We sometimes get calls from our VoIP users asking for tips to improve their call quality. There are cases where connection and quality issues are beyond the users’ control, but on other cases, the call quality can be improved by going through the following checklist.
Here are some factors that affect VoIP quality and what you need to do about it:
1. Echo – It happens when you hear your own voice after you speak on the microphone. Echoes are caused by two phenomena. The first is an electrical echo, which the end user has no control over. The other one is an acoustic echo due to microphone pickup of audio output. To minimize acoustic echo, use a headset with microphone instead of using the built-in mic of your laptop or a standalone mic.
2. Latency - Also known as lag, latency occurs between the moment a voice packet is transmitted and the moment it reaches its destination. Check your latency by performing a “Ping” command under CMD. Go to Start -> Run -> Type “CMD” without quotes and then type Ping voip.onesuite.com. In the VoIP world, the advisable latency is 200ms or below. The higher the latency, the more the voice quality suffers. A high latency also leads to echoes. If your latency is much higher then ask your ISP to check the cause of high latency.
3. Bandwidth - Make sure you have enough bandwidth (At least 512kbps download speed and 128 kbps upload speed for OneSuite VoIP) to make a decent VoIP call. If you don't have enough bandwidth, then choppy calls, delays and break-ups can be expected. Perform a speed test to check Internet connection.
4. Applications - Programs that consume bandwidth (like virus definition updates) will also affect your VoIP calls. Don't download, update or browse video or picture sites because these will take away bandwidth from your calls.
5. RAM - Sometimes old PCs just don't have enough RAM (computer memory) to run a softphone to have a decent VoIP conversation, especially if multiple applications are running at the same time. Close unnecessary applications and upgrade your RAM if possible. These days, it is recommended to have at least 1GB of RAM in your computer.