Troubleshooting Common Video Conferencing Problems

When working correctly, video conferencing can be a wonderful tool for personal or business interactions. It can allow you to have a face to face conversation with someone living thousands of miles away. However, situations can become quite frustrating when you have technical difficulties while trying to video chat. To help ease your frustration levels, here are some common video conferencing problems you may encounter and suggestions that could provide a fix.

Problem #1: You hear an echo
Possible Fix: This is usually caused by audio that’s coming out of someone’s speaker, which is then getting picked up by their microphone. If this is the case, mute the person causing the echo. If headsets are available, the use of these will prevent this problem.

Problem #2: People sound far away
Possible Fix: If the person speaking is not using a headset or microphone, and is instead talking into the computer’s microphone or into a speaker phone, they could be hard to hear. Try having the person use a microphone and headset. If that’s not possible, have them get closer to the computer’s microphone and try to speak as clearly as possible.

Problem #3: You can hear them, they can’t hear you
Possible Fix: This problem is usually caused by incorrect microphone settings. Check the sound settings to see if your microphone is turned on correctly. You may have software that can’t access your microphone. If all else fails, restart your computer as this may allow your computer to recognize the speakers correctly.

Problem #4: You can’t hear anyone
Possible Fix: Hearing nothing from your end is most likely the result of speaker or volume settings. Check your speakers first to make sure they’re set up correctly. If you’re using a headset, verify that your system audio is configured for headset use. If this doesn’t work, turn up the volume on your computer and in the application. If this still doesn’t work, try your headset in a different USB port, or restart your computer.

Problem #5: Screen lagging behind or freezing
Possible Fix: Connection or bandwidth problems are the main causes of this problem. To avoid this, make sure you are not close to a microwave, and stop doing things that would compete with your internet connection like updating software or streaming videos.

Problem #6: In and out of reception
Possible Fix: When the connection is spotty and voices on the other end keep coming and going, it’s usually caused by bandwidth and connection problems. Using video and audio at the same time takes up a good amount of bandwidth on your internet. To help with this, make sure no other big uploads are going on at the same time, and limit any other internet usage where possible.