That same year, Americans watched nearly 11 hours of online video a month, a figure that would be higher if it accounted for viewing on mobile devices, gaming consoles and streaming media players.
More content on more devices is certainly a positive development, but online streaming isn’t perfect. The main drawback tends to be overloaded WiFi networks and channels that lead to video that doesn’t load, content that plays slowly and media that constantly lags.
If you’re a habitual streamer, you need to try out these five hacks to get the best streaming video.
1. Don’t compete for airtime
After all, we’re now able to remotely catch when fridge is left open, or brew a cup of coffee from bed.
While those are both positive developments, especially for slow risers, we tend to forget that the more devices we connect to our network, the more it slows down our connection.
Before you stream, go into your network connection, disable Internet sharing and disconnect devices you’re not using. Also, make sure you exit all web applications that compete for bandwidth with your media player.
2. Delete temporary cache and Internet files — they’re weighing your device down
Usually, when we close out of a window or exit out of a browser, our operating system will delete the thousands of small files that it downloads to display web pages.
If you shut your computer down without allowing those browsers to properly close, however, you store files that weigh down your browser and affect its ability to load and play video.
Before you stream, go into your browser’s settings and clear the recent history and all temporary Internet files to ensure you’re allowing it to work unrestrained.
3. ‘Channel’ your devices elsewhere
If you’re using WiFi and your media is buffering from here ’til eternity, try changing the channel that your router is tapped into.
To avoid going from one crowded channel to another, download WiFi scanners like Acrylic WiFi that will inspect channels running on both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz frequencies and show you the number of nearby networks using them.
Once you’ve identified a less clogged channel, go into your browser and type in your router’s IP address. Then, enter your username and password and head to your router’s settings where you’ll select the channel that your analyzer program recommends.
BY ELI EPSTEIN
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