Whether you are streaming so you can cut the proverbial cord or you just enjoy the convenience of being able to watch your favorite movie anytime, anywhere without having to deal with the inconvenience of a DVD, the reality is that streamed content is becoming increasingly popular. But if you don’t have the right setup, streaming can go from instantly gratifying to instantly infuriating in a hurry.
First things first, if you plan to stream high definition content, you’ll need to ensure you have sufficient bandwidth from your internet provider. Without this, there really isn’t anything that can be done to improve your streaming experience. As a general rule 5 Mb/second is what is recommended as the minimum threshold for successful streaming; however, if you plan to stream content in 4K, you’ll want to have an internet connection that provides at least 15 Mb/second of data transfer (and 25 Mb/second is preferred).
Don’t compete with yourself for bandwidth. Just because you have a seemingly endless number of devices that can connect to the internet doesn’t necessarily mean that each and every one of them must always be connected. And you’ll definitely want to limit the amount of concurrent streaming you have going on at any one time. In other words, it’s probably not a great idea for you to be streaming music, watching a YouTube video and trying to view a Netflix show in 4k all at the same time on the same internet connection.
Dedicate one channel of your WiFi exclusively for your television if you want to minimize interference. Most wireless routers will dispatch signals at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, so select one and designate it for streaming only to ensure your selected channel isn’t clogged with too many devices that may be running in the background.
And last, but not least, if you’ve done all of the above and are still experiencing a lag, go in and delete the temporary cache and Internet files from your computer. Even if you aren’t actively surfing the Internet, your computer stores many small files that are designed to improve your experience on certain web pages, etc. And although no one file is large enough to make a significant difference in available bandwidth, it’s not unusual for any one computer to have thousands of these “temporary” files – and together they can begin to add up quickly.