7 tips on how to increase bandwidth for streaming or video conferencing

Have you been wondering how to improve streaming, how to increase bandwidth, or the secret to improving video streaming quality? With people of all ages online learning and working from home at once these days, we thought it might be useful to share some tips on how to maximize your home internet bandwidth, whether you’re Evercasting, Zooming, Twitching or otherwise.

Tip #1: Plan around your “co-workers”

If you’re scheduling an important conferencing and/or streaming session, consider coordinating with your housemates so that they won’t be eating up valuable bandwidth at the same time, which can slow down your connection and negatively impact your streaming quality. This is especially true if multiple people are video chatting, gaming, or downloading/uploading large files.

Tip #2: Ethernet > wifi signal

A wifi signal can only get you so far. There’s no better way to get the most out of your internet than with a hard wired connection. It’s always going to be faster and more stable when you’re connected via ethernet cable. And if you're hardwired on a Mac, make sure to turn wifi off.

Tip #3: Treat yourself to a top-tier ISP plan

You’ve been through a lot! If you’re consistently experiencing slow internet or drops in your connection, you may want to contact your internet service provider, or ISP (e.g. Spectrum, Comcast), to upgrade your plan as long as you’re working from home. Specifically, it may be worth switching to a commercial plan, rather than residential.

Boosting your internet is one common fix, but connection speed isn't everything. It’s worth checking in with your ISP, as there may be extenuating circumstances that they can address. And keep in mind that an internet speed test does not tell the whole story!

Tip #4: Work during off hours

The internet is going to be pretty bogged down with users from 9 to 5, often peaking in the late afternoon. If you have the flexibility to schedule a conferencing call or virtual work session outside of the typical school and work hours, you’ll likely experience fewer interruptions with your internet connection.

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Tip #5: Keep an exclusive guest list

Quality over quantity. Whenever possible, limit the number of people participating in a video conferencing session. If you’re using Evercast, the virtual room is meant to hold up to 10 participants at a time. Although there are no technical limitations to cap the number of participants, it can definitely put strain on your bandwidth -- especially if you’re simultaneously streaming media content into the room.

Tip #6: Go easy on the multi-tasking

Does your browser have more tabs open than a bartender on Friday night? For the best streaming experience, keep the number of tabs and windows you have going to a minimum, close any apps you aren’t using, and most importantly, avoid downloading or uploading large files while simultaneously streaming or conferencing.

Tip #7: Tweak settings if you’re on Evercast

If you’re using Evercast and are streaming media content into the virtual room, it may help to adjust your Evercast Broadcaster Software (EBS) settings. EBS can still stream with a video bitrate as low as 0.5Mbps (500 in EBS). We recommend reducing in increments of 500 until you find the bitrate that works best for your internet connection. We also recommend experimenting between the VP8 and VP9 codecs. Note, in order to change these settings, you must stop streaming.

To edit video bitrate: In EBS, go to 'Settings,' then click the 'Output' tab. By default, EBS is set to 2500 (2.5Mbps). Adjust down accordingly.
To change codecs:
In EBS, go to 'Settings,' then click the 'Stream' tab. Select between VP9 and VP8.

If you are only video conferencing in the Evercast room, you can improve your experience by dropping the thumbnails.

While you’re at it...

Now that you know how to increase your bandwidth for streaming or video conferencing, make sure you're also staying safe by updating your firmware, checking your wifi router's settings, and maintaining antivirus software. Check out our top tips for ensuring cybersecurity while working from home here.

And as always, if you’re having any issues at all with Evercast, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our support team, available 24/7, no matter where in the world you are. Happy streaming!

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