Web Conferencing Equipment - Buyers Guide

Teaching and learning remotely can present many challenges.  One of the challenges you may face is choosing the right web conferencing equipment.  We're here to help.

Before you begin, you will need:

  • A computer (laptop or desktop)
  • An internet connection 

This article isn't going to get into the nitty-gritty of what type of computer to buy.  Your IT reps are a great resource when it comes to selecting, ordering, and configuring computers, so here, we're going to concentrate on the audio and camera devices you will need.  

For each device, the lowest priced model will be fine for most people.  If you want more bells and whistles, you can step up to a more expensive model that has more features.  Prices vary among retailers, so prices you find here are approximate.

Note:  Web conferencing equipment, and cameras in particular, have become quite a hot commodity lately, with so many people working from home.  Many of the most common models are back-ordered or overpriced.  If you happen to find one of these models in stock from a reputable retailer, for a reasonable price and shipping time, order it.  Faculty and staff can also reach out to your business administrator for assistance; he or she may be able to help.  

Cameras

In most modern laptops, a camera is already built in, but there are situations in which you might not want to use it.  Maybe the camera is aging a little and the picture isn't great.  Or, the height of your laptop at your desk makes the angle not very good.  If so, a USB camera will help.

Microphones

Most folks assume the best piece of equipment you can buy to improve your video conferences is the camera, but it's really the microphone.  

Headphones

The need for headphones is dependent on your environment.  If you attend class in a quiet office, your computer's speakers might be fine.  If you work from the dining room table and your family is nearby, it may be helpful to use some headphones to block out outside noises.  In addition, using headphones will produce cleaner audio to everyone on the call because the web conferencing software doesn't have to digitally remove the sound coming from your computer's speakers and getting into your microphone.

Presentation Remotes

Presentation remotes, also know as wireless mice or clickers,  aren't usually needed when sitting in front of your own laptop, but if you are more comfortable holding one in your hand while you present, we've got you covered.

Questions?

For more information or help on selecting and ordering, contact: