Zoom & You
Zoom is a tool many of us are now using. It is easy to use and provides the ability to hold meetings, classes, and other types of gatherings. Knowing how to use Zoom, knowing how to adjust settings in Zoom, understanding how Zoom utilizes various components of your device, and having a basic understanding of how a server, local network, and wide area network work can improve your Zoom experience.
Zoom is currently experiencing over 200,000,000 meetings EVERYDAY! This not only creates the possibility of server overload on Zoom’s end, but many ISP’s are experiencing difficulties keeping up with the demand for bandwidth. Internet was created with the idea for heavy use of download and little need for upload, but this is now changing – and the need came overnight with no warning – so many are struggling with the new demands created by the pandemic.
With Zoom, the use of Standard and Full HD make a significant difference. In a group meeting, Full HD can use up to twice the upload bandwidth as Standard HD. At 3Mbps you can use nearly all your upload with a single meeting, making it impossible for anyone else in the household to use Zoom, other electronic meeting services, or other applications that require upload bandwidth. Because of this, it may be necessary to stagger using the Internet with other household members.
The second thing to keep in mind is your device. The use of Full HD on your device creates a lot of power consumption, and most battery powered devices were not made to handle this. ALWAYS keep your device PLUGGED INTO THE ELECTRICAL OUTLET when using Zoom or similar services. Most devices will go into a power-saving mode when not plugged in (allowing the device to run longer on the battery), but it also limits the abilities of various components – including your CPU. The CPU is vital for picture quality and stability and if the CPU is having issues your connection will appear to be having issues, so PLEASE KEEP YOUR DEVICE PLUGGED INTO A POWER OUTLET.
Cable Co-op suggests researching how to use Zoom and how to manipulate the settings in Zoom. The links below are a good place to start. Cable Co-op also suggests keeping your devices plugged in to a power outlet and staggering times for household members to use Zoom or Zoom-like applications.
Cable Co-op staff are still working hard to keep your services functioning. Our network has been upgraded to help meet the new demands of this pandemic environment. Cable Co-op’s Internet speeds are based on how fast OUR network is, not how fast the Internet is to every site on the World Wide Web. Cable Co-op can only control our network and not what is happening beyond our network. Many networks and servers are experience levels of traffic no one thought would happen, and thus things outside of Oberlin are slowing down… even such simple things as a speed test. With millions and millions of people at home all around the world, speed test sites are being overwhelmed and produce inaccurate results. Remember a speed test only shows you how fast you are getting to and from one server; it does not reflect how the server is responding to any other website, whether big or small.
Another thing to keep in mind is your home network. When you are testing to any test site, you are testing through your device, then through your router (wireless or otherwise), then through your cable modem. Your device and your router player a larger role in test results than your modem does. If you test with slower speeds than expected, first try using another device. If this test still shows lower than expected results, it is time to bypass your router. To do this you will need a device that has an active Ethernet port. Here are the steps: