Keep The Buffering Man Away – Test The Speed Of Your Internet Connection

Many cord cutters depend on a setup that is heavily reliant on the speed of their internet connection. Streaming Hulu, Netflix and other services require a broadband connection, but if your connection isn’t fast enough, you may experience a lag or videos that stutter. For example, Netflix suggests that you have at least 3.0 Mb/s to stream DVD quality video. And although many services will lower the quality of your video depending on the available speed, you’ll want to make sure you have a big enough pipe to accompany all the other things  in your household that connect to the internet.

Results from SpeedTest.net - Testing the speed of your internet connection

To test the speed of your connection, go to SpeedTest.net and click the aqua “Begin Test” button. Their tool will take the next 30 seconds to test your download and upload speeds and ping latency. For this example, we’re most concerned about the download speed.

The sample to the right is fast enough to work with Netflix and offers a little bit of wiggle room for others who may be surfing the internet or listening to music on your network.

If you find that many of your videos are buffering for a long period of time (> 1 min), then try these helpful hints.

  • Use a wired connection for more consistent speed. Wireless speeds could vary based on device, transfer speed and interference.
  • Make sure no other bandwidth intensive applications are running elsewhere on the network (i.e. video games, file sharing, Skype)
  • Lower the quality of your stream or try lowering the resolution on your display.
Speedometer image from aramc via Flickr

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About Bob Hazlett

Bob cut the cord and canceled cable in 2010. He got tired of having a lack of TV options and paying higher prices for lower quality shows. Many of his friends were interested in doing the same so that's how KickOutCable.com came to be. He's here to share the secrets of cord cutting that the cable companies don't want you to know. He also blogs at www.onehalfamazing.com

382 Responses to “Keep The Buffering Man Away – Test The Speed Of Your Internet Connection”

  1. todd musgrove July 12, 2011 at 2:49 AM #

    i just posted on an infographic as well. So you may already be responding to that one. But how do i cut the cord? Where will i get my internet service?

    great blog btw.

    • KickOutCable July 12, 2011 at 2:01 PM #

      Internet service is tricky, because you’re likely to get it from a cable company. I get mine from Earthlink (who leases service from Comcast). Download speeds are about 10-13 Mbs for about $40 a month in my area. 

      I’d make sure you get an antenna for local channels first (see antennaweb.org for details) and possibly a set-top box like Roku, Boxee or Apple TV. Through the set-top box you can stream Hulu Plus, Netflix and other content. 

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