Netflix Loads Slowly? Here’s What to Do

With so many things going wrong in the world, the last thing you need is for Netflix to load slowly when it’s finally time to relax. Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can attempt to increase your streaming speeds on Netflix – and we’ll be covering them down below.

First Things to Try When Netflix Loads Slowly

“Have you tried turning off and on again?” All jokes aside, this is a recommendation you’ll come across often when it comes to buffering issues. Get these out of the way before you try anything else:

  • Restart your browser (or Netflix app) and/or your streaming device
  • Restart your router or modem

Next, try switching to a different device or network. For example, use your smartphone’s mobile connection to see if Netflix still loads slowly, or if it’s just your home network to blame.

You might also want to switch to a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi if your device has an Ethernet cable port. If that’s not an option, move your router as close as possible to your streaming device. Make sure no furniture or large appliances impede the Wi-Fi signal.

Change Your Router’s Wi-Fi Channel

Speaking of Wi-Fi signal, have you ever changed the Wi-Fi channel on your router? Don’t worry if you haven’t, as most people don’t give it a second thought.

You see, Wi-Fi runs on two main frequencies (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), each with their own channels. Since nobody bothers to mess with their router settings, everyone ends up using the same, overcrowded channels.

Imagine a room full of people just talking loudly over each other – that’s the kind of noise your Wi-Fi signal has to deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes you just need to take the conversation somewhere else so you can hear the other person speak. Or in this case, so Netflix stops taking forever to load.

Anyway, here’s a complete guide on how to find the best Wi-Fi channel for your router. Give it a go if the usual methods aren’t effective.

Prevent Buffering with a Netflix VPN

If nothing you’ve tried seems to work, the next best solution is to get a fast VPN for Netflix. Here are two major ways a VPN can help if Netflix loads slowly.

Put a Stop to Bandwidth Throttling

To nobody’s surprise, ISPs have gone back on their promise to treat all traffic equally after net neutrality was repealed back in 2017. This has come to light thanks to a group of researchers at Northeastern and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.According to their findings, every Internet provider in the United States throttles bandwidth for streaming services. Yes, even when there is no need to do so (such as dealing with network congestion).

Their data also shows that each ISP slows down entirely different sets of streaming platforms. For example, AT&T focuses on Netflix, YouTube, and NBCSports, but leaves Amazon Prime Video traffic untouched.

In any case, your Internet provider doesn’t really matter as long as you use a decent VPN.They can encrypt your network traffic, which is a fancy way of saying that no outsiders can see what you’re doing online – whether it’s your ISP or the hackers hounding the local public Wi-Fi.

Since they can’t tell whether you’re streaming Netflix or YouTube, ISPs can’t selectively slow down your traffic. Well, not without risking a hefty lawsuit. Unfortunately, you can’t use VPNs to get around throttling caused by going over your monthly data caps. Your online activity might be hidden, but not your overall data usage.

Fix Data Transfer Issues

All data on the Internet needs to travel through several networks and routers before it hits your screen. If any of those network nodes is experiencing technical issues, this can result in Netflix videos slowing down or stopping completely.

This is where a VPN comes in handy. How? Well, all incoming and outgoing traffic needs to pass through the VPN provider’s servers first. As such, your streaming data may avoid the defective network node that’s causing you Netflix buffering issues.

This solution alsoworksfor any other type of traffic you’re having trouble with (e.g. high ping in video games), so it’s worth a try.