How to Improve Netflix iPad Buffering

by Kefa Olang

On an iPad, the Netflix app enables you to stream a world of movies and TV shows. However, frequent buffering, stalling and loading issues while streaming can disrupt your viewing experience. There are several causes of loading and streaming issues, so knowing what to do when you experience them enables you to improve buffering for optimal video displays.

Cellular connection

IPads support fast cellular networks. If you subscribe to a data service, Netflix performance will depend on the strength of the service in a given area. Some areas, especially remote areas, are more likely to experience signal problems than metropolitan areas. Weaker signals are common causes of Netflix buffering problems. In fact, the fewer the data connection bars, the more common the buffering problems. Even with the iPad Retina display that has a built-in support for fast networks around the world, Netflix titles will buffer frequently if you're in a low signal area. If your iPad is running into connection issues, sometimes restarting the device can solve common connection problems. However, if you are in a low service area, you'll just have to wait until you're in an area where the signal is much stronger to improve buffering.

Wi-Fi

Netflix's performance is heavily dependent on your network connection. Although the streaming site can work with a data service from some of the common wireless providers, the best connections are usually with Wi-Fi. The stronger the Wi-Fi connection, the better streaming videos will be. If the Wi-Fi icon on your iPad's screen has fewer bars, the signal is weakening. The fewer the bars, the weaker the signal, which usually results in Netflix buffering problems. The further you are from the wireless access point, the weaker the signal is, so stay within a reasonable range of the Wi-Fi connection. In some cases, issues with the Internet Service Provider such as busy signals can cause Wi-Fi connection problems that lead to Netflix buffering issues. In some cases, restarting your wireless router solves common problems; however, if other devices cannot connect to the wireless connection, you need to call your service provider for additional network-specific troubleshooting.

Errors

Often, your Netflix title will resume playback as soon as the buffering stops; however, in some cases, the errors "Cannot Connect to Netflix" or "Unable to Connect to Netflix" appear on the screen if the Netflix app cannot display video. This issue can be attributed to the iPad, the network connection or Netflix itself. If the date and time on your iPad is different from the current actual date and time, these error messages will appear on the screen. If you open the "Date & Time" settings from the General Settings, adjust the time zone settings to match your current time zone. In addition, set the date and time to configure automatically.

Reinstalling Netflix

In a worst case scenario, uninstalling the Netflix application and reinstalling a fresh copy improves buffering. Issues with the app are likely to occur if it is corrupt or damaged. If you touch and hold the Netflix app on the home screen until it starts to wiggle, an "X" button appears over it. Tapping the "X" button uninstalls the application. After removing the Netflix app, download and install a new version from the App Store. In addition, updating the Netflix app when a new version is available improves buffering and streaming.

About the Author

Kefa Olang has been writing articles online since April 2009. He has been published in the "Celebration of Young Poets" and has an associate degree in communication and media arts from Dutchess Community College, and a bachelor's degree in broadcasting and mass communication from the State University of New York, Oswego.

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