Friday, July 11, 2014

Call Quality Monitoring: How To Address VoIP Call Issues

VoIP Spear: VoIP Monitoring Service

Whether you're new to VoIP or have been using it since Skype became so popular, call quality monitoring should be your top priority. You should know how to do it, and you should know how to address the issues that you find.

Knowing all about call quality monitoring and what it entails ensures that you enjoy the best of VoIP. VoIP is supposed to be the better alternative these days, when it comes to cost, features and quality. But like all technology, there are kinks that need to be ironed out along the way. VoIP is dependent on your internet connection and the amount of traffic your network has. Your equipment -- and your network and service provider's equipment, of course -- also affect how much you get out of it.

The first step here is to get set up with VoIP Spear. With VoIP Spear, you monitor your digital phone's endpoint 24/7/365 for key parameters that determine good VoIP quality of service. Single endpoint monitoring is free, with limited reporting extras. The paid packages are affordable for what you'd get.

VoIP Spear is your best option when it comes to call quality monitoring. Other comparable VoIP monitoring services will have you buying expensive equipment that you'd need to hire an engineer for. These options are really not practical when all you want is to get performance profiles of your VoIP service at a regular basis.

Now, have you set up an account? Did you plug in your endpoints? That's all you need to do. You are now ready for call quality monitoring.

When you login, you will have access to online reports. If you have a paid account, you can be alerted when your VoIP service performs below your set thresholds. The reports are for the primary measures of VoIP quality: MOS, latency, jitter and packet loss. Your reports will show scores of 1 to 5, with 5 as the highest.

Of course, a low score, especially at consistent intervals daily, is something that you'd need to address.

One of the VoIP problems that you can try to address from your end is latency. Latency pertains to delays in the transport of data/voice packets. This can be caused by a variety of reasons. Or, the cause can be on the side of your network or VoIP service providers -- which you can't do anything about except contact for tech support or change service providers. But, if the problem is at your end, there are basic troubleshooting that you can implement. (Btw, latency problems may also be causing packet delays and jitter. So it really does help to do these basic troubleshooting tips first.)

1. Check your cables: Sometimes, VoIP call quality problems are just caused by less than perfect cables. These may be cut or too old. A visual inspection can pinpoint cable problems. To fix this, just buy compatible cables, ideally from a tech store.

2. Turn off other applications that use heavy bandwidth: Delays in your VoIP can be caused by applications "fighting" to use your limited bandwidth allotment. When it is important to have VoIP available -- say, for your home use -- try shutting down other apps that eat up bandwidth, such as networked gaming programs. If you are experiencing VoIP delays because of inadequate bandwidth and you're at the office, it's time to upgrade your network and VoIP service; or assign a separate network for your VoIP. It is important to get consistently available good call quality for business VoIP.

3. Configure your QoS: All modern routers provide access to the system's QoS (Quality of Service). Here, you can update your router's settings to give priority to voice applications. While you do this, make sure to deprioritize gaming appls and other bandwidth eaters.

Note that this is only a call quality "patch." Your system is most likely inadequate to support voice calls and you will need to upgrade an equipment or two.