and hardware including ethernet cables and wire connections for the devices/ hardware
- Security attacks on your network including worms, viruses, and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.
2. Having outdated firmware for your router and other software on other devices also using outdated hardware
A corrupt firmware file may be flashed to a device, making it inoperable, or an incompatible device may accept a flash, resulting in an inoperable device.
Routers are networking devices installed in people’s homes for Wi-Fi connectivity that may cause issues with Wi-Fi connectivity and internet speeds.
An outdated router or interference may cause problems with your internet connection and slow down your internet speed. Updating the firmware on a router may correct or improve a broken internet connection.
3. Using very high-quality video settings for your internet
Using 8K or 4K, especially on multiple devices can cause challenges with your streaming. This is because those video settings consume a lot of bandwidth.
It is important to note that the resolution you watch a video at affects the bandwidth used in the streaming. It may be a challenge especially if you get internet caps.
Thus, if you are using shared internet or have multiple streaming devices, check the bandwidth vs the bandwidth requirements for all your streaming devices.
With that, you can easily change the settings or reduce the number of devices streaming simultaneously.
How to fix the streaming problems
1. Restart everything
If you are having challenges and you think that the above reasons may not be the cause, then it is good to restart everything. Restarting every device is always the solution given as the first solution to any technology-related problem.
You can restart the gaming modem, the router, and the streaming device. This will give the devices time to cool off and reset. The process of restarting may solve your streaming problem easily.
2. Network congestion on your Wi-Fi
One of the main reasons why you may have a poor streaming experience even when you have subscribed to fast internet is network congestion. This may be due to the simultaneous connection of several devices that consume a lot of the internet.
The devices may be from your household or from network vultures around you. For example, if your children are gaming on their latest Xbox one S, your spouse is having a teleconference and you want to stream using your Roku 4K streaming device, you may get buffering on your connection.
The network thieves may also be the real cause of slow streaming in your home. This is especially the main cause when they are logging into the main Wi-Fi connection instead of Guest Wi-Fi.
How to reduce congestion on your internet connection
To mitigate against these main problems, you can do the following:
- If the main problem is the multiple simultaneous connections, You can get the best router for multiple devices. These routers have a faster processor, excellent QoS for prioritizing connections, faster speeds, and other technological advancements.
- Get a Wi-Fi 6 router: Wi-Fi 6 is the latest Wi-Fi standard that makes it easier to connect multiple devices simultaneously. The standards also have better features in speeds, safety, and others.
- Ensure that visitors connect to your Wi-Fi using the Guest Wi-Fi option. If you give your visitors the main Wi-Fi username and password, you may get persons using your network all the time. This may result to slow streaming even though you have subscribed to fast Wi-Fi. Guest Wi-Fi can be easily reset to ensure parasites do not continue using your network thus boosting the Wi-Fi signal at home.
- Connect your streaming device to the internet via an Ethernet cable: In most times, using wired connections ensures that you get the best internet speeds. This is because there are limited ports and devices thus no major usage of the wired connections.
- You can also ensure that the devices that do not require Wi-Fi all the time are disconnected. This is because we may be having devices and applications that are using the internet while not in use by anyone. Tablets, smartphones, smart printers among other devices may be consuming the internet when not in use.
3. Having an outdated firmware or hardware
Sometimes, one of the main causes of fast internet subscription but slow streaming is having outdated software, hardware, or even graphic card drivers. This may be on the router, streaming device, or laptop/ computer which you are using to stream.
This may occur either when you ignore the updating requests for software that are given by the different devices. Also, it can be due to a complicated or hidden software updating process.
As for the hardware, outdated hardware means replacing the hardware. This may be a bit costly.
You can check if there are updates for your streaming device, computer, and firmware by going to the settings section of the different devices. This is because the router also has a graphical user interface or application where you can update the firmware.
It also means geting an updated graphic card drivers for your device. Or just getting an up to date hardware such as a new streaming device when necessary.
Turning off of hardware acceleration in older devices
If the hardware you are using is outdated, streaming may be affected. To ensure that you get a better experience, you can turn off the hardware acceleration feature for your device.
For you to do this, you will need to access the Adobe Flash Player settings. Once you have accessed the settings, you will be required to untick the “Enable hardware acceleration”. Once this is done, you are sure to enjoy a better streaming experience.
4. Lowering the video quality
Sometimes, your internet connection can not handle the video quality sometimes. This is because 8K or 4K streaming consumes a lot of bandwidth. Having a good internet subscription does not mean that you will always get the best upload and download speed.
Therefore, if it is not often the case, you can lower the video quality to get a better streaming experience. To get a better streaming experience, you can lower the video to 720p or 480p for the time being to enjoy your video.
5. Check out the internet connection speed for your streaming device, modem and router
Sometimes, the internet speed may be lost in any of the devices that we are using at home. The internet connection devices at home include a modem, router, and Ethernet cables. You can conduct an internet speed test on any of the three devices. For the modem and router, you can Google “internet speed test” and then test the connection speed.
This may emanate from the modem which is the first device connected to the ISP infrastructure. You may have a modem router combo or gateway which means you will not have a separate router. You can check the connection speed for a modem by unplugging the Ethernet cable that runs from the modem to the router and plugging it into a computer or your streaming device if it has an Ethernet port. If the speeds are Ok then the modem is not the problem. If not, restart the modem or contact your ISP.
The other challenge may be a connection problem on the router. You can also conduct a speed test near the router and also near the streaming device. This is done when you are connected to the same network. This way you can verify if the internet speeds are good for streaming. You can check if the streaming device is far from the router. If the distance is the problem, then invest in a good Wi-Fi extender or a long-range router, or an excellent router for streaming.
If the speeds from the router are more than 10Mbps which are good speeds for streaming, then you can check the streaming device. You can run speed tests on your Roku, Amazon Fire TV streaming device, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV among others. You can check the speeds on the Roku device settings, Amazon’s Firefox for Fire TV, Speedtest by Ookla for Apple TV, and Speedcast for Chromecast among others.
You can also try a different streaming service if your streaming is slow even when you have fast internet. Getting a great streaming experience is every person’s dream.
You can use the steps above to get a better streaming experience.