A Zoom configuration option provides the ability to restrict the amount of bandwidth allotted to audio and video according to the IP range that is being used. As a result of this feature, administrators who are familiar with network configuration will be able to create policies that are designed to be used on local networks which are known to have limitations in specific locations.
Before you make use of this feature, Zoom strongly recommends that you contact their support team for guidance and consultation before using this feature. The use of bandwidth limits should only be implemented under very specific circumstances. Using Zoom meeting client software, you will be able to measure and allocate bandwidth as needed during your meeting. There are most cases where a client is able to adapt to changes in bandwidth availability, such as changes in server configuration, without the need for any additional policies to be set up. As long as the client is allowed to calculate what is available to the user, the user will always get the best experience. The quality of the service will be affected if you decide to implement policies that limit bandwidth, so you should be aware of this before you implement them.
This article covers:
- How to manage bandwidth limits
- Bandwidth limit policies
- Fields for each policy
How to enable or disable limits to network bandwidth
Admins have the privilege to edit account settings as part of the Zoom web portal as long as they are logged in as an administrator.
You can access account settings by clicking on the Account Management option in the navigation menu.
Go to the Meetings tab and click on it.
You can either enable or disable the Limit Network bandwidth toggle under the In Meetings (Advanced) tab.
You will be prompted to open the Bandwidth Limits dialog box.
Click ‘Enable’ or ‘Disable’ if a verification dialog appears to verify the change that has been made.
If you want to add a limit, you can do one of the following:
By clicking on Add a Limit, you will be able to add one at a time.
A list of limits can be bulk imported by clicking the Import CSV button.
Bandwidth limit policies
The policy for setting bandwidth limits is based on both required information as well as optional information. A summary of each policy’s fields can be found in the table below.
- Name (required – 50 characters maximum)
- Description (optional – 100 characters maximum)
- IP Range (required – standard format for IPv4 values)
- Upstream (required – minimum 800k)
- Downstream (optional – minimum 800k)
- Label this limit (optional)
- Exclusion Range (optional)
- Options (optional)
- Do not send video (checkbox)
- Do not receive video (checkbox)
Fields for each policy
Identifying the limit policy being created is one of the mandatory fields that needs to be filled in. However, although there are no rules for entering a name, we recommend using a name that can be associated with either a location or a network identity for the IP range for which the policy is being created.
In this field, you can provide additional information about the policy created by creating it, which is an optional field. In order for policy information to be clear for the person reviewing the configuration of the policy, it is advisable to provide a description of the policy.
The extra thought you put into adding a description will be useful if your policy set increases over time, as you will be able to review the policies better and understand previous configurations when you take on an administrator role later on.
This is a required field, and the information in this field is the primary factor for determining how bandwidth limits will be applied in the future. As well as supporting ranges, this field also supports subnet masks. In order to configure policies for IPv4 ranges, it is recommended that you become familiar with the network terminology used for IPv4 range configuration before you begin configuring it.
The bandwidth setting is a required field that is used to configure the maximum bandwidth that can be allocated by the meeting client to the meeting for the purpose of sending audio and video to the meeting.
In addition to the amount of bandwidth allocated to a presentation, you should also note that this value limits the amount of bandwidth allocated to audio and video from a participant when sharing a presentation. It is important to note that a low value will have an effect on the quality of the presentation that other participants receive. Greatly reducing the available bandwidth will limit the quality of video in particular. A typical result for meeting video when bandwidth is limited is lower resolution received by other participants. At the minimum value, the reduced resolution can be particularly noticeable when the participant switches to speaker mode and fills the screen.
In order to be effective, this field should only be installed when there is a severely limited bandwidth on the network. Different viewing options are available to users, so they can select the one that is most suitable for them. It is possible for different layouts to require different bandwidth allocations depending on the quantity of participant audio and video streams being received as well as any content that is being presented. When multiple users on a network are experiencing capacity issues, it is possible to address those limitations by limiting the bandwidth received through a network policy which limits the value received.
Despite the fact that this limitation may help to address maximum capacity, it will also limit the quality of service for a single user regardless of whether there is sufficient bandwidth available. There are many deployments in which the software client’s ability to negotiate and adapt to changing network bandwidth conditions can be more appropriate to responding to those changes than forcing a policy to restrict bandwidth at all times in order to keep up with those changes. Before making use of Zoom’s Downstream policy for limiting audio/video and content in the downstream service, please consult with Zoom first.
The Limit Network Bandwidth configuration option has been enhanced in 2022 with the addition of this optional field as part of an enhancement. Organizing bandwidth limits policies on a per-user basis is easier with this addition.
A large number of policies can make it difficult to locate a specific policy or understand how a set of policies is intended to support the needs of a particular location, especially if there are a lot of them. The use of labels provides administrators with a convenient way to group together associated policies in a single location. In order to organize multiple policies for one location using labels, it is possible to use the feature of creating both Label and Sub-Labels so that each policy can be categorized according to its location.
An administrator may choose to make use of this field to limit IP addresses within a range based on the range that they want to limit. It may be more efficient to use an exclusion range than to create two policies to achieve the same objective in order to achieve greater efficiency.
The video can be blocked by two different checkboxes that can be used to completely prevent video from being sent or received in either direction: Do not send video and Do not receive video. By using these options, meeting participants will be able to consume significantly less bandwidth during meetings, but it will also severely limit their ability to experience the meeting. It is only recommended that you use these options when there is a limited capacity of the network and there is no other option available.
In addition to creating bandwidth limit policies individually using the Add Limit dialog box, it is also possible to select a file containing multiple policies and use the Import button in order to batch import policies into the software in a batch mode. It is required that the comma-separated values file (.csv) includes the values in the correct order so that the import option can be used.
You can find more information about the format requirements in the Import dialog box, which is located at the bottom of the screen. Also provided in the Import dialog box is a link to a sample file. A CSV file can also be obtained by creating some policies and then using the Export All option. It is important to consider both approaches before defining IP ranges and policies in a spreadsheet so that they can serve as a useful reference.
Each row in the CSV file that is imported with a policy will be validated for format and input requirements before it is imported. The import operation will be stopped if an error is detected during the import process. In order to assist the administrator in determining which lines need to be corrected, an option will be provided for downloading a file containing the errors. It is only after all of the errors have been corrected and the database has been updated that the import operation is allowed to proceed and the contents of the CSV file are imported.
In the case of an import rule with an IP range matching one of the existing rules in the existing rule set, it will replace the existing rule set. Importing rules defining IP ranges that overlap with each other will not be possible.
By using the Export All option in the User interface, existing policies can be exported as comma-separated value files (.csv) in order to save them and import them into a spreadsheet for future reference and modification in a spreadsheet program.
Using the Import option in the web policies, you can import the changes you have made to the spreadsheet directly into the web policies.
Frequently Asked Questions
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