Kodi, the open source media player, is the go-to in 2019 for all streaming needs. It provides you with an easy way to stream music, photos and videos from your PC, Mac or NAS drive, along with the ability to stream videos online. While Kodi is available on a number of different devices, they all have one common issue: buffering.
Buffering is a streamer’s Achilles heel. The one weakness in an otherwise flawless setup. The arrow to the knee. However, while we’ve all suffered from buffering in the past, there are a few ways that you can combat and even eliminate buffering when using Kodi - keep reading to find out how.
Check your internet speed
Before you start trying to tweak settings within Kodi to lessen the issue of buffering, it’s first worth checking the speed of your internet. Generally speaking, those that want to stream video online require download speeds of 5-10mbps minimum, and those with a slower connection will experience buffering from time-to-time.
Some streaming services, like Netflix, can still function with a relatively slow internet connection, but the same can’t be said for most of the services available on Kodi.
Once accessed, run the test and pay close attention to the ping and download speed - while download speeds are important, if you have extremely high ping then you will still experience buffering issues.
If you’ve got a slow internet connection, try restarting your router or contacting your ISP to see if there are any issues in your area. If your speed test results are normal, then move on to the next section.
Move closer to your router or use an Ethernet cable
If your router’s connection to the internet isn’t the issue, the next step to try is to improve the connection. This is done in one of two ways: if the Kodi box is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi, try moving the media streamer closer to your router to get a better signal. You might also be able to connect to the faster 5GHz Wi-Fi network if available.
The second option is to connect the Kodi box to the router using an Ethernet cable, as it should provide the fastest connection possible. However, due to the variety of devices that Kodi can be loaded onto, it’s not always an option.
It shouldn’t be an issue for those running Kodi on a media streamer like the Nvidia Shield as it features an Ethernet port, although those that use Amazon Fire sticks and other basic media streamers are forced to stick to Wi-Fi.
Tweak Kodi’s video cache to stop buffering
If you’ve followed the above steps and still find that Kodi is buffering, there’s one more option: adjusting Kodi’s video cache. It’s a more hands-on approach that should stop buffering, but it’s more complicated than the options listed above and uses a custom-made add-on for the open source media streamer.
- In Kodi, select Settings (cog icon) and then select the File Manager menu.
- Select ‘Add New Source’ and enter the following address in the pop-up window: http://repo.ares-project.com/magic/
- Make sure you give the source a memorable name so you can find it later, and click OK to save it.
- Head back to the Settings menu (cog icon) and select the Add-Ons menu. From here, select ‘Install from zip file’ then select the source you added in step 2.
- Select repository.aresproject > repository.aresproject.zip and install the Ares Project repository. It’ll be installed within seconds, and you should be notified once it has finished.
- Head back to the Add-On settings menu and this time select ‘Install from repository’.
- Select Ares Project > Program add-ons > Ares Wizard and select ‘Install’.
- Wait for the program to install. This should take no longer than a few seconds, and you’ll be notified once complete.
- Head back to the main menu and select Add-Ons > Program add-ons > Ares Wizard. It should automatically download and install files for first-time setup, then power up once updated.
- In Ares Wizard, select Tweaks > Advanced Settings Wizard > Next. You should then see the amount of available RAM on your device - take note, and select ‘Generate’.
- Set the Video Cache size to half of the available RAM, making sure NOT to adjust any other setting.
- Select ‘Apply Settings’ and restart Kodi.
If you’ve followed the above instructions correctly, you should notice improvements in Kodi streaming. If you do still suffer from buffering, we’d recommend using a different source/server/streaming app as it may be server-side and nothing to do with Kodi.