VoIP Test: Test your Connection Quality
VoIP testing is the process of checking the integrity of your internet connection by gauging its performance across many variables.
The VoIP speed test is useful in two ways:
- To test an existing internet connection to see if it can support VoIP
- To test a VoIP system to see if it's working with the advertised efficiency
A poor VoIP connection will compromise call quality and ultimately impact the communication between your team or customers. Also, if you have limited internet speed, you won't be able to maintain multiple lines on the network. This means that customers will spend more time waiting in a queue. Metrics show that sales teams lose 60% of their customers if their call is not answered in less than a minute, ideally 30 seconds.
So, a stable and capable VoIP connection is important for your business. A VoIP test helps you review the overall health of your VoIP connection within a matter of seconds. It also enables you to determine whether the call traffic in your existing phone system is high enough to justify an upgrade.
Test your VoIP Readiness
Running a VoIP test will return a set of numbers that will shed light on the VoIP readiness of your business.
If the VoIP test results indicate certain properties like bandwidth, jitter or latency fall short of the minimum requirements, it’s time to change your service provider, or ask for a more powerful system that meets your business requirements.
If your internet connection can’t handle the VoIP requirements, it will reflect during the VoIP test in terms of poor call quality or dropped calls.
VoIP Test: Speed and Quality Parameters
A VoIP test scans for performance across certain aspects of your internet connection. Here are some of the most important factors to test your VoIP connection:
1. Upload and Download Speeds
The upload and download speeds of a network are measured in megabits per second (MBps). The higher your download and upload speeds are, the faster the data can travel. This is important in maintaining call quality over time.
With a higher upload and download speed, more heavy data packets (higher audio quality) can be sent across the network without any delay. Hence, there is no lag in real-time communication even with crystal clear audio.
Bandwidth is the capacity of your network to send and receive a maximum amount of data. Again, the bandwidth depends largely on the upload and download speeds. The more upload and download speeds you have, the more bandwidth it gives to the connection. A better bandwidth helps the connection to maintain several simultaneous connections at once.
Each VoIP call uses approximately 100 kbps of bandwidth to run smoothly. However, an important point to note here is that VoIP makes up only a portion of the internet usage, and there will be general office internet usage adding up alongside it. This means that your internet connection must have enough provisional bandwidth to allow all other applications to run smoothly.
Jitter is the delay between the sent and received packets. If the delay is more, the sound quality and latency will suffer. Ideally, we want the sent packets to reach the receiver instantly to facilitate a good real-time conversation.
If there is jitter on the network, the packets won’t reach the receiver in time. This is noticeable to the receiver as a delayed voice or poor voice quality altogether.
A poor voice quality comes from the downgrading that the VoIP systems do to the voice packets to counter jitter. However, in doing so, the call quality gets compromised severely.
It is thus important to pay attention to the jitter reading while running a VoIP speed test to know if your connection has the signal integrity to carry the messages without much delay.
Latency is a result of the time delay experienced by the signals from the transmission side to the receiver side. Latency also produces a delayed effect for the sound, but unlike jitter, it will not downgrade the sound quality.
The recipient will be able to get the messages albeit at a slow pace. High latency will cause the sound signals to delay much higher, and this makes communication very cumbersome.
Latency is often experienced while browsing online. However, it doesn’t spoil the whole experience because we are ready to wait a few seconds for the page to load. But the same approach is not effective during a voice call where communication needs to happen between the callers and the respondents instantly.
Latency is measured using the ping time, which is the amount of time the system takes to open and establish the connection. Ping time is measured in milliseconds (ms), and 100ms is considered as excellent, while anything over 250ms is considered poor.
5. Packet loss
A digital communication device essentially converts the sound waves into digital signals. Each sentence spoken gets converted into a digital signal and is then broken up into smaller pieces called packets or packet data.
This packet data travels over the internet and gets reassembled at the recipient's side. This entire process takes only milliseconds; hence it won’t affect the latency of the communication.
Packet loss is the degree of information lost during the transmission. Each packet is essentially data and any lost packet will cause a deficit in the compiled message at the receiver end.
Minor packet losses will result in bad call quality, while prolonged data loss will cause no signal to travel to the recipient. Thus, they will hear nothing and miss parts of the conversation.
Packet loss is a result of several factors ranging from bad transmission cables to faulty IP systems.
6. QoS — Quality of Service
QoS or Quality of Service is the ability of the VoIP connection to prioritize itself over other connections that are eating up the internet bandwidth. This feature is important in VoIP since many systems use the same internet connection. The router often gives the same importance to every connection.
However, QoS ensures that calls get a higher bandwidth than other forms of internet usage like browsing.
7. Mean Opinion Score (MOS)
Mean Opinion Score is a quantitative measure of the voice quality of the call. It is a score from 1 to 5, where 1 indicates the worst and 5 is excellent. The term ‘mean opinion’ indicates that this score was originally used from an assessment of a group of people. However, the VoIP test tools available today consider other factors as well to determine the MOS.
These are some of the most commonly used metrics to gauge the performance of a VoIP system. These metrics not only help you see whether your existing internet connection can handle a VoIP mode of communication but also identifies the performance of your VoIP connection if you already have one.
How to Run a VoIP Test
Evaluating the performance of your 8x8 VoIP system is possible through several third-party VoIP test tools and speed test apps that you can access directly on the internet or can download onto your PC or Mac.
In most cases, all you need is to click on the button to start the test, and the tool automatically shows the results on your screen. You’ll be able to check the upload and download speed through a speedometer along with the statistics related to latency, bandwidth, and jitter.
Do remember that the test results may vary depending on the network usage, time of the day and several other factors. For example, the voice call quality might be poor if anyone in your team is using the internet to upload a large file. The test results will be different once the file upload is complete.
Hence, it is important to run the VoIP speed test several times during the day to get reliable results that are free from ambiguity.
If you've completed the VoIP test and the results aren't satisfactory, here's what you can do:
- Talk to your internet service provider.
- If the test results do not meet the benchmark values, upgrade your internet connection.
- Discuss your concerns with the 8x8 support team to get clarity on the network and internet issues.
- Ask for the benchmark values that you can compare with the VoIP quality test results.
Prepare Your Business for VoIP
VoIP speed tests are invaluable identifiers when it comes to understanding your business’s internet capabilities to handle VoIP services. Let us help you assess the performance of your network, diagnose issues, and optimize for 8x8 products. Contact us to get in touch with our expert technicians today and make your business VoIP ready.
When it comes to VoIP, 8x8 provides a reliable and compliant cloud solution at a demanding level rarely seen by other cloud providers. Don't take your chances with a subpar cloud-based telecom system. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.