Why Does Amazon Prime Buffer So Much?

Amazon Prime Buffering

If you want to stream content, such as movies, you will need to ensure that you have a decent, high-speed internet connection.

Without this, you will experience problems known as buffering. Research has found that buffering reduces video viewing time by approximately 40 percent!

What is buffering?

Buffering is basically what enables streamed content to be loaded while it’s being listened to or watched. Problems can get in the way of buffering, such as a slow internet speed that can make loading the content problematic.

What internet speeds do you need to stream content? Generally, you will need internet speeds of at least 3 Mbps to stream videos in standard definition, and a minimum of 25 Mbps for 4K streaming on your computer and Ultra HD devices, but some platforms will request even higher speeds.

Let’s find out how much you need for Amazon Prime and what you can do to prevent buffering.  

How Many Mbps Does Amazon Require? 

prime buffering problem

Similar to the above-mentioned guidelines, Amazon used to require a minimum of 3Mbps in order to download SD quality content.

If you wanted High Definition videos, then you’d need a minimum of 5Mbps. And, if you wanted to stream Ultra HD 4K quality, you’d have to ensure you had 25 Mbps.

But this has changed, as a result of Amazon catering to its customers who don’t all have extremely fast internet. So, if you want to stream SD, you’ll have to ensure you have a connection that’s at least 1.5Mbps and for streaming HD it should be 3.5Mbps.  

Is Slow Internet Why My Amazon Prime Is Buffering? 

If your internet speeds don’t meet the above requirements, this is why your videos will buffer.

They might also freeze. You might even have seen an error message on your video stating that you don’t have enough bandwidth. 

Other Reasons Why Amazon Prime Is Buffering A Lot 

buffering problem

If you have good internet speeds, there could be another reason why you’re experiencing low-quality viewing.

The truth is that there are many other buffering causes. Here are some possibilities to consider so you can start enjoying high-quality viewing again.

You’ve got outdated software. If you’re using a very old version of the Amazon Prime Video app, this could cause it to experience buffering. Make sure you have the latest software installed. You should also check that you have the latest version of the app. 

  • Launch the app store where you had purchased the Amazon Prime app. 
  • Search for the app and open its details page. If you can see an “Update” option, then you know an update for the app is available. You should download it. 

Your device has a problem. If your device is experiencing configuration problems, this could result in buffering that happens on a regular basis. A technical problem with your content provider or internet service provider could be the culprit. 

You’re using too many devices on the internet connection at the same time. This can cause the streaming service to slow down. 

What You Can Do To Prevent Buffering

buffering prevention on amazon prime

There are some tricks and tips you can try to help your Amazon Prime buffer less.

Here are some that are worthy of doing if your Prime videos keep buffering.

  • Switch your devices off and on. Let’s start with a simple solution first. You should switch off your modem and completely unplug it. Switch off the device from which you’re trying to stream, too. Leave these devices off for one minute. Then, plug your modem, then the router, and finally, your device. If that hasn’t solved the problem, you’ll want to move onto the next tip in this list. 
  • Check if another internet connection works. If you’re using home internet and you suspect that could be why you’re experiencing buffering, try switching to your mobile phone’s hotspot and see if that makes a difference. 
  • Try to boost your internet speed. While this might mean upgrading to a faster internet, you can also try to restart your modem or router, as well as your Amazon Prime Video app device. Another easy way to improve your internet speed is to ensure that you’re only using Amazon Prime Video for the internet when watching content – make sure every other device is disconnected so that it’s not competing for bandwidth.  
  • Connect to an ethernet cable. This can sometimes help to improve internet speed, so try to connect your router directly to your Prime Video device. 
  • Change the video quality. If you’re battling with a lot of buffering, you should try to choose a viewing option that has a lower resolution. Edit your streaming device’s settings. Although streaming services usually adjust their settings to work with the connection you have, you could try to edit the settings so that videos only play at a certain quality. 
  1. Open your Amazon Prime Video app, choose “Menu,” then click on “Settings.” 
  2. Choose “Stream and download.” Once there, you must choose the streaming and download quality option to be able to lower the screen resolution. 
  • Move closer to your router. If you’re positioned far away from your router, your internet connection speed will be slower. There could also be obstacles that are getting in the way of your signal, such as thick doors or even other wireless devices.

How To Stop Buffering On Your Amazon Firestick 

firestick buffering problem

If you’re using an Amazon Firestick, you’ll know that it’s plugged directly into your TV’s HDMI port, but it can also cause buffering issues. To solve them, here are some things you can try. 

  • Restart your device. To do this, go to “Settings” in the Firestick top menu. You can get to the top menu by clicking the “up” button on the Firestick remote and then clicking the right button to go to “Settings.” You’ll have to choose “My Fire TV.” Click the down button to get to the “Settings” options. Click on “Restart.” 
  • Delete apps you don’t use. Go to “Settings” on the home menu, and choose “Applications.” Then, choose “Manage Installed Applications.” Select an app that you don’t want anymore and choose “Uninstall.”
  • Clear the cache. The app cache is basically its memory that’s used for storing data, and it can lead to buffering issues. To remove it, choose “Settings” on the home menu. Click on “Applications.” Then, choose “Manage Installed Applications.” Click on an app from your list and choose “Clear data” or “Clear cache.” Click on “Clear cache.” You’ll probably want to avoid choosing “Clear data” because this won’t just remove the cache but reset your app so it goes back to factory settings and all your information will be removed, including your login information. However, if you have tried everything to get your Firestick to stop buffering and nothing has worked, you can try the factory reset.
  • Disable automatic updates. If your Firestick is set to update automatically, it could run in the background and this could also make your device slower. So, turn off automatic updates. To do this, go to the top menu and choose “Settings.” Then, choose “Applications” and choose “App store.” Choose “Automatic Updates” and turn it off. Don’t worry that you won’t get automatic updates for your Firestick because you will. But this will just disable automatic updates for your apps.

Related Questions 

How can you run a speed test on your internet connection? 

Visit All Connect where you can test your current internet speed to see if it’s up to the challenge of streaming content and preventing buffering. 

What if you’ve tried everything to stop buffering problems and it’s still happening? 

If you have high-speed internet that still buffers, you could have outdated hardware that’s the culprit. Try to disable hardware acceleration and see if that does the trick. 

What programs use hardware acceleration? 

Hardware acceleration, which is when a program uses a computer’s hardware to perform some software functions, is used by common apps such as Chrome and Firefox browsers.

Conclusion 

There’s nothing more frustrating than being ready to watch a show or movie you’ve been excited to see only to have to deal with lots of video buffering.

While you might try pausing the video for a while, sometimes that doesn’t even help and it can make you feel even more stressed out.

No more buffering! In this article, we’ve explored what could be causing your Amazon Prime video to buffer so much and what you can do to make it stop, so you can spend less time waiting for your favorite videos to load and more time actually watching them. 

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