Advice for how to get the best quality from your VoIP service

Advice for how to get the best quality from your VoIP service

VoIP Advice – Your VoIP calls should be crystal clear. Let’s explore why they might not be…

There are many reasons why your calls might not be as clear as you want, why calls drop out or why your audio comes and goes.

There are different ways that VoIP calls fail, the audio might cut in and out, the call may drop out altogether or not connect, there may be latency on your call, the voice may be quiet on the other end.  Unfortunately there is not one simple answer, but be assured VoIP is a great service , most of the issues are caused by network and connectivity issues.

  1. Connectivity.
    • You need a solid internet connection, if you connection dips in and out your call will simply drop off.  As I have explained previously, the connection doesn’t have to be “great” but MUST be reliable.  A high definition call uses about 100kb of bandwidth in both directions, so just check what your speed is.  We wouldn’t recommend running a small VoIP office system on less than 1mB up-speed.
    • You should have business class internet.  Business class internet often has a higher up speed than it’s domestic equivalent – in this case your choice of ISP should not be driven solely by price.
  2. Making do with the equipment you have, your router may just not be up to the job.
    • Phone calls are important, normally more important than how fast your documents download.  If you don’t have the correct router your voice traffic will be fighting with your internet traffic.  You need a router that will prioritise Voice traffic over everything else.  These don’t have to be expensive and can cost as little as £50
    • Old routers may not be up to the job.
    • There is a little setting in many routers called SIP-ALG.  SIP-ALG is a “helpful” little tool that streamline packets, however it doesn’t streamline voice packets properly.  Calls drop out or come and go without disconnecting if SIP-ALG is turn on.  This need to be turned “OFF” and the setting is usually hidden in the admin part of the router settings.  Here at The VoIP People, our routers are sent out ready configured for you.
  3. Network Issues
    • In many cases, your set up will be straightforward, just a connection and a router, but in larger offices or companies with high security issues or multiple sites your network may go though a VPN or separate firewall.  Most of the time in these companies any VoIP issues are related to these:
      • UDP needs to be set at 60 or higher
      • The firewall needs to be set up to allow the traffic through.
  4. Your IT Support
    • As I have already mentioned VoIP is different technology and many issues are caused because we need changes to the UDP, SIP-ALG, this usually falls to the responsibility of the IT department.
    • It’s often a good idea, in an office, to have your voice traffic on a separate VLAN.
    • If you decide to route both data and voice over one network without configuring the internal network properly you can expect to have issues.

VoIP is a great solution to the end of ISDN, it offers cheaper running costs and greater flexibility, but as with any new system, it is worth spending some time at the beginning making sure everything is right.

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