What does this speed test help me with?
Quite simply, our speed test will help you determined how capable and healthy your current internet connection is. Because VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) requires bandwidth to function properly, it is important that you have a strong Internet connection. If your connection is slow or lagging, it will greatly affect your call quality, regardless of how good your VoIP provider's service is. More often than not, insufficient bandwidth is the main reason for poor call quality, and is reflected through choppy audio, lag, and dropped calls.
Your current bandwidth is affected by a number of things, most of which can be remedied to make for a VoIP-capable connection. Common causes for slow bandwidth can be any of the following: network congestion, streaming services, and online gaming are all culprits in slowing down your connection. Even loose wiring or outdated equipment can lead to less than ideal bandwidth. By testing your current bandwidth, you can assess where the weaknesses are in your system, ensuring that your bandwidth can support VoIP with the necessary quality of service.
Essentially, what you need to focus on when it comes to your connection is the way in which your speed and quality of connection affect the call quality and performance of your VoIP solution. Plus, you should also consider the number of calls you plan on making and how frequently you will be on the phone. The more concurrent calls you plan on making, the stronger (and more reliable) your internet connection needs to be. All in all, this test will help you assess the current health of your Internet connection
What types of factors are tested with this speed test?
The goal of this speed test is to help you determine where the weak points are in your connection, and what you can do to remedy them. Plus, our custom speed test will notify you what services are available to you with your current connection. Here are some of the terms to be aware of when running our speed test and reading the results:
- QoS - the abbreviation for Quality of Service, this refers to the priority of VoIP traffic over low-priority traffic that is also competing for the same bandwidth. QoS can be remedied by installing QoS-capable switches.
- Jitter - as is obvious from the name, this term relates to how choppy or unstable your phone conversation is.
- Packet Loss - with VoIP, your audio is sent as data packets over the Internet. So it is important to have to least amount of packet loss to avoid gaps or choppiness in a conversation.
- Consistency - otherwise referenced as buffer bloat, this refers to when you are searching for other factors that are competing for your bandwidth.
- RTT - the abbreviation for Round-Trip Time, this refers to the speed from your location to the person you are trying to connect to.
Remember: the more things competing for your bandwidth, the more data that is being squeezed out in the struggle. All in all, these terms are just different ways of determining how data flows.
What will the results tell me?
In short, your speed test results will tell you how reliable, consistent, and VoIP-ready your current connection is. However, the type of VoIP you choose can also help you to determine where problems lie. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you operate with Business VoIP or Residential VoIP :
Residential VoIP: a number of factors in your home can affect your bandwidth (and therefore, your VoIP call quality). Things like online gaming, subsequent downloads, multiple users on the network, time of day, and other factors play into less than ideal bandwidth. Furthermore, different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) stream data differently depending on what they determine are more common uses for home Internet. Plus, your Internet connection can be affected by certain devices in the home, like modems, routers, etc.
Business VoIP: similar to residential VoIP services, a business might also find that a number of things are competing for bandwidth, too. In fact, your current connection might even be competing against other connections to a private server or cloud. It's also important to consider how many users will be on your VoIP system; as the more concurrent calls you make, the stronger and faster your Internet needs to be to make for quality connections.
With your speed test results, you will be able to better identify where your bandwidth is lacking, in addition to what you can adjust or test in order to remedy the issues.
How can I remedy common issues?
Thankfully, there are a number of easy troubleshooting techniques that you can perform in order to assess where your connection is lacking. If your VoIP connection is less than satisfactory, here are a few steps you can take in order to ensure your connection is performing to its full potential:
- Run our Speed Test. If your results are acceptable and within the appropriate range, then you can rule out your bandwidth as the cause of any issues. You should then contact your current VoIP provider and notify them that the connectivity and quality issues are not due to your connection. But if your results are unsatisfactory, begin to list all of the devices and competitors for your bandwidth. Be sure to include all devices (computers, mobile phones, etc.) in your list. This way, you can assess which devices or services are competing for bandwidth, and thus slowing down your VoIP connection and quality.
- Plug your device directly into your modem. Doing so will enable you to detach your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from your home network, thus allowing you to see whether the problem exists due to either your ISP or own network. Then run the Speed Test.
- If you receive unsatisfactory results, then you have determined that the issue lies with your ISP, and you should contact them directly for support. But if your speed test results are satisfactory, it means that the problem exists in your home/office network. This could be due to any number of factors: outdated software, older equipment, loose wiring, etc.
- Plug your device into the next device upstream from your modem. In most cases this will be your router, provided by your ISP. Then repeat the speed test. If you receive satisfactory results, then you can safely eliminate both your ISP and your router as the culprits, and proved that the network behind your router is what is causing issues.
- Follow the wiring upstream from your router. The next device in line will likely be your Ethernet switch or hub (the piece of hardware that connects multiple Ethernet devices together to act as a single entity). Plug your device in and re-run the speed test. A satisfactory result means that the problem is not the hub, but a device further upstream. Continue to follow this process of moving upstream and running a speed test at each new device or cable connection until you receive an unsatisfactory result. When you do, you will have located the source of the problem.