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Getting Started

Your VoIPLINK Business Voice service is a reliable, highly available and high-quality cloud phone service. Check out our tools and best practices to help you get the best possible experience with your VoIPLINK service.

Ensure Cloud Voice Success

VoIP technology is an intriguing and powerful solution that allows you to place and receive phone calls utilizing your data network and your internet connection. However, VoIP technology does require a bit of preparation. Your network sits at the core of your Cloud Voice service, and your internet connection is the path that all VoIP traffic will ride into your office.

Internet Connection Metrics

When you place or receive a cloud Voice over IP (VoIP) call, your voice is split into many thousands of packets. Each of these packets represents a small fraction of the sound in the call. Each one of your voice packets travels across your Internet connection back to the VoIPLINK Business Voice data centers and then on to the party on the other end of your call. There are multiple ways that your voice quality can be impacted, the most common are: Latency, Jitter, and Packet Loss.

Latency

Latency is the measure in milliseconds (ms) of how long it takes a voice packet to reach its destination. The time it takes a voice packet to reach its destination is called Latency. Latency below 150ms is acceptable and should not impact voice quality by itself. If latency exceeds 150ms some users may detect a loss in quality. As latency climbs to and above 250ms the connection is generally not acceptable for real-time voice communication.

Jitter

Imagine you send a train across the country with ten cars labeled one through ten in order. If there is no jitter, the train will arrive at its destination with the cars in the same order as when they left. If there is jitter, the cars will arrive in different order. In the Internet, jitter measures the differential in packet arrival time in milliseconds (ms). Jitter that is greater than 50ms can often lead to audible impact to the voice quality of a call. Jitter is caused by Internet congestion as well as underpowered or misconfigured routers and switches.

Packet Loss

If you remember the jitter train from above, this would be akin to sending a train with ten cars and when it arrives it only has eight. The way the Internet sends information from node to node is very efficient, but sometimes due to congestion, excessive latency, or excessive jitter, packets are discarded. This is sometimes referred to as packets being dropped into the bit bucket and being lost forever. When you send an email (or other non-real time communications) packets that are lost are “re-sent” by the sending location so all packets eventually arrive at their destination. In real-time communication you need all the packets to arrive on time so there is no audible impact to the voice call.

Internet Connection Types

There are many different types of internet connections available to small and medium sized businesses. Here is a brief overview of the various connection types:

Cable

Cable internet is one of the most popular types of internet connections for residential and SMB markets. The speeds for cable internet can appear to be much better than the competing types of DSL, and Dedicated Access. However, the important thing to keep in mind is that those speeds offered by cable internet are shared with other people/ companies in your immediate area.

DSL

Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service is offered by phone companies that are utilizing their existing copper lines as a means to deliver high-speed broadband access. DSL service is typically very inexpensive, but it does have some downsides. Typically, you have a much lower upload speed than what is required for VoIP traffic. Also, most DSL connections are susceptible to copper deterioration which would cause audio quality issues.

Dedicated Access

Dedicated Internet Access is typically provided by a telecommunications carrier, and the most common speeds are a T-1 or T-3. The important things to note about Dedicated Access is that the speed is the same in both directions, it is a truly dedicated connection (isn’t shared like Cable), and they typically come backed by a Service Level Agreement. The one advantage that Cable and DSL providers have over Dedicated Access is price.

Wireless Internet

Wireless internet connections are growing in many markets around the country. This connection type can be a great alternative to the 3 types mentioned above, but it is important to choose a provider that can deliver a reliable and consistent connection.

Steps for Successful Deployment

It may sound daunting to try and overcome latency, jitter, and packet loss – but it is actually pretty easy. A little pre-planning and design and you too can have all of the advantages of VoIPLINK Business Voice.

1. Test your Bandwidth

The first step is testing your connection. A solid connection is a prerequisite for a successful deployment. We recommend T1, high-speed cable, fiber-optic, or Ethernet connections. You will need to allot 85Kbps per each simultaneous call you need to support. For example, if you have 24 phones in your office but your maximum number of simultaneous calls are 8; your bandwidth requirement is 680Kbps. You can test your connection here.

2. Design your Network

Prior to deploying VoIP service, you will want to review your local network equipment, including cabling.

Routers

Voice traffic on networks requires special handling. Routers that are QoS enabled prioritize high-priority voice traffic over lower-priority data traffic, such as emails or web browsing. It is also important to have SIP ALG disabled in all router configurations. The “right” router for your office will depend on how it will be utilized.

Check out our router selection and configuration notes you will find here:
Recommended Routers

Switches

Ethernet switches are a key portion to your local network. There are several key features that switches supporting voice should include. QoS tagging inside the local network, high-speed uplink ports, non-blocking backplanes, and ability to monitor are just a few of the features we recommend. It is also recommended to utilize Power over Ethernet (PoE) which allows you to power your phones without the use of a local power supply.

Please see our recommended switch selection here:
Recommended Switches

Cabling & Connectivity

As a kid, you might have used two cans and a string to talk to your friend across the backyard. The quality of that string made all the difference as to how well you heard your friend’s voice. The same is true with poor or out of specification Ethernet cabling or wall jacks. VoIPLINK suggests Category 5E cable or better for voice installations. In addition, we supply low cost options for top quality wall jacks for installing service in new locations in your office.