Learn tips on how to improve bandwidth for recording seamlessly online. Whether you’re creating a video podcast or recording with remote guests, we cover everything that can affect your call quality.
Whenever you're recording a podcast or other remote content with guests, online bandwidth or internet speed is a critical piece of the puzzle. We're gonna give you the details on what bandwidth actually is, the difference between upload and download speeds, the kinds of internet you might have at your home or office, and some tips for recording online content if you're on the road or in a hotel. Plus, when you use Riverside, we actually have tools to help you overcome lower inconsistent bandwidth when you record. So the terms bandwidth and internet speed can be used kind of interchangeably. It refers to how fast your internet connection is, and that's broken up into two different numbers, your download speeds and your upload speeds.
If you'd like to test your bandwidth speeds, we recommend using a website speedtest.net. You can run that in any web browser, or you can even download an application to your smartphone, tablet, or computer. After you get your final numbers, your download number is how fast your internet connection can pull data from the internet to your device. If you were streaming content from YouTube or watching a movie or TV show on your streaming box, if you were recording with someone online, the download speed would refer to how well you can pull your co-host video or guest video to your machine and view it live.
The upload speed is how fast your internet connection can push data or video up to the internet and to others that you're recording online. If you're going to upload a video to YouTube or upload files to a cloud service like Dropbox, all of that is using your upload speed. When you're doing an online recording, your upload speed refers to how quickly your internet can take your video and audio and push it up to the internet for your guests and co-host to see on their end.
There are two major kinds of internet providers that you'll find, especially here in the United States, but around the world. One is a cable or coax internet. This uses the old TV style cable. It's called coax, and you can get pretty good download speeds over coax cable, even up to a thousand megabits per second, which is very fast and plenty for online recording. But often the upload speeds are restricted, even as low as 20 megabits per second, which is relatively slow compared to things like fiber, but is still plenty for an online recording.
If you have 15 to 20 megabit upload speeds and a few hundred downloads, you should be fine for an online recording. If you're in an area that offers fiber internet, this might be from Verizon, FS, or Frontier Internet here in the United States, then the upload and download speeds will actually be closer to matching. You can get one gig or even two gig service, which would be 2000 megabits up and down. That amount of bandwidth would be plenty for an online recording, but do keep in mind, especially when you're recording in your home, that other devices and other users on your network can also pull bandwidth.
If someone's streaming video games on a console and another is trying to download large files from another, all of that pulls on your bandwidth allocation, and so you trying to do an online recording in your office could be affected by those other devices. When recording at home, if you're able to plug a physical ethernet cable from your router or modem to your computer, that will provide the most consistent and fastest speeds available but using wifi is fine.
If you're in a home and you have wifi, do try to be as close to the wifi router, or at least the nearest router as possible. If you find the bandwidth connection is unstable, when you're trying to do an online recording, you might wanna invest in a mesh wifi network. This might be an era or other brand where you'll use two to three different wifi access points around the house that actually spreads the internet, even if the source of the internet is in an office or living room far away from where you need to record.
A mesh wifi network can spread that signal and help you get a better bandwidth result. If you plan to upgrade your wifi system soon, we recommend looking for a wifi six router. That is one of the newer standards when it comes to wireless internet. Many modern devices support wifi six, and it'll give you the fastest bandwidth feeds possible over wireless connections.
Now if you find you have lower bandwidth than you expect, or you're having an issue with the live call in a Riverside studio, we have a new feature that will help you with that live call, and you'll still get high quality video and audio recording. When you're in the studio even in the middle of recording, you can see this question: Is your internet affecting the flow of your call?
If you expand that window, you'll see a toggle for low data mode for all. When low data mode is enabled, it will drop the quality of the live call, but try to keep it more even and consistent with less stutters and breaks. But the audio and video being recorded for every participant is still local on their device in high quality.
And you'll have access to all those separate recordings and high quality video and audio once the call is over. This toggle just affects the live call quality to help it go more smoothly, less delays and interruptions. So if you're having issues with low bandwidth and stuttery calls at home in the office, or especially when traveling, if you're on hotel wifi, which we'll talk about in a second, try this load data mode to help the calls flow more evenly.
Now, if you plan to record in a work or office environment, there's some different challenges you might experience when it comes to bandwidth. Some office networks or company wifi networks will restrict certain IP addresses or domains that could make recording a challenge. The first step would be to talk to the IT team at your company, if there is one, and discuss what limitations there might be on the bandwidth and if they can open up those restrictions for your devices.
Specifically, if there is an office room or area where you can connect ethernet directly to your computer, that's always preferred, and if all those fails in an office environment, if you can go near a window and have good cellular coverage, you can try using a hotspot from your mobile device to your computer.
More on that in a second. If you're gonna record a show or podcast and you're traveling, maybe you're in a hotel or at a conference center, those wifi networks can be notoriously bad. The first hurdle is what's called captive networks, meaning when you try to connect to a wifi network at the hotel, you're required to put in a username or login and room number and password, and then you're able to access the internet.
Oftentimes, that captive network will re-engage after a set amount of time, and so if you're connected to hotel wifi and you've recorded for maybe 20 minutes using a Riverside studio, the hotel wifi might kick you off because it doesn't see active browsing. That can be a real issue when you're trying to record an online podcast. If you really have no other choice but to record in the hotel.do contact the front desk. They might be able to contact the IT team for the hotel and open up your room and your device specifically to record without those kinds of restrictions.
Secondly, if you have good cellular service in the hotel room, hotspotting is an option. I have done this personally many times and find it works much better to hotspot from a mobile device than using the hotel room wifi. If you're gonna use your phone and mobile hotspot for an online recording, make sure that phone or other mobile device is plugged into power so it won't run out of battery in the middle of the call and your hotspot drops. Try to keep it near a window where cellular service will hopefully be better than farther into the room.
And as much as possible, try not to use your phone while you're hots spotting to your computer or other tablet device for an online recording. Then if all else fails, hotel wifi won't work, you don't have good cellular coverage in the hotel room, you can try to find a local coffee shop or cafe that has wifi without those kind of captive network restrictions.
But if you're using Riverside to record your content, try the low data mode. Turn that toggle on for everyone. It might even drop some of the video feeds for your online guests or other co-hosts, but know that they're still being recorded in high quality video and audio, and you'll have access to all those recordings as soon as the call is over.
If you have questions about anything we discussed today, leave a comment below this video. We'd love to interact with you there, and then subscribe to the Riverside YouTube channel and hit that bell icon so you don't miss a video. We have lots of content on creating podcasts using video switchers even using mirrorless cameras as webcams.
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