5 Tips For Successful Video on Wireless Networks (WLAN)

Video conferencing is tool a now widely used by businesses, schools, government agencies, and households.  The development of high-speed wireless access has greatly increased the number of computer users who regularly video conference over wireless networks (WLAN). 

Today, users typically bring their own device (BYOD) when it comes to making video calls through wireless networks.  The variety of devices – tablets, laptops, smart phones, etc – is formidable.  Tips for ensuring successful video on wireless networks include:

1)  Bandwidth:  Having enough bandwidth to support high quality video calls is essential. When it comes to supporting video calls the 802.11n standard is ideal.  
Basically, 802.11n is a wireless networking standard that governs transmission rates. 

With an 802.11n network, multiple antennas are used to increase the data rates necessary to support multimedia, video, and other high bandwidth applications.  If you require high-quality video conferencing, particularly when multiple users will be using the same Wi-Fi network, then utilizing a standard as up-to-date as the 802.11n protocol is essential. 

Ideally, both the wireless router and the adapter in a BYOD will adhere to the 802.11n standard. 

2)  Use a Quality Video Conferencing Service:  Free video conferencing services, such as Skype and Google Hangouts, offer a decent quality when it comes to video conferencing with friends and family.  However, if you are a business person who needs to make a good impression, then make sure you are utilizing professional quality video conferencing software.  

Losing a client over a dropped call or technical glitch is not worth it.

3)  Security:  Security is of paramount concern when logging onto or managing a WLAN network. Put simply, wireless networks are vulnerable to outside hackers and legitimate users who might misuse their network privileges. The proliferation of BYODs necessitates security protocols that identify each and every user and device that connects to a network and grants them an appropriate level of access. 

Managing security can help insure that network resources are available for legitimate activities, such as video calls.   

4)  Router Signal: Making sure you receive a strong signal from a wireless router is important if you will be utilizing high-bandwidth activities like video calls.  Most devices include bars and graphics, which visually illustrate the signal strength you are receiving. 

If the signal seems weak, then try moving your device around until you find a stronger signal.

5)  Upgrade Your Device’s Wi-Fi Adapter:  Upgrading the Wi-Fi adapter in your device can help improve performance when it comes to video calls.  Most new devices probably include the latest networking standards, such as the 802.11n protocol. 

However, in most cases, older computers and laptops can be adapted to the latest standards because they include slots for wireless PC cards and USB adaptors. Adapting devices like smart phones might not be as easy.

Video calls are an increasingly important and common feature of our daily lives. 

Schools, businesses and households are utilizing video calls for educational purposes, to conduct business and stay in-touch.  When they go well, video calls can be fun and productive.  However, technical glitches still mar many video calls.  Configuring devices and wireless networks to optimize video calls is often a simple process. 

When it comes to video calls, doing a little tech homework and preparation can help ensure that your video conferences go smoothly.

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