VSee: How can I diagnose my equipment and connection?

Support Center > Equipment Needed

Published 12/10/2013 at 3:53pm UTC

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Details

Viewing your network statistics during a video session can be useful in determining if your hardware and/or internet connection are optimal for holding your sessions. There are many different factors that contribute to the quality of your videoconference, and one way to determine the best way to increase that quality is by checking your user statistics while in a session.

  • If you're on a Windows desktop or laptop, click on your own video tile, and then hit the keys Control (CTRL) and I (the letter "eye").
  • If you're on a Mac desktop or laptop, click on your own video tile, and then hit the keys Command (Apple key) and I (the letter "eye").
  • If you are using an iPad or iPhone, please schedule a videoconference session with the Support Team, and they can diagnose your network statistics for you. (Or, let us know the best time for you at support@securevideo.com.)

Answer

What do these statistics mean?

Whether you're on a Windows or a Mac, the statistics window looks pretty much the same. The following set of statistics was captured in a videoconference between a Windows 7 desktop (with a default video resolution), and a Mac OS X 10.9 desktop (with a default video resolution):

Screencap showing what the statistics dialog looks like

  • The first line of these statistics note that you are sending 438 kbps and receiving 436 kbps. These numbers indicate how much data (in kilobytes per second) your computer is sending to the other person in your session, and how much data you are receiving from them. Data includes your video, your audio, any screensharing, or any files you might be sending.
  • Iam Demo - SecureVideo - local: This is "your" account name. You can also tell it's yours because the word local comes after it. Your own device is always the local one.
  • audio and video: This indicates how much audio and video data you are sending (in kilobytes per second). Added together, this is normally the same as the total amount of data indicated in the first line (but will be different if you are also sharing a screen/app, or sending files).
  • delay: This indicates the ping latency--how long it takes (in milliseconds) for data from your computer to reach another person. Your delay to yourself will always be zero, but you will see a delay among your other participants in their statistics sections. It will continually fluctuate, but as long as it stays below 100msec, it shouldn't be noticeable. (If it is routinely above 100ms, then the call is either international, or there's a networking issue: a firewall, proxy server, or a slow wireless router.) 
  • cpu / audio cpu: "cpu" stands for "central processing unit". The percentage of cpu that you are running indicates how much of your computer's capacity to run tasks are currently being used. 
  • upload / download: This indicates how quickly (in kilobytes per second) you are able to upload and download data; the faster your internet connection, the higher these numbers. (8000kbps is the highest speed registered.)

 

Besides local and direct, you may see two other connection types if you are on a private network requiring a relay to connect with your session participants, or if one of of your session participants is on a private network. (These relays don't store information, or have access to the public or private keys needed to de-encrypt the data they are relaying.)

  • UDP relay: indicates you are on a private (password-protected) network, and the program needs to use Network Address Translation to allow you to connect.
  • TCP relay: indicates that one or more necessary ports are being blocked by your network firewall. (See this article for more information.) This type of connection results in lags, as it will pause to recover any dropped data packets instead of simply skipping them.

 

 

Let's look at another set of statistics from the same two computers, but for this one, the video resolution is set to High Definition (HD), and we can see the resulting changes:

Screencap showing network stats of HD resolution

 

Not only are you now sending a lot more video-data, your CPU percentage has increased. However, the delay experienced by your session participant has not increased; both of you had computer processors and an internet connection that could handle the higher data levels. 

 

 

How can I use these statistics?

You can use these statistics to determine the best way to increase the quality of your videoconference.

 

1. Internet connection: Both of the computers in this example had extremely high internet speeds, but the most important thing about your internet speed is that

  • your upload speed (bottom row, left) is equal to or greater than the amount of data you are sending (top row, left), and
  • your download speed (bottom row, right) is equal to or greater than the amount of data you are receiving (top row, right).

 

The amount of data you are sending and receiving will fluctuate throughout the call, but should stay above 200 kbps for good quality video (at a low video quality setting, you may drop the number to about 100 kbps). Because you want to be sure you have some buffer, we recommend that your internet speed is at least 1,000 kbps (upload and download).

 

Tips:

  • Using an ethernet cable instead of a wireless connection can increase your internet speed.
  • Using a home or business internet connection will usually give you a faster and more reliable connection than 3G, 4G, or a public internet connection. 
  • Congestion on your network may slow down your connection. (If your video sending/receiving is less than 200 kbps, you may want to pause other devices that are using your network.) 
  • You can decrease the amount of data you're required to send/receive if you or your participant decreases video resolution. (See this article for more information.)

 

 

2. CPU: If your CPU is running high (over 60%), this could affect your computer's ability to display video and run the videoconferencing program, resulting in delays or pixelation. If your CPU is over 80%, you may not be able to videoconference.

  • Close as many background applications as you can, which will free up your computer's capacity for tasks. 
  • Upgrading your computer's Random Access Memory (RAM) by installing additional memory modules can increase the capacity of your computer to multi-task.

 

 This article was last reviewed by our Support team on March 25, 2015.