You just discovered Netflix, but you're also discovering some changes in your Internet usage. Either you hit your broadband cap too soon or you return from the mailbox with a mile long Internet bill. Netflix is a great way to stream video to just about any Internet device on your network, but the fact that it's broadband-intensive is cramping your style. You can devour all of the classic Hollywood films and British sketch comedy you like, but you won't be fully enjoying it until you improve your Netflix streaming.
- Skill level:
Determine you Internet speed by calling your Internet-service provider (ISP) or a free speed testing website. Upgrade your service, via your ISP, if your broadband is regularly running at less than 5 Mbps.
Switch to a wired-in connection by using a cable to connect your Netflix viewing device to the Internet.
Try using a different device or Internet browser. Change from using a laptop to a Nintendo Wii console because some devices are able to stream Netflix better than others. If you only have a computer or laptop available, try switching to a different browser.
Tips and warnings
- Scaled down video quality is a sign that the broadband speed is not high enough to accommodate Netflix.
- Wireless connections eat up more bandwidth and cause delays in video streaming.
- If it's not Netflix that is taking up your bandwidth and these steps don't work, try shutting down any other applications that stream, download or torrent music and videos.
- There is no way to cheat Netflix into using less bandwidth. It detects the actual speed available to you for streaming and adjusts itself accordingly.
- Old wired routers can be a culprit in slower streaming and download speeds as Netflix is very bandwidth sensitive.
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