There are VoIP problems that you can fix yourself. So, before you put yourself through the headache of explaining your situation to tech support, try these out first. It might save you a lot of time and money.
VoIP Issue Fix 1: Echo
This is one of the more common issues that you need to deal with when you use VoIP. There are several causes here, and most are simple enough for you to fix the problem yourself. These would have something to do with electromagnetic interference, and the acoustics of your equipment, as well as the actual equipment.
You can tell that the issue is acoustic if the echo disappears or lessens when you cover the mouthpiece of your phone. Since the problem is with your phone, you can fix your echo problem by adjusting your earpiece or speakers.
Electromagnetic interference, on the other hand, comes from electromagnetic sources, such as routers and computers that are too close to each other. The fix here is to set up enough space between your equipment.
Lastly, you can tell that you have equipment issues when you detect a “bounce back” when using your phone. This is caused by impedance variations; and a quick solution is to use another phone set.
More complicated causes of echo have to do with your IP PBX, cabling, and provider equipment. For this, you need to leave the problem resolution with professional technicians. They can implement echo suppression and cancellation, and NGS switches, among other options.
VoIP Issue Fix 2: Choppy Voice
Insufficient bandwidth on your side or your service provider’s is the common cause of choppy voice. You can do something if bandwidth bottlenecks are coming from your end.
For this, you need to check which of your running applications and computers are eating up bandwidth. Close these applications and computers; and then see if you still experience choppy voice. Bandwidth is definitely your culprit if voice quality becomes better when you dedicate bandwidth to VoIP. You can address certain bandwidth issues yourself (see below) or get your service provider to upgrade your account to get bigger bandwidth or to get a dedicated VoIP account.
VoIP Issue Fix 3: Jitter and Jitter Buffer
Jitter and jitter buffer will always be present in VoIP; and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Jitter refers to the gap between the arrival of voice packets. The buffer captures these packets first before sending to the receiver so that the gap is more evenly spaced. This way, conversations flow evenly and are understandable.
Jitter and jitter buffer problems occur when the buffer is incorrectly set up. This results in low quality conversations and dropped calls.
If you are confident enough, you can reconfigure your jitter buffer yourself. This should be at 30 to 50 millisecond in depth. If the buffer is too small, you are likely to experience dropped packets. If it is too big, you are likely to experience gaps within your conversations.
VoIP Issue Fix 4: Bandwidth
Lastly and arguably the most problematic of VoIP issues: bandwidth. When you don’t allot enough bandwidth, whether dedicated or not, you will experience a bevy of problems, such as latency issues, choppy voice and a whole lot more.
A way to address this even before you experience problems is to reconfigure the QoS settings of your router.
Your QoS should prioritize voice and video applications, which are used in VoIP communications. This means giving top priority to these apps, and deprioritizing other bandwidth-greedy apps, such as network gaming.
For entities that anticipate high VoIP bandwidth usage, it is always ideal to get dedicated bandwidth for your telecommunications needs.
A safety measure to address all four of these common VoIP is to constantly and consistently test your VoIP. Sign up with a 24/7/365 VoIP testing company, such as VoIP Spear, that monitors critical performance measurements, ie. Mean Opinion Score (MOS), latency, jitter, and packet loss.
When you know problem areas even before you actually experience their effects, you reduce the likelihood of common VoIP problems.
Article Written by Matt Larson: Matt dives and writes, dives and writes, repeat. He has benefited from VoIP immensely, having worked while on the road for years now.