In our last installment we discussed how VoIP voice packets tend to get garbled in a congested network. This time, we will delve into how to separate your VoIP network from the rest of your Internet traffic. Here’s how:
Have your office put in a separate wired Ethernet network just for VoIP. This way you won’t have to plug the PC to the computer port on the back of the VoIP phone. This is very cost-effective and is typically simple to do. Once you have a dedicated Ethernet switch for the VoIP LAN connected to a broadband router, you should be able to manage as many simultaneous calls as necessary. If you calculate the maximum number of simultaneous calls and revisit that number from time to time, your voice quality will be as good as it can get with anything under your control.
Of course, the trick is to figure out how much broadband bandwidth is right for a company of your size. Right now, many VoIP salespeople make their bread and butter by telling customers that they can do away with the costly phone lines and share their existing LAN and connection to the Internet. While this is cheaper, the call quality will suffer if (as previously discussed) someone in the office is uploading a large file.
Some ISP’s have figured out that the better solution for perfect VoIP calls is to offer a dedicated VoIP broadband connection. Many of them are already offering their large customers this option, but the writing on the wall is clear: sooner, rather than later, a separate VoIP network will become the norm rather than the exception.