I was surfing recently when I stumbled across two nifty little posts about VoIP Spear.
"Testing Your Network Connection for Packet Loss and Latency" was written in April by Tely Labs. They have included a large screenshot showing one of our VoIP Spear charts so the post looks very nice.
I like how the post is a "How To" guide for using VoIP Spear. For example, it explains that an endpoint is "defined as your public IP" and that latency is "a synonym for delay". As someone who is immersed all day long in the world of VoIP troubleshooting, I sometimes forget what a normal perspective is.
The post's last section is also pretty useful. It talks about the type of information you should have handy if you want to call up your ISP to report a VoIP call quality issue. It has me thinking about how we can build some of this information into VoIP Spear.
We start the year right at VoIP Spear! Beginning January, you can now select your testing servers from multiple locations in North America, Europe, Asia and South America for each of your endpoints. This means that you can get the most accurate results by choosing locations closer to your endpoints.
2014 draws near as VoIP continues to make headway into telecommunications, practically taking over chunks of what used to be wireline companies' market. VoIP technologies and services have greatly improved through the years. Costs have remained consistent, if not lower. And network support is better than ever. It is a great time to make that big VoIP switch. But before you take the next step, switching to VoIP may not be for everyone -- at least not yet.
Ask yourself three questions:
At VoIP Spear, we believe that VoIP is the next step in the development of telecommunications. Anything that is not moving toward VoIP - transitioning into using it as their main means of communication, or at least trying out the technology through free accounts - is missing out on immense benefits: savings, telecommunications convergence, and accessibility, among others. But there are many who do miss out, partly because of the notion that transitioning to VoIP is complicated.
This isn't really the case. Switching to VoIP can be quick and simple, even for businesses. Of course, there's a lot more investment necessary for those wanting corporate VoIP accounts. Still, the long term savings will make up for it. Here's a quick guide to help you transition to VoIP.
One of the first things that you need to have ready when you want to transition to VoIP is a good internet service. Getting good VoIP service is partly dependent on how good your network connections is. If your network service provides enough speed and bandwidth for additional data packets - this time, voice packets - then you're halfway to being VoIP-ready. If you are setting up VoIP for your home, you should at least be on DSL service. If this is for a corporate VoIP account, being on a T1 line is necessary.
Then, of course, you need to get a VoIP service account. Your VoIP service provider can be from practically anywhere. But, it's always better to get with a provider that has a good reputation among your peers and colleagues, and is readily accessible to you in case you need technical or billing support. They should ensure an uptime of at least 99.99%. And, it's also good to know if they implement service quality monitoring, perhaps through VoIP Spear's call quality monitoring service. Ask them about how they monitor their service.
VoIP sometimes gets a bad rep because of data packet delays, which lessen audio and video quality. The effect of packet delays to VoIP quality varies – and there will always be packet delays.
Delays are natural occurrences in telecommunications, even traditional communications. After all, voice and data travel through a series of systems: from satellites to landlines, or from servers to landlines to your digital phone. The difference between one service and another is the amount of delay. And delay has a direct effect on the quality of communications.
Good network service is able to minimize the effects of delay on your VoIP quality. Effects are negligible, imperceptible even. You experience continuous good quality talk and video reception. This is VoIP at its best.
Sometimes however, you may experience packet delays, which translates to increased latency in your network and VoIP systems. Latency is defined as the time it takes for packets to travel from one point to another. Increased latency can cause dips in VoIP quality, which is perceptible to the users as low audio and video quality, echo, feedback and pauses.
Latency issues can be addressed by either the user or the network manager, depending on the severity and cause of packet delays.