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How to Speed up Internet for Video Streaming

tools video Dec 12, 2020
 

Are you trying to perform live videos, but keep having issues with video lag, video cutting out, or many other things? How do I speed up my video streaming? I'm here to help.

There are many factors in this process that can affect your internet speed. Some are hardware-based, some are software-based. That means some can be fixed with settings, and some you need to purchase additional things that plugin somewhere.

Run a Speed Test

First, you should see what actual speed you are getting. Go to https://speedtest.com and click GO. After a bit, you should see results that look something like this:

There are a few comments to make here.

  • Download speed. This is the amount of data you can download per second. If you have heavy-duty streaming video, like 4 TVs all streaming Netflix, you're going to want a robust download speed. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon require a minimum of 25Mbps. You really want at least 100Mbps if you have more than one TV and stream simultaneously.
  • Just because your Internet Service Provider says that for price $X you can get 300Mbps download! Don't believe it. That is a MAXIMUM of 300Mbps, with no one on the network. For example, I pay for Gigabit internet. As you can see, my download speed at the moment is 286.95, which is still really good. BUT I am also on a Zoom call, running ManyCam in the background, and have lots and lots of tabs open on both Safari and Chrome. Oh! And I also have Adobe Premiere running, sooo....
  • Upload speed. Upload speed is extremely important if you upload high-resolution images, or livestream video from your home, live videos to Facebook, etc. You should shoot for around 10Mbps if possible.

Quick Fix

Buy extenders for Wired Connection (Quick Fix)

If you still need better stabilization, let's start with the basics. Here's the deal, wifi is not stable. If flexes and fluxes, as evidenced by many people's video stopping midstream, skipping, or the video and audio don't match. There is a kit that can help with this.

My favorite network expansion kit transforms your home’s existing electrical circuit into a high-speed network with no need for new wires or drilling and brings wired network to anywhere there is a power outlet(Up to 300 meters). You can buy it here at Amazon:

Here's a better picture of what they look like:

You simply plug in the internet cable to the white box, plug the white box into a wall (not a power strip, preferably). Then plug the other end into your router. With the second box, do the same except plug the other end into your computer or adapter.

I also recommend longer CAT 8 cables. They have these from 6 feet to 25 feet.

 

If your laptop or computer does not have an Ethernet connection port (Mac's are notorious for this), here are a couple of ideas:

 

The Wavlink USB is the one I personally use. The video above describes in detail how to set these up. 

Your Computer Settings

Close your Browsers

First, close all the tabs. Yeah, you. The one that has open 14 Chrome windows and 37 tabs in each window. You know who you are. Close them. All of them. Restart your system and DO NOT reopen tabs.

What else can you use? I use a simple program called "The Great Suspender". It's a Chrome extension, free. When your tab hasn't been used in a user-defined period of time (say 1 hour), The Great Suspender actually suspends that tab until you say so. In effect, the tab is closed, but a small piece of memory is held back to show you exactly where you left off. Simply do a Command-Shift-S (Mac) or Win-Shift-S and the tab will reload exactly where you left it.

It's still better to close all the open tabs when recording video or performing live video.

Automatic Loading Applications and Open Applications

Be Aware of open Applications and Automatically loading Applications. You've probably had your laptop for awhile, and you've installed several programs that you thought you needed at the time. Mostly likely, you haven't uninstalled them either. Do you have any idea which applications automatically startup when you start up your computer?

Let's take a look.

 

Optimize with Software

Your webcam or video camera has its own software settings that can usually be adjusted on your computer. For example, my Logitech 922 has separate settings for my Mac. I can adjust defaults, resolutions, and many other things. See the below headings for video frame rate and video resolution that may help.

Video Frame Rate

In simplified terms, remember (some of you may not) many years ago there were "cartoon books" that you could sort of flip through real fast and it appeared animated? Well, that's frame rate. Think of your video as each "picture" is a frame. The rate of the "flip" is the number of frames per second (or FPS).

Without going into extreme detail here, think of it this way. The FPS of 24fps is fairly standard. This is basically the way we see the world, cinematically. Most movies are 24fps. Now let's say your video has lots of action or is live and you want a more realistic view, use 30fps. Most action shots are at 30fps, a much smoother view. If you're just a talking head, probably doesn't matter. Only stop-action, games, slow-motion movies and such use 60fps. The higher the frame rate, the larger the file. So if you're having difficulties with mouth and sound staying together, maybe decrease the frame rate. You probably won't see the difference in quality.

Know this...there is no "perfect" frame rate for every occasion. You can change these settings normally in any application you use to record your video or perform your video live.

Video Resolution

We have grown up in a culture of better resolution, better quality. Remember when Standard Definition (SD) was so awesome then we went to "DVD Quality"? OMG I remember when HD first came out! I didn't think they could ever do any better. Now we have 4K and UHD and who knows what's next.

In its simplest form, video resolution is the number of pixels in each frame. The higher the number, the more pixels per frame, and the "higher quality."

However, you should consider your audience when deciding on a resolution. The higher the resolution, the larger the size of the throughput and file size. This can present some challenges, similar to the challenges with image resolution.

For example, if you know you are only using your image in Facebook (780p max) or YouTube (1080p max), why waste time and resources creating your video files in 8K as if you were filming a blockbuster movie.

You always want the best resolution possible, but you could end up overdoing it. I would stick with 780p in most cases.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Consider Content Delivery Network (CDN) as many servers in many different areas of the world. Think about this. If you have a video you are hosting on your website, and someone from Australia is trying to stream your video, that person's computer has to go all the way to the server that is hosting your video wherever it is. Now, many website providers have multiple servers around the world, but not for each and every video you have.

If you use a CDN, like CloudFlare (WordPress preferred), your content is available across thousands of servers around the world, making it easy for the person in Australia to stream your video.

Use an Application meant for Streaming

Going Live in Facebook is basic. However, if you intend to add other features, such as banners, screen sharing, interviews, etc., you'll need a different type of program. In addition, if you want to stream to multiple streaming services simultaneously (called simulcast) you will need additional program(s).

For example, the videos in this post are created with an application called ManyCam. ManyCam has many features, including the ability to stream to multiple locations (only 3 natively), screen sharing, picture-in-picture, and many other facets. ManyCam is also priced inexpensively on an annual basis. Current pricing is around $50/year. You can also add something called restream.io to stream to many more locations.

eCamm Live is another program meant for Streaming. I also use this one, depending on my video needs. It has a few more features than ManyCam and has true green screen capabilities. It's still a great alternative and relatively inexpensive with their monthly or annual plans. You can also use restream.io with eCamm Live.

Speaking of restream.io, why would you need so many restreaming capabilities? Well, for one thing, most of the time you can only live stream to either a Facebook Page or a Facebook Group, not both. What if you have several Facebook Groups and want to go live in more than one simultaneously? Or Facebook Group and YouTube and IGTV all at once? That's where restream.io comes in.

Upgrade your Internet

Check Security of your Network and Settings

If you are unfamiliar with setting up or maintaining your router, you should definitely reach out to your ISP. If all the other steps in this post do not make your video better, you will need to talk to your ISP in any case, either to upgrade your internet or to check your settings.

Contact your ISP for faster speed

Run a speed test (www.speedtest.com). If you aren't getting the speeds you expect, definitely reach out to your ISP. Pay particular attention to both your download speed and your upload speed. You need at least 25Mbps download for most streaming services. When I say "at least" I mean just that. I highly recommend 75Mbps at a bare minimum, depending on how many devices you have streaming simultaneously.

Buy your own Modem/Router

There are many options you have for modems and routers. Most modern ISPs have a decent Modem, but sometimes their routers aren't as good. Keep in mind, it does take some technical expertise to set up and configure a purchased Modem or Router.

One thing you can do is contact your ISP and see if they have an upgraded model.

Conclusion

These are just a few ideas for speeding up your internet. Hopefully, one of these ideas will help. 

We also have a Facebook Group just for discussion video at Your Fairy Blogmother! If you're interested in discussing all things video and some basic Q&A, join at Fairy BlogMother Video for Bloggers.

Don't forget to check out our post  Should you Turn your Blog into a Video Blog?

PS New Video Course!

The Video Bloggers Toolkit includes editing, learning what to include in your video, intros, outros and much, much more! Read all about it and sign up for the waitlist at  Video Bloggers ToolKit:

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