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Definition – Buffer


If you’ve ever heard the term “buffer” before, you’re probably wondering what it relates to. Well, a buffer is basically an area of memory hardware or software uses when it needs a constant, uninterrupted flow of information.

For example, if you’ve ever listened to any kind of streaming audio on the Internet, the program you use “buffers” the signal a little bit before it is actually played.

Here’s how it works: The site (or program you’re using) collects a few seconds of audio, and then starts playing them, If there’s a split second of interruption, you wouldn’t notice it because the audio you’re actually hearing is a couple of seconds old. Buffers compensate for any slight interruptions, making it easier for your Internet connection to process large audio files.