If you are in a location with low bandwidth, you can apply the following tips to help improve your Zoom experience. Completing any or all of these will help ensure as little audio and video interruptions as possible.
Use the Best Internet Connection Possible
Whenever possible, plug an Ethernet cable directly from your computer into the wireless router (be sure to disable Wi-Fi on your computer if plugged in). Wired is better than Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi is better than Cellular (3G/4G/LTE). It's also important to note that other computers/devices using the same network, while in a Zoom meeting, can cause the network to slow down and cause audio and video issues. If possible, disconnect other devices to optimize your connection.
Adjust Your Location
To maximize signal quality, you must do one of two things: move the router or move closer to the router. The closer you are to your router, the better your signal quality.
Turn Off Webcam
If your instructor or moderator is okay with you doing so, start your video only when you need to show yourself, and stop your video when it isn't needed. Stopping your own video will reduce traffic going out on your network.
Note: Faculty may not require students to have their webcams on during class.
Turn Off HD Video
Providing video in HD resolution requires significantly more data. Consider turning it off when the quality of the image you're sending isn't critical.
To turn off HD in your Zoom client:
- In your desktop Zoom client, select Settings (the gear icon).
- Select Video in the left-hand menu.
- In the My Video section, uncheck the box beside Enable HD if it is checked.
Mute Audio When Not Speaking
While it doesn't use as much bandwidth as your video, you can also reduce your bandwidth somewhat by muting your audio when you're not speaking. Use the Mute button in the bottom left corner of the Zoom screen to toggle your audio off and on.
You might also consider using a phone call to connect to Zoom meeting audio instead of using computer audio within the meeting. The phone numbers to connect to a Zoom session are usually included in the invitation you receive from the host under the heading "Dial by your location."
Close Unnecessary Applications on Your Computer
Zoom meetings demand significant memory and processing power from your computer. Closing other applications, ones you do not need during the session, will help Zoom run better.
Avoid Activities That Steal Bandwidth
On your Zoom device and other computers/devices that share your Internet connection—avoid:
- large downloads/uploads
- streaming video (e.g. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube)
- cloud backups
- cloud file synchronizations (e.g. myCSUNBox, OneDrive)
Use the Cloud Recording Option for Zoom Meetings
Faculty and staff hosts who record Zoom sessions can take advantage of Zoom's cloud recording option. Cloud recordings do not need to be uploaded from your computer. For more information about cloud recordings, visit Zoom Recording Help.
Wireless Router Maintenance
Similar to having to reboot your computer periodically, it's also a good idea to reboot your wireless router. Typically this can be done by unplugging the power cable for 30 seconds and then plugging back it. It will generally take a few minutes for the router to reboot so that you can connect. Whether you own or rent your router, it's always a good idea to perform software updates to them. You can contact your service provider and the manufacturer to find out how to update your router.