Voice quality has been one of the most important concerns related to the VoIP technology. Although very similar to the traditional landlines, the VoIP systems might be influenced by a different set of factors. These factors are to be considered before you decide to switch to a VoIP phone system, and also revisited in case you encounter issues with your service, such as choppy conversations, one-way voice, echo, noise, etc.
- Probably the most important factor that determines the quality of your VoIP service is the Internet quality and bandwidth. In terms of bandwidth, the ideal is to ensure that you have at least 100 kbps available for each phone call. In order to verify your Internet connection, you can use www.speedtest.net. A good Internet speed however doesn’t necessarily mean that the connection is good for VoIP. Although you might not notice any intermittences while browsing the Internet on your computer, there might be packet loss or latency on your Internet connection that might affect your voice quality; in order to verify that, you can use free testing tools like the one offered at http://www.dslreports.com/linequality. If you experience intermittent issues, have the tool monitor your IP address for several days. You can check the report in progress at any time.
- Your router. If a router is used to filter/ distribute your Internet connection, its settings might block the voice packets, or drop them. In order to verify if your router is interfering with your voice phone service, simply connect your IP Phone directly to the Internet modem or cable.
- Location of your equipment. Often, VoIP equipment interferes with each other thus producing noise and other problems. If your IP phone is in close proximity with your router or modem, you might experience voice quality issues. This is caused by electrical interference. Try moving them away from each other to avoid the noise, echoes, or dropped calls.
- Weather conditions. You might notice the quality of your service being affected during thunderstorms or heavy rain. The electrical impulses will sometimes cause “static” on the line; although you cannot control the effects of weather on your service, at times rebooting your IP phone or changing the Internet cables will improve the quality of your phone calls.
Further to eliminating the possible causes, if your issues persist, kindly note down all the patterns that you might have observed (if it’s happening when calling certain numbers, when using the line at a specific time of the day, when calling out or receiving calls, etc.), and provide this information to your VoIP service provider for further investigation.