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The 4 networking issues most likely to impact your office VoIP system

10 Jun 2019

Have you experienced any of the following symptoms:
  • Cannot make outgoing calls?
  • One-way audio?
  • Choppy voice?
  • Router issues?

More often than not call quality issues are caused by on-premises equipment not communicating properly with the Internet. The culprit is usually the router.

VOIP works best with a router that gives priority to voice calls via the Internet. This means that your calls will not be impacted by a heavy file download or inexplicable surge in web browsing elsewhere in the workplace. It’s a little like priority boarding on aircrafts – the VIP business is taken care of before the regular items.

Here’s a shortlist to work through:
  1. Check all the wiring to your router and do a 15 second hard re-set (switch off and on)
  2. Check that your router is configured to give priority to voice traffic
  3. Consider port forwarding
  4. Consider a router upgrade
1. Check all the wiring to your router and do a 15 second hard re-set (switch off and on)

Sounds obvious but this solves more than 60% of voice quality issues. Check the plugs at each end of each cable. Unplug all cables, count to 10 seconds then put them back in again. Wait for the lights to confirm that each plug is correctly inserted.

2. Check that your router is configured to give priority to VOIP traffic

Quality of Service (QoS) is a router setting that favours voice traffic over everything else. Most routers ship without QoS activated so find it in the Management Interface   and switch it on. (If your router was part of a Comsource Cloud PBX this will already be activated).

If you have your own-supplied router, jump on Google and type “[Router Manufacturer] VOIP configure QoS settings.” If you have no luck finding your specific router’s manual online, try https://www.voipmechanic.com/qos-for-voip.htm

3. Port Forwarding

Should your router not have a QoS function, you could get around this by Port Forwarding. This is a networking technique that forces all incoming communications to a specific internal node. Put another way, it directs the traffic without detecting if the traffic is voice or regular browsing. The only requirement is that you know the MAC address of your phones – typically printed on a white label on the rear of your Yealink handset or available on the Settings menu navigation on the front of your handset. If you want to know more about MAC addresses try this link: https://whatismyipaddress.com/mac-address.

Port Forwarding is also known in technical circles as port mapping, tunnelling or punch through. A really good place to start – with manufacturer specific instructions is https://www.portforward.com/router.htm

4. Router Upgrade

If all of this seems too hard, it may be simpler (and quicker) to upgrade your router. Look for a dual-band router, these can significantly improve your VOIP quality by transmitting on different frequencies at the same time. This way you can put all voice traffic on one channel, all desktop traffic on another channel and devices like Eftpos or Hicaps on another.

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