IP phones + Packet QOS

IP PhoneA while back I posted about our new IP Phone system and how awesome it is. Well, months later we’re still loving it – With only one significant complaint. Because the system works entirely over the internet, there’s noticeable (and sometimes crippling) quality issues when our bandwidth is strained. That means talking on the phone while working on the internet causes problems… Which as a Web Design company is pretty much all the time.

The solution? We considered upping our Internet service speed, but the speed increase was nowhere near worth the price. We thought about changing provider to a SDSL service to up our upload (since that seemed to be the one that was most affected), but we’re happy with our current service and figured there had to be a better way.

Then, @kkosik found some information on the internet about Packet “Quality of Service” (QOS) to prioritize data packets for certain connections. There were apparently several different ways to set this service up, but we decided the most cost effective way was to replace our router with a more utilitarian one.

A few hours later, Kyle had the new router set up with the QOS configured to prioritize our phone system packets. We tested it by having a few people in the office upload/download stuff from our server and trying to make a call – The connection speed from the HTTP/FTP transfers dropped a bit, but the phone connection was solid. It worked perfectly! We’re quite happy we were able to solve this annoying problem so cost effectively! I’m going to try and convince Kyle to write a post/tutorial of how he set it up, so stay tuned!

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