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.
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.