How Does Video Conferencing Work?

Woman sitting at desk in front of desktop working while holding up device and engaged with 4 speakers in a video conferenceSometimes technology can feel like magic, especially when it comes to the rising demand of video conferencing. One minute you’re at home, sitting at your desk in front of a blank screen, and the next, you’re transported somewhere else where you’re talking to friends in another city or family overseas. Maybe you’re connecting with clients, or sitting in an online classroom! Video conferencing has the ability to take you places without you having to leave your bubble – wherever that may be!

While it might seem like something magical, video conferencing is anything but smoke and mirrors and the features and benefits are only increasing in scalability and size. The opportunities for business, finance, healthcare, education, and staying in touch with loved ones (and more!) are limitless!

Here’s a quick rundown of how video conferencing works to connect you online and bring you closer to the online advantages you’re looking for.

1. The Sender And Receiver Communicates Through Audio And Video

In its most basic expression, video conferencing is the technology that allows two people to communicate with each other remotely. It’s a two-way platform that bounces information between the sender and receiver.

Both participants take turns sending and receiving messages with each other, and to do that, you need a) A device with a webcam, speakers, and mic (or telephone), and b) An internet connection.

Nowadays, the exchange goes beyond just two people. Advanced web conferencing can include up to thousands of participants on a call and doesn’t require heavy equipment or a complicated setup.

Furthermore, participants have the luxury of being able to meet online using their mobile devices. Digital screens aren’t limited to computers and now include iPhone and Android devices and more.

2. Audio Visual Information Is Converted Into Digital Data And Encrypted

Close up view of a man’s hand holding a forward-facing device with 3 happy family members engaged in a video conferenceAs the senders and receivers communicate by way of video conferencing, the information received by the camera and microphone is both simultaneously and instantaneously converted from analog into digital.

This is done with video conferencing software that works in the background to breakdown and reassembles information.

In the meantime, video conferencing security works to protect the integrity of the data going back and forth with encryption and certificate-based authentication. Encryption is one of the most critical security features. It keeps data safe from leaking and protected from unwanted visitors by scrambling text that requires a decryption key to be “unlocked.”

Encryption happens between being sent and received. The data is jumbled and then gets reassembled and decrypted on the other end.

3. Audio And Video Is Rearranged, Compacted, And Compressed

As the sender and receiver are exchanging messages, compression software that is designed into the video conferencing software carries on in the background. This process enables it to travel more swiftly across the internet, whether wifi or broadband.

A higher compression rate means a clearer audio and video experience in real-time, whereas a lower compression rate would come across as delayed and choppy.

4. Audio And Video Make It To The Other Side

Once the data has been sent from one end and received on the other, the software becomes uncompressed and decrypts the data, returning it to its original form. Now, the device can read it and the speakers can play it.

5. The Receiver Receives The Message

Over the shoulder view of a man in front of laptop with an open textbook, video conferencing with professor in the middle of an enthusiastic conversationThe data has been sent through and now it’s at the point where it can be seen and heard. With the right software, you can expect to have clear audio and sharp video…

…but to ensure you’re sending and receiving high-quality data for the best viewing and hearing experience, check the following:

  • Your Device
    You can access web conferencing from your handheld device, laptop, or desktop. Whichever one you choose, make sure it’s updated and charged up. Having a power cord nearby and ready to go is a good idea for longer discussions – especially study groups, lectures, or social gatherings.
  • Your Internet Connection
    Do you have a public or private internet connection? Is it through ethernet or WiFi? How fast is your connection? Are you sharing with other users? Find out these details so you can better assess the speed of your connection. No one wants slow internet, especially if you’re interviewing candidates for a job or if you’re the candidate being interviewed!
  • Your Software
    Browser-based video conferencing software tends to be simpler and easier to use. This makes group communication more accessible for seniors or kids who may have a limited understanding of technology. Plus, it doesn’t involve any downloads and lessens your chance of being exposed to hackers. Browser-based web conferencing solutions rely on the browser’s already present built-in security features for a safer online meeting.
  • Your Set-up
    Figure out your video conferencing needs as well as making sure everything is connecting with each other for optimal performance. Are your headphones compatible with your laptop? Does having a mouse improve your online experience? Is everything in sync with each other? Depending on the purpose of your video chat, create a checklist of everything you need beforehand so all your bases – the beginning, middle, and end of your meeting – are covered!
  • Your Diagnostics
    Still not sure if your set up is 100%? Troubleshoot using a free online connection test to sort it out.

Let simplify your personal or professional video conferencing needs. It might seem like you can magically connect to whoever you want whenever you want, but it’s nothing more than simple and effective two-way technology that brings you closer to the people you need to be close to. Perfect for coaches, professors, a start-up business, and more, your free account gets you free video conferencing, free conference calls, and free screen sharing – to start.