What is VoIP Services and QoS?

December 5, 2023
Industry Commentary

When selecting a VoIP (Voice Over IP) service, QoS (Quality of Service) is important. Even a good internet connection cannot prevent call quality problems for organizations. Solving these technical difficulties in communication may cost you time and money, especially if you temporarily shut down your communications system. Setting up a good VoIP QoS infrastructure can help you in avoiding these issues.

Introduction to VoIP services

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) has emerged as one of the most popular technologies for making high-quality phone conversations over the Internet over the last 9 years. VoIP is also sometimes referred to as an Internet Phone. Instead of utilizing your regular phone service, VoIP allows you to make affordable phone calls using a broadband Internet connection. 

Voice signals are transformed into data packets sent between two or more users in a VoIP phone system. To achieve good call quality, these data packets must arrive at their destination in the correct order with minimum loss and delay. (And this is where VoIP QoS comes in, but more about that later.)

There are two kinds of VoIP services -  in-house and hosted. 

In-house VoIP Systems may be found in both large and small businesses. Large corporations utilize them to replace obsolete POTS PABX systems. Similar functionality is provided by software-based VoIP PBX systems housed on as little as a dedicated desktop PC in small businesses. 

If you do not want to invest capital towards running a full-fledged in-house VoIP system, however, hosted VoIP services are available. A Hosted VoIP system is offered and managed by a third-party provider, using cloud storage and backup services. It is an ideal solution for small businesses that want a cost-effective and unified way to communicate. The provider manages the service and infrastructure, allowing the business or client to focus on other tasks.

What is QoS, and why should you care?

QoS for VoIP is a method of improving the quality of voice calls. Without this technology, your call may have dropouts or bad quality, particularly if other users are consuming the capacity of your Internet connection. 

When you talk on a VoIP call, your words are transformed into digital data and quickly transferred as a sequence of "VoIP packets." Your call may suffer if some VoIP packets are dropped or delayed during device communication. VoIP Quality of Service solves this problem by ensuring that voice packets are always handled in preference to data packets. QoS cannot magically eliminate all VoIP quality problems, but at least it can ensure that you get the best out of your available network capacity.

Things you can and cannot do with VoIP QoS

What VoIP QoS settings can achieve

To understand what QOS can do for VoIP, we must first establish that the router where QoS will be deployed should be positioned in the LAN as a gateway device. This position is often right after the DSL or cable modem. Proper QoS may easily prevent discussions from having a choppy voice when another program attempts to capture the appropriate bandwidth, causing the voice stream to queue up. Email, gaming, and high-bandwidth applications are examples of typical uses.

What VoIP QoS settings cannot achieve

Setting QoS on your network router does not affect the performance of your ISP. You must understand that your ISP has already set download and upload restrictions, which are your ISP's Level of Service.

What you should be getting in terms of available bandwidth (both upload and download) should be something you know; if not, take some speed test measures and compare them to what your ISP says is your Level of Service. If you are not receiving at least 80% of the cap, spend time investigating this issue with your ISP's tech support before making any additional adjustments.

How does Uplevel manage VoIP QoS?

With simpler traffic segmentation, prioritization, and bandwidth control, Uplevel System's VoIP support helps to improve VolP call quality. In addition to its well-known VLAN capabilities, Uplevel supports standard VolP servers on-premises for daisy-chained VoIP phone/computer systems. Most typical VoIP difficulties can be resolved with a few mouse clicks.

Uplevel's quick automated WAN failover allows many VolP services to prevent call drops even if the primary WAN link fails if a backup ISP link is available. VLANs and traffic shaping rules are generated automatically for simpler QoS administration, including correct handling of 'daisy-chained' phones and workstations. On-premises and cloud voice services are offered, with 'one-click' choices for popular deployments. Custom QoS rules can also be established for unique scenarios.

Wrapping Up

VoIP QoS prioritizes network traffic traveling through your router to offer end users a satisfactory level of service. End users are often your coworkers or employees in the office. Monitoring VoIP QoS not only increases corporate efficiency but also improves communication quality with consumers.

About Uplevel Systems

Uplevel Systems, as a small business IT infrastructure managed service provider, enables any of these options. Uplevel’s subscription offering is the most popular with SMBs, but some prefer Uplevel’s new equipment purchase program and use a CapEx model.