Why Is Netflix Freezing?

By Ethan Pendleton

Many people enjoy the streaming service Netflix offers, as it allows you to watch thousands of movies and television shows on demand. Instead of driving out to a video store to pick up a DVD, all you need to do is turn on your computer or latest-generation game console and voila: instant entertainment. Unfortunately, no service is without its problems. Your streaming Netflix video may freeze on occasion, and for several reasons.

Slow Wi-Fi Connection

If you're streaming Netflix videos on a computer that is connected to the Internet through an Ethernet cable, your computer benefits from a stable and fast connection. Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. If you move your computer where the wireless coverage is not as strong, it may be harder for your computer to receive signals from Netflix. Further, an increasing number of devices use Wi-Fi; if there's an access bottleneck, the connection for each of the devices may not be as strong.

Browser Plugins

According to the technology blog Ricky Says, browser plugins can cause freezing and low-quality playback. Plugins are the additional programs that allow your browser to perform additional tasks, including stream video. Try updating your browser or viewing Netflix videos through a different one.

ISP Interference

Video streaming causes a lot of Internet traffic, and this makes things hard on your service provider. After all, the more data their customers access, the more servers they must buy and engineers they must pay. The Ask Jack blog from the United Kingdom's "Guardian" newspaper points out that your ISP may simply be giving Netflix traffic less priority, leading to stop-and-start playback.

An Overburdened Computer

Your computer's processor can only handle so many activities at once. Many people like to watch Netflix media in one browser window while surfing the Internet in another, running a word processing program and more. Your playback could freeze if you're putting too much stress on your computer. Try restarting your computer and running as few programs as possible.

Old Equipment

Most computers that are sold today were designed to stream high-definition video. Just a few short years ago, this capability was a pipe dream for many. Your Netflix playback may be freezing because your older computer simply can't handle high-quality video. The more RAM your computer has and the faster its processor, the greater its ability to smoothly deliver streaming video.