Streaming is a convenient and (usually) speedy way to access content in various forms from whatever device you prefer to use to view it. However, if “speedy” isn’t one of the words you would use to describe your current streaming service or situation, you may be more frustrated than satisfied. As for what speed you actually need for streaming, the standard recommendation is a minimum of 1.5Mb. Realistically, though, you’ll need a bit more online power than this. Netflix or Sling TV, for instance, recommends a minimum of 5Mb for HD streaming. If you prefer to up the quality level with ultra-HD streaming, however, we’re talking a minimum of 25Mb.
Regardless of your streaming preferences, the main goal of viewing content this way is to avoid frustrating interruptions and delays. Keep reading for our rundown of five ways you can get more out of your streaming service with faster internet speeds.
1. Explore Ways to Up Your Bandwidth
If you’re part of a stream-heavy household, it’s worth considering a boost in bandwidth. One way to do this is to update your devices to make sure everything is current and ready to provide an optimal streaming experience. Updating your drivers can also be helpful if you haven’t done this in a while. Another possibility is to switch to a different broadband service provider if you have other options in your area.
2. Relocate Your Router
Wall, doors, room partitions, and even baby monitors and microwave ovens can affect the strength of the signal coming from your router. If your router isn’t located close to where devices are usually used in your home, move it to a more central location. Be sure it’s free of any possible signal obstructions like the ones we just rattled off. If a lot of mobile or portable devices are used in your home for streaming, consider placing the router in a higher spot like a shelf or on top of a bookcase.
3. Close Anything Running in the Background
Digital clutter can affect streaming speed, especially if we’re talking about running multiple applications on the same device. Pay particular attention to apps you may not even realize are running, like ones for social media notifications and security cams. This may not seem like a big deal, but all these little things can slow down streaming speeds. Also, see if there’s anything downloading or any other tabs open on the device you’re using for streaming.
4. Link Up to the Ethernet Port (Go Wired)
When possible, link up the Ethernet port on your device. In this instance, what you’re doing is drawing from a wired connection instead of a Wi-Fi one. Direct signals like this are stronger, which often results in a noticeable increase in speed and reliability with streaming. Granted, this may not always be practical for logistics reasons. Still, it’s something to consider for those moments when a quick fix is good enough for now.
5. Consider Using a Powerline Adapter
A powerline adapter is a type of signal booster that acts as a bridge between your router and various devices. You may prefer this option if you have a larger home, one with thicker walls, or one where the signal is on the weak side for other reasons. There are two parts to a powerline signal booster. Use one of these handy speed-boosting devices by:
• Plugging the first adapter into an outlet close to your router
• Using an Ethernet cable to connect it to your router
• Plugging the second adapter into an outlet near the device you’re using for streaming
• Connecting your device to this other adapter with another Ethernet cable