Discuss.io Troubleshooting Guide
Discuss.io is available to support you throughout the project. At any point you can email support at firstname.lastname@example.org, call +1 (888) 814-4742, or reach us through a live chat support room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Table of contents
Our platform is designed in a way that requires minimal user interaction to be set up properly.
However, this doesn’t guarantee that it will always work, as there are a couple of factors that can affect the platform’s proper functioning. In most cases, these factors are due to misconfiguration on the client’s side.
If you are having issues with the platform, you should make sure that:
- You meet the minimal bandwidth requirements (1Mbps download / 1Mbps upload). (check)
- You are using the latest version of Google Chrome. (check)
- You have allowed microphone and webcam access in Google Chrome.
- You are not behind a firewall that might be blocking the connection. (check)
- The correct audio and webcam devices are selected in Discuss.io configuration settings. (click here, then Join. You should see and hear yourself)
- Google Chrome and audio devices are set as default input and output in Sound properties. (click here, then Join. You should see and hear yourself)
- Your sound drivers are up-to-date.
If the above doesn’t help, quit your browser and then start it again. Note to Mac users: Simply closing the browser window won’t work. Quit the application by pressing ⌘Q.
As a last resort, try rebooting your computer and then opening Discuss.io again.
Make sure you’re using the latest version of Chrome or Firefox
You may just have an outdated version of your browser. If you are unsure of what browser you currently are using click here to check it out.
Update Chrome or Firefox here:
- For Chrome on a Mac you can also update your browser by clicking Chrome in the left hand corner near the apple icon. Then choose About Chrome. Then click Relaunch if it’s not up-to-date.
- For Firefox on Mac, it is nearly the same. Clicking Firefox in the left hand corner near the apple icon. Then choose About Firefox. Then click Restart Firefox to update if it says to do so.
- For Chrome on a PC can also update your browser by clicking the Chrome Menu (three bars) in the right hand corner at the end of the address bar. Then choose About Chrome. Then click Relaunch if it’s not up-to-date.
- For Firefox on a PC, click the Firefox Menu (three bars) in the right hand corner at the end of the address bar. Then choose the ? help icon. Then click About Firefox then restart Firefox to update if it’s not up-to-date.
Test your camera & microphone
If your camera and microphone is working correctly with WebRTC, you will see and hear yourself here: https://apprtc.appspot.com/?debug=loopback&stereo=true&hd=true (Click join)
If you have an issue, check if the camera or mic works on a different browser and a different application like Skype. For instance, if you are using Firefox check if it works with Chrome instead.
Allow Discuss.io to access your camera and microphone
You can use your camera and microphone for sites in Chrome. Sometimes, you need to give sites permission first.
- Open Chrome.
- Navigate to a site that wants to use your microphone and camera.
- In the dropdown that appears, you have a few options:
- Allow: This allows the site to use your camera and microphone. You’ll see a notice to confirm this.
- Block: This prevents the site from using your camera and microphone. Note: Some sites won’t work if you choose this option. For example, you might not be able to join a video conference.
Change camera and microphone permissions
You can change which sites can use your camera and microphone:
- Open Chrome.
- In the top right, click the Chrome menu .
- Click Settings.
- Click Show advanced settings.
- In the “Privacy” section, click Content settings.
- In the “Media” section, click one of the options:
- Ask when a site requires access to your camera and microphone: Chrome alerts you whenever a site asks to use to your camera and microphone.
- Do not allow sites to access your camera and microphone: Automatically deny any site requests to use your camera and microphone.
To remove permissions you already granted to sites, click Manage exceptions.
You can also change this permission from a webcam icon located in the address bar. For Firefox it will appear on the left side of the address bar, For Google Chrome it will appear on the right side of the address bar.
Select the proper devices in Discuss.io configuration page
Within the meeting room, click the Settings cog button to open the “Audio Video Settings” dialog (shown below).
- Select the desired webcam and microphone.
- Click Test Settings button. You should be able to see yourself on the screen.
- Click Save button. You may need to refresh your browser window in order for the settings to take effect.
Make sure that the proper input device (mic) is selected
For Windows users: go to Control Panel. For mic settings, go to Hardware and Sound > Sound > Recording tab > right-click on the recording device > Levels. Make sure it is also setup as default device. Read more about increasing or boosting microphone levels in Windows.
For Mac users: go to System Preferences > Sound.
Bandwidth requirements and usage
Discuss.io can use up to 2 Mbps download per participant, although 1 dedicated Mbps is good enough for most situations. The more people in a call, the higher the download bandwidth that the platform will require in order to function properly. The same applies for several people joining to a call while sharing their connection (this will require a higher upload speed).
Discuss.io uses between 250 MB/hour and 500 MB/hour, both up and down, so it could use as much as 1 GB/hour. Please have this in mind when using metered connections like mobile wifi over 4G/LTE.
Please note: that if you are using a DSL modem with a slow uplink, a 3G wireless modem, a network with some types of proxies/firewalls, or a lower speed connection, your session experience and quality may suffer.
Discuss.io is powered by OpenTok, a platform that allows developers to create apps that integrate live, face-to-face video directly into their website and mobile apps using WebRTC.
You can test if a network meets the connectivity requirements by using the OpenTok Connectivity Doctor: http://www.tokbox.com/tools/connectivity (you must use Chrome).
If the OpenTok connectivity doctor shows that there’s a problem or if you suspect that your firewall might be blocking the connection, you should disable it before using Discuss.io.
For Windows users, Control panel > Systems and Security > Windows Firewall > Turn Windows Firewall on or off > Turn off (for both Private and Public network settings). You can find more information using Microsoft Knowledge Base: Turn WIndows firewall on or off, or How to turn Firewall on or off in Windows 7.
For Mac users, System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall > Turn off.
Always remember to turn your firewall back on and set it up properly to allow WebRTC connections. (See Information for network administrators).
Information for network administrators
Running OpenTok requires allowing access to its services over specific ports in order to work.
Minimum Requirement: The minimum Requirement is that TCP port 443 is open. Some firewall/proxy rules only allow for SSL traffic over port 443. You will need to make sure that non-web traffic can also pass over this port. We do not provide IP ranges for our servers as they are not static. But what you can do is whitelist *.tokbox.com and *.opentok.com.
Better Experience: In addition to the minimum requirements being met, we also recommend that UDP port 3478 is open.
Best Experience: For the best possible experience, we recommend that UDP ports 1025 – 65535 be open.
Discuss.io is built with WebRTC technology. Click here to see if you system meets the necessary WebRTC requirements: https://test.webrtc.org/ and you can test your system here as well: http://www.netscan.co/demo/ You can either report or forward your results to Discuss.io at email@example.com. Both tests will help us diagnose any issues you might be experiencing.
Connect via ethernet cable
For optimal results you should connect your computer directly to your modem via an ethernet cable. Why? Because sometimes the wireless network is often the biggest culprit behind a persistently slow network.
If you are having connectivity issues, please try and plug directly into your internet with an ethernet connection. Packet loss is inherent in a wireless connection and directly affects audio and video quality.
If for any reason Wi-Fi is your only option, you can also try to improve your connection quality by following some simple steps.
Testing your connectivity
Test your internet speed here http://speedof.me/. Click Start Test and nothing else. The minimum download and upload speed to join the room without interruption 2Mbps. If you fail to meet the minimum requirements you may have technical difficulties in the room.
The optimum speed for hosts and attendees who want to share microphones, webcams, desktops, and presentations is 5Mbps+. If possible, a wired connection is much more stable and will help prevent connections drops and interference.
What the Start Test speed test page should look like:
What the test results should look like:
If Support asks you to share the results, click the share button, then copy the URL of the results.
Alternative speed tests
These alternative browser-based speed tests will help you determine your upload and download speeds, as well as identify other issues with your network such as packet loss, latency issues, or physical connection problems.
This comprehensive online testing tool gives you a huge range of connection tests to choose from. Just pick your nearest server from the large (zoomable) world map, and then select which test you’d like to run from the menu. Available tests include: quality, speed, route, firewall, VoIP, video, and IPTV. The results appear in an easy graph and it also provides summary ratings.
- Requires Internet Explorer & Java
- Most comprehensive free online test
- Most useful test are Quality, VoIP, IPTV and Video.
How to perform a test in VisualWare with Chrome
- Open Google Chrome
- Go to http://myspeed.visualware.com
- Click on “Click here to try our new HTML 5 test portal”
- Click on “Download and run the BCS”. A new tab will open.
- In the new tab, click on “Download BCS for Windows”
- Download the “Application” version (no install required)
- Run the downloaded file, a black command prompt-like window with black background will open. Leave it open.
- Go back to http://myspeed.visualware.com/html5.html (remember you have to leave the application running in order to perform the test)
- Click on Europe > UK & Ireland > London
- Make sure “Throughput” is selected and click on “Click to start test” (it might take a few seconds to load)
- Wait for the test to complete. The test will be completed when 4 tabs show on the left side of the chart. Note the results in the Summary tab. If you were asked to share the results, use the link that opens when you click on “speed test” as shown below:
- Click on Throughput (Speed) and select VoIP.
- Click Update. Wait for the chart to load (it might take a few seconds)
- Click on “Click to start test”
- Note the results in the “Summary” tab. If you were asked to share the results, use the link that opens when you click on “voip test” as shown below:
- Once finished, you can close the BCS application (black window) by entering Q and hitting Enter, or just by clicking on the “X” button.
- Requires Internet Explorer & Java
- Works on any device
It is always advisable to test against local server and also a server in a different continent (for reference, we use US WA Seattle Comcast. This gives a good overview of the how well the network deals with international connections. For more information on local vs international bandwidth, please check this article.