Zoom - Tips to Improve Zoom Audio & Video on Low Bandwidth Networks

Issue/Question

  • How can I improve my Zoom connection?
  • What are some ways of ensuring my Zoom experience is good?
  • I have a low bandwidth connection, can I still use Zoom?

Environment

  • Oregon State University
  • Faculty/Staff
  • Students
  • Zoom Users

Cause/Explanation

If you are in a rural location or know that you have low bandwidth at your location, you can apply some of the following tips to help improve your Zoom experience. Completing any or all of these will help ensure as little audio and video interruptions as possible.

Resolution

Low Bandwidth Tips & Tricks

Use the best Internet connection you can
Whenever possible, plug an Ethernet cable directly from your computer into the wireless router (be sure to disable WiFi on your computer if plugged in). Wired is better than Wifi, Wifi is better than Cellular (3G/4G/LTE). It's also important to note that other computers/devices using the same network, while in a Zoom meeting, can cause the network to slow down and cause audio and video issues.

Adjust your location within your home
To maximize signal quality, you must do one of two things: move the router or move yourself. The closer you are to your router, the better your signal quality. Just like any other radio device, WiFi routers have a particular range. As you move further from it, you’ll get choppy packet delivery (your video and audio could freeze). Also note that walls and staircases can weaken the WiFi distance.

Stop your webcam 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 needed. Stopping your own video will reduce traffic going out on your network.

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.

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. There are two locations that you can disable this setting. Zoom Desktop App - click the gear icon, selecting video and uncheck HD Video. The other location is on the Zoom website. Click Settings on the left, locate Group HD and disable.

Avoid other activities that steal bandwidth
Don't start other bandwidth-intensive activities just before, or during, a Zoom meeting. On your Zoom device and other computers/devices that share your Internet connection—avoid:
    - large downloads/uploads

    - streaming video (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube)
    - cloud backups (e.g. Carbonite, CrashPlan)
    - cloud file synchronizations (e.g. Box, OneDrive, Dropbox)

Wireless Router Maintenance
Similar to having to reboot your computer periodically, it's also a good idea to reboot your wireless router. Typically this can be done by unplugging the power cable for 30 seconds and then plugging back it. It will generally take a few minutes for the router to reboot so that you can connect. Whether you own or rent your router, it's always a good idea to perform software updates to them. You can contact your Service Provider and the manufacture to find out information on how to update your router.

Visit the Zoom website for additional WiFi Connection Issues
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362463-Wireless-WiFi-Connection-Issues

 

For assistance, contact the IS Service Desk.

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Details

Article ID: 103894
Created
Wed 4/1/20 10:53 AM
Modified
Thu 10/15/20 1:26 PM