Packet loss is different from speed tests
During these throttling times, please keep in mind that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is likely dealing with increased traffic. You even may have data caps imposed by your ISP as well — though some ISP's are lifting data caps.
👉 Check out the New York Times reporting on network issues.
Your home network may be stretched thin — especially if other members of your home are streaming video! If you can, use Ethernet. We know it's not always possible, but it can make a huge difference.
If you're seeing packet loss, during your call try:
- Rebooting your computer
- Moving closer to your WiFi router
- Or, if possible, connecting via Ethernet
- Test your packet loss by visiting, https://network.callstats.io
What is packet loss?
- Packet loss is different from your speed test or download speed. Packet loss reflects UDP data, which is the data transmitted when you stream live media.
- When streaming live media network issues often relate to an OS-level root cause. That's why, if you're having issues, rebooting often is a smart thing to try.
- See our COVID-19 update above.
Video calls need a good connection. Because a video call streams live media, having a fast internet connection is not enough.
Traditional speed tests look only at TCP data, which are used for downloads. For example, a speed test might give you a good sense of how quickly you can download a file off of a website.
In contrast, video calls use UPD live media streaming. Data is not buffered.
Here's an example. When you're watching Netflix, you are not streaming live media. Your device is buffering the content you're downloading. This can't be done during a video call because the data you're streaming is live.
It's not unusual for a user to have a great network, but experience packet loss on a call. Network congestion, firewall barriers, and/or old or affected hardware (like a router that needs rebooting) can play a role.
Check out this blog post from the folks at daily.com, for more information on packet loss!