Improving the quality of your Zoom/Hangouts connection

From NCSSM Wiki

Please use the following guidelines to improve the quality of your Zoom or Hangouts Meet connection if you have issues with your video or audio.

Use the best Internet connection available

In general:

  • Wired connections are better than wireless (Wi-Fi or cellular) connections.
  • Wi-Fi connections are better than cellular (LTE/3G) connections.

Plan ahead for your Zoom or Hangouts Meet meetings, and as often as possible, join these meetings from a location where you can use a fast, reliable Internet connection.

Mute your microphone whenever you are not speaking

When your microphone is on, Zoom or Hangouts Meet 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 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 your webcam, and stop your video when it isn't needed.

Disable HD webcam video in Zoom

Sending high definition (HD) webcam video requires more bandwidth than sending non-HD. Disabling HD video in Zoom will free up more of your Internet connection for other parts of your meeting. (Note: this setting only applies in Zoom, and not Hangouts Meet.)

From within the Zoom Client:

  • Click the Home tab
  • Click gear icon Settings
  • In the Settings window that opens:
    • Click the Video tab
    • Uncheck Enable HD
  • Close the Settings window

Close other applications on your computer

Zoom and Hangouts Meet meetings can demand significant memory and processing power from your computer. Closing other applications that you do not need during the Zoom session will help Zoom to run better.

Avoid other activities that will steal bandwidth

Don't engage in other bandwidth-intensive activities during a Zoom or Hangouts Meet meeting. On your Zoom device, and as much as possible on other computers and devices that share your Internet connection, please avoid:

  • Large downloads
  • Large uploads
  • Streaming video (Netflix, YouTube, etc.)
  • Cloud-based backups (Backblaze, CrashPlan, etc.)
  • Cloud file synchronizations (Google Drive Backup & Sync, Dropbox, etc.)
  • Other high-bandwidth activities

Communicate with the instructor or moderator of your Zoom/Hangouts Meet meeting

If the best Internet connection you have for your meeting is a slow one, such as a weak cellular data connection, let the host running your session know ahead of time.

If you get disconnected

If you are disconnected from your Zoom or Hangouts Meet meeting, please click the link (whether that is in Canvas, and email, or a calendar invitation) to reconnect to the meeting. If this happens multiple times in one meeting, please try the recommendations above to help improve your connection.