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Amazon Prime is one of the more unique of the streaming services out there. It costs about the same as the more popular ones, but includes free content, two-day Prime shipping, and huge discounts at certain times of the year, just to name a few. However, there are often complaints about the streaming quality of Prime.
The most common complaint is that it buffers far more often than other streaming services, especially compared to Netflix. One of the primary reasons is the difference in streaming technologies between the two tech giants. Prime utilizes Amazon Web Services, while Netflix uses a proprietary service.While there are indicators out there that AWS is not as robust as Netflix’s proprietary service, most of the issues behind buffering on Prime boil down to connection. Yes, AWS is the lesser of the two. All that means, in this case, is that there is less room for error when it comes to your Wi-Fi.
Table of Contents
Prime Video Lagging? 5 Top Reasons & Fixes
1. Wi-Fi Connection
First and foremost, this is the primary issue behind buffering problems with Amazon Prime Video. Prime offers streaming quality in all the same formats that Netflix does, including up to 4k. If you don’t have a 4k TV, you are limited to 1080p or the less common 2k, which usually involves upscaling.
Several aspects of your Wi-Fi connection could be affecting the buffering rate on Prime Video. If you’re watching 4k programming, those issues stand out even more. These Wi-Fi issues include the following:
- The location of your router in relation to the device using Prime Video
- Levels of interference in between the router and your device
- Wi-Fi band you are currently on
- Resolution of the content you’re watching (Higher resolution equals more data)
- Tri-band routers bump you around to different channels.
That’s a lot to unpack for a single point that could be causing the buffering. There are a couple of important points to highlight immediately. The first is that Wi-Fi is notoriously fickle.
You should ensure that whatever device you are watching Prime on is as close to the router as possible.
Wi-Fi also has difficulty passing through a variety of materials, including concrete, any kind of masonry, metal, wood, and thick interior walls. The more walls or floors between you and the router, the weaker your connection.
Also, the speed of your router, along with the speed your ISP offers, matter. Anything below 1.5 Mbps will make viewing choppy at best. 3 Mbps or more is good for Standard Definition (SD) streaming. 5 Mbps is good for high-resolution streaming (720p to 1080p).
You need between 7 Mbps and 16 Mbps for 2k video, and between 16 Mbps and 61 Mbps for 4k, depending on how many frames per second you want. Depending on your router, you may want to set it so that it stops bumping you around to the best signal.
A lot of dual-band and tri-band routers have a lot of channels, with the router constantly tossing your devices around to the best channel. In theory, this works great, but it could cause buffering in practice.
2. Check a Different Show
While this isn’t necessarily a problem to fix, it’s a method for discovering if it’s a problem or just the particular show you’re watching.
There are a ton of programs to stream on Prime so, if you’re having a problem with streaming something, jump to another show on Prime and see if it buffers there as well.
Besides, this is kind of like doing a mini-restart on whatever show you are watching, which can clear up bugs and glitches. If the show you switch to is running along just fine, with no buffering, try returning to what you were watching.
Or, you could just completely exit out of the show you’re watching and attempt to start it back.
3. Make Sure Prime is Updated
Unfortunately, updating just about everything, from time to time, is a part of daily life.
You need to make sure your device is updated, that you have the most updated charger, that the app you’re using is updated, the PC is updated, the browser is updated, and on and on it goes.
Depending on what device you are using to stream Prime Video, updating the app may be a little different. Most devices should have a default setting on that automatically updates your apps, which include your streaming apps.
However, this is not always the case, and sometimes you have to go in and manually update it yourself.
- Open up the app store
- Type, “Prime Video” in the search bar
- Select the update tab when the screen pops up
- Open the Google Play Store
- Select your own profile
- Choose “Manage Apps & Devices”
- Select “Manage”
- Type “Prime Video” in the search bar
- Select “Update” when it pops up
- Select the apps icon
- Select Prime Video
- Press the three, horizontal lines button on your Fire TV remote
- Select “More Info” on the screen
- Select “Update”
4. Are You Using a VPN?
As more and more people use VPNs when accessing the internet, more and more people are also discovering that it slows down the speed of whatever application you’re using at the time.
It doesn’t help that streaming services and just about any kind of website you visit are doing everything in their power to stop you from using a VPN. They hate it.
If you don’t mind Amazon knowing your location and marketing to you according to what you watch and do on your TV, turn off the VPN to see if streaming improves and the buffering goes away.
5. Delete and Reinstall the Prime Video App
If you’re watching Prime in a browser, this doesn’t apply to you, other than closing the browser and reopening it. For everyone else, deleting and redownloading the app works more often than not.
That’s because it often clears up glitches in the software and junk that’s running in the background that doesn’t need to be. You don’t have to do anything extra special here. Just delete the app altogether and redownload it.
You will have to sign back in and go through Amazon’s two-factor authentication checks, so make sure you are prepared for that.
The last thing you want to do is delete and redownload the app just to realize you can’t locate your password or don’t remember your username.
This is fairly common for those of us that jump around to different streaming programs, taking advantage of free trials and dropping or picking up streaming services according to what we want to watch at the time.
For the most part, the above five options should get you back up and running again. You should always ensure you have a fast enough internet speed to stream in the first place.
The good news is, that there are plenty of apps to download that will give you solid and reliable information about the internet speed where your TV is sitting or where you are sitting.
In a worst-case scenario, you can always download the content. It will take a bit longer to wait, especially if you have slow internet. However, once downloaded, you can watch it on your terms, without buffering, and delete it when you’re done.
Discover the reasons behind Prime Video buffering issues and explore effective solutions to ensure uninterrupted streaming. Find out why Prime Video keeps buffering and enjoy seamless viewing experiences.