An individual’s bandwidth connection speed to the internet is probably the single most important variable in defining a successful attendee experience on an online event. Webinar programs are designed to stream data to each attendee’s console in real time; therefore the amount of bandwidth that is available to each individual user often determines how much (or how little!) an attendee is able to participate. Bandwidth requirements from Webinar platforms are also cumulative, meaning the more functionality you wish to use – data, VoIP, Video, web cams, etc- the higher the bandwidth requirement for attending your event becomes. To top it off, bandwidth can also fluctuate for users depending on other traffic that may be flowing at the same time. Depending on your audience, you may wish to consider what content you will include when designing your event.
One thing we always relay to our webinar presenters is the importance of a solid internet connection when using ANY web conferencing platform. To test your connection speed, use the following speed test link: https://www.speedtest.net/ It tests both your download and upload speeds and allows you to choose the closest server that your ISP uses to get accurate information. Other factors that may affect presenter and attendee experiences are transfer rates, networks, and latency. It is also very important to note that your bandwidth speed is affected by what web-conferencing platform you use. Why? The short answer: Different web-conferencing platforms have different server locations. The more servers they have, the more likely one is located closer to you physically, which means better performance.
Below we have defined some important terms related to bandwidth speed that you most likely have heard about at some point or another. Understanding these terms can help you identify and hopefully solve bandwidth issues in the future.
Download is a measure of how fast your connection delivers content to your computer or local area network. This is the important number to test – it will determine how many or how smoothly different web-conferencing functions will work (audio, downloading content, video, presenter video, etc.)
Upload is the measure of how fast content is delivered from your computer or local area network to others on the Internet. This is important to note if you are a presenter who is uploading content to your web-conferencing platform. Especially when trying to upload those last-minute presentations or changes!
Kbps transfer rate = kilobit per second transfer rate. There are 8 bits in a byte, so we would divide kbps by 8 to get KB/sec transfer rate.
Transfer rate is speed at which data can be transmitted between devices. This is sometimes referred to as throughput. As files to download become increasingly larger, the highest data transfer rate is most desirable. Finally, I like to note that the simplest and most easily available method to measure your connection speed to the Internet is to simply download a large file and see what is the transfer rate reported in your standard download progress dialog box.
In a network, latency, a synonym for delay, is an expression of how much time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another. In some usages, latency is measured by sending a packet that is returned to the sender and the round-trip time is considered the latency. Low latency is extremely important for businesses and power-users. It’s not all about bandwidth! Conventional wisdom says that increasing bandwidth will lead to improved performance. In fact, the transmission control protocol (TCP) limits the number of concurrent bytes transmitted, regardless of the size of the transmission pipe and effects latency.
We hope you found this post helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to contact the V2 team at: firstname.lastname@example.org