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How-To Geek

Buffer

In computing, a buffer is a portion of physical memory storage set aside to temporarily store data while it is being moved and/or processed in some fashion. While buffers are used silently all around us as computers move data back and forth (such as when you spool up a giant set of playlists to copy over to your MP3 player), sometimes the buffers are readily apparent. When you’re waiting for a YouTube video to load, for example, your web browser is trying to decode enough of the video and store it in a buffer so that any latency or other data transfer issues will be smoothed over before the buffered video catches up.

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