Aussies love their Netflix. More than 11 million  households across Australia now have a subscription to the online streaming service.

But constant video streaming and downloading can be a demanding task for our broadband. Finder research shows that 46%  of Aussies who regularly stream experience buffering and dropouts from time to time.

If you feel like you’re spending more time staring at the buffering wheel then you are watching your favourite shows, it’s time to up your streaming game. Below are some tips to help you beat the buffering wheel when watching Netflix.

Check your download speed

If you think your speed is a little on the slow side, it could be because of the time of day. Viewers who access the service at peak times, such as after dinner, will generally experience more buffering issues than off-peak periods.

Most broadband providers will let you know the typical evening speed you should be receiving from their service. If you’re unsure how fast your Internet actually is, you can check it online for free. This will give you a good indication of how your broadband stacks up. If you’re not getting the speed you think you should, call your provider. It could be time to go up a speed tier.

Take the resolution down a notch

If you aren’t too fussy about definition and don’t mind how sharp your image quality is, it can be worth dropping down to standard definition. Reducing the quality of your video will put less pressure on your bandwidth, meaning you’ll be more likely to experience smoother streaming.

Hit pause on any other downloads

Unless you live alone, the chances are pretty high that one of your housemates or family members is also using a device. If you have multiple downloads going at once, this can drastically reduce your broadband speed.

If possible, try and stop any other downloads running. Shut down your laptop if you’re using a smart TV, put your PS4 into rest mode, disconnect your partner’s computer – anything that can free up extra bandwidth and boost your speed.

Make friends with Netflix for offline viewing

If you sometimes watch movies or TV shows on your mobile, this feature lets you download shows ahead of time so you can watch them later while offline.

If everyone in your household is online in the evening, download your shows at work or uni (and make the most of free Internet). That way it will be ready to go when you get home, and you can say goodbye to streaming issues. Keep in mind that only limited content is available using this feature, so make sure to check ahead of time.

Streaming dropouts and buffering issues don’t exactly make for a good time. But a few simple changes to the way you manage your downloads or streaming can make a big difference to your Netflix speed.

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