VoIP Spear Blog: News & Noise
Nov 6, 2013

A Guide to Transitioning to VoIP

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.

Take Care of VoIP Requisites

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.

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Sep 17, 2013

VoIP Problems: How to Deal with Packet Delays

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.

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Apr 30, 2013

10 Reasons that Small Businesses Should Get VoIP Service

Small business owners need to make lithe business choices in this recovering economy, and one of the best choices they can make is changing over to VoIP phone service. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the modern phone technology that allows users to make phone calls over the Internet.

VoIP is an extremely cheap and efficient phone solution for small businesses. All VoIP providers offer many customizable options, like scalable extensions and free calling features, so businesses can choose the best VoIP solution for their business. However, it can be tough to know where to start when looking into this new technology, so here are the top 10 reasons that a small business should choose VoIP service for their business:

1. Monthly Cost

Business VoIP providers offer phone service for half the cost that traditional providers offer. Most VoIP providers offer business plans at an average of $20/month per extension. There are often three main options when it comes to extensions: metered extensions, virtual extensions, and unlimited extensions.

A metered extensions plan is a business VoIP plan that charges by the minute. This is a good option for employees that make just a few calls a day.

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Jan 29, 2013

VoIP Spear Refresh

VoIP Spear has been operating since 2008 and the site was starting to lose it's sheen, so we decided to do a refresh. At first, we were planning minor changes only, but one thing led to another and, before we knew it, two months of intense programming had passed.

The biggest change is the main chart page. We replaced the old Flash charts with Google charts. More significantly, we're now showing just one time period on the page. The default view is a six hour time period, and it's easy to change that. Also significant, we've broken the three main data points (MOS, packet loss, latency) out into their own charts.

Another welcome change is the My Account page. It now looks more like a dashboard with recent MOS for each endpoint shown in a gauge.

We've made countless other minor changes and fixes.

What do you think? Do you like the new chart presentation? Are the MOS gauges on the My Account page helpful to you?

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Jan 21, 2013

Short Maintenance Period for VoIP Spear

On January 20, 2013, between 11:00pm and 1:00am EST, we will be performing maintenance on the VoIP Spear web server. As a result, the web site may be unavailable for a period of up to one hour.

Testing results will be unaffected by this maintenance.

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