Don't let tech problems ruin your virtual meetings.

Bad conference call

It was the middle of the afternoon, and I was already stressed from troubleshooting an "all hands-on deck" client issue all morning. My calendar chimed, reminding me of an important online meeting already in progress. I clicked on the link to join, but instead of a clear video feed, all I got was a frustrating pixelated mess. "Come on," I muttered to myself. "This is why I hate online meetings." I was so frustrated and embarrassed I wanted to give up on the meeting.

Fix virtual meetings

​Even tech savvy IT professionals get frustrated at times. It seemed like my only option was to apologize and reschedule for another day. As I closed out of my meeting, I sighed in frustration. This just wasn't my week.

But then, as if it were meant to be, a lightbulb went off in my head. I knew there were some simple steps I could take to troubleshoot my connection. With that, I decided to calm down and give it one more try.

And wouldn't you know it - after completing these three simple steps in this article, my video feed was crystal clear! I found a previously started download "from the morning crisis" was still running in the background - I must have started a second download by mistake. Once I closed it, my online meeting went off without a hitch.

Understanding the challenges of virtual meetings

When you have too many disconnects in your meeting, it's often because the other client can't connect or there are too many online meetings being streamed at once. Remember that online meetings are not as simple and straightforward as walking into a building conference room, so be prepared for all sorts of user issues. The server might be overloaded with connections, and this could cause some people to lose their connection altogether- making sure they're still able join will ensure everyone has a chance for success!

Say goodbye to meeting challenges

There are many reasons why your video call connection might be lagging or dropping, but before you give up on online meetings altogether there’s some simple troubleshooting you can try. These three tips will help ensure a stable experience for everyone in the meeting and keep things running smoothly!

1.  Test your internet speed

The first thing you should always do is test your internet speed. The average broadband download speed in the US is 9.8Mbps, but it varies by provider and geographical area. If you’re not getting the connection speeds that you need, call your internet service provider and ask for a price adjustment or switch providers if necessary. is a free website that will test your internet speed.

There are three things that you should pay attention to when running the test. Latency, Download speed and Upload speed. Latency refers to the amount of time it takes for data to be sent and received through your connection. A low latency means that data is sent and received much faster than a high latency. For example, when you play online video games and it seems like input is delayed, then this could be a result of high latency. Download speed refers to how quickly data is sent from the web site to your device. While upload speed refers to how quickly data is sent from your computer/device to the server.

Also remember that the number of users on the network matters. If you have many people online all trying to send and receive data simultaneously, this can cause a slowdown on your internet speed.

Consider your hardware because it can also affect your internet speed. So, if you’re experiencing slow, laggy or choppy video or audio in meetings, then it could be caused by the quality of the equipment you are using to connect to the internet. Your speed can only be as fast as the slowest hardware you have installed on the network. Lower quality cables, firewalls, routers, and computers will slow your connection. So even if your provider is offering gigabit speeds, you may still not be able to access it if you’re using slower or outdated devices.

2.  Check for firewall issues

If your connection is still suffering from lag, there could be a firewall issue to blame. Make sure that your firewalls are not blocking or restricting access to “port 80”. To check, go to your firewall settings and remove any restrictions that might be blocking the port.  But be careful, if you don't understand the ramifications of opening the port you should not do it. If you don’t think it’s a firewall issue, close any programs or other browser windows that could be stealing your bandwidth. If you are unsure of what a firewall is, please contact our Helpdesk for assistance. We have a friendly technician ready to assist you.

3.  Speed up your connection

If you’ve tried the first two tips and you’re still experiencing lag, start closing programs on your computer. One of the main causes of lag is having wireless devices or applications using your network connection at the same time. Try closing all unnecessary programs before starting a meeting, like media players or downloads. If that doesn’t help, disconnect all wireless devices from your router and connect them directly to the modem with a hard wire instead to eliminate any wireless router issues. A direct wired connection usually offers a more stable connection and will eliminate any potential wireless interference.

Overcome your laggy connection woes with these simple tips before you host or attend your next meeting. If you have less than 10 Mbps connection, it’s time to investigate other internet service providers or solutions. You can always contact our online tech support team if you need additional help with your video conferencing connections.

James Phipps 27 September, 2022
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