Voice Over Internet Protocol, commonly known as VOIP, has become extremely popular in the business world and is also successful at penetrating into the family and home environment. It is so much easier, and cheaper too. with VOIP you can Skype your mum or friend and see them face to face instead of sending multiple emails or racking up a massive (international in some cases) phone bill.

VOIP was initially set up to be pitched at the home consumer for just this reason. However, now businesses are jumping on the bandwagon with great intensity. They have realised the added value of cost savings associated with this computer service . The cost saving available is what fuels the VOIP market.

As VOIP gained popularity amongst the small to medium sized businesses, so too did the larger enterprises pricked up their ears and got aboard the trend. The beauty of VOIP is that it works over your existing network and utilises bandwidth to deploy telecommunications as well as your regular network traffic. Therefore, this effectively makes the traditional telephone infrastructure redundant and big Telstra bills a thing of the past.

However, there have been some rejections to adopting this system entirely. Some of these major rebuttals include the reduction of call quality, this was typical of many early employments and it does still occur occasionally, particularly when you select to forward your VOIP connection to your mobile phone. a lot of small businesses are reliant on this option because they cannot afford to keep a full time staff member to answer their call. In the case of Mobile Geeks, calls from clients often need to get transferred like that to ensure they can speak to their regular Geek that knows their computer service needs. In situations like that when the main office relays the phone call over their VOIP system to a computer service technician that happens to be on the road, the quality of voice connection does suffer. However, VOIP technology gets upgraded very rapidly and very soon such concerns will be largely irrelevant.

If you are having such issues with your VOIP system you can attempt to diagnose this by running a Trace Route test.  You will be able to better assess if you are suffering from latency problems (latency is the metric for measuring the cycle time for the call data to make the round trip between the two callers over the network) or having a server connection issue. It is also a good idea to run a Brix Network Test. This test will produce an extremely detailed report and indicate you Mean Opinion Score. This Mean Opinion Score, or MOS, is a metric system for reflecting the quality of the speech received at the destination end of the call circuit – it runs from “1”, the lowest call quality, through to “5” which is the highest quality.

When you are running these VOIP tests, or any, it is important that you run them all through the same network or circuit that is being used by the callers reporting an issue. Network connection tests should also be performed. In this you will be looking for congestion problems and bottlenecks in traffic. If you find that you have speech stuttering over the VOIP call, known as a delay jitter, you will typically find that you have data congestion. If there is too large a delay in transmission audio data cannot effectively be carried by the network and this results in playback issues at the receiving end of the call.

Also, if your router is handling too many data packets at a time, some of them may be automatically dropped (known as a “packet drop”). This will impact your playback quality of the audio data being transmitted over the network. This is solvable however, you will need a latency factor that is no higher than 150ms. It is probable a very good idea to have a slower latency factor than 150ms if this VOIP is to be usable across many situations.

By running these simple diagnostic checks you will be able to, in most cases, restore the call quality to your VOIP system. However, if the problem is more involved, there are numerous advanced configuration solutions available which will help you restore call quality in almost every modern VOIP installation.

Over and out


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