By Bessie Hassan
Aussies love a Netflix binge.
More than 11 million households across the country now have a Netflix subscription, and this is only set to increase as more viewers turn to online platforms for entertainment.
Yet all too often, lagging Internet speeds can cause buffering problems to kick in. And this can be infuriating – especially when it occurs during the climax of Stranger Things!
Here’s a handful of ways to help prevent streaming dropouts when watching Netflix.
Check your speed
If you’re unsure what broadband speed you’re receiving, you can check it online for free. Most providers will let you know the typical speed you should expect from their service, so you can compare this number against your own speed test to see how it stacks up.
You should try to run the test in the evening. If you’re not getting the speed you were promised, then call your provider. You might need to go up a speed tier to keep up with how much Internet you’re using.
Remember that the time of day you choose to access Netflix can affect your streaming speed too. If you're settling in at prime time (usually after dinner), be prepared for more buffering issues than during off-peak times.
Drop the resolution
If you’re not too fussy about the quality of your definition, try dropping the resolution from high definition to standard. Lowering the quality of your video means your bandwidth won’t have to work as hard when streaming, reducing the likelihood of mid-binge buffering.
Start using Netflix for offline viewing
If you occasionally catch movies or TV shows from your laptop or mobile, the Netflix mobile app and Windows PC app both have a download feature that lets you download the show ahead of time and watch it later without being online.
If everyone in your household is busy on the Internet in the evening, download your show while at work or uni (and make the most of free Internet). That way you’ll have it ready to go for when you get home, free of any buffering. Keep in mind that only limited content is available on Netflix for offline viewing.
Stop accessing the net from other devices
Does your partner have other downloads on the go? Are your housemates all online at the same time? Using multiple devices at once will slow your Internet down significantly. If possible (or without your roommate’s knowledge), try and pause any other downloads running. Shut down your laptop if you’re using a smart TV, disconnect your partner’s laptop and put your PS4 into rest mode. This can all help to free up bandwidth, which in turn will boost your streaming speed.
No one wants to deal with streaming issues, but if you put these tried and tested techniques into action and bump up your broadband plan, you should be enjoying Netflix in no time.