Internet Connectivity for your Telepsychiatry Program

For optimal clinical encounters, a reliable, high speed internet connection will minimize connection failures and provide a high quality videoconferencing session.  The ability to open a webpage on your computer does not necessarily mean that you have the type of internet access that will allow for successful video transmission. Firewalls or port limitations may be restricting certain types of outgoing or incoming traffic.  If you have questions about your speed, connection strength or firewalls, it is important to work through these with your internet service provider prior to conducting telepsychiatry sessions.

The best connectivity for telepsychiatry is a hardwired connection between your computer and the cable modem from your internet service provider. Cellular aircards with 3G or 4G connectivity should be avoided as well as wifi, whenever possible.

Certain types of software such as anti-virus, anti-spyware and personal firewalls can also have a negative impact on your televideo session. You may consider temporarily disabling these applications prior to your session until your next reboot.

It is important to consistently test your latency and internet bandwidth and the higher the number the better. Keep in mind, both upload and download speeds matter. There are a variety of tools available online to test your latency and bandwidth. Your ping’s millisecond (ms) score should always be below 20 ms. and download and upload speed should be at least 850 kilobits per second (kbps) or 0.8 megabits per second (Mbps). The best speeds for reliable videoconferencing are between 6 and 10 Mbps, with 10 being the fastest. After 10mbps, additional changes in speed are not noticeable.