Now that you understand the basics of VoIP, it’s time to start optimizing your network for VoIP. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your VoIP service is running as smoothly as possible.
1. Test Your Bandwidth
The first step to optimizing your network for VoIP is to test your bandwidth. You can do this by using a bandwidth testing tool such as Speedtest.net. This will help you determine how much bandwidth you have available for VoIP calls. If your bandwidth is too low, you may need to upgrade your internet connection or purchase a higher-bandwidth plan from your ISP.
2. Upgrade Your Router
If you don’t have a business-grade router, now is the time to upgrade. Business-grade routers often include features that are particularly useful for VoIP service such as Quality of Service (QoS). QoS makes sure that your phone calls aren’t affected by other network users and will prioritize your voice traffic over other activities on the network. If you can’t upgrade to a business-grade router, be sure to configure any home routers you use to properly support QoS settings.
3. Invest in Standard Phone Equipment
Lowering your costs is another reason why upgrading your internet connection may not be enough – you also need to invest in standard telephone equipment. It’s important that all VoIP telephones used within an organization must function using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). This ensures that all telephones are able to make and receive calls regardless of their location. Buying phones that don’t use SIP will only limit your ability to take full advantage of VoIP.
4. Utilize Quality of Service Settings
As discussed earlier, quality of service (QoS) is a critical feature for optimizing your network for VoIP. By configuring your router to prioritize voice traffic, you can ensure that your phone calls always sound clear and crisp. If you’re not sure how to configure QoS on your router, consult the manufacturer’s instructions or contact your ISP for support.
5. Check Firewall Settings
In order for VoIP to work properly, your firewall must be configured correctly. Firewall settings can vary from one device to the next, so you’ll need to consult your router’s manual or contact your ISP for specific instructions. Typically, you’ll want to allow VoIP traffic through your firewall and block all other traffic. This will help ensure that your VoIP calls are always secure and uninterrupted.
6. Enable STUN/TURN Servers
If you’re having problems with call quality, one possible solution is to enable STUN/TURN servers on your network. STUN (Session Traversal Utilities for NAT) servers help devices located behind a NAT-enabled firewall connect with other network users. TURN (Traversal Using Relay NAT) servers help devices located behind a firewall make outbound calls by relaying traffic through another registered VoIP client or server.
7. Utilize Network Paging for Emergency Calls
If you’re using a SIP-based PBX, it’s possible to use traditional network paging as a backup method of making emergency phone calls. This way, if your VoIP service is down, those who have been assigned access to the paging system can still call 911 without any problems. You should keep in mind that emergency calling isn’t supported on every PBX system, so be sure to check with your provider before you configure this option.
8. Fine Tune Your PBX Settings
If you’re not satisfied with the quality of your VoIP calls, another potential solution is to fine-tune your PBX settings. This will usually involve adjusting codec options and up the priority of RTP (Real-Time Transport Protocol) packets on your router. You can learn more about these settings by consulting online resources or contacting your PBX provider for support. As always, be sure to keep notes on any changes you make so you can fix them if problems return in the future.
9. Utilize Quality Probes
Quality probes help identify VoIP problems through reports submitted by phones connected to your network via SIP. These probes collect data related to your VoIP traffic and then send it back to the PBX for analysis. You can read more about quality probes on the official Asterisk website. Keep in mind that you’ll be charge for this service regardless of whether or not there are problems with your VoIP connection.
10. Invest in a Cloud-based PBX Option
If you’re having constant issues with call quality, it might be time to consider migrating your business phone system to the cloud. By doing this, you won’t have to invest in expensive hardware or worry about your PBX going down because it will all be manage by your provider instead of being hosted locally within your office network. Cloud PBXs also offers advanced features like music on hold and automated call distribution, helping you do more with only a few phone lines.
11. Utilize Quality Monitoring Services
Quality monitoring services help identify problems within your VoIP system through reports submitted by phones connected to your network via SIP. Like quality probes, these servers collect data related to your VoIP traffic and then send it back to the PBX for analysis. You can read more about quality monitoring services on the official Asterisk website. Keep in mind that you’ll be charge for this service regardless of whether or not there are problems with your VoIP connection.
12. Disable Jitter Buffer
The jitter buffer is used to smooth out any fluctuations in packet delivery times, but it can also cause problems with call quality if it’s not configured correctly. If you’re experiencing poor call quality, try disabling the jitter buffer on your PBX and see if that fixes the issue. You can usually find this setting in your PBX’s configuration menu.
13. Restrict Incoming Traffic
If you’re having problems with VoIP calls being dropp or interrupt, you might want to consider restricting incoming traffic on your network. This can be done by blocking all traffic except for packets destine for your VoIP service provider. While this may not be the most ideal solution, it can help ensure that your calls are always secure and that no one is able to eavesdrop on your phone conversations.
14. Restart All of Your Hardware
Sometimes, you just need to power cycle all of the hardware that makes up your VoIP network in order to get it running at optimal performance again. This includes everything from routers, PBXs, and modems to VoIP phones themselves. If you’re constantly having problems with call quality, be sure to start this troubleshooting process by restarting any VoIP-related equipment in your office before moving forward with more complicated solutions.
15. Try a Different Phone Service
If none of the aforementioned solutions are working for you, there might be an underlying problem with your business phone service provider or the network itself. In this case, it might be time to consider switching to a different provider altogether. This can be a daunting task, but it might be your only option if you’re unable to resolve the call quality issues on your own.
By following these tips, you should be able to improve the quality of your VoIP number calls and get your business back up and running at full speed. If you continue experiencing problems after trying all of these solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your service provider or an IT professional for help.
Do you have any additional tips for improving VoIP call quality? Let us know in the comments below!