Having trouble with all of this streaming stuff? You aren’t alone. We asked Dave Bowden who handles the IT for the Dayton Masonic Center and the Valley of Dayton for his advice – here it is.

Best possible things to have success when watching online video streams:

1) Whenever possible, use a PC/laptop hardwired to your network (of course in this isn’t always possible in today’s mobile world). – according to one source, you need a minimum download speed of 3 Megabits per second to watch a single video stream in clear, standard definition. The best Internet speed for HD streaming is 5Mbps or higher. And all that assumes that nothing else is going on with your network. If others are using the home network to watch Netflix or other services while trying to stream the message, then you need more…

2) Test your wired or wireless network to see if you’re getting what your paying for. Use https://www.speedtest.net/ in your web browser or install the app on your mobile device.  – if your wireless speed isn’t close to what you’re paying for, then it’s most likely your wireless network or you’re sitting to far from your wireless router (move closer to it and see if speed improves). – if your wireless speed is slow and you want to verify if it’s your wireless network or your internet provider, test the speed using a device hard wired to your network (if you have something that can be hardwired, like at desktop PC or laptop with network port).  – also restarting your cable/dsl modem and router sometimes will fix slowness (most folks never restart these things). And if your router is really old (like over 5 years old), get a new one. They can be cheap. Brands like Netgear, TP-Link, Linksys and Dlink all make reasonable routers.

3) Sometimes web browsers are also slow. This happens over time with most all web browsers… you can generally improve speed by clearing the “cache” for your browser. You can find out how to do this by googling it.  – some browsers aren’t the best for streaming videos. If you’re using Internet Explorer, ditch it for Chrome, Firefox or Opera…

4) Sometimes one can select the video resolution for the stream… if that’s the case, folks can pick a lower res in order to reduce speed requirements.

5) Not for the faint of heart… but many PCs get really slowwwwww over time. This is because of all the temp files that Windows saves and has to index through in order to function. For Windows 7, 8 and 10 users, this link shows nicely how to delete them (it shows only Windows 7, but this should work for 8 and 10 as well), https://medicine.arizona.edu/helpdesk-article/clear-temporary-files-windows-7 General disk clean up, https://neosmart.net/wiki/disk-cleanup/  I usually select every checkbox and delete everything that’s offered… – also in general, empty the trash!! The cleanup will offer to do that, but many folks don’t do it.  – restart after all the cleanups

One final thought… I was at one of my clients the other day and he has a couple year old laptop. He was complaining about speed. We did a speed test and it showed 7mb down wired and ~2 mb down wireless in Chrome.. I took my phone and laptop and showed him that his network was ~60mb down wireless and ~150 down wired.  Cleaning the browser cache and deleting temp files made the laptop get about 3 time better.