Two years ago, Netflix unveiled a plan to transition itself from a DVD rental company into an instant streaming company. The move seemed a little crazy at the time, but as Netflix added more content to its “Watch Instantly” service, the digital streaming service soon eclipsed the mail rental service that was previously the company’s flagship service. However, the one issue users might encounter with the instant streaming service is occasional slowdowns, long buffer times, and occasional timeouts.
If you are experiencing any of these issues, there are several practical steps you can take to improve Netflix Watch Instantly streaming quality.
Ensure Your Netflix Watch Instantly Device is Connected to the Internet
There are many devices that you can use to connect to the Netflix streaming service including PCs, game consoles, and DVD players. Though setup routines may vary, you can check your device’s “settings” hub and look for a Wi-Fi setup area to ensure that your device is connected to the right network. If your network requires a security encryption key, you will need to select the type of key from the settings menu and then enter it there before you can access Netflix from your device.
Move Closer to the Wireless Network
If you are using a wireless device like an iPad or laptop to connect to Netflix, you may need to move closer to the signal source in order to establish a connection strong enough to connect to the Netflix Watch Instantly service. For best performance, you should be within 100 feet of the signal source and their should be no walls or large obstructions between your device and the signal source.
Powercycle Your Network
If all your settings are correct, you may need to just reset your network. To do this, simply disconnect your router, unplug the modem’s power source and then wait 20-30 seconds. Then reconnect the modem’s power and look for an indicator signaling a successful connection to your ISP. Then connect the modem to your router and let it fully power up, then turn on your Netflix-ready device and try again.
Use a Wired Connection
Though it is certainly more convenient to use a wireless connection to view your Netflix content, if you are getting hit with sluggish streams and super-long buffer times, you might try plugging your modem directly into your device and bypassing the router altogether. Direct connections are faster than Wi-Fi connections, and if their is a problem with your router, you won’t have to sacrifice your Netflix viewing while you sort out your router problems.
Check the Netflix System Status
It doesn’t happen very often, but Netflix occasionally encounters problems with their service which may hamper the streaming quality of their Netflix Watch Instantly service. Though Netflix doesn’t have an official system status page, but you can check the third party Down Right Now service to see if an outage has been reported. In the case of a widespread and prolonged outage, you can also check the Netflix blog to see if there has been any official word on large outages or slowdowns.
Make sure your Netflix Device is Registered
If you can’t connect to the Netflix Watch Instantly service at all, and this is the first time you are using Netflix on a device, you will need to register it with Netflix before you can use the watch instantly service. To register the device, simply turn on your device, load the Netflix application, log in and then follow the prompts to activate the device. You will need to have a smartphone, tablet or computer near you in order to complete the application process as you will need to use the Netflix website during the registration process.
Call the Netflix Support Line
If you can’t find any answers online, Netflix has a 24-hour support line you can call, and they can assist you with issues with your setup or let you know if there has been an outage in your area. This number is 1-866-579-7172. Make sure you have information about your setup handy when you call, so that the service representatives can help you as quickly as possible.
Talk to Your Internet Service Provider
If you are on a low bandwidth or “Lite” Internet service plan, you may need to talk to your Internet service provider about upgrading your plan. Streaming video content requires a lot of data, and if you have a budget plan, you may not be able to stream content quickly or efficiently.
Fortunately, your Internet Service Provider can probably upgrade you instantly, so you can use the Netflix Watch Instantly service as soon as you are off the phone.