If you’ve implemented a VoIP network into your business process, you might have run into an issue or two when you were getting it up and running. VoIP sure beats the old landline, but it’s certainly frustrating when problems occur.
However, if you experience a lot of problems or they are too frequent, you may need to take some of these steps to minimize the issues.
Check your settings
Though this is not as prevalent on VoIP phones when compared to computer-based solutions, there may be a setting specifically for using a headset. This setting might be trying to cancel background noise or is otherwise modifying your voice and affecting the quality of your VoIP calls.
Using a VoIP program on your computer is more often affected by this, but, luckily, it’s also more easily fixed on the machine. Usually, you just install the program and it works well from the get-go. However, if you’re having problems, you may have to tweak your configuration for a better result. You can walk through a mic setup process or adjust quality settings until your calls sound much better.
Try a new headset
If you use a headset with your VoIP setup, it could also be the cause of your problems. When you have trouble hearing the person on the other end or they have trouble hearing you, it could simply be low-quality parts in your headset throttling down the call quality.
Even if you do not want to invest in the top-shelf model, it makes sense to research the options. A good-quality microphone can make you sound crystal clear, and noise-blocking earphones are definitely a handy feature in an office setting. Luckily, there’s a wide selection of budget-friendly models that will get the job done without breaking the bank.
Related: The 8 best VoIP headsets of 2019
Check your bandwidth
During a call, your voice is converted into data that is broken down into packets to send over the network. Sometimes, even with a solid connection to the network, your packets just aren’t getting through efficiently. This is especially prevalent in a busy office environment, as most SMBs use the same network for data and voice.
This isn’t always as easy to fix, as there could be several problems that need different solutions. But the good thing is that a few of the most common solutions are right here.
Plug it in
Consider the quality of Wi-Fi connections themselves – they are generally pretty effective but, for the most part, slower and less reliable than wired connections. Voice calls are pretty high-volume traffic, so if you’re using a Wi-Fi connection for your VoIP phone or computer, you run the risk of dropping packets. This can lead to some stuttering or even dropping a call altogether.
Simply plugging your computer into the network via an Ethernet cable can help prevent problems with losing voice data packets.
Adjust the network configuration
Your infrastructure itself could be fine with the amount of IP traffic coming through, but maybe it’s configured inefficiently. Then you need your IT department to do a network assessment and reconfiguration to identify and fix the problem.
In this situation, the solution could range from a quick and easy fix to a larger undertaking, depending on the type and complexity of your network setup.
Replace outdated hardware
The problem could be that your router is simply outdated or doesn’t have the capacity to handle the volume of the network. This is likely if you recently upgraded to a VoIP system for your office phones and started immediately noticing problems.
Specialized VoIP routers are a quick fix and typically inexpensive as well.
These routers prioritize VoIP network traffic over the rest. This way it won’t slow down or drop as it travels through network bottlenecks. You might notice more latency with other tasks, but VoIP conversations will be crystal clear.
“Jitter” can greatly distort the sound of voices on a VoIP call. Packets in transit become delayed or sometimes mixed up, so you receive them in a different order than intended or with big gaps in between. This results in garbled audio if the device plays them out of order or stuttering audio if it receives late packets.
Jitter buffers look for VoIP packets on your network and make sure they are correctly ordered and spaced before sending them on. This might result in slightly more latency but will greatly reduce the audio problems associated with jitter.
You can also change the QoS settings on your router to get the same effect without the latency problems. But this solution requires more tech savvy compared to adding jitter buffers to the network.
Related reading: What is network jitter and how can you prevent it?
These are a lot of the most common fixes for problems that you may face with your VoIP calls, but it is by no means an exhaustive list. After all, technology does act in strange ways with alarming frequency – typically when it’s most important for things to run smoothly.
If you want to save yourself the trouble of troubleshooting your VoIP call problems, don’t hesitate to ask for an expert opinion on what to try next.