In only the past 20 years, VoIP has proven to be the best telephone service option for businesses looking for modern features without the baggage that comes with legacy telephone service. By offering features that are either cost-prohibitive or simply unavailable on a traditional, copper-wired telephone network, hosted PBX service also offers more than what old phone companies can even compete with. However, seeing as how hosted telephone service and cloud communications are still relatively new compared to the industries that rely on it, when the occasional VoIP problems arise, businesses can be left without a clear path to the appropriate VoIP fix. And because we’ve assembled quite an array of customers who have switched VoIP providers to join us, we’ve become familiar with a variety of problems with VoIP that they’ve experienced elsewhere. Therefore, we’ve compiled the most common VoIP problems and solutions for educating you on what you could encounter on your business telephone service.
Common VoIP Phone Problems
These are some of the more common issues that a company can experience when they complain about suboptimal hosted telephone service. Often times, these may arise from issues outside of the hosted telephone provider’s immediate control (more on that later). Whatever the cause of a particular complication with VoIP a company has, qualified technicians can accurately diagnose it nonetheless.
- VoIP Jitter When a hosted telephone user experiences VoIP jitter, he or she is describing a fractious, intermittent interruption of sound on the line. Because sound travels over a virtual connection rather than a wired one, the sound needs to be broken down into “sound packets” that travel as pieces of information that get reassembled as conversations across data connections. Pretty much whenever VoIP is choppy, that falls under the umbrella of VoIP jitter. Jitter can be experienced by either party on the line and it occurs when the sound packets are either incompletely or inaccurate assembled to and from the people on the phone call.
- VoIP Latency VoIP latency is less specific than VoIP jitter in that it can mean any type of delays or extended periods between when a caller is speaking and when the audio reaches its audience on the other end of the line. There are more reasons why callers may experience latency but it can often be attributed to network complications rather than with the VoIP service itself.
- VoIP Outage A total outage is easily the most disruptive of all possible VoIP problems that a business can experience. Depending on the type of business, being completely cut off from telephone service can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars a day in lost productivity and opportunity costs. The two most common reasons for a total VoIP outage are that the telephone service provider is having an internal failure or that there is a catastrophic event with an upstream carrier that impacts entire regions of internet access and not just one VoIP service alone.
How to Fix These VoIP Problems
VoIP issues troubleshooting and knowing actually how to fix VoIP problems are two totally separate endeavors. We have a massive compendium of VoIP Support Documents, transparent Dash Status and vConsole Status pages, and an award-winning Customer Support Team that’s available 24 hours a day for our customers to knock out any challenge with their system in a jiffy. For others, though, the process can be far more complicated. Without an on-site IT or telecommunications expert on hand, many VoIP users are at the mercy of their providers. We don’t like the sound of that one bit, which is why we have some tips on how to fix VoIP problems no matter where you get your service.
- Network Stress Testing A Network Health Check is something that not all VoIP providers offer that will help stop most VoIP problems before they start. Because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, we designed this network assessment to catch any bottlenecks and weaknesses on a network before burdening it with a hosted telephone system. Just like banks are required to conduct stress tests and architects need to run simulations on structural integrity to ensure the strength of their systems, a Network Health Check is the same type of thorough analysis of a business’ entire network ecosystem. This means that any bottlenecks or stress points can be identified and corrected before they result in jitter, latency, or even an overload on the network a business relies on.
- Network Optimization One of the most commonly overlooked issues a company can have when it begins using VoIP is not ensuring that its network is optimized to handle voice traffic. Considering that the demands of an enterprise telephone system are so much greater than simple web and email traffic that an office typically uses, without optimal use restrictions, a company’s phone network can be affected by excessive video streaming or other high-bandwidth events. VPN for VoIP is the brand-agnostic and award winning process of galvanizing a hosted business telephone service against even the most prolific cat video binges.
- Lather, Rinse, Repeat This isn’t a reminder to wash your hair, but a reminder of the importance of repetition. Just like PC’s need to be defragged and rebooted from time to time, so too does a network responsible for a VoIP connection require some maintenance, too. Because VoIP is hosted remotely, the engineers of the company offering the service will manage the servers and software that the actual telephone connections originate from. What isn’t on their radar, however, is the quality and maintenance of any single business’ access to that software via its internet connection. Conducting initial stress testing and optimization is critical for ensuring that you can maximize the power of your hosted telephone network, but maintaining that quality long term requires that the network is serviced periodically, as well. Some ISP’s will offer this service as part of a business internet connection, but they are less capable of optimizing networks for VoIP than a trained telecommunications engineer. Network Monitoring Services from a VoIP provider guarantee that the investments a business makes in their initial network configurations are preserved and capitalized on for as long as they are needed.
Keeping VoIP Phones Ringing
As you may have noticed by now, most of the common ailments a VoIP user can experience are functions more of network connections than of limitations of an enterprise-grade business phone system. The challenge is to find the right hosted telephone service provider who can be a verifiable partner in your success. Because even having a provider with an industry-leading 99.999% operational uptime can’t help you if your network is incapable of handling powerful VoIP telephone connections. Hopefully, this was helpful for you who are trying to troubleshoot your own VoIP problems but you’ll find that getting the right solution is as simple as knowing where to look, first. More than simple speed tests, these types of services will be rigorous assessments of your network and will provide clear, actionable direction on how to correct any problems you may have previously had.
Keep us posted on how your VoIP issues work out by getting in touch on Twitter or Facebook. Also, make sure to keep an eye out here for more helpful tips on how to get the most our of your VoIP service.