How much bandwidth does Highlights use? Follow
In this article:
- Highlights bandwidth impact overview
- How Highlights was optimized to minimize bandwidth use
- Bandwidth and individual Highlights messages
- Understanding total impact of Highlights on bandwidth
Highlights bandwidth impact overview
Highlights provides near real-time visibility of student activity in their Google Chrome Browsers. Because of this, Highlights can use more school network bandwidth than other pieces of Hāpara.
Highlights communicates between teacher and student devices using different types of messages. 'Heavy' messages that contain screenshots of students' Chrome screens are the types of messages that have a higher impact on Highlights' use of bandwidth.
How Highlights was been optimized to minimize bandwidth use
We have tested and are continually optimizing Highlights so that it provides teachers valuable, up to date information, while minimizing bandwidth use. Specifically:
- When a teacher opens or manually refreshes Highlights' Current Screens tab, connected student devices in the class will send a single screenshot.
- While a teacher is viewing the Highlights' Current Screens tab, connected student devices send a screenshot when the student opens a new tab or closes a tab in their Chrome browser.
- If a student opens or closes multiple tabs in quick succession, a screenshot is sent after the final action.
- When a student moves between existing tabs in Chrome, a new screenshot is not sent.
- If Highlights is not in use, student devices will not send screenshots.
- While a teacher is using Highlights Browser Tab, Activity Viewer or Snaps, student devices will not send screenshots.
- The bandwidth used by each screenshot depends on settings in the Hāpara Admin Console in the Highlights page - allowing bandwidth use to be controlled by the administrator.
Bandwidth and individual Highlights messages
The bandwidth used by individual messages depends on many factors, for example:
- Bandwidth used by a "light" message depends how many tabs the student has open. An average "light" message is around 1 kilobyte.
- Bandwidth used by "heavy" messages depends on the image quality setting in the Bandwidth Control section of the Hāpara Admin Console, and how well the student's screen image compresses. With the default Highlights settings, most "heavy" messages range from 30 to 60 kilobytes. Lowering the image quality in the Admin Console reduces this size to around 10 kilobytes.
- The default Highlights Activity Viewer setting is set to refresh the student information every 2.5 seconds.
Understanding total impact of Highlights on bandwidth
Because the frequency of these events depends on student and teacher usage, the average bandwidth used by a classroom of students can not be reliably calculated by multiplying the above figures by the number of students or teachers. The total bandwidth used is entirely user and school specific, depending on how Highlights and students' Chrome browsers are utilized.
The "peak" bandwidth load occurs when a teacher opens or manually refreshes the Current Screens tab of Highlights, as the devices of all students in the class are asked to provide a screenshot. To reduce this peak, Highlights deliberately spreads these requests across a few seconds.