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Enhance your Online Video Calling Experience with Fiber optic internet

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Written by: Mitch De Guzman

The internet gives us more ways of communicating with one another without even having to make a call. We could be on different continents, but that doesn’t stop us from talking to each other. We can send messages through social media, online chats, phone calls, or text messaging but video conferencing is the most effective way of getting our messages across.

This goes to show how our communication methods have progressed significantly. Snail mail is no longer used to correspond with distant family, acquaintances, and colleagues. Emails, text messages, and regular phone calls are still helpful. But video chat is a much better way to meet and speak with our loved ones and colleagues. Since it’s a video created in real-time, we don’t need to wait for responses or imagine their facial expressions. It’s the same as meeting face to face; only it’s online video.

The Perks of Video Chatting

Video call apps enable us to communicate with people we cannot see in person. Business owners frequently use them to discuss work with their employees and with families who live apart.

However, video calling is no longer confined to those purposes. Since health protocols (still) restrict us from meeting with family and friends, video chats became the closest thing to having human interaction. Even big gatherings such as parties, expos, seminars, conference calls, and training are increasingly held online via a video calling solution.

How to Choose a Video Call App

Everything is much easier with the technology we now use through our smartphones, tablets, computers, and laptops, which can all be connected to the internet. And since these devices have free video software, we can now have video calls anytime and anywhere.

Now, all you have to do is to select a video calling solution. Whatever your reasons are, you can certainly make your video calls more enjoyable! Here are some of the popular video call apps and their features.

Frequently Used Video Chat Apps

There are numerous video chat apps available for Windows, Android, and IOS users, but there are a few that most people seem to prefer. All video conferencing software almost has the same video calling features, so it really comes down to personal preferences when you choose.

FaceTime

FaceTime was previously available only to IOS users. However, you can now invite folks who use Android or Windows for a group video call with their recent update by sending an invite link. Once they click it, they’ll be able to join via their web browser on whatever device they’re using.  

Also, they have added more functionality to enhance your video call experience. Not to mention the end-to-end encryption, which makes your video chatting experience secure.

Microsoft Teams (Skype) 

Skype was the first video conferencing solution to implement group video calls in 2003, earning the trust and preference of many enterprises. A single video conference session on Skype can handle up to 50 individuals. However, Microsoft later acquired the company in 2011, making Skype one of the most popular VOIP (voice-over-internet) communication tools.

Microsoft Teams which will soon replace Skype for Business, offers significant gains in collaboration, communication, and file sharing resulting in a better employee experience.

Zoom

Zoom video call app - fiber internet - streamtech
Photo by Iyus Sugiharto on Unsplash

This has become the industry standard for video conferencing nowadays. It was designed for business conference calls, but you may now use it for personal meetings as well. The free version allows you to organize up to 100 participants in a single call. However, meetings can only last 40 minutes, so you will have to restart again to continue. On the other hand, breakout rooms for team meetings, confidential back-channel discussion, and screen sharing are all built-in capabilities for business plans.

While this application is available for Android and Apple mobile devices, it does not support real-time video sharing like FaceTime and messenger. On the other hand, it gives HD video and crisp audio for those lengthy video sessions. And you can also snap screenshots of your video chat conversation.

Furthermore, this video call program has capabilities not found in Microsoft or Skype, such as a “call me” button and the option to use your video chat as an intercom. Finally, you can record video meetings for up to 15 minutes for free! You can always upgrade if you need to record longer sessions.

RingCentral

While it may not be as well-known in the Phils., like the other applications, RingCentral’s key advantage is its great video quality and compatibility with other cloud-based storage and collaboration services, such as Microsoft 365.

Google Workspace

If you want a complete set of cloud computing, productivity, and collaboration tools, then this one is perfect for your team. Similar to Microsoft, it has various video and voice call apps and instant communication solutions. Some may have been integrated into another, while others may have been disbanded. It can be perplexing, especially when things shift so quickly. But as of this writing, you can still use the following video chat platforms on your Workspace.

Chat

Hangouts and Chat and have almost the same functionality. Thus, these two apps will become one soon. If you’re still using Hangouts, you should update now to save your data. 

Hangouts are available to anyone with a Gmail account. You can use it either for instant messaging or video calls. It can support up to 150 users but only allows 10 video participants at a time. Hence, the rest will be listening to audio exclusively. Also, it does not allow screen sharing.

Furthermore, if a participant prefers to go incognito, you won’t be able to view his profile picture or any of his personal information. That’s why Hangouts is most commonly used for video calls with close connections like friends and family. Still, it can be a good option if you don’t need to share displays or have many participants on the call.

Meet

Meet is the more sophisticated video conferencing platform built primarily for enterprises. Unlike Hangouts, it’s only available to GSuite (now Workspace) users. A live stream can support up to 250 users or 100,000 views at a time, and it still constantly innovates to make this app more user-friendly by introducing more advanced screen-sharing capabilities and other features.

What’s good with this app is that you can attend the video conference online or offline. If you happen to be in an area without internet access, you can still participate by dialing the number shown in the meeting invitation and entering the code provided.

Duo

Duo is the Android equivalent of Apple’s FaceTime, and as such, it is gaining popularity as a global video calling software because it is available to both operating systems. Once you download it on your mobile device, you can make video calls to your contacts using their phone numbers or email addresses. You can also leave a video message if the person you’re calling isn’t available. However, text chatting and screen sharing are not allowed.

Learn more about these Google apps here.

Messenger

This began as a Facebook messaging app, but it’s now an outstanding alternative for group chat. Yet, you can still use it for voice calls and text chat. It includes various features that other programs do not have. An example is the toggle navigation that allows you to use your camera or photos from your phone with just one touch while still on video with your friend.

The good news is Messenger Rooms will soon be added to allow up to 50 people in one session.

SUMMARY

It’s not always easy to find the best internet video calling program for oneself. It can be challenging to identify which features are right for you. Of course, there is also the matter of cost to consider.

One common issue with video chat apps is restricting the number of people participating in a single session. Another is the ability to use your phone or computer for another activity while you’re on a video call. 

You may give each one a shot to see which one works best for you. Besides, most of these video call software have free versions so you can explore. Just go to the app store and search for the video-calling program of your choice. Then, download and install. The setup is relatively simple. There is no requirement for technical assistance.

Tips to Prevent Stuttering Video Calls

Stuttering or intermittent video calls can be inconvenient, especially if the meeting is crucial. It could mean losing a potential client or viewers leaving the conference, giving you negative feedback. There could be several things that could affect video call quality. But there are workarounds to prevent it from happening.

The following tips will empower your video calling experience.

  1. Use a headset with a high-quality microphone for clear dialogue and to reduce the distance between speakers.
  2. Ensure that both participants are in a pleasant setting with minor interruptions from noise or other people. You can also use a headset with the noise-canceling feature.
  3. Check that both parties have the most recent versions of their software installed.
  4. If you are the one presenting or conducting the meeting, check your inflection. Rehearse your lines and record yourself before going online for the video meeting. Then play it back to help you get into character for the video chat.
  5. Most importantly, make sure you have a stable and precise internet connection when making a video call online. It’s important to know that the video call quality will suffer when you lose connectivity (like when someone goes into another room). This is why it’s vital to have a reliable connection throughout your video call.
  6. Check the configuration of your local network at home or office, as this may have a significant impact on your video-over-internet experience. It may be that many devices are connected to the same internet connection in your house or workplace. This is not surprising since we use the internet almost for everything.

More Ideas for a Better Video Calling Experience

Indeed, internet connection is indispensable in making voice and video calls. But it would help if you also looked out for these elements to ensure a clear and high-quality video call. It may be a bit technical, but these are important factors for high video quality.

BANDWIDTH is the capacity to transmit data from one device to another at a specific time (typically seconds). It is the downloading and uploading power of your internet. Simply put, binge-watching on Netflix may be smooth, but you may have trouble uploading a video. 

LATENCY measures the amount of time (in milliseconds) it takes to deliver data from one location to another. Since video call is created in real-time, buffering is not allowed.

JITTERS is the variability of delay across time or power fluctuations. 

Fiber Internet: The Ideal Option for Online User Satisfaction

Experience better video call with Streamtech Fiber Internet

Video calling has become an essential tool in today’s business world – but not all networks are created equal. Streamtech fiber-optic infrastructure ensures that your data transfer rates stay consistent no matter how many people are on the call at once. They offer unlimited internet bandwidth, so you can always be confident about your online meeting performance.

Furthermore, Streamtech has a network capacity that can provide highly reliable fiber optic internet connection to support various high-bandwidth applications like video conferencing with HD quality or real-time streaming. Their fiber optic system is low latency, so there’s no delay in voice and video transmission. Therefore, you or your business will have the power it needs to stream, meet, and share content with ease. You’ll never experience lag or choppy playback again.

To top it all off, Streamtech provides reasonably priced fiber internet services. Aside from that, they have product solutions that will help you increase your online productivity even more such as Extendifi and Digiclass. Classes will begin soon, and it’s a smart idea to be prepared. Start the school year off right with their teacher-student discount promotion. See, Streamtech is not only dependable and fast, but they are also cost-effective. How can you beat that?

Sign up for Streamtech today to experience the difference for yourself! Exceed your limits and improve your video calling experience. For additional information, visit their website and social media profiles. You can also speak with their online chat representatives.

Categories
News Technology

Is it True that Fiber Internet Slows Down with More Users?

Photo by Felix on rawpixel

Written by Maine Dela Cruz

Slow internet is a taboo, as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a significant shift in the way we utilize technology. Stringent health protocols have restricted social interactions and forced everyone to become extremely reliant on our internet connection. With a computer or a mobile device, we can proceed with our daily routines and still be connected to the outside world. However, with more people at home, we can’t help but worry whether more connected devices can affect the internet speed.

For those working from home, slow internet can disrupt workflow and reduce productivity. And when this happens, we can’t help but ask, “Why is my internet so slow?

What The Numbers Say About Our Internet Speed

According to a recent article by Manila Standard, the Philippines ranks 176th out of 202 countries worldwide and 21st out of 22 in Asia. Throughout the years, many are clamoring for better speed and connection from internet service providers or telecommunication companies.

This large demand for a faster and stable internet connection in the Philippines prompted several companies to begin offering fiber internet services to residential areas and businesses.

What Is Fiber Internet?

In its simplest sense, fiber internet refers to a broadband connection that uses a fiber-optic cable. Compared to the regular internet connections that use cable wires, fiber internet utilizes special strands or fibers, bundled together to from large protective optic cables. Unlike copper lines, these fiber optic lines consist of minuscule plastic or glass strands. Optic fiber internet gives you gigabit speeds, and even a slower connection plan offers hundreds of megabits per second. On top of that, you can get a dedicated connection with fiber internet, which means the full gigabit will be yours to use as much or as little as you like no matter how crowded the neighborhood gets and no matter how busy the peak hours are.

Advantages of Fiber Internet

Compared to the regular internet connections that use cable wires, fiber optic cables may more expensive. This often discourages users since they get enough satisfaction from the 20 to 100mbps that they usually get from cable since most downloads from the internet don’t usually max out that connection. But due to the pandemic, more Filipinos have realized the need to switch to a fiber-optic connection due to its advantages. It has become a go-to connection for telecommuters, gamers, multi-user households, and businesses.

Here are the benefits of using fiber internet:

Connection speed

When it comes to the race for the fastest speed. Fiber wins at a large margin compared to dial-up, DSL, and cable. Fiber optic networks can deliver speeds up to 1 Gbps or 1000 Mbps, whereas DSL speeds typically top out around 6 Mbps. For example, if you would download a large media file (6.5 GB), this is how long each connection will take:

Dial-up – 11 days

DSL 1 – 14 hours

Cable 1 minute – 14 hours

Fiber – About 1 minute

The speeds that fiber optics can deliver are ideal for any online activity, including:

  • Downloading music and videos
  • Streaming TV and movies
  • Playing real-time multiplayer games online
  • Back up data
  • Send and receive large files at the same time, especially over long distances

Reliability

Fiber internet is a great choice for high-bandwidth households. It can support a wide range of devices, such as computers, mobile devices, and smart TVs, at once. With this, there is no need for signal boosters, as you would normally need with ethernet cabling. This is because the light that is being transmitted can travel an exceptionally long distance without losing its strength.

Zero throttling

Fiber optic internet speed doesn’t throttle because it’s less susceptible to overload. Throttling refers to the intentional slowing or speeding of an internet service by an internet service provider. Unlike fiber internet providers, cable internet systems providers use throttling to prevent internet outages.

If you are connected to the internet using fiber internet, there should be no reason why you are suffering from slow internet speeds. However, there are other factors that may affect the performance of your fiber internet connection.

The Myths of Fiber Optics Debunked

Despite these advantages, fiber optics is still poorly understood, and because of that, there are many myths that surround its use. The next section will examine this and examine the reality.

Myth #1: Expensive

When we hear this term, the immediate thought is the expense that is involved. But the truth is, they really are not that expensive now and are very comparable in price when compared to the ethernet cabling. In fact, many Server Message Blocks (SMBs) can now afford fiber optics. Keep in mind, you will achieve tremendous cost savings down the road because you are using light instead of copper to transmit the data packets. Plus, it requires less power consumption and equipment to maintain. One fiber optic cable can outlive nine generations of copper cabling. Continued demand for fiber optics and the ways in which the signals are terminated will bring the price of it even further downwards. Cost savings can be as much as 25%-50% when compared to copper.

Myth #2: Fragile

The misconception here is that since glass can be easily broken, so can fiber optic cabling. But remember that there are hundreds and hundreds of such strands in a single cable line, thus making it extraordinarily strong to withstand all sorts of environments. In fact, the military uses fiber optics quite extensively in the harshest climates, and the cabling can withstand over 200 pounds of pulling tension. In fact, it is even used across the ocean and Arctic-like weather conditions.

Myth #3: Dangerous

Since light is used, there is minimal risk of a fire hazard, as opposed to copper cabling. Since light is used, there is also virtually no risk when it comes to electromagnetic interference with other nearby electronic equipment. It is also considered to be much more eco-friendly than the use of copper.

If you are connected to the internet using fiber, there should be no reason why you are suffering slow internet speeds. However, there are other factors that may affect the performance of your fiber internet connection.

Reasons for Slow Fiber Internet Connection

The performance of fiber-optic cables should naturally be excellent – if only there are no errors or faults with them. Here are the key factors to look out for:

Specification of fiber optic cabling

If your fiber internet installer uses the wrong optic cabling, you’ll never reach your desired speed. Worse, they’re not going to work. This is the biggest reason behind a fiber optic link failure and the first fault that requires an engineer to check.

For 10 gigabyte speeds, the maximum cable length you can run ranges from OM1 (33 meters), OM2 (82 meters), OM3 (300 meters), or OM4 (400 meters).

Quality of construction

Poorly terminated cabling with ends bent too sharply will either be limited or won’t be connected at all. Additionally, if the cabling becomes dirty, the transmission can also be affected negatively.

Cable tightness

If the cable becomes stretched too tightly, the quality of light down the cable becomes compromised. This is another factor that results in a frustrating poor performance or even complete failure of the cable.

Patching

During the patch process, the leads can become scratched or dirty. Bear in mind that the weakest part of the link will determine the overall quality and performance of the link as a whole. It means a poor patch lead creates a poor lead overall. It’s recommended for patch leads to be cleaned each time they are re-patched.

Aside from the fiber optic cable issues, slow internet connection may be attributed to your Wi Fi router.

What Causes Wi-Fi Signal Problem?

Although fiber connection provides incredibly fast network speeds to those connected via ethernet cable and wireless devices, there are a number of situations to cause your Wi-Fi router to underperform. To boost your internet speed, discover what disrupts or slows your Wi-Fi and wired connections. Here are some of them:

Location

Proximity to the wireless access point or router can affect the quality of your Internet connection. Larger properties or home offices located in a garden or yard, however, may simply not be serviceable by one centralized internet hub. If this is the case, moving your router won’t be enough, and it may be time to consider a mesh network instead.

If your router is tucked away in a far corner of your office or house, the opposite side of the same space, may not get the same coverage. This can be due to distance from the router, Try moving your router to a more central location, or install more wireless access points. If you can put your router in the center of your coverage area, you will get better coverage throughout your business or house.

Physical obstruction

Objects, too, can impede connections between your devices and a router. If possible, try to keep clutter around your router to a minimum. Walls or glass can also interfere with the Wi-Fi signal.

Malware

Malware can infect your computer’s hardware, software, or applications. One type is internet malware that infects computer applications such as web browsers. This kind of malware can open multiple browsers in the background which can slow internet speeds.

VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) will always slightly decrease your internet speed, as it adds a number of steps that were not present in your connection before. Namely, the encryption process and connection to a remote server.

Often, a free VPN will limit the number of servers accessible by non-paying clients. This can create strain on those few servers, slowing them down for those availing free access. Other servers are available only to paying customers who can then get full-speed service in locations that are not under strain.

So, essentially, when it comes to internet speeds when using a VPN, it’s often the case that you get what you pay for.

How to speed up slow internet

slow internet loading - fiber internet - streamtech
Photo by rawpixel

If none of the solutions above address your internet speed issues, you can take a few additional steps to boost your connection:

Restart your computer

Make it a habit to restart your router. This allows them to “refresh” and clear stored up data.

Upgrade your router

Look for a high-quality, long-range router to deliver the best internet speeds.

Purchase a Wi-Fi extender

If you have issues with your internet speeds in certain areas of your home, you likely need a Wi-Fi extender to provide a more consistent Wi-Fi connection wherever you are in the house.

Amp up your security

Others may have found a way to leech off your connection. Use hard-to-guess passwords and WPA2 security.

Angle one WiFi antenna straight up and the other to the side

This will send the connection both directly up and down through ceilings and horizontally through walls for well-rounded coverage.

How Many People Can Use Fiber Internet Wi-Fi Connection?

According to Actiontec, most wireless access points and wireless routers can theoretically have 255 devices connected at a time. That represents a lot of computers, smartphones, tablets, cameras, and other devices and probably far exceeds the needs of the typical home. However, just because you can theoretically connect 255 computers to a single Wi-Fi router/access point doesn’t mean you should. There are always ideal number of devices per plan or subscription.

Get the Best Surfing experience with Streamtech Internet!

If you have read up to this point, it is clear that your internet service provider has failed you. It’s time to shift to a better internet provider that offers high-speed, reliable internet at an incredibly lower cost. From Php 1,499 to Php 3,499 per month, enjoy up to 150Mbps of unlimited internet connectivity with Streamtech!

What’s more, as the opening of classes draws near, Streamtech is introducing another Back to School perk, the Teacher and Student Discount Promo. Now, they can avail of high-quality fiber internet services and cable TV at a lower price.

Learn about the general mechanics of the promo.

Teacher and student discount - back to school promo - fiber internet - streamtech

Streamtech is one of the Philippines’ newest internet service providers. Streamtech is present in key cities and municipalities across the country. We proudly provide fiber internet in Bacoor, and other areas in Cavite. We are also one of the providers of fiber internet in Batangas and other major municipalities in the province. For the NCR, we provide fiber internet in Taguig, Las Pinas, and Muntinlupa.

To get updates and know more about our amazing products and services, visit our official website or Official Facebook Page.