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Zoom has become an integral part of today's work culture. With a significant number of people still working from home, as an aftermath of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, we can expect this video conferencing platform to keep growing. After all, Zoom might have entered the mass consciousness as a direct consequence of the pandemic when millions looked for apps that facilitated 2-way communication, but it had been successfully garnering users since its launch in 2013. No surprise then, relative to the 10 million daily Zoom meeting participants in December 2019, a year later this number had spiked to 350 million!  

But when you commit to new apps for work, you have got to be more prudent about ensuring your internet connection is able to power your online rendezvous. Understanding what internet speed do you need to get things running seamlessly is therefore critical. And, if you have skipped all of that thus far because of how technical some explanations can get, read on. Today article endeavors to present this information for the layman, so you do not need to exert it.

How much internet speed do you need for Zoom?

As for bandwidth requirements, Zoom is optimized to deliver the best possible experience based on the participant network performance. When you join a meeting, the Zoom Client runs a series of quick checks so it can enable a steady connection, and also prioritizes audio and screen sharing over video. Not only does it come equipped to handle a low bandwidth environment, but Zoom is also designed to adjust to 3G, 4G/LTE, WiFi, or a wired connection all by itself.  

As for internet speed, to use the most basic Zoom functions i.e. a one-to-one video call in SD or HD, you will need it to be in the minimum range of 0.6–1.5 Mbps for uploads and downloads. But, if you require to conduct Zoom group calls/team meetings in the high-res video, there must be a faster connection supporting that. Here is a listing of upload/download speeds which Zoom recommends for various activities:

Activity Recommended internet speed (upload/download)
1:1 Video Call (480p SD) 600 Kbps/600 Kbps (0.6 Mbps)
1:1 Video Call (780p HD) 1.2 Mbps/1.2 Mbps
1:1 Video Call (1080p HD) 3.8 Mbps/3.0 Mbps
Group Video Call (480p SD) 1 Mbps/0.6 Mbps (600 Kbps)
Group Video Call (720p HD) 2.6 Mbps/1.8 Mbps
Group Video Call (1080p HD) 3.8 Mbps/3.0 Mbps
Screen Sharing only (without video thumbnail) 50–75 Kbps
Screen Sharing only (with video thumbnail) 50–150 Kbps
Audio VoIP Call 60–80 Kbps
Zoom Phone 60–100 Kbps

 

The table above should give you a good idea of what internet speed you need for your Zoom activities. To be fair, Zoom does not identify “high-quality video” with a specific resolution. But with due reason, we presume this refers to DVD quality i.e. 480p or SD.   

As you can see Zoom does not require super-fast download speeds, but it does necessitate good upload power. And this is what must be kept in perspective when purchasing an internet plan. More often than not subscribers do not pay attention to upload speeds, nor do most internet service providers highlight this aspect when they market their services. But, getting stuck with a miserably low upload speed can easily spoil the Zoom game for you, so definitely something you have got to remember.

Plus, do not forget your home connection is not for your Zoom meetings only. While you work, others in the family could be engaged in their own online activities. And, if you go by the minimum speed recommendations from Zoom, you can end up facing connection performance issues. So, pick a speed tier that can support all kinds of online activities conducted in your household, not just your Zoom video calls.  

How much data do you need for Zoom?

Another important aspect to consider when using Zoom is how much data is likely to be consumed. After all, you do not want to find an overage charge on your bill for extra data used. Or, worse have the connection suspended until the next billing period. Depending on your ISP, you can also experience throttled speeds as a direct consequence of exceeding the data allowance.

An overage charge can really upend your monthly budget, while a suspended or throttled connection can cause a good deal of hassle when sorting out the situation. You can avoid unnecessary stress by making sure you are subscribed to a data plan which fulfills your work-related Zoom needs and also meets household demands. Here is a look into how much data various Zoom activities are likely to consume:

Activity Amount of data used
1:1 Video Call (480p SD) 540 MB/hr.
1:1 Video Call (780p HD) 1.08 GB/hr.
1:1 Video Call (1080p HD) 1.62 GB/hr.
Group Video Call (480p SD) 810 MB/hr.
Group Video Call (720p HD) 1.35 GB/hr.
Group Video Call (1080p HD) 2.475 GB/hr.
Audio VoIP Call 27–36 MB/hr.
Screen Sharing 22.5 MB/hr.
Screen sharing (with thumbnail) 67.5 MB/hr.

 

How can you use less data on Zoom?

Data consumption on Zoom can quickly run you out of your data allowance if you do not keep a tab on how you use the app. Here are some simple ways to reduce data consumption over Zoom:

  • Let go of the video whenever possible, and use Zoom for audio-only VoIP calls.
  • When using video, switch to DVD quality or 480p, if the nature of the meeting allows that.
  • Be frugal with the duration of screen sharing.

Top internet providers for Zoom  

While you do not need ultra-fast download speeds for Zoom, an internet connection must meet a certain threshold for uploads, and also allow a generous data allowance. This means you will have to keep an eye on the upload speed and monthly data allowance when purchasing a plan.

Based on these key factors, here are some mid-tier plans from top nationwide ISPs which you must consider if available in the area. We have picked these plans keeping in mind a mid-sized household where more than one adult work or attend school online, streaming and gaming are among common activities, besides the more lightweight usage like surfing, email, social media networking, etc.

 

Provider Service Type Price Max. Download Speeds Max. Upload Speeds Data Allowance
Spectrum Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial $49.99/mo.
for 12 months
200 Mbps 10 Mbps Unlimited
CenturyLink Fiber $65/mo. 940 Mbps 940 Mbps Unlimited
AT&T Fiber Fiber $60/mo.
for 12 months
940 Mbps 940 Mbps Unlimited
Optimum by Altice Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial $49.99/mo.
for 12 months
300 Mbps 20 Mbps Unlimited
Suddenlink by Altice Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial $49.99/mo.
for 12 months
300 Mbps 20 Mbps Unlimited

 

Charter SpectrumTM

Spectrum Internet plans also allow higher speed tiers i.e. 400 Mbps and 1 Gbps with 20 and 35 Mbps uploads respectively. So not only do you get covered on the upload speed front but with data. Because it is unlimited. Plus all Spectrum internet packages come with attractive perks such as a FREE modem and antivirus software, making your subscription more value-packed. 

To determine the availability of Spectrum offers at your address call 1-844-481-5997.

CenturyLink Fiber

CenturyLink Fiber is one of the best Fiber-to-the-Home services in the market. If you are living somewhere in the CenturyLink footprint, you must consider the option for a myriad of reasons. While it takes care of your upload speed and data requirements for Zoom more than well, the service allows you other perks. For instance, there is no annual contract. You start paying at the standard rate on a month-to-month basis, and you can cancel anytime without a penalty. Plus the CenturyLink Internet service carries a good reputation for price consistency which means chances are you will not have to face a price hike anytime soon. All in all, it makes for a great choice in more than one way. Not only for your Zoom meetings but for the entire family usage.

Call at 1-855-349-9310 and speak to representatives to determine the availability of CenturyLink Internet deals in your area.

AT&T Fiber

AT&T Fiber service offers one of the cheapest starting plans with the highest starting speed available in the Fiber-to-the-Home market. AT $35/mo., AT&T Fiber gets you 300 Mbps equal upload and download speeds. That too with unlimited data. The consistency and reliability are right up at 99% and the service comes top-rated in customer satisfaction. Plus you get the advantage of a secure high-speed connection on the go, courtesy of thousands of AT&T WiFi hotspots nationwide.

To determine AT&T Fiber availability in your area, call 1-855-925-2541.

Optimum & Suddenlink by Altice

High-speed hybrid Fiber-Coaxial broadband delivered by Optimum and Suddenlink is a great option for your Zoom meetings and more. Because both providers, under the parent company Altice USA, get you fast speeds with unlimited data. Meaning, not only your Zoom conference calling but the online needs of the entire family are covered. With no annual contracts and attractive price points Optimum and Suddenlink Internet offers are worth a shot if you reside in their service states.

To determine Optimum and Suddenlink offer availability in your area, call at 1-844-520-8978.

Before we close our discussion, however, we must mention the largest Cable broadband provider in the U.S., i.e. Xfinity from Comcast, is a serious contender when it comes to picking the right internet provider for your Zoom Meetings and other home needs. The only thing is Xfinity Internet plans are capped at 1.2 TB data. Still, it is enough of an allowance if bandwidth extensive activities are not routine in your household. As for upload speeds Xfinity Internet ranges from 5 - 35 Mbps, which is good for all Zoom activities and more.

Explore Xfinity Internet prices in your region. Appealing promo pricing combined with bundle discounts is one of the strongest features of Xfinity offers.

Final Words

We hope the information we have shared helps you gain more insight into your Zoom speed and data usage. The providers and plans we have included for your consideration get you super-fast internet with a lot of data, even when it is not unlimited. Assess your home needs, and if you think your current internet connection is not delivering, switch to one of these options, depending on which of these ISPs serve your neighborhood. You can call at 1-855-349-9328 to check provider availability at your address.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How to turn off HD video on Zoom?

To turn off HD video, navigate to Video from the Settings menu. Here you will find the Camera option under which you will see a check box labeled Enable HD. Just uncheck it and you are good to go.

Is 25 Mbps connection enough for Zoom Calls?

Yes. A 25 Mbps connection will give you enough bandwidth for not only one-on-one calls but group calls as well. However, if you share the connection with other people, you must assess the required speed based on the overall internet consumption in your household.

How much bandwidth does Zoom use?

Different Zoom activities require different speeds. For instance, Zoom requires a minimum of 1 Mbps upload and 600 Kbps download speeds for group video calls in standard definition. While one-to-one calls do not require more than 600 Kbps upload and download.