In this article we will show you various methods to reduce or eliminate buffering in Kodi. I think every user has experienced buffering in Kodi. Kodi tries it’s best to overcome slowdowns in your Internet connection by buffering. And, really, buffering is your friend. Think of it as a shock absorber in your car. The shock absorber is a buffer. When you are driving and hit a bump, the shock absorber buffers the movement of the wheel, so you don’t feel the bump in some cases. So, we don’t want to stop buffering. But there are times that, no matter how much Kodi buffers, your Internet connection just can’t keep up, or your ISP is throttling your connection. From a technical standpoint, buffering is a method of pre-loading video or audio streams in order to ensure that they play smoothly, regardless of changes in your Internet speed. The changes can be caused by any number of things, but most often it is just normal fluctuations in the connection from your ISP. Another, more common reason, is that your ISP sees that you are streaming video, and that means you are a consuming a lot of data from them. In this case, many times they will “throttle“or limit the speed of your connection. That is why we recommend ALWAYS using a VPN when streaming content. Not using a VPN is the leading cause of slowdowns in your Internet speed. We have negotiated a special deal for all our readers here at Kodi America. Get a 57% Discount on IPVanish. This is a limited offer. Act Now!
Well, that is the technical explanation, but as a regular user, you know it as the little wheel spinning when you try to load a movie or TV show on Kodi. Yes, very annoying. Well, we hope this article can help you to reduce or eliminate buffering in Kodi and other audio/video streaming services.
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This article will cover the main methods you can use to overcome buffering problems. These methods have been tested and are used by us in our labs with great success. There may be other ways to address buffering issues, but we have performed real-life tests and have determined that these methods are the best.
First, we can reduce or eliminate buffering problems by simply increasing the amount memory available to Kodi so that the buffer can be bigger. In our opinion, this technique should be used on ALL devices that you plan on using Kodi with. Whether or not you have buffering problems. This should be a part of the normal setup, and will help to ensure that you have a smooth stream at all times. How well Kodi manages it’s cache, and the amount of cache available to use has a huge impact on the quality and speed of your video streams. If the amount of cache is too small, and your Internet speed is slow or is being throttled, you will experience buffering issues frequently. Conversely, if your the amount of cache is too large, then it reduces the amount of memory available to the operating system, and can cause other problems in Kodi. So, the trick is to increase your cache with minimal overall impact on the system.
The default amount of cache allocated by Kodi is 60MB. If you have a device with a lot of memory, such as a home theater PC, you can allocate a LOT more to cache. But if you are using a Fire Stick, or other Android device with a limited amount of memory, you have to be more careful to not cause problems by increasing it too much. With that being said, let’s move on to addressing the problem.
Using the Ares Wizard to adjust your buffering settings.
The Ares Wizard is a free Kodi Add-On. It has a very easy to use Advanced Settings area that includes a tool for adjusting your cache settings. The wizard checks to see how much memory your device has, and gives you a recommendation on what size cache is best for your device. If you don’t have the Ares Wizard installed, please follow our tutorial How to Install the Ares Wizard in Kodi.
Once you have the Ares Wizard installed, you are just a couple clicks away from being done.
- Click to open the Tweaks screen in the top menu.
- Click on the Advanced Settings Wizard.
- Click Next at the bottom of the screen.
- Click “Generate Settings” to automatically generate the optimal cache settings for your device.
- Then click “Apply these Settings“. You will be prompted to restart Kodi after the settings have been applied.
To ensure that you have a device with plenty of memory for a larger cache size, you should choose a streaming device such as a Fire TV 2 or and Android box with at least 2GB of RAM. This will allow the Ares Wizard to increase the size of the cache and give you a great streaming experience.
Another method of improving your streaming experience is by using an unrestricted downloader. This is a service that offers you an unrestricted stream speed, without any throttling. We recommend RealDebrid. This service offers you a method of streaming that is immune from any restriction your ISP might impose on you for streaming. RealDebrid is offered as a Kodi add-on, and is as easy to install as any other add-on. Follow our tutorial How to Install RealDebrid in Kodi.
So, you have adjusted your cache size using the Ares Wizard. Your streaming experience has improved. But that only configures Kodi to use your Internet connection optimally for streaming. But, what if your Internet connection itself is not running optimally? Everyone has heard of Net Neutrality. Whatever your views on this topic, essentially this was the government’s effort to ensure that your ISP does not limit or throttle your Internet connection solely based on the content you are accessing, such as Kodi. But, based on the amount of lawsuits against ISPs, it was always clear that ISPs still gave priority over some content, while limiting access to other content. So, we used to have to assume that your ISP was slowing you down. Net Neutrality has been repealed, so, now we can be SURE that ISPs are doing this on a regular basis. There is only one way around the problem. INSTALL A VPN! You will see us frequently reinforcing how important it is to use a VPN. We believe that this is an ESSENTIAL component for streaming ANY content from the Internet. Not only does it protect your anonymity and privacy on the Internet, but your ISP cannot slow you down any more. See our article What is a VPN? Why do I need it?. In that article we show you how important it is to use a HIGH QUALITY VPN. We recommend IPVanish. In our tests, IPVanish is consistently a top performing VPN.
In closing, it is very fast and easy to configure Kodi for an optimal streaming experience. Using the Ares Wizard makes it simple for even the most inexperienced user to improve their streaming. Combined with a HIGH QUALITY VPN, it is the ultimate one-two punch to those that seek to limit your viewing choices.
Now that you know how to Reduce Buffering on Kodi. Be sure to secure your connection with a VPN to keep your ISP from slowing you down, spying on you or blocking you. For more information, be sure to check out our article What is a VPN? Why do I need it?