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What You Can Do to Improve VoIP Quality

Updated on January 24, 2012

VoIP Call Quality

Ask anyone who has used VoIP for a while, and they'll tell you that they've had varying experiences with call quality depending on who the provider is, what their Internet connection is like, and even which device they use. The truth is there are so many different parameters which go into initiating and maintaining a VoIP call, that it's ridiculously easy for something to go wrong. For example, you may think that a particular service is fundamentally flawed only to discover that the problem was as trivial as outdated audio drivers on your PC. Because of this complex interplay between various unstandardized components of VoIP calls, it can cause a great deal of heartburn to a user who's trying to troubleshoot their call quality.

There are however, a few basic steps you can take to remove the most egregious of problems which can occur. The first of course, is to ensure that you have sufficient bandwidth for the purpose. I'm not talking about total bandwidth here – because today everyone has a powerful enough Internet connection to make VoIP calls. But do check whether there is any application which is sucking up bandwidth in the background like downloading a file for example. If you're on a network, check to make sure that no one else is doing the same. In any case, it's bad practice for a network administrator to let the VoIP service run in the same virtual space as other noncritical Internet traffic. They need to set up a virtual LAN or a VLAN and give it its own network which will not be affected by what other people are doing.

SIP VoIP Service
SIP VoIP Service

Check your Configurations

If you're using an SIP system, contact your Internet Telephony Service Provider or ITSP to find out which client they recommend. Different SIP clients expose a huge array of varying configuration options to their users. Some may ask for information that others do not. The best person to advise you in this matter is your SIP provider. They might suggest a particular SIP client to use on your mobile phone or smartphone or a PC. Better still, they might release their own SIP client with all the configuration options preset to work with their service.

Though one of the strongest points of VoIP is that it is device independent, there's no doubt that using standardized hardware can dramatically improve your call quality. Many VoIP providers have tieups with VoIP phone manufacturers to implement what is called "auto provisioning" when the phone automatically connects to the VoIP provider and performs the necessary setup. This is probably the best option for business phones since ease-of-use is of paramount importance in a work environment. You want your employees to not notice any difference whatsoever with the whiteboard when compared to a regular landline. Business VoIP works on very different rules when compared to retail VoIP. Contact your ITSP to find out how you can get started today.

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