What is Quality of Service and Why is it Important for Successful VoIP Implementation?
Every powerful and multi-functional network needs management, and a VoIP telephony system is no exception. The negligent use of your VoIP termination or SIP origination, can prevent your business from fully benefiting from these services. This is why applying Quality of Service (QoS) is the best course of action for every savvy VoIP user.
So, what is QoS? Put simply, QoS is a combination of practices and technologies that provide guarantees of acceptable call performance. More specifically, it is a number of settings on your router that will help prioritize data flows. (Remember we told you to buy a router with the QoS feature? We hope you heeded the advice.)
Imagine that one of your employees wants to watch the latest episode of his favorite TV show at lunch (you are a very lenient employer). Or maybe someone is downloading multiple videos (for work purposes, of course). This additional load takes too much bandwidth, thus the quality of VoIP calls deteriorates, leading to echoey and choppy voice quality.
Increasing the amount of bandwidth is hardly a solution – after all, you can’t do it every time the problem occurs. What you need to do to avoid this unfortunate outcome, is to assign priorities to the data flows, recognizing voice traffic as the most important. In essence, this is what QoS is used for.
By default, routers transmit data using the First In First Out principle. You can change this by means of QoS tagging (prioritizing). That way, high-priority packages will be send first, while others wait in line.
There are three ways to use prioritization:
- By device (You type in MAC-addresses of the devices used for calls and mark them as high priority).
- By TCP/IP Port (In this case, you assign priorities to a port or a few ports; all traffic that goes through these ports will be marked as high-priority).
- By Ethernet Port (Similarly, the traffic going through the Ethernet port of your router will be recognized as the most important).
Although some equipment provides for complex QoS settings, it’s better to stick to the basics and use only a few prioritization rules. Conversely, a small router might be unable to serve a more complex telephony system. This is why we recommend that you evaluate the needs of your business before purchasing equipment and applying QoS.
Also, please note that QoS practices will not improve the connection itself; they will only make sure that no bandwidth-intensive applications affect the quality of calls.
In case of any questions, be sure to contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, stay tuned for future posts – we’ll provide more advice on effective integration of VoIP technology into business communications.