Tips on Video Conferencing

Anyone interested in video conferencing should learn a few simple tips which will make the chances of success much easier. Video conferencing is very useful to talk to other people and see them face to face. However, if it doesn't work properly, then it can actually add to the confusion and make it much more difficult to understand what's happening.

When using video conferencing, it is useful to spend time preparing everything and making sure that the systems will work. Any problems will cause frustration, as the meetings will need to be re-scheduled.

Check the Internet Speed

For video conferencing to be reliable, the Internet needs to be fast. You should have a broadband connection which will ensure the video can be sent and received without breaking up. If you don't have enough bandwidth available, then the video will break up and cause problems.

Check Your Firewall

All computers should have firewalls, and you will need to allow your video conferencing software to pass through these. Read the manual with your firewall to find out how to do this.

If you are using a router, then this will almost certainly have a firewall in it. You will need to login to the routers admin panel and then forward the necessary ports to the computers that you are using for video conferencing. Not having the firewall prepared is the biggest problem most people experience with video conferencing.

Have the Right Equipment

You must ensure that you have all of the right hardware to host the meetings. You need a fairly new computer to handle the requirements because the video streams will be compressed as they are transmitted. You will also need a web cam and microphone to participate in the meeting.

The video you receive can be shown on a monitor, TV screen or using a projector. A pair of speakers will also be needed to play back the voices. All computers should come with a sound card, but if not, you will need to purchase one separately.

If you don't want to use a computer, then you can use dedicated video conferencing equipment. This is very expensive, but works without requiring any setup. The most common method, however, is using computers and web cams.

Use the Right Software

Even if you have all of the right hardware, you could still have problems if you don't have the right software. If professional systems are used, then these normally won't require software.

You only need to use software if you are using a PC with web cam. There are many different pieces of software which can be used. Free options include Yahoo! Windows Live and Skype. There are also plenty of subscription based services which include e-Boardroom and MegaMeeting.

When choosing the software, check that it does everything required. Check that enough people can participate. Also make sure that you can share the right types of files.

Video conferencing can be a very useful way to host a meeting. This is not just convenient, but also environmentally friendly. It cuts down the need to travel long distances just for a short meeting.