Traditionally, whenever you place voice or video calls on Google Hangout, your calls goes through a number of hoops within the Google’s servers before reaching the recipient at the other end of the line. That has the effect of degrading the call quality, not to mention the added pressure on the company’s servers.
In a bid to improve the voice and video calls quality on Hangout, Google is making some fundamental changes in how the calls are connected. Going forward, calls on Hangout will be placed over a peer-to-peer connection whenever possible. When you are on this type of connection, there will be a notification confirming you are on the peer-to-peer connection when you initiate a call with your contacts.
With a peer-to-peer connection, users can expect improved audio and video quality while Google’s servers will have less pressure. However, it will reveal the IP addresses of both users at the opposite end of the line. That means that with the right skills, someone can easily know your approximate location. I do not see that being a problem for most people, except the ones that don’t like their location being known.
There will be occasions when Hangout will not be able to establish a peer-to-peer connection, in such cases it will revert to using Google’s servers as the bridge connecting the two people on the opposite side of the connection. Whether you are connected to the other person on the other end of the line over Google’s servers or the peer-to-peer connection as a user, you will not have to pay much thought to what is taking place behind the scene.
However, a peer-to-peer connection will have better audio and video quality; you will also be notified of the connection. This development comes against the backdrop of Google move to develop a new messaging app that has artificial intelligence.