Why do I need to Take a VoIP Line Test?
A VoIP (voice over IP) phone system provides business owners with high-quality, reliable calling for a fraction of the cost of traditional landlines. Also known as a hosted phone system, VoIP provides everything you need in a phone plus the ability to access flexible cloud-based features. You’ll be able to save time and get perfectly clear calls anywhere you go.
But before you can get started, your internet connection needs to pass a VoIP speed test. This will make sure that your connection is strong enough to support internet calling while keeping your other online systems running smoothly.
Learn What an Internet Speed Test Measures
Packets of Data and Packet Loss
Data packets are how information is transmitted over the internet. A packet of data includes the information itself (such as the voice portion of a VoIP call) along with metadata and directional data of the originating IP address and the IP address of where it’s going.
Imagine a picture that you’re going to text to friend and imagine that the connection between your phones is a pipe. Instead of pushing the picture through all at once, the photo will be broken down into many data packets, send the photo, and then reconstruct it on your friend’s phone. This helps it travel faster down the “pipe” (the Internet). The more bandwidth you have, the larger your pipe is and the faster you can send the data files. The less bandwidth you have, the more likely you are to have packet loss, which is when you lose quality in the call. Read more about the effects of packet loss below in the Jitter section.
What are Upload and Download Speeds? What Should they Be?
Download & Upload Speed: 2 mbps per person
Download & upload speed refers to how quickly you can pull and push data to and from a server. Bandwidth refers to how much data you can upload and download while the speed refers to how quick;y this happens. Think about when you try to download a photo or large file and how long it takes to get it from the internet to your computer. In terms of VoIP readiness, a high bandwidth speed means you’re able to support calls in addition to your other internet enabled services.
With at least 10 mbps upload speed and download speed, you’ll be able to support about 5 people. That means they can use their phones concurrently plus access other internet needs, such as using internet browsers or streaming music. We recommend speeds of around 2 mbsp per employee to make sure everyone stays connected.
What is Latency? What Should My Latency Speed Be?
Ping/Latency: Less than 10 ms
Ping is the measure used to report on latency, and is measured in units of 10 milliseconds. Telephone latency is sometimes referred to as mouth-to-ear delay; it refers to how long it takes sound to travel from one person’s phone microphone to the receiver’s ear. High latency causes delays or echos, causing confusion and annoyance for callers.
For VoIP, you want your latency to be around 20 ms or less. The highest you can have with latency being mostly unnoticeable is 150 ms. Any higher, and you’ll start hearing the repercussions.
What is Jitter? What Should my Jitter Speed Be?
Jitter: Less than 10 ms
Jitter is related to the timing and delay of voice packets across the network. In basic terms, when your network is congested or data queues in the wrong order, jitter occurs. It results in dropped audio and poor call quality. Jitter problems are eradicated by having your VoIP and network configuration properly set up to keep the data stream steady.
To maintain audio quality, we recommend that your jitter should be 10 milliseconds or less.
What if I Don’t Pass?
If your speed is too slow or your latency and jitter too high, it’s actually really simple to get the speeds you need.
Small Gains in Internet Speed
If you’re not far off from the speeds that you need to be at, you could just need to free up bandwidth on your main network and reallocate those resources. For instance, for security reasons, your payment processing and security system should be on their own network connection. If they’re currently sharing your office internet, work with your service provider to get them set up through a proxy onto their own IP.
Also, check what your internet is being used for. You might find that multiple employees are streaming music through YouTube on their desktops while they work or using your company’s WiFi for their personal devices too much. Creating streaming and internet use policies will help free up this bandwidth. However, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up needing to upgrade your internet in the long run. So, it could be a good idea to keep your employees happy and not cut off their access and instead increase your connection.
Greater Gains in Internet Speed
If you’re still running at slow speeds, it’s time to increase your internet package. In addition to allowing you to switch to VoIP, you’ll also enjoy that every other task will get faster – such as checking email, updating online orders, and sending files. Faster internet is more affordable than ever and often includes a better rate for the first year.
Just call your current internet provider to ask for the cost of upgrading your upload speed to the range you need it to be. You can either update your account, or shop around for other providers in the area. Because it’s all managed remotely, you should be able to increase your speeds almost immediately.