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QoS, Quality of Service

The term QoS, or Quality of Service, in its most prevalent definition refers to the ability of a network to prioritize applications differently to achieve the desired level of “quality” for each application. In this definition, the use of QoS delivers the quality desired, but the term QoS refers to the way you get there, not the quality itself. However, Quality of Service is also sometimes used to mean the level of quality achieved for specified applications.

In environments where bandwidth is low in comparison to the traffic it must handle, some applications need higher priority to avoid impacting their users, hence the need for QoS. VoIP (voice over IP) is one such application. If voice traffic on a network is not prioritized highly enough (the target of QoS), noticeable quality issues may result. Data packets being delayed or dropped and re-sent may not be noticed by users, but voice dropouts, static, and dropped calls definitely are.

Ultimately, the QoS approaches used in each company’s network is up to the company itself. VoIP providers, such as Virtual PBX, maintain the quality and prioritization of their own networks, but users often need to implement QoS measures at their own sites. Full details about the suitability of your own network demand detailed QoS assessments, which are usually available from professionals in your locale. For a quick glance at your network, you can run our VoIP Test. This will give you details about bandwidth and latency, but is no substitute for a full network or Quality of Service assessment.