Voice over IP (VoIP) and cloud-based phone systems are the most popular business phone systems on the market today, and for good reason. Cost savings, advanced features, mobility, redundancy, and more are just few benefits of moving your business communications system to the cloud. But what happens when your VoIP system is working against you with dropped calls, jitter, latency, or one-way audio? Read below to learn some useful tips when troubleshooting your VoIP connection.
VoIP Troubleshooting 101 Step-by-Step Guide
Learn the basics of troubleshooting your VoIP connection.
Step 1: Jot down a call example.
It is always helpful to have a call example to investigate voice quality issues further. Write down the date, time, and the caller and recipient’s phone numbers when the problem occured.
Step 2: Verify that you have Internet Access
Open a new webpage or refresh your current webpage.
If you do not have Internet= call your Internet Service Provider (ISP) immediately.
If you do have Internet= proceed to Step 2.
Step 3: Understand the difference between UDP & TCP
TCP is a connection-oriented protocol that must establish a connection between the sender and receiver before data can be sent. UDP, on the other hand, is a connectionless protocol that does not need to establish a connection before sending data.
Even if your internet is working, 98% of the time the culprit is directly tied to your network and/or bandwidth (internet speeds and connectivity). The internet can easily resend data (TCP), but cannot resend the audio voice traffic (UDP), so if your internet is running slowly and your pointer is spinning around and around, you could be experiencing packet loss which would directly impact Voice over IP services. Since the internet can resend data, packet loss would just cause your webpages to load slower. However, since voice transmissions cannot be resent, packet loss will wreak havoc on voice services causing dropped calls, jitter, one-way audio, and more.
Step 4: Run a speed test while the problem is occuring
Running a speed test while the problem is occuring can offer an insight into what type of download and upload speeds you are actually getting from your internet provider at any given moment. Optimal bandwidth speeds will be dependant on the number of users connected to the internet and their type of usage (i.e.- are users downloading large files, streaming music or video, Facebooking, etc.?).
As a rule of thumb, if you have 10 users with light-to-medium bandwidth usage, your download/upload speeds should be at least 50 mbps, and keep in mind that upload speeds will have more impact on Voice over IP (VoIP) quality then download speeds.
How to run a speed test: Type ‘Speed Test’ into google. Click start. The test will provide you with download speeds and upload speeds. Compare these speeds with what you are paying for. For example, if you are paying for 100 mbps down and 100 mbps up, and you are only receiving 20 download and 20 upload, then that’s a problem.
Step 5: Reboot your modem, and then your router (if applicable)
Warning: Rebooting your modem and router will take everyone offline and will reboot your phones, so please make sure to warn everyone to save their work before rebooting your ISP equipment!
Reboot your modem first but unplugging the power cord from the back of the device. Wait 60 seconds, or longer, until the unit has cooled down. Thereafter, plug the power cord back in.
Once the modem comes back up, proceed with rebooting the router. Once the router is rebooted, place a few test calls to see if the problem is still happening.
If the problem is still happening= go to Step 6
Step 6: Call ACC Telecom to Open a Trouble Ticket
Call or text ACC Help Desk support at 410-423-6500 to open a support ticket. Include the impacted call example information and internet speed tests results.