As more and more companies look into livestreaming corporate virtual events, it’s worth discussing what (and why) you might need to beef up your office Wi-Fi before your business can actually broadcast an internal all-hands meeting from its own headquarters.

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A. The Difference Between Internet, Wi-Fi, And Ethernet

    • Internet: This is the world-wide web, or universal network, that most of us now access on a daily basis. Users can employ either Wi-Fi or ethernet to gain access to the internet.
    • Wi-Fi: Short for wireless fidelity, this tool allows for (you guessed it) wireless connection to the internet for anybody within range of the wireless router. The quality of this connection can be affected by the number of physical barriers between the router and your device, or by the number of Wi-Fi signals in the same area, but by and large it’s considered more convenient than having to physically plug one’s device into a cable.
    • Ethernet: This cable connection to one’s router (sometimes through a wall socket) is the way that all computers originally used to access the worldwide web. Ethernet is generally considered to be a steadier, more consistent source of internet access than Wi-Fi

B. The Scale Of Bits Per Second (bps)

Bits are the pieces of data that make up digital files, such as videos or images. Bits per second (bps), not to be confused with the file-storage unit Bytes Per Second (Bps), refers to the number of these units that your internet connection can transmit, receive, or process per second. This is the unit that most often measures the speed of video transmissions online.

    • 1,000bps = 1 Kilo-bit per second (Kbps)
    • 1,000,000 bps = 1,000 Kbps = 1 Mega-bit per second (Mbps)
    • 1,000,000,000 bps = 1,000 Mbps = 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps)
    • 1,000,000,000,000 bps = 1,000 Gbps = 1 terabit per second (Tbps)

C. Upload Speed Vs. Download Speed

    • Upload Speed: This is how fast your internet connection can send information out to the internet–– be it pictures, videos, or other files.
    • Download Speed: This is how fast your internet connection can retrieve data (especially entire files) from the internet.

D. Other Video Terms to Know:

    • Bandwidth: Consider this the amount of “stuff” your internet connection can juggle or transfer at any given time. This metric tracks how much traffic your Wi-Fi or ethernet is capable of handling, and how much data you’re using.
    • Bitrate: This is basically how fast your video files can travel from your server to the internet: it’s the speed of data transference you’re able to achieve.
    • Frame Rate: Videos are all made up of a vast number of still images that are flipped through at a rapid pace to give the illusion of movement: each of these images is called a “frame,” and most videos or films require 24 frames per second to appear smooth instead of choppy. That being said, the minimum number of frames per second (fps) for live video streaming is approximately 30, because livestreaming quality can vary and a few frames here or there might get dropped depending on the quality of your internet connection.
    • Resolution: The height and width of a video or digital image as measured in pixels. In other words, this refers mainly to the physical size of your video–– not the file size or how much memory it takes up on your computer, but rather how big it can get on the screen before it starts to grow fuzzy.
    • Full high-definition (HD) video has a resolution of 1080p, or 1920×1080 pixels.
    • Standard-definition video has 1280×720 pixels, or 720p
    • If you want to get really fancy and broadcast in 4k Ultra High-Definition (also called “Quad HD), you’ll need a video that’s 2560×1440 pixels (1440p).
    1. Always try to use ethernet, not Wi-Fi, if you can help it. As described above, Wi-Fi signal strength drops as distance between them and your devices increases, or as more physical barriers obstruct the space between your device and the router. Additionally, multiple Wi-Fi signals can actually interfere with one another on occasion.
    2. Avoid crowded areas and live streaming on shared internet connections if possible. Multiple devices or users can crowd your signal and take up some of your router’s capacity for themselves, when you may need every bit of bandwidth you can get.
    3. Disconnect any unnecessary devices that might otherwise be running on your network, and close any unused programs on them before doing so. Sometimes we may not even realize that inactive computers or perpetually-running apps on our devices are always using a bit of that internet connection.
    4. Try to use up-to-date devices wherever possible; the older they are, the more they’ll struggle. Old drivers can slow your computer down, and old modems can bottleneck your upload speed.


It doesn’t take much calculating to determine that if you have a high-quality livestream that uses a TON of bits per second to display high-resolution videos… you’re going to need a very powerful internet signal. And as an added factor, you’ll also need a stronger signal as your livestream duration and your audience count increase as well. The lower bitrate settings you employ, the lower resolution and quality your livestream will be. The higher resolution you want to achieve, the longer you want to broadcast, and the more viewers you want to reach, the faster you signal will have to be.

    1. Your internet speed should be at least double the bandwidth that your stream will actually need to use. (In general, try aiming for an upload speed from 672 kbps to 61.5 Mbps or more.) And according to Restream, “For various reasons, your ISP’s declared upload bandwidth and the actual upload speed you can achieve with your connection can be very different. That’s why you should always test your upload speed using online speed tests.”
    2. There are helpful tools like the Dacast Bandwidth Calculator to help you find out what kind of signal strength you’ll need. You can submit features like the video resolution and amount of time you’re streaming into this calculator. Whatever the final number is, that is the bare minimum; many experts recommend adding a 30-40% buffer–– or just completely doubling the number, as we mentioned above–– to reach a more secure bandwidth that won’t falter as much if you happen to require a bit more energy than originally estimated.
Chart courtesy of


When it comes to your viewers’ internet quality, you can’t control everything. However, if this is a company-wide virtual event viewed from several sanctioned facilities, you can at least make sure that all your corporate offices are equipped with Wi-Fi or ethernet with a download speed of 25 Mbps or more, which is sufficient for streaming HD (1080p) video.

Today, the average download speed in the United States is around 99.3 Mbps. Here are some general guidelines for internet speed and streaming video:

Chart courtesy of
Chart courtesy of


Depending on whether you’re streaming on a social media platform or through an actual video-broadcasting service, the video resolution you’ll need can range between 720-1440p (SD to 4k HD), and the internet speeds you’ll need can vary from 2,500 Kbps to 10Mbps. However, it’s recommended to employ a standard-definition (SD) video resolution at minimum.

Here are some examples of platform-specific recommendations:

Chart courtesy of


If at all possible, it’s recommended to have the following pieces of equipment handy… and by “handy,” we don’t just mean “physically present.” It’s recommended to pre-program these items to kick in on your livestreaming devices by default if your initial signals fail. That may take some extra preparation and technical knowledge ahead of time, yes, but it will also mean that you’re not trying to scramble in a panic to get them hooked up and rolling if your connection suddenly drops. 

    1. Backup Generator
      You never know when a fluke bit of nearby construction or unexpected foul weather could disrupt your usually-steady internet connection. The last thing you need after weeks–– nay, months of planning and investment–– is for your entire virtual event to get cut off for any reason… especially one that could be avoided if you just made sure to have a secondary power source ready in case of emergencies.
    2. Backup Internet Router
      Equally as important as a source of emergency power, preparing a backup internet router or hotspot is vital in case your usual internet provider experiences an uncontrollable drop in coverage in your area.

If you truly find all of these technological tips to be helpful and you want to get into some even heavier and more detailed instructions regarding livestreaming protocols, codecs, video encoding, RTMP, and so forth, Dacast has some valuable articles that can take you even further into the world of livestreaming and video needs. But overall, these are the most rudimentary terms and measurements to help you understand what your company’s Wi-Fi may truly need to host the livestream of their next virtual event.

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