Share this guide:
Last updated: 11 January 2022
We've all been there, you're settling in to binge your favourite box-set, snacks in hand, when you're confronted by the dreaded buffering circle. Don't panic just yet, there's a few tricks you can try to get your viewing schedule back on track.
Test your signal speed
Your first port of call should be to run a simple speed check on your WiFi which you can learn more about on our broadband troubleshooting guide. Your broadband deal will have an estimated speed, which you can find by contacting your service provider. If your speed check returns a speed significantly lower than this, and continues to be slower throughout the day, it's likely that there's a problem with your broadband connection, router or phone line. Contact your service provider if this is the case.
Test your hardware
First of all, try turning it off and on again. No, really! It may be a cliche but a lot of broadband issues stem from a glitchy gadget. Try restarting your computer, tablet or phone and if this doesn't work try the same for the router.
Reduce devices being used
If this approach doesn't work, you could try disconnecting other devices from your WiFi. This is likely to be effective if you have a slower, ADSL broadband connection. The bandwidth being spread across your devices may be too low to accommodate the download speeds you need to avoid buffering while streaming.
Try a wired connection
You could try connecting your device via a wired connection. An Ethernet cable is required for this fix, but physical data transfer should be much faster than wireless.
If all of these fail, you might have to sacrifice some of your viewing pleasure. Try reducing the video quality, or put the kettle on and let the video buffer for a little while before trying to watch again.
If the problem persists, it may be time to upgrade to a faster broadband plan! Most homes in the UK have access to fibre optic or ultrafast networks, and you can check out a range of broadband deals with usave.