Zoom is a powerful collaboration tool. It allows members of an organization to communicate clearly despite not being in the same physical location.
WHY DOES ZOOM LAG HAPPEN?
As with any technology, sometimes issues come up. Zoom lag happens when users are in a Zoom meeting and they experience poor audio or voice delays, frozen screens, and/or meetings getting disconnected. This experience can be frustrating and not much gets accomplished. So why does Zoom lag happen, and how can users get meetings back on track?
Let’s find out.
CAUSES OF ZOOM LAG
Figuring out what the issue is, will require some troubleshooting by the user. Possible causes of lag include:
Network service issues. If users are working from home, they are likely using standard residential internet service to connect to Zoom calls which might be too slow. Check out the Zoom System Requirements page for details on recommended internet speeds. We will discuss some ways to work around this issue later in the article.
Poor connection. Even if your network is offering plenty of speed for Zoom calls, a user may not be getting a strong enough signal to their computer. For instance, if an individual is working from home and their office is on a different floor from the router, that could be enough to cause a lag.
Usage overload. This can be a problem both in the workplace and at home. When too many devices are trying to use internet at the same time, there may not be enough bandwidth to go around, and as a result end user experiences can be negatively impacted. Finding ways around this traffic jam can significantly improve the quality of calls.
Although Zoom has dramatically improved its ability to handle large volumes of users over the course of the pandemic, there still may be the occasional instance when there are extreme spikes in usage.
Below are suggestions to the three possible causes of Zoom lag addressed above:
ADDRESSING NETWORK SERVICE LIMITATIONS
At home, users could also be facing equipment problems. If the wireless router being used is more than three years old, it might be time for an upgrade. If a user’s network is working properly and still isn’t able to hold a Zoom call without lag, they should contact their internet service provider to see if faster plans are available in their area. Internet speed options vary geographically, so it’s important to find out what’s available as many users are working in a hybrid environment.
In the office, users will need to work with their IT department. The IT department will check to see if the networking equipment in the building may be out of date, or if the organization may need to consider purchasing more bandwidth from their internet service provider to keep up with the needs of the organization.
Additionally, IT should implement QoS (Quality of Service) to prioritize mission-critical applications, like Zoom, over other applications that can stand to have delays without much notice from end users – like emails that go out a few seconds later.
POOR SIGNAL QUALITY
One easy way to improve signal strength would be for the user to move closer to the signal source or hardwire their connection. This should improve the connection and help so users can get through their meeting with minimal lag.
TOO MANY USERS
This is most often a problem when users are working from home and multiple individuals are using devices that require internet access. Most office networks are configured to deal with heavy usage. When working from home and sharing internet across several devices, it may be best to understand the schedule that individuals will require internet access to plan calls around peak usage times if possible, to improve the quality of calls and increase productivity.
DESIGN A PLAN FOR ZOOM SUCCESS
You can’t always fix Zoom lag, but more often than not, the steps above should significantly improve your call quality.