Video conference tools WebEx, Zoom, and Teams are high availability high throughput tools. They can be sensitive to network conditions. VPNs use end to end encryption which delivers protection from the point that data is entered into browsers to the moment they arrive at their destination. Sometimes you may notice that other devices on the network seem to perform better, it is because of the encryption that a VPN uses to provide for security.
One of the main causes of meeting connection problems are how you connect to the Internet. When you have a slow, or unreliable connection, Meeting tools may not work properly. Sometimes, you may not even realize that you have a problem until you join a meeting.
Here are some common things to try if you struggle with remote meetings
- Choose voice over video
- Having your web camera on is best practice when you're working remotely, but if you have a poor internet connection—focus on maintaining your audio connectivity. From a desktop, turn your video off by clicking the camera icon. From a mobile app, select the option to switch to an audio-only meeting.
- Change your audio
- Selecting "Call Using Computer" can slow down your connection, so to avoid this, try using the "I Will Call In" options when dialing in. If you lose connectivity completely, open your meeting invitation, and call one of the numbers under "Join by phone."
- Close your applications
- To ensure all your connection goes to your meeting, consider closing any unneeded applications. Look out for these common offenders: email, browser tabs, file back-ups, and open documents connected to cloud-based content sharing services.
- Share content offline
- If you need to share content, send the file before your meeting, or share a link to the file rather than sharing your screen. This will save valuable bandwidth so you can keep your audio and video connected.
- If you are connected wirelessly, try moving your laptop closer to your wireless access point or router.
- Try connecting your computer directly to your router via a wired Ethernet cable, instead of relying on the WiFi in your home (newer laptops may need an adapter)
- Note: If you use a Mac, you may need to change your System Preferences to prioritize your wired network.
- Limit non-essential activities (such as Netflix streaming or gaming) by family members on your home network while you are working. Consider scheduling internet time for family members who are using bandwidth for non-essential activities.
- If you are connecting from a laptop, plug the laptop into wall power. Battery use can adversely affect video quality.
To assist in diagnosis, start with the list below:
- Who is the Internet provider?
- When did you last restart the computer?
- How many people share the connection?
- What are the other people doing (streaming, email, Facebook, etc.)?
- Are you using a wired or wireless connection?
- If wireless - do you have the ability to plug in a network cable to the laptop dock?
- Go to https://fast.com/ and check connection speed.
- What is the indicated speed before and after connecting to VPN on fast.com?
IT can help with some of these items, but not all. Home network connections and service provider variables are out of our control.