One evening you decide you want to watch a movie. You pop some popcorn, get comfortable on your couch, and open Netflix. Oh, perfect! The movie you never saw in theaters has recently been added, and it’s on Instant Watch. Yes, this is going to be a good night. The movie begins. The music starts and the opening credits roll. Then comes the first scene and right when you are settling into the movie, it begins to buffer. UGH. You think, ok, it will just be a few seconds, and then this won’t happen again. It just needs a little more time to load. Just like you predicted, it just took a couple seconds, and the movie is playing again. Cool. The scene continues and — oh wait, no, not done buffering. Are you serious?! Your night is ruined.
Well, how can this be fixed? It may be your internet service provider. Your provider may have difficulty streaming videos from Netflix. Well, great, thanks Lauren, that solved my problem. Wait just one moment skeptical reader, now there’s a way to see how your ISP speed compares to others in the United States and all over the world. So whether you want to see if you can switch to a faster ISP or you’re planning on moving to another country in the near future, Netflix’s ISP speed index has got your streaming needs covered. Even better, I am here to break down most of the information for you.
Netflix launched the internet service provider speed index in March 2013. The index includes providers from all over the world, and ranks how fast these ISPs stream videos from Netflix. The United States tops the list with Google Fiber at the highest speed of 3.41 Mbps. In second comes the United Kingdom with Virgin at 2.47 Mbps, and rounding out the top three is Ireland with Magnet at 2.23 Mbps. As exciting as it is that the U.S. is number one on the list, the country also has the lowest speed in the index with Clearwire at 1.24 Mbps. Ranking just above Clearwire is Mexico with Axtel at 1.30 Mbps, and another out of the top three, Ireland with Imagine at 1.55 Mbps. For average speed for all of the providers in each country, the U.S. comes in fourth with 2.33 Mbps after Sweden at 2.62, Finland at 2.61 and Denmark at 2.48 Mbps. In terms of U.S. providers only, after Google Fiber at 3.41, comes Cablevision – Optimum at 2.41, and then Cox at 2.31 Mbps. Other well-known providers include Verizon FiOS at 2.17, Mediacom at 2.14 and Comcast at 2.11 Mbps.
The index allows for comparing speeds of each internet service provider to be straightforward and uncomplicated by assigning number values. However, the average speed will vary due to the way Netflix encodes videos, the devices the viewers use to watch them, and possible poor wifi performance, as stated in their article at http://blog.netflix.com/2013/02/netflix-january-isp-rankings.html. So, if you have switched to an ISP that is ranked highly on Netflix’s index and you are still having issues with videos loading, then some of the aforementioned issues may be your problem. Happy streaming!
Lauren Betz is student currently pursuing a Communications degree. She enjoys all things entertainment, including streaming videos from Netflix, and working with social media. She is a staff writer for www.internet.inmyarea.com.