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VoIP-The top 5 complaints & fixes


Top 5 VoIP complaints.

What you can do to correct them.

1) I'm not receiving all my calls.

2) I have Internet, but no dial tone and can't make calls.

3) My calls sound choppy.

4) I hear an echo.

5) I hear static.


PROBLEM #1: The loss of incoming calls.

If the IAD (aka ATA) is unable to register with your VoIP provider, then the ability to receive an incoming call is gone.*   If you have voicemail enabled on your VoIP account, then your provider, failing to get the IAD to respond will route the call to your voicemail.  If you do not have voicemail enabled, there will be no where to route the call to and after a number of rings the call will fail and the caller will either hear a fast busy or a message that the call was unable to be placed as dialed.  Look to one of the following as most probable:

REASONS:

  • Loss of your Internet connection.
  • Loss of power.
  • The blocking of signaling to the IAD, either by a firewall or a failure of a router to translate NAT correctly.

FIX: If you lost your Internet connection, try power cycling the modem and router/IAD.  If this fails, call your ISP. 

An option some VoIP providers offer is the feature of "Call Forwarding upon the Loss of Registration".  If this feature is enabled, then in the event of the loss of your Internet connection the call will automatically forward to a preset number. 

You may want to consider having voicemail enabled by your VoIP provider, so they can route your call. 

* On a Linksys RT31P2 the phone light will indicate if the IAD is registered by being lit solid green.


PROBLEM #2: I have an Internet connection, but not my dial tone.

Loss of dail tone usually indicates a loss of signalling from the VoIP ATA.Check for a corresponding light on phone 1 if you have a Linksys router/IAD.  If you do not have a light, reboot the IAD.  If you do have a light on phone 1, then look at these possibilities:

REASONS:

  • A defective splitter or phone cable.
  • A cordless phone that has lost it's charge.
  • A device (such as a separate caller ID, alarm system, etc.) that is interfering with the VoIP system.

FIX: Try connecting a phone directly to the IAD without any devices or splitters between the IAD and the phone.  Change phone cords and/or the phone.


PROBLEM #3: My calls are choppy.

Choppy audio is usually caused by lack of adequate bandwidth or from Internet congestion slowing down the connection (latency).  If this is an ongoing problem check the following:

REASONS:

  • That a computer application (such as file sharing or on-line gaming) is not taking the bandwidth away from the VoIP connection.  Check for malware on your PC running an application without your knowledge.
  • Check your available bandwidth by doing a Bandwidth test.
  • Check for unusual latency or packet loss on your connection.

FIX: Check with your ISP for a higher level of service with more bandwidth.  If you find high levels of latency or packet loss, let the ISP check your connection. 

Many VoIP providers offer a more compressed codec, or bandwidth saver setting.  Changing your codec can help in some cases.


PROBLEM #4: I hear an echo.

Echo is the sound repeated of your own voice at a later interval.  It is usually caused by one of the following:

REASONS:

  • Acoustic feedback from your voice going out of the mouthpiece at the other callers end and entering back into the mouthpiece.
  • Other devices at the near end of the IAD, such as a separate caller ID or a splitter that can create an impedance mismatch.
  • Electrically through poor quality phone lines.

FIX: Adjust the volume of the phones down to low to prevent feedback.  Take out any separate caller ID's or splitters that could be responsible for an impedance mismatch causing near end echo.


PROBLEM #5: I hear static.

Buzzing noise or static is most likely the result of analog interference into the phone lines or phone.  This electrical interference can be caused by any of the following:

REASONS:

  • An electrical voltage being added into the lines by an alarm system, separate caller ID or faulty wiring.
  • Interference created from wireless devices into a cordless phone.
  • Weak signals being generated from cordless phones.
  • Using the wrong power supply for the IAD or ATA device.

FIX: Ensure that cordless telephones are charged and have batteries in the handset that are not weak.  Change channels on the phone to see if one is better than another.  Make sure you are using the correct power supply.  Connect a phone directly to the IAD to see if the buzzing goes away.

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