Many things come to mind when you say VoIP quality of service. Taken at face value, quality of service is the level by which you enjoy consistently good quality service from your VoIP. There are many factors that affect your VoIP quality of service, which can either be internal (your system) or external (your service providers).
In determining quality of service, you need to use a VoIP monitoring service, like VoIP Spear, that runs tests regularly and persistently. You then look at different parameters of VoIP quality. These are mainly: MOS, latency, jitter and packet loss.
Why is it Important to Determine your VoIP Quality of Service
You need to know how your VoIP performs at all times of the day. This will give you a true profile of your VoIP service, which is important if you rely on VoIP for communications. You stay on top of your VoIP's performance. And you can actually try to troubleshoot problems where you can. Or, you can act immediately if issues are external and you'd need technical assistance.
VoIP Quality of Service or VoIP QoS?
If you are using a modern router, you may have encountered the term VoIP QoS. For VoIP hardware, VoIP QoS has come to refer to the configuration settings on routers where you can give priorities to your select application and lessen priorities for other applications.
Through VoIP QoS, you implement an immediate fix to slow VoIP connections on your end. By prioritizing voice applications, you allot majority of your bandwidth to VoIP. Ideally, as you do this, you should also deprioritize other bandwidth-heavy applications, such a gaming. Gaming is a major bandwidth eater.
Bad VoIP Quality of Service: Now What
You've tested your VoIP and you've come to the conclusion that your VoIP quality of service is lacking. What do you do?
The first step here is to determine the cause of bad quality VoIP. It could be that the proximity of your hardware is causing feedback that makes your conversations inaudible. If that's the case, all you need to do is keep them at a good distance from each other. Or, you may be using your VoIP via a laptop that's too far. In that case, move closer. You might also find that you have faulty or low-quality equipment. Before buying your router, ATA, SIP phone and other VoIP equipment, it's a good idea to read technical reviews first. If possible, choose mid-priced to top-priced products.
Next, see if configuring your VoIP QoS will improve your digital communications. If all that's using up your bandwidth is VoIP, do you see a marked improvement on how you enjoy VoIP? In cases like this, you will want to examine your bandwidth allotment and usage. Does your VoIP package come with too little bandwidth for your requirements? Are there too many people in your network, such that there's always network traffic? Here, you can consider tacking your VoIP to a different internal network, upgrading your account or moving to different service providers.
With VoIP monitoring, you can know right away if you main problem is your service provider. Are you experiencing dips in the performance of key VoIP quality parameters even when you are not actively using your phone service? You might need to move to a service that provides you with consistently good service. Dips and downtimes are natural for anything, even traditional phone services. However, these should never be regular occurences. You need to be able to rely on your service, especially if it's business VoIP.