VoIP Tips & Tricks

The reality is that not every homeowner would know what to do or look for when troubleshooting or maintaining his/her VOIP home phone. Here we’ll keep a quick reference. Many of these things we’ve learned from experience – some others have been shared by other VOIP users.

Audio Delay
If you are experiencing audio delays in your conversations it’s most likely related to the response times you’re getting from the VoIP server servicing your ATA. For all means, the audio delay should be less than 150 ms – anything more and you’ll start to notice conversations are a bit off. A good tool to troubleshoot this is http://voiptest.8×8.com/ while it won’t fix the issue itself if you run it a few times it may show that the internet connection can’t keep a reliable VoIP connection. Could be an indication of the upload channel is operating at capacity; data transfer applications such as bit-torrent should be disabled if the upload stream cannot be increased. Sometimes it can be the ATA itself that needs changing, either new firmware or configuration tweaking. Occasionally it may just be the provider itself cannot provide reliable service in that exchange location for a combination of factors.

No Audio / One-way Audio
The majority of the cases wherein a phone call there is no audio is related to a firewall setting on the internet router. You need specific information from your VoIP phone provider, for example get to tell you the SIP signaling ports (for example SIP is traditionally assigned to UDP ports 5060 and 5061) and the RTP port range they use for voice traffic. RTP port ranges are also UDP but may vary in range amongst different providers. Finally, find out if any other additional ports would be required for their service.

Keeping a 24×7 Internet Connection @ Home
Keeping an internet connection up 24×7 may look like an after-thought for many. But there are some considerations. Namely, you need to have a powered battery backup, (set aside some time and read this power backup article, depending on your needs it really is a worthy expense). You want to keep your main Internet router keeping his cool – sort of speak. Here’s the deal; if the router overheats it may shutdown itself, most devices are preprogrammed to do that as self-protection, or most typical have sporadic connectivity issues and ultimately having total hardware failure due to internal damaged circuitry. For a resilient VoIP or even for SoHo setup the solution is really inexpensive. Just get a USB powered notebook cooling pad such, make sure it has at least 5-fans (as this pad for gamer’s notebook does, keeping your cool for $25), and you’ll be good – up and running 24x7x365!