Is this secure?
All audio and video is encrypted using DTLS-SRTP. Where there are only two people in a call, media flows directly between you both wherever possible. Where not possible, including where more than two people are on the conference all audio and video is encrypted using DTLS-SRTP between your device and Simwood Meet servers. The streams are decrypted and re-encrypted at the Simwood server and before retransmission to other participants in the meeting but we do not store this data and it lives only in memory long enough to be routed to the other participants.
For more information please see https://simwood.com/meet-terms
How many participants can I have?
Simwood Meet does not impose a hard limit and in practice this depends on your bandwidth as you’ll receive a video stream for the speaker, and a lower resolution video stream for each participant who has video enabled. For most people a limit of 50 participants in a single meeting is a safe bet.
What do I need to join a meeting?
You can join (or host) a meeting on any modern iOS device (iPhone or iPad) using the Simwood Meet app or using your computer browser (https://meet.simwood.com), we recommend Brave or other Chromium based browsers such as Google Chrome, but Firefox is also supported. Notably, MacOS users should note that Safari is suboptimal. Whichever browser you use, it is critical that you give it permission to use your microphone and camera
An average HD video session can use 2-3Mbps of bandwidth, well within the capability of most broadband services, however large meetings can require a considerable amount of bandwidth as we send a smaller stream for every participant who has active video.
You can adjust the quality of video you receive by selecting “Manage Video Quality” from the menu and select “Low Resolution”. It’s important to note that your own computer will continue to transmit HD video if that’s what others are requesting, so all participants will need to select Low Bandwidth to reduce the bandwidth requirements effectively.
How does this differ to other conferencing platforms?
Simwood Meet is free and unlimited, there’s no time limit for meetings, and you don’t need to create an account to use it.
Simwood Meet is simple to use, just choose a name and create a meeting. There’s no software to install for you or any of your participants, simply share the link with those you wish to invite to the meeting.
You can make up your own high entropy meeting room name which cannot be easily guessed and “zoombombed”. You can (and should) password protect meetings, perhaps once everyone has arrived for ease. We’re also working on end-to-end encryption so even if someone were able to know your unique meeting name and password, they couldn’t hear or see anything without a further key.
How do I invite others to join a meeting?
If you’re using Simwood Meet in a browser, simply copy and paste the URL to the people you want to invite. If you’re using the mobile app select “Invite Others”, this will allow you to send a link to others. The link is sent entirely from your own device, we don’t know who you invite to join meetings.
Can I password protect a meeting?
Yes, on the Mobile app select the menu accessible from the three vertical dots and tap “More Options” then “Add meeting Password”, you can specify a password in the box that appears.
If you’re using Meet from within a browser, tap the “i” icon at the bottom right of the screen and select “Change Password”, enter a new password then press the enter key.
Existing participants will be unaffected, but anyone new joining your meeting will be required to enter the password you provided.
How do I change my displayed name?
If you click on the breadcrumbs button on the bottom right (three dots on top of one another) then click on the profile button at the top (it will usually default to Fellow Participant) you will be able to amend your screen-name.
How do I share my screen?
When in a meeting, on the bottom left of a session, there will be a small computer symbol (next to the hand). Clicking on this will bring up a prompt and allow you to decide what you wish to share. When you are happy with what you have selected, click on share. NOTE: if you wish to share a document, you must have this open first and share the associated application window.
What browser should I use?
We recommend Brave for maximum privacy but anything Chromium based such as Google Chrome works very well as does Firefox. Other browsers offer partial compatibility.
Can I join a meeting using a browser on my iPad or Android tablet?
On iPhone or iPad you should use our Simwood Meet app to join meetings. On Android (including Chromebooks) it will work from the Chrome browser on your mobile device.
Can I call into a meeting with a telephone?
At present you need to use a browser or our Mobile iOS application Simwood Meet to join a meeting.
What technologies are used?
Simwood Meet is built atop the popular open-source Jitsi Meet project, as the main amongst dozens of open-source libraries and components. These have been augmented with Simwood secret sauce! The underlying technology is WebRTC which is an open standard to enable rich media applications to run simply inside a browser.
Is it free?
Yes, completely free.
And don’t worry that because it is free, you’re the product! We do not harvest your data, sell ads or send your data to Facebook! It is free because it is largely made possible by the hard work of those in the open-source community and Simwood sponsors the server resources required.
Why are you offering this? What’s your business model?
Simwood loves and supports open source. It makes our whole business possible. We also exist to enable communication and deliver the latest technology to the hands of end users.
Simwood Meet is the result of all those factors coming together at a time (this is written in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic) when people need secure, private, tools to keep in touch. We first supported the Jitsi project in 2013 and had a demo Simwood Meet instance up in early 2014!
Of course, we’re a business, not a charity and operating any service or maintaining secure code costs money. Our philosophy is that users of Simwood Meet might look favourably on us when they need the services that we charge for (see below)!
Who are Simwood?
Simwood is a telecommunications carrier in both the US and the UK that has been around since 1997. We’re part of Simwood Group PLC which is privately owned and owner-managed. Our customers are other carriers and telecoms operators for our Simwood Wholesale services, those who wish to offer branded hosted PBX and SIP trunk services to their own customers (through Simwood Partner) and directly to businesses who need a hosted phone system through Nimvelo.
I can’t hear anyone / others can’t hear me?
Ensure you have allowed Simwood Meet to access the microphone in your Chrome settings. Click the padlock icon in the address bar and select Site Settings, under Privacy set Microphone (and Camera if appropriate) to Allow.
Video or audio is poor quality.
Video streaming requires considerable bandwidth and processing power. If your device is struggling to handle a meeting, especially with a large number of participants, then consider using Low Bandwidth Mode. This will disable receiving video (except screen sharing) from the other participants, but should improve audio quality.
There’s a noticeable echo in our meeting.
Echo or feedback noise is commonly caused by a participant with a computer speaker and microphone too close to each other, or multiple participants with active audio in the same (physical) room.
Where possible, it’s best to use a Bluetooth or USB headset to participate in meetings as this eliminates any risk of echo. If this is not possible, reduce the volume of your device and consider muting your microphone and using push-to-talk.