Browser-based video conferencing can make your next screen-to-screen meeting seamless. That’s because there are no software downloads required for this type of communication. Instead, you simply click a link that takes you online and connects the call. Most browser-based video conferencing services work on all the major browsers out there. However, which one is best?
Comparing Browsers for Video Conferencing Services
You would think that the best browser for a video conference should be any of them. Not true, according to PC Magazine, which recently reviewed Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. They point out that the “browser wars” are back in full swing, with Internet Explorer being a casualty in the process. According to the article, Google Chrome recently captured about 70% of the market on any digital device, including mobile. Interestingly, they point out that Chrome is so dominant, that the other browsers (except for Firefox) use their underlying code base to run their search engines.
However, PC Magazine also says that Chrome isn’t the leader in the number of features it offers. Edge, Firefox, Safari, and Opera all have features that Chrome does not. What are the features that matter on these browsers? Well, speed and reliability remain critical, but the connection between your desktop and phone is increasingly important.
Browsers with slower speeds will produce video latency during your call. However, the speed of your internet connection also affects your browser-based video conferencing experience.
If you review browsers based on national web standards, which is the HTML5 test website, the browsers shape up like this:
· Chrome is 528 out of a maximum of 555.
· Edge is 492.
· Firefox is in the rear at 491.
· Opera is 518.
· Safari is dead last at 471.
Privacy is another big issue with browsers, and the reality is that your video conferencing solution is only partially responsible for keeping your conversations secure. Chrome was dinged by PC Magazine in one respect: The browser automatically signs you into YouTube and Gmail, which some say are risky behaviors. Opera ranks highly on privacy, because it has a built-in virtual private network (VPN) that visitors can utilize.
For features, PC Magazine calls out some of the not-so-standard offerings available, including:
· Opera has a built-in cryptocurrency wallet.
· Microsoft Edge has a detailed privacy setting and a nice accessibility feature—their webpage voice reader has “remarkable realistic speech.”
· Even though Chrome boasts market share, PC Magazine says, “Chrome can no longer boast any unique browsing features.”
· Firefox has one of the coolest features: You can be logged into your desktop then switch to your phone and have it mirror the desktop display. For video conferencing, this lets you start a browser-based video conference on your laptop or desktop, then jump onto your smartphone and stay connected.
· Apple Safari was one of the first browsers with a reading mode that cleared ads from web articles you were viewing. Other browsers quickly followed. Safari recently added some fingerprint protection, which is nice, because it cuts down on web trackers.
One consideration, when selecting a browser for your video conferencing solution, is to determine the browser’s specs concerning picture quality. Generally, your goal is higher picture quality, whether you’re video conferencing or watching a movie. The higher the quality, the better the picture details and contrast ratios. The best browsers for 1080p HD resolution are Edge and Safari. Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera stream at 720p. However, Lifewire does point out that, “Google Chrome has long been considered the speed king of bowsers and has always emphasized performance.”
No matter the browser you use, some tips to improve the performance of your video conferencing service include:
· Close open browser tabs or applications. This decreases the drain on your device’s memory so that the computer can put all of its “energy” toward video conferencing.
· Use 5G if you have access to it for a less crowded and hopefully faster experience.
· Skip Wi-Fi and go to a "plugged in", Ethernet connection. Plugging directly into the router will give you a smoother video feed.
· Monitor your internet speed. Do it regularly. If you are paying for 10 Mbps but your speed test gives you 2 Mbps, it’s time to call your internet service provider (ISP) and get what you’re paying for.
Browser-based video conferencing software allows a simple online click to join a call, without any plugin installation or software download. Browser-based video conferencing companies use Web Real-Time Communications, or WebRTC technology as the backbone of their service. What is WebRTC and what is the best browser to use for this type of video conferencing service?
What is the Best Browser for WebRTC Video Conferencing?
WebRTC is a peer-to-peer media exchange tool within the browser environment. All you need to do is open a meeting web page by clicking on a link. Google Chrome was one of the first browsers to support WebRTC. Today, WebRTC is supported by most major browsers:
· Chrome was the leader in supporting WebRTC back in 2012. Today, Chrome offers a full-featured browser environment for video conferencing without any add-ons needed.
· Edge began supporting WebRTC in 2017. Today, Edge users can instant message using WebRTC, in addition to supporting browser-based video conferencing.
· Safari also began supporting WebRTC in 2017. Older versions of the service use a WebRTC plugin to run video conferencing.
· Firefox enables WebRTC by default on their browser. Initially, the service required a manual tweak to advanced settings to enable it. Not anymore, however Firefox can me "hit and miss" when it comes to many WebRTC video conferencing solutions, so it is not a recommended browser to use.
· Opera supports WebRTC technology, however it requires an application program interface (API), which allows access to the end-user’s camera and microphone; many video conferencing products do not support this browser and it too is not a recommended browser to use.
MegaMeeting offers browser-based video conferencing and webinars to our clients. You do not need a plugin or an application. As long as the browser incorporates WebRTC (as most do; see the list above), you can enjoy a user-friendly one-click experience with no risky downloads to worry about. The benefit for end-users is the hassle-free nature of this service. Even if you’re behind a firewall or in a corporate setting, one click can connect you wherever you need to go.
We’re so confident you’ll enjoy our service, MegaMeeting offers a 14-day free trial to give you a taste of the benefits of browser-based video conferencing. Get in touch. We can help you communicate.
MegaMeeting solves the biggest challenges of modern video conferencing. For users, it is an all-in-one platform that delivers both video conferencing and webinars in a single, simplified interface. For attendees, it is 100% browser-based, making it highly accessible; joining a meeting is instantaneous from a single click. For enterprises, it is highly customizable, with white-labeling options for a private branded solution. For developers, it is API-driven and easy to integrate.
Powered by WebRTC, Node.js, React, and GraphQL, it is a cutting-edge platform that is fun and easy to use for users and developers alike.