Some of my presenters struggle with the quality of their connections during virtual events. What are the three top tips that I can give them to help improve their connection?
Richard Feder, Fort Lee, NJ
Your presenters have a lot of options to consider, from turning off all other WiFi devices to upgrading their broadband subscription (if available). The place to start is to make sure that they have sufficient bandwidth in their Internet service to support live video streaming. In general, you need 3 to 4 Mbps for the upload speed. Many broadband services are asymmetrical, which means that they are faster for downloads than uploads. A good way to see your speeds is to use a site such as https://www.speedtest.net/.
If your broadband service is sufficient, then here are my three recommendations for best streaming video performance, starting with the easiest first.
Plug in. If you’re using WiFi, use an Ethernet cable plugged directly into your router instead. You can get cables that are hundreds of feet long if necessary, but this will eliminate any possible interference from other wireless sources.
Change the channel. If you must use WiFi, reduce the amount of interference. Almost everyone installs their WiFi routers using the default. If you live close enough to your neighbors that you can see their WiFi signals, you may benefit from changing the channel on your router. There are free apps that will identify the best channel, but typically a change from Channel 6 to Channel 1 or 11 can make a big difference.
Phone home. If you are in a place with limited Internet service, try your smartphone. 4G data connections can be as fast as 5 Mbps upload, and most phones can be configured as a WiFi hotspot. If your data plan will support the extra load, this might be better than your Internet service. (And keep it in mind as a backup if your Internet connection goes down.)
Alfred Poor, Technology Editor
Got questions about virtual events? We’ve got the answers (and if we don’t have them, we’ve got access to the experts who do). Send them to [email protected] and we’ll answer the best questions here in future newsletter issues.