FAQ


General

What is the AhoyConference server?

The AhoyConference server is a multipoint control unit (MCU) for WebRTC video conferencing.
It offers multiparty audio/video conferencing with support for chat, tab and desktop sharing.

What is the difference to "insert-five-minute-WebRTC-conference-demo-here"?

Almost all of your favourite WebRTC conferencing demos send the media from each participant to each other participant (peer to peer). While this wins you the first prize at the "WebRTC security buzzword bingo", it just does not work in the real world (where upstream bandwidth is a limiting factor and NAT / restrictive firewalls will get in your way).
The AhoyConference server will relay the media stream of each participant to each other participant. That means in a conference with 10 participants (and a video stream bandwidth of 1 Mbit/s each) you will need 1 Mbit/s upstream bandwidth. With a peer to peer scenario you will need 9 Mbit/s upstream bandwidth.

How does tabsharing and screensharing work?

After installing the companion Chrome extension from the Chrome Webstore you will see a small ahoy! icon right next to Chrome's address bar. Click on it to share browser tabs, individual application windows or your whole desktop.

Is it opensource?

No the server is not, but it's free to download and includes a 5 user license. The HTML5/JS gui is opensource though, you can find it at https://github.com/ahoyconference/ahoy-ui and customize the user experience to fit your needs or design. If you need more licenses please get in touch with us.


Network / Firewall

Do i need to open up special ports in my firewall?

No, AhoyConference works transparently through firewalls and proxies by multiplexing web and media streams on the standard HTTPS port. If the browser does not support TCP media streams (e.g. Firefox) a fallback to UDP is used.


Security / Privacy

What kind of encryption is used?

WebRTC requires all media streams to be encrypted with DTLS-SRTP. A separate encryption key is negotiated between the conference server and each participant. That means that the conference server has access to the unencrypted media streams. This is necessary because the server has to relay each stream to all participants. There is no end to end encryption between participants.

No end to end encryption? How can this be secure?

This can only be secure if you can trust the entity running the conference server. You do not have to trust us (please don't), you can download the conference server to run it inside your own infrastructure (which does not need to be connected to the public internet).
The free online conferences we offer on ahoyconference.com are as secure as the conferences offered by your favourite cloud provider from Redmond or Mountain View. You should not discuss highly sensitive business matters there.

Do i need to register?

No, we dont' want your personal data. We also don't want the personal data of guests you invite to a conference. That's why we don't have a "invite guests by email" feature. We just give you a link to your conference room, share it anyway you want to.