February 22, 2012 8:49 PM Subscribe
How can I have the best video chat experience?
posted by segfault to Technology (9 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The SO and I try to pretend like we're not long distance by having date night via Skype. Ideally we'd like to play some online games together, stream Netflix, etc, but it would be nice just to chat without the call dropping. We've tried Skype (best results), Gchat, Oovoo, and even Google+ hangouts, but it's become really frustrating to deal with frequent lag and dropped calls. We are both PC users in the United States, both with limited control over our ISP, and both with roommates. My questions are as follows:
1) How can we troubleshoot our internet connection? I might be able to switch/upgrade providers, but to do that I'd like to have a sense of what's missing. Connection too slow? Not enough bandwidth? How can I tell?
2) Is there anything we can do to optimize in terms of hardware? Router configuration? Should we invest in a wireless repeater, and if so, which?
3) What about software? Is there anything we should be doing to configure it properly (e.g. program settings, allowing it through a firewall, altering webcam quality, etc)?
4) We use a VPN to set up our own server for some online games. Could that or something similar possibly help with Skype?
5) Any other diagnostics to determine what's wrong, or hacks to optimize performance?
Bonus: online games suggestions always welcome! We like Quadradius a lot.