Recommended bandwidth, download, and upload speeds

Minimum internet requirements for participants, moderators and observers for SelfTests, Remote LiveShares and In-Person LiveShares.

Henrik Mattsson avatar
Written by Henrik Mattsson
Updated over a week ago

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

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).

🚀 While modern mobile/cellular connections (e.g. 4G, LTE, 5G) are improving all the time, they still do not typically have the bandwidth necessary to run a successful session and are therefore not recommended for conducting Lookback sessions

Latency (signal speed)

Unloaded latency measures the round-trip time (a.k.a. ping) 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.

A note 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 and then by tapping on I need help at the bottom and then Test your connection. While it can be a good way to get an idea of how a participant's connection performs with our live servers, 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 which doesn't always reflect the connection between a given participant's device 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.


Did this answer your question?