We highly recommend that moderators, participants and observers measure upload and download speeds beforehand.
As a researcher we’d suggest you ask participants to confirm they have done so before they begin a session.
Insufficient bandwidth as well as mechanisms that block Lookback data if not configured properly (firewalls/vpns/proxies) are likely to cause significant disruptions to your session
WiFi Upload and Download Speeds
We recommend at least 5Mbps available for both upload and download. This is a conservative estimate and successful sessions happen at lower speeds under ideal conditions. In practice, this means all parties must be on a good WiFi connection or use a wired internet connection (ethernet).
❗️ Using a mobile 4G or 5G connection is not recommended.
Latency (signal speed)
Unloaded latency measures the round-trip time (a.k.a. ping speed) of a request when there is no other traffic present on a user’s network.
Loaded latency measures the round-trip time when data-heavy applications are being used on the network.
We recommend a loaded latency below 500ms for an optimal session.
On connection tests ...
Lookback has a connection tester built into our app Participate – currently this test is only available if you open Participate directly on your mobile, click I need help and then Test your connection. That's definitely a good way to get an idea of how your connection performs with our live servers, however it's only a baseline figure, and it's not required. There are also many public websites that measure internet speed – but those are not recommended as they only give a very general figure (not rarely a bit of a "happy result", which doesn't reflect the relation between a given wifi connection and the live servers Lookback's platform uses.
A note for moderators and observers
In general it’s more important that the participant (or the device running the SelfTest, Remote LiveShare or In-Person LiveShare) has 5Mbps upload speed available, since the participant is generally sending more data than they are receiving. For the moderator and observers, it’s more important to check download speeds.
However when the moderator shares their screen during a session it's important for the moderator to have 5Mbps upload speed available. And it's important for the participant to also have good download speeds.
If you are still experiencing issues after meeting the suggested requirements please reach out to our support team and we will troubleshoot the issue with you.
Reliability is the highest priority for Lookback and we follow up on every report.