VOIP quality for work

Messages
7,256
Location
USA
VOIP is tempting on price but what is the catch? Is it good enough for personal conversation but ho hum for telecommuters? I work 40hrs/week from home. Google Hangouts quality is incredible with video. However I try it with connections to phone and quality is mixed from excellent to choppy and annoying folks in a conference call. What do folks say? I am on the phone for work 8hrs/week but saving $40/month seems tempting!
 
Messages
1,036
Location
Virginia
I use Google Voice with a USB headset. I use it because I think the quality is better than the (commercial) landline at my desk.
 
Messages
40,852
Location
Great Lakes
I'm in the same boat, and have been looking into VOIP as well, although when I hear some of my coworkers do that, I cringe sometimes when their voice breaks up. One guy uses Comcast and their VOIP, and even that breaks up at times. Hence, I'm still holding on to my POTS line, but it's friggin expensive, and my current bill exceeds the amount that I am able to expense.
 
Messages
3,087
2014 We implemented VOIP in our police department. Relatively few headaches so far, BUT the cons have been voice quality, extended times waiting the phone to actually dial the number (quite the lag is present); and some dropped calls. Seems to be hardware related as it has only happened to a few lines. Phones have some excellent capabilities and are pretty intuitive....but that is probably more hardware related than VOIP related. I do like the voice mail option of having it sent to my email as a wave file. I should note, VOIP was not used for 911 center, but remainder of the PD.
 
Messages
36,537
Location
ME
We have it and it's gone from good to bad with a new phone system. It's "stupid" in that you have to wait 2 sec after dialing 9 for an outside line, or else it drops the first digit(s). Also it's silent until someone talks, then you hear voice plus noise. I'm assuming we went with low bidder, so don't let that reflect on the premise as a whole.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Messages
46,243
Location
Ontario, Canada
We migrated to SIP (VoIP) a little over a year ago at our office. I installed a Cisco phone system and some basic Cisco SPA508G phones to replace our Bell/Nortel setup that we had been using previously. Discounting the initial investment on hardware, we migrated from 6/.8 ADSL + 8 Analog Bell lines to 100/100 Fibre w/SIP and save $150/month. Call quality with the Cisco stuff is EXCELLENT, though that may be part of the provider's doing (Rogers) as the the SIP service is dedicated and does not share bandwidth with the WAN service. IIRC, it is on its own strand of fibre. The Cisco phones had a bit of a learning curve for staff but everybody is comfortable with it now. Cisco has a portable phone client as well that can interface with the phone system too, giving you portability and the ability to carry your extension "anywhere". We have no call latency issues, no dial waiting, it is just as responsive as the analog stuff in that department. And the Cisco phone system handles the analog conversion for modems/fax extremely well, allowing you to leverage traditional services like fax without some of the issues that can happen with that stuff. All-in-all I am extremely happy with how our migration went. The transition was seamless with both systems running in parallel for a brief period until the numbers were cut over. As soon as calls started coming in on the new system I was able to retire the old system.
 
Messages
6,638
Location
South Florida
I got rid of my landline at home to save money. First went to Vonage for a year. Sound quality was excellent. Price was a little high though on Vonage. Now we use a magic Jack which is only $35/year. The sound quality is not that great, but I'm not complaining too much since it is only $2.90/month and fulfills my needs just fine for a home phone.
 
Messages
40,852
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
Now we use a magic Jack which is only $35/year. The sound quality is not that great, but I'm not complaining too much since it is only $35/year and fulfills my needs just fine for a home phone.
Might as well get a free Google Voice number and an OBI device for a one time cost of $40 or so.
 
Messages
6,638
Location
South Florida
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
Now we use a magic Jack which is only $35/year. The sound quality is not that great, but I'm not complaining too much since it is only $35/year and fulfills my needs just fine for a home phone.
Might as well get a free Google Voice number and an OBI device for a one time cost of $40 or so.
Yeah I think that will be my next move towards cheaper home phone service.
 
Messages
25,987
Location
Upstate NY
I have Vonage and the quality of the call is fine assuming you have decent bandwidth. My issue is my DSL (Fairpoint) drops all the time dropping my VOIP. Two things I love about Vonage VOIP: 1) All my voicemails get transcribed to words and sent in an email, along with a WAV file. I never listen to voicemails. 2) I have Vonage Extensions on my smartphone. Its works basically like another phone extension off my home phone. It rings when my home phone rings. Its not forwarded. I can call out and its as if I called on my home phone. WIFI or cell.
 
Messages
210
Location
WI
Really depends on your implementation. If you're running cable internet I would probably stay away if using it for business, if you have fiber/DSL it will probably be much better. Best yet is if you are able to make SIP calls direct using Hi-Def voice codec (instead of dialing "(212) 555-1212" you dial "sip:[email protected]") We are about to start testing a SIP phone system at work, and I wouldn't hesitate to ditch the home phone for NetTalk if the alarm system didn't require an analog phone line.
 
Messages
40,852
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: linksep
if you have fiber/DSL it will probably be much better.
What if it's DSL over a POTS line? The max I can get from ATT at my place is 12 Mbps down / 1.5 Mbps up. While this should be plenty for reliable VOIP, my issue is that often times I'm on the phone and also screen sharing from my PC. Screen sharing can saturate the upload bandwidth easily, which will make the VOIP quality suffer unless you have configured some effective QoS on your router, but even then I'm skeptical.
 
Messages
210
Location
WI
Originally Posted By: Quattro Pete
Originally Posted By: linksep
if you have fiber/DSL it will probably be much better.
What if it's DSL over a POTS line? The max I can get from ATT at my place is 12 Mbps down / 1.5 Mbps up. While this should be plenty for reliable VOIP, my issue is that often times I'm on the phone and also screen sharing from my PC. Screen sharing can saturate the upload bandwidth easily, which will make the VOIP quality suffer unless you have configured some effective QoS on your router, but even then I'm skeptical.
The reason I say to stay away from cable is to get better (lower) latency , typically DSL will have lower latency than cable. Your bandwidth of 12M/1.5M is enough to have 23 simultaneous phone calls using G.711 (standard POTS call quality) or G.722 (double the call quality of POTS) the kicker is G.722 only works if you're making an end-to-end VOIP call using G.722 capable hardware. Yes you need to do some advanced QoS setup to make sure VOIP traffic is always given a higher priority than other traffic, and you have no control over QoS once the traffic has left your modem; but call quality issues are way more likely to be caused by you saturating your line with other traffic than general traffic on the internet.
 
Top