Is Netflix Down or Does Your Network Need Help?

Solving your ‘Netflix Down’ Problem

Well its Saturday night and you’re all anxiously awaiting the next episode of “House of Cards” or whatever current Netflix show has you captivated.  You turn on your WiFi connected Smart TV or Xbox only to fire up the Netflix app…and BAM! 

Netflix Buffering Problem

Warning: Watching this for too long may give you a case of anxiety.

Hypnotic, isn’t it? If it weren’t so annoying to your waiting family, it could almost be peaceful.  Watching that red circle spinning around…and around…

Believe me, millions of Americans can relate to that weekly (daily?) ritual of watching the ‘magical red spiral’ chase it’s tail, but chances are…its NOT what you’re thinking.  More than likely, Netflix’s servers are working just fine.  It’s your WiFi that’s probably to blame.

Oh I know, I know…”HOW CAN IT BE THE WIFI?  I just called (insert #@&*! ISP name here) last week and upgraded the speed!  That SHOULD HAVE fixed the problem, shouldn’t it?

Well, the short answer is ‘no’, probably not.  If you’re still experiencing the “Netflix spinning wheel of death”, especially after having upgraded your Internet speed, then definitely NOT.  You see the speed of your network may not be the problem.  It may be the proximity of your device to the WiFi modem/router.

Is Netflix Down?

From a browser in a computer or a smart phone, go to DownRightNow or DownDetector and see if Netflix is down.  Again, chances are if you are seeing Netflix buffering on a regular basis, you have an ongoing problem and its NOT the Netflix servers which are down.

Is Netflix Down due to Your LAN (Local Area Network)

What’s a LAN or ‘local area network’?  Everything after the plug coming from your wall into your modem is your local area network.  This includes any devices or computers connected by wired, ethernet connections or connected to your WiFi modem wirelessly.

More often than not, this is the problem for homes built before year 2000.

  1. Check the connection from the WiFi router to your device. 
  2. If you have a smart phone, you can download one called “WiFi Analyzer” (but I’m sure there are several others as well. Just pick one).
  3. Stand near your wireless device (SmartTV or whatever device you’re using to watch Netflix with) and turn on the WiFi analyzer to see the strength of the channels you are on. Chances are, the device which you are using your Netflix app on will also have a network status indicator which should tell you the status and strength of the connection your Smart TV (Xbox or other smart device your watching Netflix on) has with your home network.  Chances are if you’re connected by WiFi {and 80% or more of home devices these days are}, that’s where the problem is. 
  4. If the test shows the tell tale signs of a weak network connection (scream ‘Eureka!’), you can pat yourself on the back for quickly identifying the culprit to your weekly sessions with the spinning Tasmanian devil!

Fixing your Connected WiFi Devices

Ok, so you want to do the quick and dirty fix?  Go buy a WiFi range extender.  You can get them at your local Costco, Best Buy, Walmart or just about anywhere they sell electronics these days.  They’re very user friendly and easy to install.  Some people however, aren’t very keen on pumping any more RF radiation into every room of their house.  Studies have shown, there could be a correlation between excessive RF radiation and physical illness.  Additionally, if you have a neighborhood that has a lot of WiFi routers, you could experience a lot of interference which also translates into signal loss (reduction in speed) for your WiFi devices.  If this is the case for you and you’d like a more permanent solution with a rock solid, stable speed, then you want to go hard wired with Cat6 cable.  Everything you need to do it yourself can be found at your local Home Depot, Menards or Fry’s Electronics.  If you want to save yourself hours of frustration and many extra holes in your walls, by all means, schedule a visit and we’ll give you a written quote guaranteed to bring your home into the 21st Century. 

 

If this has helped you nail down YOUR Netflix problem, share it on social media with your friends & family.

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