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What Broadband Speed do I need for Video Conferencing?

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Say goodbye to stutter by making sure your broadband connection is fast enough for video calls. And if it isn’t? We’ll help you switch provider.

Video calls are a fact of life. While once they were a luxury afforded only to those with the fastest connections, more home working and faster broadband speeds mean more of us than ever are making video calls. Of course, the enforced social distancing of the pandemic helped kickstart the video conferencing revolution.

If you’re struggling with stutter, your calls are freezing up altogether, or you just want to find out whether your broadband is up to the task, we’re here to help. This guide will explain everything you need to know, and if your broadband isn’t capable of video calls, we’ll help you switch to a connection that is. You might even save money in the process.

Does internet speed affect video conferencing?

Video requires a faster broadband connection than just audio, text or still images. That’s because videos take up more bandwidth – in other words, because video is always moving, the picture is always changing, and this requires more data to be sent to your device.

The higher the resolution of the video, the more data it needs and hence the more bandwidth is required. So you’ll need a faster connection for 4K videos than standard high definition ones.

If your connection is too slow, the video might fail to load. Or it might start, but keep stopping while it buffers, or run in a stop-start stuttering fashion. Neither is ideal.

What internet speed is good for video conferencing?

It depends on a few factors. Microsoft recommends a download speed of at least 8Mbps for group Skype calls of seven people or more. But if you’re just calling one person, you could get by with a lot less. We wouldn’t recommend less than 3Mbps per person though, otherwise you’re more likely to run into issues. And if more members of your household that are working from home at once, the faster the connection you’ll need.

Remember, if you’re sharing large files like videos or graphics while video conferencing, you’ll need a faster connection still. It all depends on the kind of work you do, and how many people you’re video conferencing with.

See our guide to broadband speeds for more information.

What else could be causing video connectivity issues?

It might not be your broadband speed causing issues. Maybe you’re working too far away from the router – that’s often a problem if the router is downstairs and you’re working upstairs. If you have lots of walls in between you and it, that can cause problems, too.

Having more devices connected to the router will also affect speeds. The more devices there are, the slower your connection will be. Smart speakers, tablets, smartphones, games consoles, smart watches and even household appliances like security cameras and fridges can connect to the internet. If they’re all using even a fraction of the available bandwidth, it will soon add up and compromise the quality of your video call.

For more info, check out our guides:

And if you find that your broadband speed is too slow for your needs, you may want to upgrade to a faster package. You can do so with our broadband comparison tool:

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