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Understand: WebRTC and peer-to-peer connections
Understand: WebRTC and peer-to-peer connections

What it is, and how it relates to video call quality.

Colin avatar
Written by Colin
Updated over a week ago

WebRTC (Real-Time Communications) is part of the technology uses to connect two or more people on a video call. It acts as a middleman that packages, and compresses data from a video session (e.g., audio created from a conversation, and video captured from the webcam). An encoder compresses this data into packets. These are sent across your WiFi network to whomever you're talking to. The data stream is condensed so it can be relayed across the network to your participant instantaneously. We refer to everyone as "endpoints," and each sends their data stream to the other while the connection is live.

How it Relates to Call Quality

There's a few reasons why a video session can be choppy, sound bad, or drop altogether. Data packets moving to and from each endpoint can get lost in transit. 

Packet Loss

Packet loss is when packets get dropped to keep endpoints connected. It can be caused by:

  • High latency (the time it takes to transfer data packets between endpoints)

  • Congested/inadequate bandwidth (the transfer rate at which data gets sent through your WiFi network)

  • Spotty connection (device too far away from WiFi source/physical or electrical interference)

Only one participant has to have these problems for both endpoints to be affected.
Each endpoint should have a stable connection to WiFi, and enough open bandwidth to transfer/receive data simultaneously.  

How to mitigate bad call quality

A few things that will help optimize available bandwidth and reduce packet loss:

  • Applications running in the background will use system resources on your computer, thus slowing things down. By closing out apps and browser tabs, you free up bandwidth that can use to maintain a stable session.

  • If multiple people are using the same network, it'll be more congested, and your speeds will likely slow down. Either close out as many apps as possible, and start the session anyway, or wait for a later time when there's less network traffic.

  • Staying close to the WiFi source is best. Ethernet cables are a cheap and permanent solution if you're not close by.

Network requirements

You'll need at least 300-400kbps to start, and 2mbps is better for a higher quality call. Test your network speed here

Peer-To-Peer System

The technology used by is a peer-to-peer system, which means when you connect to other participants through audio and video, that data is being transmitted directly between those peers and not through the system. This is in contrast to other services that use servers as an intermediary between participants in a call. In other words, having a good-quality call on one of those services doesn't necessarily mean you are set up ideally for a session.

If you have any questions, please contact our support team.

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