How often does your streaming buffer? [Poll]

If your TV watching is primarily provided by a streaming service (or multiple services), how often does it buffer? I’m trying to figure out if mine is typical.

In an evening of watching TV, I would on average experience buffering:

  • Never (This seems unlikely)
  • 1-5 times.
  • 6-10 times.
  • 11-20 times.
  • More than 20 times. (This would be unwatchable IMO)

0 voters

HBO Max buffers more than Amazon or Netflix for me. Sometimes it just freezes and I have to restart the service.

Never unless my modem is dying. I have DSL - usual speed is about 15 Mbps.

If it weren’t for Peacock, it would be almost never.

I have Xfinity cable internet, with an average of 80 Mbps, and stream from Netflix or Amazon. But I go with ‘Standard HD’ (1080p) - which matches the resolution of my monitor (prime watching screen). And at these settings, I never have buffering. If I was doing higher resolution, or on a mobile connection, then, maybe? But on mobile devices I’ve always pre-downloaded.

I voted 1-5 times but the fuller story is…

We have firesticks. So which room are you talking about? Living room is farthest from the source. What we really run into is hiccups, i.e. broken audio. If we pause a couple minutes, things often re-synch.

I haven’t tracked if there’s a difference in streaming services, but I’d say in general a 2-hour movie might pause for buffering once, and sometimes never. The TV that is some distance from the wifi router is more likely to buffer than the TV next to it.

It’s been several years since I’ve seen rebuffering on a streaming video from a major service (Netflix, Amazon, CBS, YouTube, etc). Most services use adaptive bitrate streaming now, so buffering indicates a serious network glitch, while an old style single-bitrate stream could be interrupted by a fairly short network delay. (I wrote the original streaming player for Roku, so am intimately familiar with the intricacies of handling varying network speeds in a streaming player.)

Never. When we upgraded to 1GB internet, I had them put the router directly behind the TV, and connected them via ethernet. And while our firestick is not directly connected, I think because they are so proximate it doesn’t buffer at all.


I live alone, have the fastest internet Spectrum has to offer San Antonio, stream via wi-fi and I may buffer 5 times a year.

This. Amazon and Netflix almost never buffer. HBOMax buffers on a regular basis, probably once out of every three times that I watch it.

Have you run an internet speed test to see what speed you’re getting?

I don’t watch a lot, but when I do, I don’t ever recall waiting for it to buffer. My usage is almost all Netflix. I don’t have HBO Max. I do occasionally watch Amazon. Checking on, I get 230 down.

The only time in recent history that I can remember buffering was at the height of Game of Thrones popularity. They were…unprepared.

Otherwise, I associate buffering with olden times.

It is! We talked ourselves into upgrading by dumping some other subscriptions to pay the difference, and it’s been well worth it.

Netflix never ever buffers for me, and it’s what I watch most. I have issues occasionally with Amazon, and with HBO Max when I had it, but those problems are more with the apps than buffering. (That is, I get error messages and hanging, and only rarely buffering.) I have a midgrade of DSL, hardwired to the TV, and 5g wifi for devices. So, on average, in an evening of watching streaming services, I experience no buffering.

Great for you. Alas, there is no possibility of upgrading in my area. 15 Mbps is as high as I can go.

The speed test on the TV that gives me the most buffering averages 15mb/s.

Huh. That’s what I have too.

Trying to watch anything in 4K? Other streams going on at the same time? Computers or phones connected to your internet and active?
Sounds like something is eating up your bandwidth.