Do you find yourself running into issues when using Zoom for lessons or meetings? There is nothing more annoying or distracting than encountering problems such as latency, buffering, random disconnections, and video that freezes mid-stream. When I first started giving online piano lessons from my home in Aberdare, I came up against these problems, so I'm going to share with you how I fixed it (specifically, solution number 3 worked the best for me!).
Whether you are a teacher or a student, here are some useful tips to help you improve your Zoom connection.
#1 - Check your connection speed.
Go onto Google on your mobile or desktop browser and in the search bar type "speed test". The following image should appear:
Click the button that says "Run Speed Test" and check your download and upload speed. With a stable internet connection, you should be able to run Zoom and other video conferencing apps with as little as 1.5 Mbps. However, from personal experience I have found that upload speeds of 4.5mb or slower can cause issues with buffering. The faster Wi-Fi, the better - faster speeds always give you a smoother connection.
#2 Bandwidth Congestion
Bandwidth congestion may be responsible for your poor connection. You can try manually reducing the amount of bandwidth required to run Zoom Meetings by: Disabling HD video.
Go to Settings in Zoom, click on the Video tab, and uncheck the box for HD video.
#3 Use a wired connection (ethernet cable)
An ethernet cable plugs into a computer and runs directly into the back of the router, giving you a much more stable connection without the dropouts you may experience over a WiFi connection.
Which ethernet cable should you buy for video streaming services such as Zoom?
There are a number of different ethernet cables, available in different lengths. The category of cable that would be suitable for most people is either Cat5e or Cat6.
CAT6 cables are designed for operating frequencies up to 250 MHz, compared to 100 Mhz for CAT5e. A CAT6 cable is typically more durable and can process more data at the same time than a CAT5e.
If you want to learn more about the finer details, there are many articles online that focus on the differences and similarities between each model.
CAT6 will provide you better speeds and network performance, however unless your router is capable of the extra speed, it is not worth the upgrade and a CAT5e will be sufficient.