Today’s internet users have the tiniest attention spans and thinnest patience. The reason? They love to be instantly gratified. In other words, if they want something, they need to have it at the exact same moment without the slightest delay. Though technological innovations feed this behavior, giving more choices and more convenience to people than ever before, they are not advanced enough to meet these hasty demands head-on with a perfect score. There is still room for improvement, and it is in this space that online users suffer.
What is Buffering?
What people hate to see the most out of everything is the accursed loading bar that comes up when you are streaming a video or audio online. This ‘buffering’ happens when an internet connection is not fast enough or the data reaches its assigned limit. Every time you stream a video on the web, it downloads a certain amount of data beforehand and then uses it to play the content. Buffering happens due to lag in preloading caused by an insufficient supply of data from the provider’s end, according to Avast. If the network is fast enough, there will no problem in video playback.
So, if you are tired of buffering and having your streaming experience ruined by those nasty lags, then it’s time to shift to a provider who is known for excellent streaming speeds.
Which Internet Providers Offer a Lag-Free Experience?
Let’s come down to the providers who are popular in the market for their high-speed packages.
This cable provider knows how to categorize its speed tiers to suit each and every kind of user. Cox internet plans are ideal for those who love to stream music and movies on the go. If you live on your own and are the only streamer in the house, then Cox offers the perfect speeds and prices to you. For streaming music, which requires only 10 Mbps of download speed, you can choose the Starter 10 plan, which costs only $29.99 per month. For streaming movies and TV shows, which require 25 Mbps bandwidth, you can opt the Internet Essential 50 plan, which provides up to 50 Mbps download speed for only $39.99 per month. Cox really has an edge over other ISPs when it comes to balancing affordability with top-range performance.
Xfinity from Comcast
Xfinity is inarguably the largest cable provider in the States and is well-known for the diversity of its internet plans and for groundbreaking speeds that climb up to 2 Gig. If you have a small household of regular, yet light streamers, then Xfinity is the right provider for you. How? Its Performance plan delivers up to 100 Mbps download power in addition to a streaming box with 4K capabilities for just $78 per month. This speed can support up to 5 connected devices at a time. Xfinity also provides Netflix integration and Voice Remote with its digital box, which can take your streaming experience to the next level.
Fiber-optic internet is the gold standard of broadband speeds in the market, and while its installation is a pain, its packages are quite affordable once you get the hang of the right ones. AT&T is a conglomerate and a telecom giant with both DSL and Fiber services. If it is available in your area, then do try its Internet 300 plan which costs only $45 per month and offers download speeds up to 300 Mbps, which will take buffering right out of the equation, no matter how many devices you connect at the same time. Though there is a 1TB data cap, chances are that you won’t hit it. Also, since it’s fiber, you can expect stability in broadband delivery and extremely low interference from surrounding wireless devices.
How Much Internet Speed Do You Need for Streaming?
Here is a rough estimate about the extent of internet speeds you’ll come to require for different streaming platforms:
|Streaming Platform||Video Quality||Speed Recommendation|
|HD||5 – 10 Mbps|
|Hulu||Stock SD & HD||3 Mbps|
|Live SD & HD||8 Mbps|
|HBO Max||HD||5 Mbps|
These speeds are good for one user. If there are multiple users in your house, then you can multiply these figures per head. Overall, a 25 Mbps internet connection is essential for having a seamless streaming experience. You should always go for providers, like those that are mentioned above, who offer you this speed tier at the very least.
Everybody hates buffering. It’s a thing of the past that keeps on latching to our techno-enhanced present. This post covers the ISPs that are working on expanding the frontier of lag-free speeds and getting rid of buffering once and for all.