Streaming video websites like YouTube and Hulu, as well as flash-based websites like Facebook, require a certain amount of bandwidth in order for users to experience them consistently. If you encounter issues such as frequent buffering and slow load times on streaming video sites, you may try some basic troubleshooting on your home connection and speed it up to a transfer rate that is sufficient for uninterrupted enjoyment of streaming videos.
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Reset your home network. This is done by unplugging the power cords of both your modem and any router or other home networking device you may use. Leave everything unplugged for at least 30 seconds and plug everything back in. Once all the devices have completed their boot cycles, try loading the streaming videos once again and check for improvement.
Unplug the Ethernet cable that attaches your modem to your router and plug it directly into one of the Ethernet ports on your computer. Reset the modem as described in Step 1. This is known as "bypassing" the router. If your router is having some type of technical issue that is causing a slowdown on your home network, you should see an improvement after it has been bypassed. If this is the case, contact the manufacturer of the router and ask for assistance correcting the slowdown.
Boot the computer into safe mode to check for a software conflict that could be slowing down your connection. In Windows XP, this is done by restarting the computer and pressing the "F8" key repeatedly while the computer is booting up. When prompted, choose "Safe mode with Networking" from the "Advanced Boot Options" menu and test your connection speed once again after the computer has finished rebooting. If the speeds improve in safe mode, you will need to troubleshoot your antivirus, firewall or spyware software. To return the computer to normal mode, simply restart it.
Visit a free speed test website and run several speed tests to determine your connection speed. Note the average upload and download rates for all of your speed tests. You will need this information later.
Contact your Internet service provider (ISP) about a possible speed upgrade. If the troubleshooting steps above do not speed up your connection enough to consistently view streaming videos, it is possible that the connection speed for which you are paying simply is not fast enough to allow for quick streaming of videos. As a general rule, anything 6.0 Mb/sec or faster should suffice for consistent viewing of streaming videos, but this varies according to numerous factors, so ask your ISP to be sure.
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