Troubleshooting common VoIP problems is often as simple as unplugging and reconnecting your device. That’s because VoIP phone issues are inherently internet issues, and most of the time, your cloud connection is something you take for granted. But bandwidth-related VoIP connection issues aren’t the only things that can cause trouble with your VoIP systems. This blog will share five of the more common VoIP issues and how to solve them.
VoIP Troubleshooting Tips
Problem #1: Audio is Choppy
When the audio is choppy on your VoIP phone service, it usually means one primary thing: insufficient bandwidth. A typical conversation between two people can take a maximum of 90kbps on the upload and download. (It may take less if the digitized data is compressed.) If you lack the bandwidth to fulfill that requirement, the tonal quality of the audio will suffer.
A few things could be happening here:
- ISP issues—Your internet service provider (ISP) has a shared pipeline that many companies are using simultaneously. It makes sense, then, if everyone is using that bandwidth, that the pie will be chopped into smaller pieces, which could cause problems with your VoIP systems.
- Computer applications running—If you have a data program running in the background as you’re making a call, it could affect the available bandwidth needed for VoIP phone service.
How to Solve It:
- VoIP troubleshooting you should try before calling for help should always include turning off any other non-essential computers that are currently connected to your network.
- Next, run a free bandwidth speed test, which you can find with a simple Google search.
- Third, consider that spyware or malware may be the culprit. There are free anti-malware programs online, but be careful when downloading anything off the internet.
- Finally, consider reconfiguring the QoS settings on your router to prioritize voice calls. Here’s a good article from VoIP Mechanic to help you through it.
- If you find that your ISP seems to be the culprit, check your contract or call them. Is the bandwidth you’re receiving what you’re actually paying for? If not, you can ask for a discount, complain, or open a trouble service ticket with your provider.
Problem #2: VoIP Audio Echo echo echo
There’s nothing funny about VoIP echo. It’s an annoying VoIP phone issue that, if it occurs, can completely frustrate your employees (and you). Electromagnetic echo is a phenomenon that happens when VoIP phone service hardware is too close to each other. It’s a bounce-back process that creates a maddening echo loop. Don’t worry; you can make it stop.
How to Solve It:
- Try covering the phone mouthpiece. If the echo is reduced, that means your volume is too high. In many cases, an acoustic echo can be fixed simply by turning down the earpiece volume, which is picking up sounds from the mouthpiece.
- There are also better headsets out there that can eliminate the problem.
- Try moving your router away from the other computer hardware in your office, including the power strip.
- You may have to disconnect the caller ID devices and splitters that connect your router and VoIP phone service.
- Check your cable connections and wiring. Make sure they aren’t wet and are just long enough to do the job.
- If none of this works, call your VoIP phone service provider for more troubleshooting tips.
Problem #3: Jittery Phone Issues
When the arrival of a voice packet is delayed or varied in some way, the caller can experience a jitter in the smooth flow of a voice call. This causes the call to drop or the voice on the other end to break up. This can be embarrassing for a business and the professionalism you’re trying to convey.
To understand and fix this VoIP phone issue, you must first understand how information is conveyed through your VoIP phone service. Basically, information, in the form of your voice, is compiled into a data packet that is transmitted online. This is a regularly scheduled process that happens so quickly during transmission that it becomes real-time. Jitter occurs when there’s a delay in sending these packets across your network connection.
How to Solve It:
- You (or your IT manager) can reconfigure the dynamic jitter buffer to a depth of 30 to 50 milliseconds. Here’s a good article from VoIP Troubleshooter if you’re a do-it-yourself kind of a person.
- Try switching to a wired connection instead of WiFi. WiFi is vulnerable to interference from things like electrical motors and microwaves, so there may be environmental issues with your WiFi.
- You can try an upgrade of your Ethernet cables to a Cat 6 cable to make sure it isn’t your wiring that’s holding you back.
- Sometimes, firewalls can cause a latency problem in your network. Your firewall may be analyzing every frame within a packet, which can cause a bottleneck.
Problem #4: VoIP Connection Issues that Drop Calls
We’ve heard about strange multi-minute call drops that some VoIP customers experience. The issue often occurs on outbound calling on networks with a high call volume. Sometimes the issue is related to having outdated firmware. Or it could be a UDP Timeout, which is a router or firewall issue designed to get data packets moving to their destination quickly.
How to Solve It:
- Adjust your router settings to allow for longer UDP timeouts, or switch routers to one that uses a TCP connection. Typically, the UDP connection is set at a 30-second timeout but a TCP timeout is 15-minutes.
Problem #5: Miscellaneous VoIP Troubleshooting
If you can’t make outbound calls at all, check your routers. If the call connects but you can’t hear anything, it could be a firewall that’s blocking data packets. Or, if an inbound call goes straight to voicemail without ringing, check to be sure you don’t ha=ve the office lines set to do not disturb (DND) mode.
The good news with most of these VoIP troubleshooting issues is that you’re unlikely to experience them with a provider like VoIP First Media. Our customer care team is standing by to help you should any VoIP phone issues occur. To request a quote for service and find out how we’re different from the competition, contact us.