Live audio and video streams are very susceptible to data rate problems that may not be noticeable when browsing websites or downloading emails. If these functions are delayed slightly it doesn’t really matter, but if audio or video feeds are delayed, you can get jitter, freezes and pixilation problems. If you have a problem with the quality of your connection, you may loose packets of data, which can cause your meeting connection to drop out.

The speed and contention of your Internet connection and the health of your computer. Malware, memory and disk speed can all cause problems with Internet connectivity that could cause audio/video problems. You may also have problems if you have a wireless connection to your router.

Things you can do to help make the experience of using any live audio/video connection the best it can be are:

Reduce local network traffic

Ensure you (or anyone else in your home) aren’t busy downloading large files like Movies and Software at the same time as you are using your connection for audio and video sessions.

Close your mail client if you use one (Outlook, Live Mail etc.) These periodically check for new mail and could suddenly download a huge email that someone has sent you.

If you use a bit torrent (file sharing) client to download Movies etc. make sure it is shut down when you are trying to use audio and video services. Even if you aren’t currently downloading, these file sharing applications are likely to be uploading those “shared files” to many other users around the world.

Be aware that using bit torrent clients can result in your ISP “throttling back” your speed and possibly reporting illegal use to copyright enforcement agencies.

Keep Your Computer Healthy

Always keep your computer protected by a good antivirus, preferably one that doesn’t slow your machine down.

Defragment your hard drive periodically, especially if you have deleted lots of files.

Close unnecessary applications and additional browser tabs as these are using system resources and can automatically refresh periodically, downloading new data from the web site.

If you regularly hibernate your computer rather than shutting it down, it would be worth a reboot prior to the session to free up any locked or fragmented memory pages.

Reboot Your Router

Routers, like computers, often suffer from locked memory pages and this can affect your connection speed. It is good practice to reboot these devices periodically. If you haven’t rebooted your router recently, it is probably worth doing this before using online audio/video resources to ensure the router is running at optimum speed.

Use a hard wired Ethernet connection

Wireless connections can suffer poor performance due to interference from other neighbouring wireless networks or anything else that transmits on the same frequency. Cordless phones, smart lightbulbs, remote control toys etc.

Where possible, connect to your router with a cable rather than a wireless connection. This is not always possible, so you may need to change the channel that your Wireless network runs on if you suffer from this issue.