Video conferencing connects people all around the world, and a very important factor for a video conference to go smoothly is speed. However, another very important factor for video conferencing is latency. It affects how responsive your internet connection, game, or video feels.
Most video conferencing apps work best with less than 150 milliseconds of latency or ping. The latency must be as close to real-time as possible because the lower the latency, the better. On average, video conferencing requires around 1.5-2 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up for a one-to-one call with two parties.
Latency is all about how well the connections between voice and video sync together. So, if you want to make a video call correctly, pinging is very important. Therefore, the latency below 40 ms is more than enough to avoid video conferencing problems. Ideally, you should expect 1ms of latency for every 60 miles between you and the person you’re talking to (the endpoint). However, a base latency is also added by the type of connection you have, such as
- 100-220ms for dial-up
- 5-40ms for cable internet
- 0-10ms for T1
- 10-70ms for DSL.
What affects latency in Video Conferencing?
Latency is generally affected by the difference in the size of video and audio packets in video conferencing. But there are many other factors as well that defines whether the latency is higher or lower. Some could be fixable, while others could just be part of people’s online experience. Let us look at them:
- Server & Distance- One of the major causes for latency to be good or bad is also due to the server your system is requesting information from and at what distance it is. You should consider this factor whenever you can choose where to connect it.
- Clear or insufficient memory space- Any virus or malware can affect the speed and latency of the system. So, if you do not have your system secure, up to date, or with low disk space, it will struggle to maintain RAM requirements and will not provide a seamless video experience.
- Wi-Fi- Using Wi-Fi is great, but this wireless signal tends to be more unstable and generates problems while connecting.
- Routers- Some routers are old and slow and take time to process data, so the latency time increases when a packet transfers from router to router.
- Protocols Formats- The type of video protocol used for distribution and contribution formats is one thing you should consider.
- The tool used- Video conferencing software can influence lower or higher latency. So, you must optimise the program and ensure it does not have any bugs.
- Streamline & Websites workflow- If a website or OTT platform has a lot of large files, its workflow also influences latency.
How to reduce latency for video conferencing?
It is often said that the lower the latency will be better for our interests. But there is no such thing as zero or 1 ms latency. This is because it is digitally and physically impossible for internet signals to immediately convert into data and transmitted over a data line, then converted back into electrical signals at the ending point. But there are a few tricks to minimise video latency without compromising the video quality. Let us know how:
- Disconnect Unnecessary Devices- If you’re downloading a large file on a desktop and streaming a video on another device, your bandwidth might not be enough for a high-quality and low latency video call. In such a case, you can avoid multitasking and do one activity at a time.
- Prioritizing bandwidth- Optimizing bandwidth reduces congestion on a network and maximises cost efficiency. So, implementing effective bandwidth for video conferencing traffic will help reduce packet loss and latency.
- Buying Right Video Protocol- Different types of error correction create latency. So, you should select the right video conferencing protocol that fits your latency needs.
- Using Ethernet cable- If you want to reduce your latency as much as possible, you’ll have to use an Ethernet cable over WiFi to connect to the internet. These connections have much lower ping times and will help avoid lags.
- Updated Router- An old, slow router can slow down your internet connection. So, you can exchange your old router with the upgraded one to decrease latency.
- Internet Connection- Your internet connection type can also affect the latency. Using DSL, cable, and fibre internet over satellite internet will lower latency.
Low Latency Video Conferencing Options
|Google Meet||<50 milliseconds||Free|
|Microsoft Teams||<60 milliseconds||Free|
Zoom is a comprehensive video conferencing platform that offers the most reliable audio and video streaming. It is currently the most popular video conferencing software among the general public and businesses.
Zoom's unique features make it so attractive, such as the ability to do live polls, host a whiteboard collaboration session, and more. Moreover, familiarity with users with Zoom makes people comfortable with its great user interface quality. If you have a large company with approximately 500 people, you should choose Zoom as it has the highest-possible frame rate and the least latency. Below is the performance stats of Zoom:
|Latency||24 ms||17 ms|
|Frequency||24 kHz||24 kHz|
|Packet Loss- Average||0.0%||0.0%|
|Jitter||2 ms||2 ms|
Google Meet Performance
Google Meet was recently rebranded as Google Hangouts Meet. It is one of the most popular video conferencing software used in fields like education, business, healthcare, as well as in personal life. It is the only cloud video conferencing tool that attracts over 100 million daily participants. Meet also integrates with Google Suite products like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and more.
Besides, Google Meet requires a latency or ping rate of less than 50ms and 2.6-4Mbps bandwidth for HD video calls. And a latency of less than 100ms and 1-2Mbps bandwidth for SD video quality based on the number of participants in the meeting. So, if you want a free video-conferencing platform, go ahead with Google Meet without hesitation.
Microsoft Teams Performance
Microsoft Teams offers a more cohesive experience of video conferencing than any other video conferencing app. It combines business VoIP, video conferencing features, and collaboration in a single app that incorporates the rest of Microsoft's messaging suite.
Video conferencing being the key component, Microsoft Teams attracts over 44 million daily participants from over 650 organisations and 93 Fortune companies. It makes it effortless for users to jump on a call from a text. Teams require a latency or ping rate of less than 60ms and less than 1.5Mbps bandwidth for HD video calls. Microsoft Teams is the best option for teams of up to 10,000 colleagues to add and collaborated with. Below is the performance stats of Microsoft Teams:
|Packet Loss- average||<0.1%|