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Dealing with VoIP Performance Problems

Level 9

How’s your VoIP service going? Got jitter? Or latency issues? How about packet loss? Do you know when and why these occur? And do you know what to look for?

  • Jitter is when unusual timing occurs between groups of data (also known as data packets)on a network. Jitter happens when your network is really congested or when routing changes.

  • Latency is the amount of time a data packet takes to get from one place to another. Latency is an issue when it takes a long time for a data packet to get to its destination. Latency issues can be a problem on high-traffic networks.

  • Packet loss refers to data packets that don’t reach their intended destination. Like jitter and latency, packet loss can occur on very busy networks.

Troubleshooting VoIP Performance

To properly troubleshoot VoIP call quality, you need tools to monitor and measure call quality. Critical troubleshooting tools include the following:

  • Network monitoring tools – Network monitoring tools are non-intrusive, or passive, and can be used to examine each stream of voice traffic across the network.

  • Protocol analyzers – These hardware and software tools capture VoIP traffic packets and analyze VoIP call degradation issues, such as jitter.

  • Dedicated VoIP tools – These tools test IP phone and gateway designs. Although dedicated VoIP tools work best in a design testing capacity, they can also be used for solving network deployment issues.

  • Synthetic VoIP traffic generators – Synthetic VoIP traffic generators are software tools that create synthetic VoIP traffic, usually for planning network capacity so VoIP services are available when they’re most needed.

For more information on VoIP troubleshooting, check out SolarWinds’ VoIP Troubleshooting Resources page. This page contains links to a wealth of information on advanced VoIP troubleshooting techniques and tools, in video and whitepaper formats.