Technology Advice for Small Businesses

Understanding VoIP Quality of Service

It’s common to encounter call quality problems while using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, even if you have a fast internet connection. This is a widespread issue faced by users of hosted phone services. Optimizing your Quality of Service (QoS) network can help alleviate the headaches that often come with VoIP technology. In this article, we will guide you through understanding VoIP QoS, setting it up, and maintaining exceptional call quality with useful tips.

What is VoIP Quality of Service?

VoIP QoS involves the prioritization of network traffic flowing through your router to deliver a satisfactory or even exceptional level of service to end users. By monitoring VoIP QoS, you can improve business productivity and also ensure enhanced quality of communication with your clients.

Why is QoS important?

VoIP calls are susceptible to various issues such as jitter, latency, and packet loss, which can result in poor audio quality, network congestion, distorted audio, dropped calls, and more. This can be a significant problem for any business, as it can disrupt your team’s ability to provide vital services such as:

  • Sales calls
  • Customer support
  • Client and lead generation
  • Meetings with clients
  • Remote team collaboration

VoIP QoS allows you to address these issues, ensuring that your VoIP system is always performing at optimum levels.

How to configure VoIP QoS

When configuring QoS for VoIP, you should take into account the following:

Prioritize network traffic based on type, not device
Prioritizing network traffic based on type prevents any one device from monopolizing the available bandwidth. The nature of the traffic should determine its queuing. However, if this is not feasible, an effective alternative is to use bandwidth management for each networked device.

Assign high priority to traffic with a DSCP value of 46
Numerous VoIP devices promote the categorization of network traffic using a differentiated services code point (DSCP) header. This header specifies that packets with high priority should be given preference. If possible, configure both inbound and outbound real-time transport protocol packets with DSCP 46 to ensure that they are given high priority.

Set up Trust Mode with Strict Priority if available
With Trust Mode, switches can identify different DSCP packets, while Strict Priority ensures that these packets are not given the same weight as other devices. Even if your router does not have such advanced VoIP QoS capabilities, most routers have at least some form of it. After applying these settings and restarting your routers, you should notice reduced latency and more dedicated, consistent bandwidth during VoIP calls.

VoIP QoS best practices

To ensure your VoIP system is running smoothly and calls are uninterrupted, here are some best practices to follow.

  1. Test your internet connection regularly to ensure it has enough bandwidth to handle call traffic.
  2. Use Category 6 certified Ethernet cables to ensure low latency and high data transfer.
  3. Check your network regularly for latency, ping, jitter, and other factors that can cause congestion.

Regardless of whether you are a small business or a large enterprise, we can assist you in building a resilient phone system with superior call quality and dependability. If you want to learn more about the different VoIP solutions, call our experts today.