Happy Friday! A quick reminder to those folks e-mailing in
technical/how-to questions: please be sure to include all
your system information, including operating system, model
number, and any other specifics related to the problem. This
will help your fellow members in finding the best possible solutions. Thanks!
Now on to this week's topic from Cindy who's experiencing a
frustrating time watching videos online (ie. YouTube) with
her computer. Cindy constantly gets interrupted with
buffering messages throughout her viewing experience. Is this an
issue with her broadband ISP (Internet service provider) or is it with
Well Cindy, given the lack of information provided in your question,
it's challenging to figure out why you are experiencing this. Many
of our members suggested that it's most likely an ISP issue, but you
shouldn't discount other culprits. Here's a short list of issues and
questions I've gathered from our members' responses.
-- The age of your computer can have an effect on bandwidth performance.
-- If you are using a router, is it faulty? Are your cables in good
-- If using Wi-Fi, is it secure? Are you the only one using the
service or is someone else without your knowledge using your service?
-- Do you have others sharing your broadband?
-- If using Wi-Fi, is the signal strength strong? Does it happen if
you are directly connected to the Internet via wires?
Operating system and software issues:
-- Are you running other background programs while streaming videos?
-- Is your system clean of malware?
-- Is your hard drive near its capacity?
-- Is your Flash player's or video player's utilities up to date?
-- What speed are you paying for?
-- ISP could be throttling your service.
-- ISP not giving the broadband speed that you are paying for.
-- Does this issue happen throughout the day or only at certain
periods of the day when bandwidth usage may be high by everyone in
Phew! OK sorry, that was not a short list! And if you read through our
members' answers to you, there are even more questions to ask yourself
and things to test and take into consideration. So, you see, anything is possible.
Many of our members even provided speed test sites so you can test your
Internet service speeds. And if it isn't matching up to what you are
talk to your ISP. As of now, given that you are armed with the knowledge of
your fellow members, take a deep breath, go through the process of eliminating
the things you can control, and see if things get better. If nothing
then it's time to pick the phone and talk to your ISP to get some
insight as to what
could be the cause.
Good luck Cindy, we all hope you get to the bottom of it. Thanks,
everyone, for all your invaluable help! Have a wonderful weekend!
Q: Video streaming problems: Who's to blame, ISP or computer? I'm having a frustrating time watching video on my computer at home.
Whenever I go to watch a videos whether it's on YouTube, news site, or
some other Websites, my videos often gets stuck buffering after only a
few seconds of playing. When it seems like it's ready to go again, it
plays for a while then starts to buffer again. It can take over 5
minutes to get through a 30 second video, and that's after the video
starts playing! Is this an issue with my broadband provider or is it
my computer? How can I tell whose fault is it? Are there tests I can run
that help eliminate common problem areas, so I can nail down the cause of
my frustrations? Are there ways to make things better. Or should I
switch broadband companies? All this stop and go buffering is driving me
a bit loony! Thanks for any help.
Q: Computer security, am I just being too paranoid? I'm a novice when it comes to working with a PC but do know enough to
be really dangerous. Today, with our PCs being so vulnerable to cyber
attacks, hackers, and Trojan viruses, I, at times, feel a little
paranoid about what I put on my PC's hard drive that may be both
personal and financial in nature. I do run with Windows 7, have the
Windows firewall activated, and am using the Webroot AntiVirus software
but still feel like someone is looking over my shoulder. Aside from
the viruses that we can get when downloading items from the Internet
to opening an attachment in an e-mail, is there any way for a novice
to determine if their PC has been invaded by a genuine hacker who may
be watching my every move? Or am I watching too much TV? Any
recommendations or best practices you could afford me would be