Hardwire Device – If possible, it is better to hardwire your computer/laptop via an ethernet cable. WIFI is quite unreliable and depending on many other factors such as other apps open and other devices using the WIFI, the connection can drop a lot.
- If possible, attach device via ethernet cable
- Alternatively, you can increase the bandwidth of the network
Reduce Network Traffic – Video calling takes a lot of bandwidth compared to most other uses of computers, which means if there is a lot of other users/more apps open/games playing in the background it can have a big effect on the quality of the call. Multiple videos and audios being sent over to one another puts a lot of demand on the internet connection.
If multiple devices are accessing the internet whether it be TVs, mobile phones, other computers, games consoles , etc it can use up all the available bandwidth. This also includes anything being done on these devices such as transferring files, streaming music, watching videos, and downloading apps. therefore, it is better to only have the devices you currently need on and to close any apps/stop downloads that are not currently being used or not necessary for the call.
- Turn off unused devices on the network
- Close unused apps and files on the device
- Stop any downloads or updates on the network
Performance Mode – This is more of a laptop problem that usually have power efficiency modes enabled when the battery gets to a certain level or throughout the battery life. They do this by lowering power on the device by weakening aspects including quality of videos and calls.
If battery modes are active on the laptop, it could stop some performance to webcams and microphones, additionally the computer might slowdown to extend the battery as much as possible. It is always better to keep your laptop plugged in while making VOIP calls unless it isn’t possible.
- Turn off battery efficiency modes whilst on a VOIP
- Keep device plugged in if possible
- Make sure the device has sufficient battery when having a call
Quality of microphone – The microphone quality itself can have an impact on quality of the voice/video call sound. Some microphones are of low quality and can be hard to speak into, having to be as close as possible and at the same time picking up a lot of background noise. This includes built in microphones.
A good quality headset is usually the better option as it contains both a good microphone and speakers that offer good sound, headsets as well are designed to be close, so background noise is less noticeable. A separate web cam may also help with overall video quality if you need to show something in person, however web cams built in are usually good and screen can still be shared without it.
- Upgrade to a better microphone, ideally a headset for better quality
- Possibly upgrade to a better web cam for less pixelated and blurred image
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Last document review date: 9th December 2021.