We've all been there. You grab your friend to show him the latest piano-playing cat and the stream starts to buffer. Potential laughs turn into awkward silence as you wait for the internet to kick back into fifth gear. Understanding your router will not only help boost your speeds, but may save you from the wrath of awkward buffering.
Internet Speed Testing
Usually the best way to reduce buffering is by forking over for a higher bandwidth from your ISP. Check out our speed test here to measure the speeds you're actually receiving. You might be shocked at how low your download speeds really are once you test your internet speed.
Change Your Wi-Fi Channel
Try plugging in your device with an Ethernet cable and then start with your internet speed testing process. If your Wi-Fi is significantly slower, then you may need to adjust your router's settings. Try downloading Wifi Scanner for Android. You may already know, but Wi-Fi broadcasts over certain channels. The more broadcasts of the same type, the slower the internet speed. Scan your area with the app and adjust your router's Wi-Fi channel settings to the least commonly broadcasted.
Hardwire Whenever Possible
Wi-Fi will always, always, always be slower than plugging directly into your router with an Ethernet cable. Try to plug in stationary devices (desktops, videogame consoles, etc.) with a hardwire to free up more Wi-Fi bandwidth.
Upgrade Your Router
First things first. If you haven't already, it's time to consider buying your own router. Though your internet service provider (ISP) may be an exception, the router they provide may be outdated and just plain slow. Make sure to shop for a router that features a high enough bandwidth capacity for your internet needs. If you plan to use more than 10 Wi-Fi devices at a time, we recommend your router's wireless standard is AC1600 or above. This is best for multi-device streaming and gaming — especially if you plan to stream media in 4K. Keep in mind that your router only works as fast as your internet speed. If you're paying for 10 mbps, then a gigabit router won't do much save for look pretty.
For top-of-the-line performance, check out our recommended high-performance routers. For a mid-range upgrade, we recommend these premium routers.
Best Buy 2016-09-12T09:30:50-05:00
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