Many businesses are moving from traditional telephone systems to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP has various productive and cost benefits that business owners can take advantage of. Reliability is especially crucial for all small businesses, and this is something VoIP provides you with. Because VoIP uses the same internet connection you use in the rest of the building, fluctuations in quality and connectivity are common, and both lead to a degraded experience. To improve things, you should optimize your network to ensure you get the best experience possible. In this article, we will look at a few ways to do this.
Pick a VoIP Provider
Before you can optimize your network for VoIP, you should first choose a VoIP provider. The provider should have services that are catered to the business, industry, or field you are in. For example, hospitals should lean towards VoIP providers who can ensure reliable and cost-effective services while also allowing healthcare professionals to connect to their colleagues or patients on mobile wherever they may be.
At top10.com, you can read reviews of the best VoIP providers for hospitals with the features everyone who uses the option will appreciate. On the provided link you will also find the important features you should consider when choosing a VoIP provider for your hospital or healthcare facility as well as detailed reviews of the top five providers.
Evaluate Your Connection Needs
You should have enough bandwidth for the best VoIP experience. The amount of bandwidth you need will depend on the number of VoIP systems you install as well as the number of other systems that use the same connection. It will also depend on the number of concurrent calls you wish to make. To know your bandwidth, you can use various online tools that help you check your internet bandwidth and other factors that affect connection quality and reliability.
Change Your Connection Type
Beyond the bandwidth, you also need to ensure you are using the right types of connections. DSL is outdated in this age of fast internet speeds, and what you are looking for are coax cable and fiber cable connections. Numerous network service providers deploy fiber connections and deal with business-level internet bandwidth.
Once you have determined your bandwidth and the type of connection you need, get in touch with a network provider who can give you both, plus higher internet speeds at a reasonable cost. Remember to also ask if they can provide more than one connection because having many more lines with higher internet speeds will improve call quality and reliability.
Replace Outdated Equipment
Your hardware is the other puzzle of your VoIP system. You can get by on old equipment, but not only will you risk your network’s security, you will also have a degraded call experience and the reliability of these systems is often very poor. Your network’s backbone is critical, and this is why you need to upgrade your networking hardware and equipment.
The first thing you need to check is your switch. How old is it, and can it handle gigabit connections? The switch’s age will determine its reliability and its ability to handle gigabit speeds will determine the number of VoIP systems and concurrent calls you can have and the quality and reliability of your calls. The quality and reliability will be determined by the latency within the switch which is often higher in older equipment but almost non-existent in newer models.
If you do not have a budget to overhaul your whole infrastructure, concentrate on the switching and routing gear. When you upgrade, do not skimp on cost because cheap equipment will lead to headaches sooner than more expensive equipment will.
Manage Traffic Using a VLAN
Your office will have different services running on the same network as is expected. These services interfere with each other and affect the performance of priority services like VoIP which need lots of bandwidth. Dedicated bandwidth for your VoIP system can solve this issue. But how do you get such dedicated bandwidth? You use a dedicated Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN).
A VLAN allows you to prioritize bandwidth to applications that need more such as VoIP systems. By doing so, you can reduce latency and delays, which improves performance and the quality of service you get.
Network segmentation and prioritization using a VLAN is a feature typically found on business-class routers and this is yet another reason to upgrade and not skimp on your routers. When creating a VLAN, give dedicated bandwidth to the ports used by your VoIP system.
For the best reliability and performance, your VoIP system requires a good connection as well as adequate bandwidth. You can achieve both by using the right networking equipment and setting up your network the right way. Do not forget to check whether your switching and routing equipment can handle the additional bandwidth as well as how many VoIP systems you want to be installed.