Improving Your Zoom Connection

Hello everyone:

We are monitoring the critical technology issues that universities and businesses are experiencing using Zoom and their networks. We are seeing reports that there are more instances of audio or video in Zoom becoming choppy or distorted. This seems to mostly be issues of local bandwidth, PC activity, or home WiFi setups. So I wanted to send some information about what you can do to improve your online experience. 

Run a Speed Test
The first thing to do is to figure out how fast your internet is currently. You can type “internet speed test” into a search engine.  If your speed is much slower than what you’re paying for, you may want to contact your ISP.

Make sure your system requirements are correct
Make sure that the computing device you’re using supports Zoom. These are the system requirements for PC, Mac, and Linux from Zoom: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362023-System-Requirements-for-PC-Mac-and-Linux  

Use the best Internet connection you can. 

  • Wired connections are faster and more stable than wireless (WiFi or cellular) connections.
  • WiFi connections are faster and more stable than cellular (3G/4G/LTE) connections.

Plan for Zoom meetings, and as often as possible, join Zoom meetings from a location where you can use a fast, reliable, wired Internet connection. 

If you are using WiFi, check your router.
Problems with wireless connections are usually easy to fix. For detailed information about your WiFi setup, please see Enhancing Your WiFi-Powered Zoom Meeting.  Some quick tips for improving WiFi signal include:

  • Try bringing your computer or mobile device closer to the WiFi router or access point in your home or office.
  • Upgrade your WiFI router firmware. Check your WiFi router support site for firmware upgrade availability. 
  • If necessary, consider using a WiFi extender to increase the distance and strength of your WiFi signal.
  • If you use a cable connection, use a DOCSIS 3.0 or higher cable modem to improve internet performance.

Mute your microphone when you’re not speaking.
When your microphone is on, Zoom will devote part of your Internet connection to an audio stream for you, even if you are not speaking. Mute your microphone when you do not need it, and you will allow Zoom to use your Internet connection more effectively.

Stop your webcam video when you don’t need it.
If your instructor or moderator is okay with you doing so, start your video only when you need to show yourself on webcam, and stop your video when it isn’t required.

Disable HD webcam video.
Sending high definition (HD) webcam video requires more bandwidth than sending non-HD. Disabling HD video will free up more of your Internet connection for other parts of your Zoom meeting. How do I disable HD video in the Zoom Client? From within the Zoom Client: 

  • Click the “Home” tab.
  • Click ” Settings.”
  • In the Settings window that opens:
  • Click the “Video” tab.
  • Uncheck “Enable HD.”
  • Close the Settings window.

Close other, unneeded applications on your computer.
Zoom meetings can demand significant memory and processing power from your computer. Closing other applications — ones you do not need during the session — will help Zoom run better.

Avoid other activities that will steal bandwidth.
Don’t start other bandwidth-intensive activities just before, or during, a Zoom meeting. On your Zoom device—and as much as possible, on different computers and devices that share your Internet connection—avoid:

  • large downloads
  • large uploads
  • streaming video (e.g., Netflix, Hulu, YouTube)
  • cloud backups (e.g., Carbonite, CrashPlan)
  • cloud file synchronizations (e.g., OneDrive, Dropbox)
  • other high-bandwidth activities

Communicate with the instructor or moderator of your Zoom meeting.
If the best Internet connection you have for Zoom is a slow one, such as a weak cellular data connection, let the person or people running your session know ahead of time.

 

Best regards,
Bob Lim