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How to Deal with Buffering on YouTube Videos

Joe from Lewiston, ME asks.

How can I stop continuous buffering when watching YouTube videos?

Buffering is no fun for anyone, so you are not alone Joe. Videos that continually stop and start on YouTube are a frequent source of headaches for many internet users.  However, there are definitely some things you can do to help ease this problem and ensure that your online video viewing experience is as good as it can be. Try some of the following ideas.

1. Faster internet connections – Generally speaking, a faster internet connection will buffer streaming video a faster than a slower connection. So, if your internet service provider offers a quicker connection than the one you have, you will likely experience less buffering by upgrading to a faster speed.

2. Pause and play – A common trick employed by seasoned YouTube viewers is the ‘pause and play’ trick. As soon as the video starts to play, click the play button again to pause it. You will then see a faint red bar slowly start to crawl from left to right as your computer buffers the video for you. When it reaches the end on the right hand side, click play again for an uninterrupted view of the video.

wylie_youtube_buffering_1 [1]

3. Off peak times – Certain times of the day are better than others for watching videos online. Peak times, when everyone else is on the internet, is a bad time. More users invariably leads to more buffering so if you have the choice, mid-mornings and mid-afternoons are usually a good time to maximize your chances of getting the best connection you can.

4. Speedbit Video Accelerator – Some people have a lot of luck with a video accelerator program like Speedbit’s Video Accelerator [2]. It installs a program in your browser that is designed to help eliminate buffering on video sites like YouTube, DailyMotion, Facebook, CNN and more. The free version will be enough for most people, but if you want to accelerate HD video, you will need to pay for the premium version.

wylie_youtube_buffering_2 [3]

5. Quality settings – Many YouTube videos offer you a choice of resolution options for the video you are watching. The higher the resolution, the better quality the video is, but the longer it will take to stream. By lowering these settings you can stream the video quicker and endure less buffering. Simply look for the resolution number on the far right hand side of the player and click it to see what other options are available to you for viewing this video.

wylie_youtube_buffering_3 [4]

6. Lighten the load – Try to limit the stress on your network connection by limiting the activities that are being performed while you are trying to stream video. For instance, if you are streaming Netflix in the living room, while downloading a large file, and have some online games opened in some other tabs, the chances of you successfully streaming your YouTube video are somewhat diminished. Keep it simple.

Sometimes one of these tricks will be enough to reduce buffering on YouTube, but at other times you may need to combine two or more of them for the best results. Why not test them out by visiting the Worldstart YouTube channel [5]?

You can learn more about  improving your YouTube viewing experience here [6].

~Jonathan Wylie