Troubleshooting 5 Common VoIP Problems Without IT

If you make international calls often, you need to try our #1 recommended VoIP service. You will save time, money, and stress by utilizing Wi-Fi calling and VoIP over your old business phone. While we love technology, anyone in business knows that sometimes things do go wrong. Thankfully, the five most common VoIP problems are pretty simple to fix on your own, with no IT needed.

What Are the 5 Most Common VoIP Issues?

Knowing how to spot and troubleshoot common issues with your VoIP can save you a lot of stress. The solutions listed here may save you both time and money. Before calling technical support, try troubleshooting the system yourself. Feel free to skip ahead if you are looking for a specific answer right now to any of these:

  1. Network problems
  2. Bandwidth
  3. Poor audio
  4. Buffering
  5. Echoes

1. Network Problems

When using a VoIP system, your network and local area network, or LAN, are referring to your internet connectivity. If you are experiencing issues with networking after your VoIP system has been set up, start by checking your router and Wi-Fi connections. They may be malfunctioning or incompatible with your system.

Avoid these networking problems by ensuring that your router is designed for Wi-Fi calling and has settings where you can control the QoS or your Quality of Service. The QoS feature allows the router to prioritize bandwidth, ensuring your phones always have enough.

Troubleshooting Network Problems

  • Reset the router and double-check the wiring.
  • Check for updates that are pending and install them.
  • Check the QoS settings to make sure it is active and set to prioritize voice applications.
  • Disable the SIP ALG (the automatic troubleshooting feature found on many routers).

2. Bandwidth

Reconfiguring the QoS on your router can address VoIP issues caused by insufficient bandwidth allotments. Modern routers allow administrators to assign priorities to specific types of applications by accessing the QoS.

First, deprioritize games and other apps so your QoS sets voice applications as its top priority. Second, run a complete power cycle; the renewed connections may speed things up. Third, shut off all unnecessary applications, which may be taking a lot of bandwidth. Fourth, check equipment and wiring for damages. Last, make sure you are using a direct line rather than relying on Wi-Fi.

3. Poor Audio

If you are on a VoIP call and find that you have choppy audio, your most likely culprit is insufficient bandwidth. Immediately, you may think that the problem is your internet provider. You might also be inclined to believe that there is “too much traffic” on the network itself. However, the issue could be much simpler than that. It’s possible that you are using another app that’s using too much bandwidth; games tend to chew threw a lot of bandwidth.

You may also be using the wrong compression code entirely. It’s important that you remember in order to have a two-way conversation, you use roughly 90kbps during upload and download. Before you reach for your cellphone to call technical support, test your bandwidth usage to see if it’s causing poor audio with your VoIP service. Here are five troubleshooting hacks if you are experiencing choppy audio:

Troubleshooting Choppy Audio

  1. Turn off all networked computers.
  2. Use a free online test to check your bandwidth speed (there are several websites that offer free tests).
  3. Check for any running apps that are eating your bandwidth, such as video games.
  4. Use your virus software to check for viruses and malware that are causing issues.
  5. Ensure your router’s QoS is configured to prioritize voice apps over other nonessential functions.

4. Buffering

When it comes to buffering, the variation and arrival time of voice packets are referred to as jitter. This jitter buffer needs to collect packets and send them to the receiver at an even pace in order for the conversations to be clear and understandable. When the jitter buffer isn’t configured correctly, you may experience “dropped packets,” resulting in low-quality voice calls. One hack that you can try is reconfiguring the dynamic jitter buffer.

If this doesn’t work, you may need to reconfigure the static jitter buffer, which is hardware-based; you will need the network administrator to reconfigure it based on the issue. The static jitter buffer is generally set between 30-50 milliseconds in depth. Packets that are too small will be dropped. However, if the buffer is too large, you will experience delays in pack delivery times. The buffer has to be set just right in order for the conversation to flow smoothly.

5. Echoes

Acoustic interference, electromagnetic interference, and faulty equipment are usually the cause of echoes on VoIP equipment. Echoes are typically noticeable in the earpiece, speakers, and mouthpiece of the phone or headset that you are using. This is often because the volume is too loud, which overpowers your mouthpiece. Choose a good quality headset to minimize this occurrence.

If your VoIP hardware is too close together, you may experience an electromagnetic echo. On the other hand, “bounce back” from impedance variations will typically occur if you are using bad equipment. If you are experiencing an echo with your VoIP equipment, try these six troubleshooting hacks.

Troubleshooting for Echoes

  1. Check the wiring, cables that are too long or too dry need to be replaced.
  2. Cover the mouthpiece or turn down the volume.
  3. Choose a better phone.
  4. Replace old equipment.
  5. Don’t use splitters or caller ID devices connected directly to the router and phone.
  6. Move your router farther away from the power strip, monitor, and CPU.

If you are experiencing one of these five common VoIP problems, the solution may be easier than you think. Before you reach out to technical support, give these troubleshooting hacks a try. If you are still experiencing problems afterward, give an IT professional a call. If your business is looking for or needs a new VoIP provider, try our #1 recommended VoIP service today.

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