As an owner of a smartphone, I know how frustrating it can be when your phone keeps buffering during a video call or when streaming a movie. I recently found myself in this situation and decided to find out why my phone was having this issue. After doing some research and testing, I am here to share with you how I solved the issue and the other solutions I discovered along the way.
The reasons that your phone keeps buffering can be one or a combination of these things — weak internet connection, smartphone issues, streaming site traffic, and content quality.
Let’s go in-depth and learn the underlying factors that cause buffering.
3 Reasons Why Your Phone Keeps Buffering
The internet connection is usually blamed for lags while streaming. However, other factors can stop your device from loading data quickly and completely.
Go over the following reasons that disrupt your stream:
- Weak Signal Strength
Your viewing experience is only as good as your internet signal. To check if a slow internet connection is the reason your phone keeps buffering, you can do a speed test. Browser and mobile applications are widely available for this purpose.
If the results show a slow connection, consider the following points:
Streaming on Mobile Data
Mobile data signals can easily become sluggish and unstable due to network congestion, cellular coverage, and your data plan.
If you’re streaming through mobile data, switch to WiFi for a more stable connection.
Router and User Location
If you’re connected to WiFi, your router’s location can spell a lot of difference.
It should be centrally located and elevated as high as possible. Also, keep it in the line of sight of the users and free from obstructions like walls and floors. This will avoid WiFi leakage and reduce signal strength in your space.
Furthermore, devices that may interfere with the signal should be kept away from the router. This includes microwaves, Bluetooth headsets, and wireless phones.
There are dual-band routers that can operate on either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequencies. As such, your internet connection can be affected by the frequency you use.
A 5 GHz frequency band gives you faster internet speed and less susceptibility to interference. However, it doesn’t work as well with obstructions and can cover a smaller range.
On the contrary, a 2.4 Ghz frequency band allows signals to travel longer distances and can work better through walls.
Therefore, consider the relevance of your router settings to its location and the user’s as well.
The router’s firmware is another possible reason why your phone buffers. Keeping it updated addresses software bugs and security issues. Plus, there can be additional features that enhance the router’s performance.
Multiple devices connected to your WiFi network can also slow down your streaming. While you may have strong internet from your service provider, your router isn’t able to communicate to too many devices at once.
- Your Device
Your internet connection and the underlying factors with which you receive signals are most likely the reason your phone keeps buffering. Nevertheless, you need to check your smartphone.
Here are the things that can cause lags:
Simultaneous Apps on Your Device
Running simultaneous apps on your smartphone can hinder you from streaming continuously.
Apart from the processor working hard to operate the apps, they can also be connected and consume data. Moreover, check if your phone is set to automatically install updates once online.
Outdated Software and Streaming App
As mentioned above, updating your router’s firmware benefits your connection. This is similar to your phone’s software and streaming app.
If you don’t have the latest versions, then these may be causing performance issues like constant buffering.
Install available updates on your phone settings and the Play Store.
Phone Storage and Full Cache
Temporary data or cache are stored on your phone’s internal storage. This allows easier loading of a page on the next use.
However, this can be corrupted, or storage can get full. In turn, this can cause errors while streaming videos and using other applications. Thus, clearing the cache can help your phone’s functionality.
- Streaming Site and Content Quality
The streaming site and the content itself can be causing your phone to buffer. Likely scenarios that cause lags include website traffic or maintenance checks. As such, try viewing it at a later time.
Moreover, high-resolution content needs more data packets and can cause loading problems. Naturally, you want the best viewing experience. For this reason, you go for the highest resolution there is.
Nevertheless, you can still achieve this by setting the video resolution to much lower. Find one that’s still satisfying and will give you less to no buffering.
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Why does my phone keep buffering? This can be due to weak signal strength that’s affected by your service provider, router location and settings, outdated firmware, and multiple devices trying to connect at once.
Moreover, your device can have a corrupted cache, near to nearly-full storage, outdated software, an old version of the streaming app, and simultaneous background activities. All these factors can lead to buffering and other performance issues.
Furthermore, too much traffic, maintenance checks, and too high-resolution content can prevent site connections and loading problems.
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