Hardware requirements and recommendations

Support Center > Equipment Needed

Published 12/31/2013 at 1:21am UTC

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Details

The third-party videoconferencing app we use to run the video-portion of our service is called VSee Embedded, which uses a peer-to-peer connection and far less bandwidth than similar programs. Please see below for a list of all compatible devices.

 

NOTE: If you have a Chromebook, you will not be able to install VSee Embedded on it. (The Chromebook OS only allows Chrome to run on it, and any Google Apps that run within Chrome.)

  

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Answer

This is an overview of how SecureVideo works on several types of devices:

Windows desktops

Compatibility: High for new computers; varies with desktops older than 2011 manufacture

Operating Systems: Windows XP (Service Pack 3), Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, and Windows 10

Due to the vast differences in processor chips from different manufacturers, we do not have a minimum clock speed (X number of GHz) to recommend looking for. However, almost any Windows desktop machine manufactured since 2011 will have the processing power to encode and encrypt video in real time. 

 

If you're looking for a computer, be sure that it is one with enough installed memory; at least 2GB of RAM. The greater your RAM, the better your computer will handle your CPU load. This is especially important if you're planning to run multiple applications at the same time as your videoconference, or you need to balance a slow internet connection.  

 

The downside to using Windows desktops is that they either do not have built-in webcams or microphones, or the built-in components are not of sufficient quality, requiring you to purchase an external camera and microphone or headset. Read for information and recommendations on external cameras, and information and recommendations on microphones and headsets.. (A high quality graphics card will also give you smoother video quality.)

 

Not sure what your processor is, or your RAM? On your computer desktop, right-click on My Computer, and then select Properties. A dialog will appear with this information (see below). 

Screencap showing where to find Properties

Screencap showing where to find the processor and RAM information

 

 

Windows laptops

Compatibility: Very Good to High for new laptops in $400+ range; varies with laptops older than 2011 manufacture or of lower quality

Operating Systems: Windows XP (Service Pack 3), Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, and Windows 10

 

As of December 2013, Windows laptops in the $400+ price range generally have the processing power to encode and encrypt in real-time. Note: This is price range is a general guideline, not a hard rule! Due to the vast differences in processor chips from different manufacturers, we do not have a minmum clock speed (X number of GHz) to recommend looking for.

 

If you're looking for a laptop, be sure that it is one with enough installed memory; at least 2GB of RAM. The greater your RAM, the better your laptop will handle your CPU load. This is especially important if you're planning to run multiple applications at the same time as your videoconference, or you need to balance a slow internet connection.  

 

While your Windows laptop may have a built-in webcam or microphone, they may not be of sufficient quality. Read for information and recommendations on external cameras, and information and recommendations on microphones and headsets.. (A high quality graphics card will also give you smoother video quality.)

 

Not sure what your processor is, or your RAM? On your computer desktop, right-click on My Computer, and then select Properties. A dialog will appear with this information (see below). 

Screencap showing where to find Properties

Screencap showing where to find the processor and RAM information

 

Mac desktops

Compatibility: High 

Operating Systems: Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), and 10.11 (El Capitan)

 

Modern Mac desktop computers have very high-quality built-in cameras, speakers, and microphones, and powerful processors which easily encode and encrypt video, making them dream machines for videoconferencing. The iMac all-in-one is our recommended device for videoconferencing. At a higher price point, the Mac Pro also has flawless videoconferencing quality. The Mac mini offers an exceptionally good videoconferencing experience, only slightly below the iMac and Mac Pro in quality.

 

Please read our support article on upgrading your Mac version if running an unsupported OS X version.

 

Not sure which Mac operating system you're running? Click on the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner, and then select About This Mac. A dialog will appear with your version number on it (see below).

 

Screencap showing where to find the version of Apple you're running 

 

 

Mac laptops

Compatibility: High 

Operating Systems: Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), 10.8 (Mountain Lion), 10.9 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite), and 10.11 (El Capitan)

Modern Mac laptop computers have very high-quality built-in cameras, speakers, and microphones, and powerful processors which easily encode and encrypt video, making them dream machines for videoconferencing. The MacBook Pro and Air provide a great quality videoconferencing experience (although the MacBook Pro has a more powerful processor, providing better quality of the two). 

 

Please read our support article on upgrading your Mac version if running an unsupported OS X version.

Not sure which Mac operating system you're running? Click on the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner, and then select About This Mac. A dialog will appear with your version number on it (see below).

Screencap showing where to find the version of Apple you're running

 

iPads (or iPad minis)

Compatibility: Incompatible to Very Good 

Operating System: iOS 8.0 or later

The iPad 1 does not have a forward-facing camera that you can use, so it is not compatible with VSee.

 

The iPad mini, iPad 2 and iPad 3 have only moderate processing power for use in videoconferencing, but can work. iPads began featuring HD FaceTime cameras, 4G LTE support, good quality built-in microphones and speakers, and strong processors with the iPad 4. The iPad Air and iPad Air 2 are both great videoconferencing devices.

 

Note on sound: iPads do not have the ability to control the volume level of the internal microphones, so audio quality may vary. If you are using an iPad, it is recommended that you also use a headset. (Read our recommendations for bluetooth microphones here.)

 

Note on quality: the iPad's streaming quality can vary widely according to your internet connection. We recommend testing your network speed before attempting to hold any sessions in a particular location. (Your network speed should be at least 1.5 Mbps for downloads and uploads; you can download a free mobile speed test app from SpeedTest.net: SpeedTest app for mobile devices.)

 

Note on logistics: if you will be using an iPad, you may want to invest in a tablet mount (example here) to keep your camera steady.

 

iPhones

Compatibility: Fair to Very Good

Operating System: iOS 8.0 or later

For clinicians, we generally do not recommend using a smartphone for clinical videoconferencing. However, if there is no alternative, we recommend using an iPhone 6 or higher. 

 

Note on sound: iPhones do not have the ability to control the volume level of the internal microphones, so audio quality may vary. If you are using an iPhone, it is recommended that you also use a headset. (Read our recommendations for headsets here.)

 

Note on quality: the iPhone's streaming quality can vary widely according to your internet connection. We recommend testing your network speed before attempting to hold any sessions in a particular location. (Your network speed should be at least 1 Mbps for downloads and uploads; you can download a free mobile speed test app from SpeedTest.net: SpeedTest app for mobile devices.)

 

Note on logistics: if you will be using an iPhone, you may want to invest in a phone clip (example here) to keep your camera steady.

 

Not sure which version is on your iPhone?

1. Tap on your "Settings" icon.

Settings icon on iOS


2. Tap on "General".

"General" settings

 


3. Tap on "About".

"About" in Settings

 


4. The version number is displayed after the word "Version".

iOS Version number

 

 

Androids

Compatibility: Fair 

Operating System: Android phones running 4.03 (Jelly Bean) or later, and for tablets: Android Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and 4 running 4.03 (Jelly Bean) or later.

For clinicians, we generally do not recommend using a smartphone for clinical videoconferencing. However, if there is no alternative, you can use SecureVideo on smart phones running Android 4.03 (released in 2011) or later. VSee is also compatible with select tablets (Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and 4 running 4.03 or later).

 

Note on sound: Androids do not have the ability to control the volume level of the internal microphones, so audio quality may vary. If you are using an Android, it is recommended that you also use a headset. (Read our recommendations for bluetooth microphones here.)

 

Note on quality: the Android's streaming quality can vary widely according to your internet connection. We recommend testing your network speed before attempting to hold any sessions in a particular location. (Your network speed should be at least 1 Mbps for downloads and uploads; you can download a free mobile speed test app from SpeedTest.net: SpeedTest app for mobile devices.)

 

Note on logistics: if you will be using an Android phone, you may want to invest in a phone clip (example here) to keep your camera steady.

 

This article was last reviewed by our Support team on November 30, 2015.