How to Get Faster Streaming

By Melissa Worcester

More and more people are watching streaming video, or listening to streaming audio on the Internet. Several Internet "radio" sites such as Pandora and Last FM are making it easy and enjoyable to listen to songs on your computer, and a host of streaming video sites, from YouTube to the websites of any TV network, offer quality online video content. If you're having trouble playing this content, there are some things you can try to make the experience work more smoothly.

Things You'll Need

  • Ethernet cable
  • Internet router
  • High-speed Internet service provider
  • Computer RAM upgrade

Step 1

Wait until the entire video has downloaded. On most online video players, you will see two progress bars that overlap at the bottom. One shows the amount of video that has actually played; this is usually darker or brighter. The other will proceed ahead of the first one, showing the amount of the show that has downloaded from the server. If you wait till the clip has downloaded completely, it should play better than if you play it while it is still buffering.

Step 2

Look for a lower-resolution video. Many sites offer several sizes, or a choice between regular and high definition (HD). Choose the lower-resolution option, since it doesn't take as much bandwidth to download.

Step 3

Upgrade to a faster Internet connection. If you have dial-up, get DSL or a cable modem connection. If you have a cable modem, try streaming during the day when fewer people are online, or see if your ISP offers a higher-speed connection.

Step 4

Buy a new router, if you have one that is several years old. Connect your computer to the router using an Ethernet cable, rather than a wireless connection, for faster connection speeds. Try to stream video when the other computers that share your Internet connection are not online, if you have a shared Internet connection such as in a home or small business.

Step 5

Increase your system's available memory. You can do this by upgrading the computers hardware RAM, or by closing programs that are not needed when you are trying to stream video or audio. Close any extra open browser tabs, too, as each of these uses an extra bit of memory. Another thing to try is rebooting your computer right before you start to stream Internet content, to make sure the RAM cache is cleared out.