IPTV buffering issues might happen to anyone and may have different reasons. Sometimes it is from the client's side, sometimes the provider is to take responsibility and sometimes it is the ISP (internet Service Provider) or Network Transit companies in between to blame. At Fast IPTV, we do take the buffering issue reports very seriously and after we check our side to make sure the issue is not caused from our servers, will then provide clients with step by step guide to diagnose, find and fix the issue. In this article, we will talk about steps on How to fix IPTV buffering issues, how clients and us as the provider should take action in terms of finding the source of problem and resolve that.

As our client, whenever you face buffering issues using our IPTV service, even if you are having it right now, immediately open a support ticket or send us an email so we start the diagnosing process as soon as possible. Therefore, if you are having the buffering issue right now, open a support ticket from the top menu by clicking on Support tab. We will get back to you ASAP. You can read this article later when you have a bit of free time with peace of mind. there are checks to perform and actions to be taken on your side which most of the times prove effective and resolve the matter, but you can always report the problem to us. We have step by step procedure which we follow to identify the source of problem.


Throughout the years of providing IPTV to hundreds of thousands of users, we have seen almost every possible scenarios that might happen to us as the IPTV provider or to you as an end-user. So the guide you're about to read is actually practical and will be useful.


iptv buffering issues

How to fix IPTV buffering issues?


IPTV buffering can happen from 3 obvious origins:


  • IPTV buffering caused from Provider's side

  • An issue from user's side causing IPTV buffering

  • The path between user and provider causes IPTV buffering

  • Tips for using VPN the right way to avoid IPTV buffering


IPTV buffering caused from Provider's side

An IPTV provider should always be vigilant, keeping track of their server resources and IPTV-feed sources to make sure everything goes smoothly resulting in a fluent streaming experience at client's end. There are key points that a provider should always pay attention to in order to avoid causing buffering on the service:


-IPTV buffering caused by bad server resources management

IPTV streams are stored on web servers and those servers are accessible to users in order for them to connect and pull the feed from. It is of utmost importance that those servers have enough amount of CPU, RAM and network bandwidth to ensure not only the highest expected load during peak hours, but also at least 50% headroom of the same usage. In other words, a well-managed server is the one which during the highest peak usage, only 50% of all resources are used. Thats how we do it in Fast IPTV. Our servers have at least 24 cores cpu, 256g RAM and 10 Gigabits of full-duplex network port. We load-balance streams between servers, especially the streams which are broadcasting live sports events, to ensure the load is split between our servers equally. We always monitor our servers performance during peak hours, making sure that there is at least 40% to 50% of headroom (free amount of CPU, RAM and Network) available on each server.


-Distant Server location can result in IPTV buffering

The IPTV provider must choose the best server location so that their clients, especially the main target markets, can reach those servers with the lowest network latency possible. A stable IPTV services relies on a low latency network between the client and the server. Fast IPTV servers are hosted in the best possible location in the world, the Netherlands, which is very well-known for the network quality and the best network routing to all parts of the world. 


-Unstable IPTV feeds causing IPTV buffering

There are people who break the encryption and access IPTV feeds and share them for a high price. IPTV providers rent their feeds from these sources. In other words, end-users and the IPTV provider DO rely on a stable IPTV feed from these sources. Most of the sources we use are highly reliable and stable. You can checkout our IPTV channel list page to see our honest opinion about each country package. If an issue with any of the channels from any country package is detected by us or through a report from our clients, we will immediately check the stream to understand whether the problem is from our servers or directly caused from our source's side. If it's the source of the stream, we will quickly get in touch with them and ask them to rectify the error although most of the times they do it themselves as they are responsible enough to eagle-eye their service.



An issue from user's side causing IPTV buffering

Unlike provider's side, client's IPTV environment (by that I mean anything which has something to do with playing IPTV) is so extensive and is subjected to many possibilities in case of an IPTV buffering.


-Slow speed internet package

One of the very common causes of IPTV buffering would be client's slow internet speed. It could be a minimal package activated on client's broadband and needs upgrading, or it might be the ISP (Internet Service Provider) having issues or deliberately causing problems for IPTV users. The last part will be covered later on. The minimum internet speed (Bandwidth) required to watch normal SD, HD and FHD IPTV Live TV content would be 20 Megabits and the more the merrier. It has to be stable and without fluctuations with lowest ping time (network latency) possible about which we spoke above and pointed out that IPTV provider's choice of server location plays a massive role in this.

On the other hand, you need to make sure the speed of the connection is actually what your ISP has promised. This can be checked by a proper speed test procedure. I mention proper because most people do it in a blunt way. You need to simulate the exact IPTV environment while carrying out the speed test. Read this extensive guide on how to take a speed test for IPTV purposes the right way.

Solution: If your internet package needs upgrading, please do so to at least 20 Megabits. Always run a proper speed test to make sure internet connection and speed are fast and stable enough towards the region where your IPTV provider host their servers. We host our servers in Amsterdam, Netherlands.


-Internal network connection causes buffering

The connection between IPTV device and the network router could cause issues and should be checked if buffering issues happen:

1-Use wired connection

The best and most reliable way of connecting your IPTV device to network router would be through ethernet cable, using at least a CAT6 cable. This way, the latency between your IPTV device and the router would be 1 millisecond which is the lowest and no radio-activity in that area can cause any interference.

2-Make sure no noise is hitting WiFi

WiFi is the most common method of connection and can be used but do so if you are 100% sure that the room or area where you use the WiFi connection for your IPTV device is not congested with too much radio-wave-active devices. The noise can and will interfere with your WiFi connection and may cause IPTV buffering.

3-Always keep the IPTV device and source of WiFi close

The distance between the IPTV device and WiFi router should not be more than 5 or maximum of 10 meters, the closer the better. This will ensure the consistency of the radio connection between two devices.

4-Use the right WiFi band

Generally, WiFi has two bands, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. You must have seen it on WiFi routers, there are two bands provided. The difference is simple actually. 2.4 Gigahertz band is thiner and it is good when your router is in the other room and your device is seeing it through the wall. The 2.4 band can go through obstacles better since it's thiner. However, due to it's thin structure, it may not handle data transfers over 300 megabits very well. So if your router is in the other room and the reception is through an obstacle like a wall, use 2.4Ghz band.

With what said above, the nature of 5Ghz becomes obvious now. It's thicker, hence more bandwidth and as a result it is capable of carrying more data at once. However, being thicker than 2.4 band will make it harder to pass through obstacles.

So, choose the right band according to your environment and I recommend only keeping one frequency band on, meaning if you choose 5Ghz, it's best to disable the 2.4Ghz which will improve the performance of your WiFi router.

5-Check WiFi status from time to time

In most modern devices, there are "WiFi status", also known as "WiFi connection health" section in which you can see the signal strength of your WiFi connection to the router and the amount noise affecting your connection. As an example, you can read this guide to know more about WiFi connection status on Fire TV stick devices.

Solution: Always connect your IPTV device to the network router via Cable. If using WiFi, make sure the device is not too far away from the router and the area is not congested with too much radio-wave-active devices. Use the right radio band and disable the one which you do not use to improve WiFi performance.


-Buffering caused by using more devices than allowed number of connections

On a normal basis, each IPTV account has 1 concurrent connection slot allowed. That means, you can run that account on one device at a time unless extra connections are enabled. If you are going to install your IPTV account on more than one device, make sure to keep track. On a daily basis, we see clients who have installed their IPTV account on multiple devices, lose track of that and when trying to watch the service, one of the many devices they have installed service on is left online or being used by someone else watching through the same IPTV account. This will result in multiple devices fighting over 1 allowed connection and ultimately both get disconnected every few seconds.

Solution: Always install and use the IPTV account on one device and do multiple installations if you know you can manage running devices according to the allowed number of connections on your account.


-ISP own DNS causing buffering issues

Whenever you communicate with any content on internet, you send requests. These requests will reach the closest DNS server to be translated into IP addresses associated with those domain names and then get redirected to the right intended server. If you want to read more about this, read this guide on what is a DNS server. IPTV applications are no different and when you try to watch IPTV content, your IPTV player application sends the login request to our servers first and then the stream number of the live TV or VOD content for playback. These requests are first processed through closest DNS servers to you. It is highly advised to use (Google public DNS server), (Level 3 communications) or (cloudflare) on your devices in network settings section as primary and secondary DNS servers. It is also highly recommended to use these DNS servers inside your network router instead of your ISP's default one. Reason is some ISPs tend to use the DNS queries and block certain content. This will be explained in more details later on.

Solution: Always use DNS servers other than your ISP default ones.


-IPTV buffering due to application settings

The default settings of all IPTV applications should work fine usually but due to various reasons, it might become necessary to make changes to the settings section of the application which mostly does make a difference especially when you are using an Android  or a Firestick device. For instance, one of the very common things we hear from our clients is that IPTV Smarters pro, Smart IPTV, TiviMate and even our IPTV application have buffering issues on certain channels. When we look into the report, we could see mostly streams with 50FPS or HEVC video format (Live TV or VOD) are the ones causing buffering. Thats why we recommend that our users change the built-in media player engine to VLC. Here is a helpful guide on how to change Smarters Pro player engine to external.

Solution: External player engine can make a difference if it is determined that the built-in player is causing the issue.


-Device cache causes IPTV buffering

This issue usually happens on android and Firesticks, especially Firesticks. Cache is a usually small-size memory assigned to applications to store repetitive data so that when the application needs that data, it loads the content locally instead of calling up on the online source. This will result in a faster performance of the application. However, sometimes the cache gets deprecated and causes application malfunction. This deprecation is mostly seen in a form of IPTV buffering and sometimes EPG or Picons not loading.

Solution: You can clear cache and data on your Android or Fire TV Stick device. Some applications have cache clearing functionality in their settings sections as well.


-Using a bad device to play IPTV

Enigma 2 satellite boxes and Smart TVs are on the top of this list. Enigma 2 is just not made for IPTV, especially the old models although 4K versions do better. Smart TVs like Samsung and LG with those stubborn, closed-source operating systems can prove faulty from time to time, mostly when you try to run HEVC or 50FPS content. We do have many users who use LGTV or Samsung Smart Tvs as their IPTV device and never have issues, however we do receive issue reports about those devices from time to time.

Solution: Stay away from using Enigma 2 as your IPTV device and if you have no other choice, use your client portal to limit the number of channels to the country categories you really want to watch. This improve the performance on your E2 device. Smart TVs may prove faulty on certain Live TV or VOD content or any devices like that if you want to have a superb IPTV experience. Android TV boxes or Fire TV devices should be your choice.



The path between user and provider causes IPTV buffering

So this is where it gets a bit technical, somehow serious and probably a little complicated. When we say "the path between user and provider" we are basically referring to the network path, the route that your device and our servers use to communicate together. IPTV is totally reliant on a stable internet connection. Any disruption of the connection can result in IPTV buffering or playback error. There are issues happening on a daily basis but most countries are fine. However, there are some like Portugal, The UK and Greece where these issues are not issues anymore! they are tactics that some ISPs apply to fight IPTV feeds in their own way. But generally speaking, network issues can and will happen. Below we will explain the possible scenarios and the solutions to them:


-Network routes facing issues resulting in IPTV buffering

This happens quite frequently. A network node somewhere has issues, causes data packet losses and as a result buffering issues happening at clients end. Usually, these issues are immediately detected by the responsible internet transit companies and resolved before we know it or they reroute the internet flow to the stable path automatically, but sometimes it is more serious and needs a bit of time to resolve. Our servers are hosted in a data center where it has over 10 different network routes available globally for our clients to reach our servers. It also gives us a very simple tool, a link to run in browser, which detects the best route and set that route for client's ISP.

Solution: If the above issue happens and it is confirm by our support, we will provide you with a link with instructions to run in your browser. The whole process takes 5 minutes and all automatic. Our traffic towards your ISP will be reroute to the best possible route after the procedure is finished.


-ISP is conducting some technical maintenance

Reliable internet providers usually have a bulletin, a status update webpage or maybe social media page on which they post updates about their service. Have that one saved somewhere or added to your bookmarks so when issues happen you could check there to make sure whether it is your ISP conducting any maintenance work or not.

Solution: Patience!


-ISP deliberately causing IPTV buffering issues

In many countries this is becoming a tactic for ISPs to apply measure to fight IPTV streaming. There are various tactics. It could be blocking IPTV provider's server IP, throttling the bandwidth towards IPTV servers or even fully blocking the IP range of some data centers which are known for hosting IPTV servers. In the UK, ISPs inspect data during live events, find IPTV content and block the IP address of those servers. Thankfully, we have been using a preventive measure to be immune to this tactic since 2021. Another tactic which is used by ISPs in Portugal would be throttling the bandwidth towards IP address which become more active a few minutes before and during Portuguese football events. Same behavior has been seen among ISPs in Greece.

Solution: The best and ultimate solution to all these issues would be a VPN. We do provide a free VPN with OpenVPN protocol which has proven effective in most countries but, for instance in Portugal, ISPs throttle OpenVPN sometimes. Thats why we are working on Ikev2 and Wireguard protocols to be added to our VPN functionality on our android application as well. If you can subscribe to any reliable, well-known VPN provider who have Wireguard among their available protocols, definitely do that and always stream through VPN.


Tips for using VPN the right way to avoid IPTV buffering

As mentioned above, VPN is the ultimate solution to all the tricks Internet providers do to fight IPTV. There are, however, some tips for using VPN which I'd like to mention which may provide very helpful and massively effective in terms of solidifying your IPTV experience.


-Subscribe to a VPN provider who has Wireguard protocol

Wireguard is a recently made protocol which is more modern, secure and known as the "light VPN protocol". It can bypass almost any network and VPN throttling applied by some ISPs and it is probably the best protocol to be used for IPTV streaming. When searching for a VPN provider to subscribe, make sure they do offer Wireguard as one of their supported protocols.


-Choose VPN servers close to you

There is a very simple logic here: So if I am living in Germany and I want to use VPN, I should pick a VPN server close to my country. This decision will result in low added latency to your connection after connecting to VPN. Some users choose USA servers thinking "USA servers are the best" which is absolutely not true. There is another thing to do. Our IPTV servers are hosted in the Netherlands. All VPN service have Netherlands as a server to choose. If your country of residence is close to the Netherlands, choose that server as our servers are hosted in the same country. This will result in lowest delay possible and you may have no added delay to your IPTV streaming and zapping speed. So always use a VPN server close to your country and to the location where your IPTV provider hosts their servers.


-Run a speed test on the chosen VPN server

To stream Live TV content without issues through VPN, you need to make sure at least 20 Megabits of stable bandwidth is available through that VPN connection. Connect the VPN and run the speed test but choose your target test server to be in the same location as your IPTV provider hosts their servers. Read this guide to see the right way of taking a speed test for IPTV purposes.


-Use UDP instead of TCP data protocol

TCP stands for Transmission Control Protocol. In short, this is used where the accuracy of the data delivered matters. Web browsing is one of those instances. When the TCP protocol is used between two servers or two data points, the sender of the data will wait until the dispatched data packet is received to the destination and then send the next one. This will reduce the speed.

In IPTV streaming, we need the fastest possible form of data transfer. UDP is mostly used in streaming. It stands for User Datagram Protocol and when a data transfer starts, the sending server pushes data chunks towards the receiver without worrying about the packet loss.

In your VPN protocol, always use UDP.


-Use VPN provider's DNS servers

DNS Leak is probably one of the most common factors ISPs use to keep taps on users and sometimes filter specific requests including IPTV content. If you use ISPs default DNS servers while connected to any VPN, there is still a chance for data leak.

Some high quality VPN providers offer "DNS forwarding" or "DNS encryption". Always enable that.


-Use light encryption version

AES-128 bit is commonly used as it is light, rapid and still very safe and secure. Higher cypher weights might attract unwanted attention if the DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) is intense in your ISP. It may also adds delay and reduces the streaming performance.


Above is what we know according to the knowledge we have and acquired throughout the years of providing IPTV to users. This article is for sure subjected to edits as there are well-aware and knowledgable people who are going to read this, find our flaws and help us in improving it. So if you notice a mistake, a misinformation or a typo, let us know.