Bandwidth and Video Calling Explained: Can Your Internet Handle Remote Working?

Bandwidth and Video Calling Explained: Can Your Internet Handle Remote Working?

Connectivity is crucial right now, with many teams working from their kitchens, living rooms, and - if they’re lucky - home offices. 

But, is your internet bandwidth up to the task? 

It can be one of the huge barriers to getting a team to work successfully from home.

Today, we’re breaking down bandwidth and outlining what you need to use the most popular video conferencing tools.

What is bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be sent over your internet connection in a given amount of time. 

It’s usually written down as bits per second (bps) or bytes per second (Bps). 

Internet speed is often muddled up with internet bandwidth. The best way to explain it is by getting you to imagine two computers. 

Both computers have different bandwidths, but the same internet speed - let’s say, 100 megabits per second (Mbps). 

Computer 1 has a 50 Mbps of bandwidth, while Computer 2 has 100 Mbps. 

If you were to download the same file of 500 MB, Computer 1 would be able to do it in 10 seconds, while Computer 2 would do it in five. 

How much bandwidth do I need for remote working?

Of course, this entirely depends on what kind of work you need to do remotely. 

If your workday largely involves email, editing documents and messaging colleagues on a platform like Microsoft Teams or Slack, you won’t need much bandwidth. 

However, if you need to attend video conferences and calls, you’ll need a higher bandwidth. 

If you are finding yourself video calling more, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not pixelated or going to get cut off mid-meeting. 

Microsoft Teams 

Recommended bandwidth for one-to-one video calls with Microsoft Teams

  • Audio calls - 30kbps 
  • Audio calls with screen sharing - 130kps 
  • Video calls with low quality (360p) - 500kps 
  • Video calls with medium quality resolution (720p) -  1.2 Mbps  
  • Video calls with high quality (1080p) - 1.5 Mbps 

Recommended bandwidth for group video calls with Microsoft Teams

  • For group video calls - 500kbps/1Mbps
  • For high-quality group video calls - 1Mbps/2Mbps

More network requirements for Microsoft Teams.

Find out how you can get started with Microsoft Teams.

Zoom 

Recommended bandwidth for one-to-one video calls with Zoom

  • Video calling - 600kbps
  • High-definition video calling (720p) - 1.2 Mbps 
  • High-definition video (1080p) - 1.8 Mbps

Recommended bandwidth for group video calls with Zoom

  • High quality - 800kbps/1.0Mbps
  • Gallery view - 1.5Mbps/1.5Mbps
  • High definition video - 1.5Mbps/1.5Mbps
  • Receiving high-definition video -  2.5mbps
  • Sending high definition video - 3.0 Mbps

More network requirements for Zoom.

Skype 

Recommended bandwidth for one-to-one video calls with Skype

  • Calls - 100kbps
  • Video and screen sharing - 300kbps
  • High- quality video calling - 400kbps - 500kbps 
  • HD video calling -  1.5Mbps

Recommended bandwidth for group video calls with Skype

  • Groups of 3 - 512kbps (download) 128kbps (upload)
  • Groups of 5 - 4Mbps (download) 512kbps (upload)

More network requirements for Skype. 

Google Meet 

Recommended bandwidth for one-to-one videos with Google Meet

  • Standard (SD) video - 1 Mbps 
  • Sending HD video - 3.2 Mbps
  • Receiving HD video - 2.6Mbpss

Recommended bandwidth for group video calls with Google Meet

  • SD video with groups of 5 - 1.5 Mbps 
  • SD video with groups of 10 - 2 Mbps 
  • HD video with groups of 5 - 3.2 Mbps 
  • HD video with groups of 10 - 4.0 Mpbs 

More network requirements for Google Meet.

Can I still work remotely with low internet bandwidth?

It’s still possible to work from home with low internet bandwidth. As we said above, if you’re using the internet to send and receive email, work on documents in the cloud and message colleagues, you shouldn’t have too many problems. 

If you did need to call your team, we’d recommend switching your video off and only joining with audio. You could also keep on track with what’s going on with your Team by using a project management tool like Planner or Asana. 

Need help getting set up or ironing out issues with remote working? Contact a member of our team today.

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