Is this your first time trying a video conference call?
Even if it’s not, you may have experienced frustrations in the past because of a bad connection. There is nothing worse than deflating the excitement in your classroom because of a choppy signal or lost call. And although there may be many causes of a bad connection on you video call, I want to touch on the foundation of all great connections.
Your internet speed.
It doesn’t matter what the other issues are, if you have a slow connection then your experience is going to be less than stellar.
To test your internet speed:
- Go to www.speedtest.net
- Hit the “Begin Test” button in the center of your screen.
Wait for your test to finish running and read your results. You will get three numbers in your results: Ping, Download Speed, and Upload Speed. We care about the Upload Speed for video calls. Depending on the application you are using (i.e., Hangouts, Skype or Zoom) you will need at least 1-2 Mbps. For Skype and Hangouts it is recommended that you have at least 2 Mbps and for Zoom it is recommended that you have 1 Mbps. However, no matter which application you are using the higher the number the better.
But wait, that’s not all. If possible you need to connect to a hardwire connection and not your Wifi. Why?
Think of it this way, if we are both driving to the same destination, on the same highway, at the same time, and at the same speed; who will get there first? We’ll both arrive at the same time right?
But what if you stopped at a rest stop and I did not. Now I will arrive first even though all other variables are the same. Your internet connection works the same way. Your video feed will make many stops (e.g., servers) from point A to point B which all slows the overall speed. By connecting to a hardwire, you will be taking out a pit stop on your video’s journey. This can dramatically improve your speed on a video call, even if you have a strong wireless connection.
1: Make sure you have at least 1-2 Mbps (the higher the better).
2: Connect directly to your internet with a hardwire connection whenever possible.
Happy Video Chatting!