We’re in the midst of a remote work revolution, with one in four American employees working from home as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Video conferencing has become the go-to communication tool for these digital nomads, as companies use these tools to keep people collaborating face-to-face — even when they’re states or even countries apart.
One of the questions that may come up when you consider working from home is whether you will have the bandwidth for video conferencing. Having the right internet speed for video conferencing means you won’t suffer network connectivity issues that can cause screen freeze or latency in the connection. This blog post will help you understand the speed you need for your next online meeting.
How Are Speeds Measured for Video Conferencing?
When optimizing your video conferencing experience, it’s helpful to understand how all this works. The first thing to understand is that bandwidth is one of the most important tools you’ll need to successfully use video conferencing from your home. Your internet provider usually sells a package that includes a bandwidth speed rating for uploads and downloads. What does this mean and how does it affect video conferencing?
Let’s start with bandwidth. Bandwidth is the speed at which you can download data from the internet onto your digital device. There are three primary measurements you’ll hear associated with internet speed, kilobit per second (Kbps), megabits per second (Mbps), and megabytes per second (MBps).
Your internet bandwidth is usually measured in Mbps. A bit is a tiny packet of data and a megabit is a million bits. One Mbps is equal to 1,000 Kbps. Or, to put it another way, 1 Mbps is 1,000 times faster than 1 Kbps. For example:
· 1,000 bits = 1 Kbps
· 1,000 Kbps = 1 Mbps
· 8 Mbps = 1 MBps
The bottom line is, the more Mbps you’re paying for with your internet provider, the faster you can surf the internet. A higher Mbps means your online cat videos will play properly and the time it takes to move between websites is faster.
For example, anything over 24 Mbps is considered very fast. A 1 Mbps connection takes about .8 seconds to load a webpage and about 41 seconds to download a five-minute song. If you had a 6 Mbps connection, it would only take about 7 seconds to download that same song. 24 Mbps would be nigh-instantaneous.
For the average household with a remote worker or two, they would be fine with less. The ideal internet speed you need for working from home tends to be around 17 Mbps per person. That allows for having multiple devices online at the same time, plus streaming online TV or other media.
There are three primary measurements for your internet connection:
· The download speed is important for crystal clear connectivity to see video from other people on the call.
· The upload speed affects how other people on the call see your video stream.
· Latency is how well the connections between video and voice sync together. A high level of latency from a bad internet connection means that your speech won’t match how your mouth moves or otherwise distort the video conference communication.
To determine the right internet data plan, take into account how you use the internet and the number of people in your household who will be using the pipeline simultaneously. If you’re planning on using video conferencing tools, that’s something to consider, because a virtual chat can use up a lot of bandwidth.
Now that you understand the basics of internet bandwidth speeds, what is the best internet speed for video conferencing?
What is the Right Bandwidth for Video Conferencing?
There are varying schools of thought around what is the best internet speed for video conferencing. Several factors can affect the quality of your video beyond the download and upload speed. They include:
· What kind of web camera are you using?
· If you’re sharing the internet pipeline (very common for non-commercial internet services), are there lots of people home when you’re working? This can slow down your speed.
· What is the resolution setting of your camera and the frames per second?
· How many features are all of the video conferencing participants using?
Video conferencing typically requires around 1.5 to 2 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up for participants in a one-to-one call with two parties. Generally, the higher the Mbps the better, so some providers recommend a 3 Mbps connection to improve the experience.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommends the following speeds depending upon your activities. For example:
· 1 Mbps for general browsing and email.
· Less than 0.5 Mbps for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling.
· 1 Mbps for standard video conferencing.
· 6 Mbps for HD video conferencing.
· 5 to 25 Mbps for telecommuting.
According to HighSpeedInternet.com, the average internet speed for one person working from home should be:
· 10 Mbps download speed per person.
· At least 1 Mbps upload speed for video conferencing or other activities per person.
You can go to speedtest.net to check your speed. If you feel like your bandwidth isn’t enough, try calling your internet provider to explore other package options. Are there other ways to overcome bandwidth issues during web conferencing?
Overcoming Internet Speed for Video Conferencing Issues
In addition to calling your internet provider to discuss the plan you’re on, you can also limit when you use your webcam. You can still be on the video conference, but just don’t activate your webcam to save the bandwidth. It takes less bandwidth to share your picture instead of live video, so consider just uploading a picture of yourself instead of sharing your face on the webcam.
If you’re having trouble with your connectivity and making a presentation when you share your screen, try pausing your webcam during the screen share so the bandwidth will reallocate away from the pipeline-gobbling video camera. You could also consider adjusting your webcam resolution away from HD, to save a little bandwidth.
Another way to enhance your video conferencing experience is to select a video conferencing provider like MegaMeeting. MegaMeeting is a browser-based video conferencing solution. Because the application uses advanced WebRTC technology, it can adapt to the available network bandwidth at both ends of the video conference. The platform was designed to adapt to data packet losses to improve the overall experience. Plus, there are no downloads of video conferencing software to slow you down.
If you’re worried about what internet speed you need for video conferencing, consider MegaMeeting for all your communication needs.
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.