Mar 22, 2012

How can I improve VoIP quality at our office?

We have a VoIP phone service at the office, and generally most people are satisfied with it. At times though, the quality drops, especially when everyone is in the office and at their desks. Our employees are generally younger, artistic types who listen to a lot of music while they work. We allow people to use iTunes, Pandora, Turntable, etc. at work, and have no desire to change what we feel is an important part of the atmosphere of our company. Of course, having acceptable voice call quality is also very important, and all that data is coming in through the same pipe. Short of blocking streaming music services, how can we make sure that our VoIP phone service call quality is acceptable?


It sounds like you have already identified the cause of your VoIP quality issues - a lot of people simultaneously on the network using relatively bandwidth intensive programs as they stream music/video.  What you might want to look into is how to control network traffic so that you can prioritize VoIP over non-crucial use.  You might want to explore Quality of Service (QoS) as a way to make sure that packets dedicated to VoIP become the preferred packets.  It depends on the router, but there may be options in the setup software where you can switch on QoS and choose to give priority to your VoIP software/system.   

You might want to experiment with various apps. Here's a roundup of VoIP apps:

Five Best VoIP or Voice Chat Apps

"Whether you use them for business communication, talking to family over long distances, or just fragging your friends over the latest FPS, communication has been revolutionized by voice calling apps. Here's a look at the five most popular options for having voice conversations over the internet. "

I'd also keep an eye on your network usage and try to maintain some bandwidth for VoIP. Watch out for other things that might slow down VoIP on your network.
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