How to fix buffering problems on a stream

Updated April 17, 2017

When trying to play streaming video or audio, you might experience issues, such as choppy playback or slow buffering, which may prevent you from enjoying the content. When buffering content, your Internet browser or your media player attempts to preload the video or audio file to let you continue to play it even if you experience network issues during playback. If your media player or browser can't buffer streaming files properly, the video or audio will stop abruptly while you are viewing it. You can attempt to solve that issue by following a few recommendations.

Wait a couple of minutes before trying to load the streaming movie or audio clip again. The site you're trying to stream it from may be experiencing technical difficulties that prevent it from loading the file to your computer.

Turn off all bandwidth-consuming applications before attempting to play streaming media. Your Internet connection may not be fast enough to support several applications downloading at the same time. Examples of such applications include peer-to-peer programs, download managers or online video games.

Choose a lower playback quality. Some video sites, such as YouTube or Hulu, allow you to choose between several different types of playback quality, up to High Definition, or HD, resolution. If you have problems watching an HD feed, switch to standard playback quality.

Upgrade your Internet connection. Dial-up and low-end broadband connections don't offer enough bandwidth to support streaming media. Contact your Internet service provider to check if faster connections are available in your area.

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About the Author

Paul Higgins has been working as a writer since 2005, covering topics such as travel, technology, health and finance. He has also served as a Web developer and information technology trainer for more than 10 years. Higgins graduated from the University of Denver in 2006.