There are five main components that make up voip quality of service (QoS): bandwidth, network equipment, packet loss, latency, and jitter, as explained by voip experts, Voip.com. Drawing from a broad base of tech experience, Voip.com
is a leading voice in the voip internet phone industry.
Each component has the potential to turn digital conversations into a bad parody of Verizon's, "Can You Hear Me Now?" commercials. Without adequate broadband, voice over IP calls are really not feasible. 90 kbps, upstream and downstream is the minimum speed required.
Congestion on your network can compromise call quality. Bit Torrent file sharing, online gaming, and streaming video or audio all place significant demands on your broadband. Even if you don't make PC-PC calls, viruses and spyware can work quietly in the background, stealing bandwidth.
The internet is designed to deal with a certain amount of data loss. Usually it's not an issue, because when packets come up missing, the recipient automatically requests retransmission, or the sender automatically transmits unacknowledged packets. Voip is a time critical application, so this lag results in choppy audio. If packet loss is evenly distributed, quality may only be slightly degraded; if it is clustered, callers will notice entire words drop out of the conversation. Packet loss happens most frequently when the network is congested. Depending on how fast your connection is, running bandwidth hungry applications while making voip calls may cause problems.
Latency and Jitter deal with different aspects of delivery lag. Latency covers the time it takes a call to traverse the physical distance between call points. Roundtrip totals of less than 150 milliseconds are perceived as instant to human ears; however when calls take longer than 250 milliseconds, the lag is noticeable. Jitter, on the other hand, is caused when packets aren't received at the same rate. This can cause a delay in conversation flow.
Understanding the elements that contribute to voip call quality is the key to successful IP calling. If bandwidth is an issue, consumers can take steps to reduce the overall load while making and receiving voip calls. Voip internet phone service providers also do their part to ensure the integrity of voice traffic, with extensive monitoring of call quality, equipment that reduces or eliminates jitter, and multiple hosting to reduce bottlenecks. For more information on voip quality of service, see voip.com's article at
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