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Experiencing VoIP problems?

Voice quality issues with a VoIP system can be frustrating and can also impact business operations. In this post, we’ll discuss the top 9 common VoIP issues, and how to troubleshoot them.

Voice-over-IP (VoIP) systems have revolutionized the way we communicate in both large and small office settings, allowing the integration of more communication options than a traditional telephone conversation.

Despite a myriad of advantages, VoIP can also require some troubleshooting from time to time. Rather than try to track down your company’s friendly IT guy, first, try some of the the tips below to combat the nine most common VoIP problems and get back to savoring the benefits of your VoIP system.

Choppy Voice

Choppy calls include brief silences in the middle of the person speaking on the other side of the call, creating a stuttering sound. Most often, choppy audio is an indication that you lack adequate bandwidth due to internet congestion. There could also be an application running on your network that is using up a lot of bandwidth. Try the below VoIP troubleshooting solutions for choppy calls:

  1. Other Network Computers
    If possible, try turning off other computers connected to your network.
  2. File Streaming & High Bandwidth Applications
    Some applications use a lot of bandwidth, especially file streaming apps. Try closing applications like Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, etc.
  3. Router QoS Configuration
    If this is an ongoing issue, check your router settings and make sure your Quality of Service (QoS) is set to prioritize VoIP traffic.
  4. Bandwidth Limitations
    Check your bandwidth speed. If your bandwidth is consistently lower than the level you pay for, you may need to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  5. Malware or Spyware
    Run a test for malware and/or spyware using Ad Aware or similar software.

Audio Delays or Echoes

Audio delay is a noticeable delay from when you someone talks to when they are heard. When there is an echo you’ll either hear your own voice or the callers voice come back through the call audio. Both of these issues are often an easy fix. Try one of the below VoIP troubleshooting solutions for echo:

  1. Acoustic Interference From Phone Earpiece
    Echo could be the result of acoustic properties caused by your earpiece being too loud. To see if this is the issue, cover the mouthpiece/microphone and see if the echo stops. If the echoing is resolved, turn down the volume of your earpiece/speakers.
  2. Electromagnetic Interference From VoIP Hardware
    Echos can also be the result of electromagnetic interference created when your VoIP hardware is too close to other electrical devices. Make sure your phone, computer, power strip, router, and VoIP integrated access device (IAD), also known as a voice gateway, are far apart from one another.
  3. Splitters Or Caller ID Devices
    Splitters or caller ID devices can also create electromagnetic interference that results in an echo. Try disconnected these devices  from your router or phone.
  4. Your Internet Service Provider
    Your ISP could be experiencing network issues which affect the signal quality. Delays and echoes are often caused when the ping measurement is greater than 50 milliseconds (ms). Try doing a speed test to check your ping time.
  5. Bad Equipment
    Old or defective equipment can create impedance fluctuations that create echoes. If you are using a headset, try using the phone’s handset. If you are on a cordless phone, try a corded one. If you are on a corded phone, try a different cord or headset. Check cabling to be sure it is not wet or damaged. Try using a new phone and replace any old phones if necessary.

Crackly Sounding Calls or Jitter

Crackly static or jittery calls can have many of the same causes as echoes and delays. Potential reasons are that you may not have enough bandwidth available, there may be electromagnetic interference, or your equipment could be damaged. Try one of the below VoIP troubleshooting solutions for crackly or jittering calls:

  1. Router QoS Configuration
    Especially if this issue is ongoing, check your router settings and make sure your Quality of Service (QoS) is set to prioritize your VoIP application.
  2. Electromagnetic Interference
    Electromagnetic interference happens because your VoIP hardware is too close to other electrical devices. Make sure your phone, computer, power strip, router, and VoIP integrated access device (IAD), also known as a voice gateway, are far apart from other another.
  3. Bad Phone Power Supply
    If there is another phone of the same make and model nearby, try substituting that phone’s power supply for yours. A faulty power supply could lead to crackling or jittering during calls.
  4. Bandwidth Limitations
    Check your bandwidth speed. If your bandwidth is consistently lower than the level you pay for, keep track as you may need to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  5. Caller IDs and Splitters
    Other devices can create electromagnetic echo. Try removing any splitters or caller ID devices connected to your router or your phone.
  6. Damaged Cabling
    Check your phone’s cabling to make sure it is not wet or damaged.

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Voice Compression (Codec)

If your call quality problem doesn’t fall into one of the above categories, but there is an audio quality symptom, you may be experiencing issues with your codec settings. VoIP systems can work with a variety of codecs that compress audio data in order for it to travel through the internet more efficiently. Compression is essential to VoIP systems, but it must be configured correctly for different devices and situations. Try one of the below VoIP troubleshooting solutions for voice compression issues:

  1. Incorrect Codec
    If you can change your system’s codec, try using a different codec to see if the audio quality improves. You may need to speak to someone in your IT department to do this.
  2. Bandwidth Limitations
    If you notice that your calls consistently sound distorted during your office’s busy times, there may not be sufficient bandwidth. Monitor your speed with the Epik Networks speed test to see if your bandwidth is lower at certain times. You may need to upgrade internet service.

Inconsistent Call Quality

Inconsistency in call quality can be the result of high demand on your office’s network. You can experience great voice quality on one call and have another call suffer any number of issues. Try one of the below VoIP troubleshooting solutions for inconsistent call quality:

  1. High Bandwidth Applications
    Check your other open applications and close any that are unnecessary, especially those that utilize significant bandwidth like Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, etc.
  2. Insufficient Bandwidth
    If call quality is inconsistent during peak business hours, there may not be sufficient bandwidth for the VoIP system. Monitor your speed with the Epik Networks speed test to see if your bandwidth is lower during certain times. You may need to upgrade internet service.
  3. Router QoS Settings
    If you have sufficient bandwidth, and this issue is ongoing, check your router settings and make sure your Quality of Service (QoS) is set to prioritize your VoIP system.

Frequently Dropped Calls

If you find that your calls are often being dropped, your office network may be overloaded or you may have faulty equipment. Try one of the below VoIP troubleshooting solutions for dropped calls:

  1. Bandwidth Limitations
    If you notice that your calls are often dropped during your office’s busy times, there may not be sufficient bandwidth. Monitor your speed with the Epik Networks speed test to see if your bandwidth is lower at certain times. You may need to upgrade internet service.
  2. Router QoS Settings
    Check your router settings and make sure your Quality of Service (QoS) is set to prioritize your VoIP system.
  3. Defective Phone
    If there is another phone available, try using that instead to see if your calls improve.

Problematic Router

Sometimes issues with your VoIP systems can all be traced back to an old, defective, or improperly configured router. If you’re having issues with your VoIP system, consider trying one of the below VoIP troubleshooting solutions for your router:

  1. Router QoS Configuration
    Check your router settings and make sure your Quality of Service (QoS) is set to prioritize your VoIP system.
  2. Defective or Inadequate Router
    Older routers can cause transmission problems. An older router may need to be replaced to properly support your VoIP system. Some routers are only capable of supporting smaller sized offices with fewer employees. Check with the manufacturer of your router to determine if the router can support the number of users and network traffic you require.

Bandwidth problems

Bandwidth can be the root of many of the most common VoIP problems. If you’re experiencing issues with your VoIP system, it’s helpful to monitor your bandwidth on a regular basis. Testing your internet speed can help you to determine if you need to upgrade your service or identify high network traffic in your office. When experiencing bandwidth issues trying one of the following VoIP troubleshooting steps:

  1. Office Network Problems
    If possible, try connecting directly to your router rather than through the wireless network to see if that makes a difference. There could be several devices in your network, like network switches, that could be causing a problem.
  2. Bandwidth Hogging Applications
    File streaming services like Netflix or YouTube can hog your internet bandwidth, especially if they are streaming high definition videos. Try to identify applications that could be sending/receiving a lot of data over your network. Close any potential bandwidth hogging applications and check if your VoIP problem is resolved.
  3. Upgrade Internet Service
    To totally correct VoIP issues that are related to bandwidth limit, it is necessary to speak with your internet service provider to upgrade your speed. This could improve your office’s productivity with several technologies, not just your VoIP system. Epik Networks offers Fiberlink Service that is optimized for VoIP systems.

Internet Service Provider

If you are experiencing frequent VoIP issues that do not seem to be reduced by any of the above troubleshooting tips, the problem may lie with your internet service provider. Your ISP may have periods of high latency in their connection. Some ISPs send your data over the public internet instead of a private network. ISPs that don’t specialize in VoIP may use the correct protocols or don’t have them configured properly. Contact your internet service provider to see if they are experiencing service disruptions or network issues that could affect the performance of your VoIP system.

Epik Networks Fiberlink system is Canada’s fastest business internet solution available. You may want to consider switching to Fiberlink to support your VoIP system.

Conclusion

And that’s it, those are the top 9 most common VoIP problems. Knowing how to troubleshoot problems when they occur can help business running smoothly. To avoid costly service disruptions, you may want to consider a managed VoIP solution. With a managed VoIP solution you can relax knowing that your VoIP system is being monitored 24/7. You never have to worry about call quality issues, since most issues are often corrected before you notice there’s a problem.

Reduce Cell Phone Costs With Your VoIP System

Existing VoIP subscribers will agree that a VoIP service is a great way of reducing the costs of an office telephone system. But did you know that you can also reduce your cell phone costs by leveraging your VoIP system? In this article, we’ll show you 5 simple ways you can reduce your cell phone costs with your existing VoIP system.

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Upgrade Your Communications

With Hosted VoIP provided by Epik Networks, companies enjoy the ability to have large conference calls that utilize other forms of media, like video and text. With a managed VoIP solution, you’ll never have to troubleshoot problems again. Our amazing support staff are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With average answer times of less than 60 seconds, you’ll be quickly connected with one of our expert specialists who will be happy to help. Contact us today!