The most contentious issue dogging the faster adoption rate of VoIP has been the quality of calls, which is directly linked to the bandwidth. Every VoIP consumer wants to know the appropriate bandwidth required to ensure seamless and good quality of calls. In order to properly understand the right bandwidth for your VoIP, you will have to understand a few things.
What is Bandwidth?
Bandwidth is the data transfer ability of a line from the source to the destination within a specified time. If you are using a broadband internet connection that has a higher bandwidth then you will be able to send more data from one point to another. However, in case you are using an internet connection that has a lower bandwidth then your data transfer rate would be lower. This is exactly why our voice calls over VoIP gets affected when you are not using the appropriate bandwidth.
Types of Bandwidth
Further bandwidth is of two different types at any location – one is the upload bandwidth and the other is the download bandwidth. The download bandwidth depicts the volume of data you will be able to receive from your internet connection and the upload bandwidth is the volume of data you will be able to send over to the internet. When it comes to bandwidth, the only adage that sounds apt is “the more the merrier”!
Bandwidth Speeds for VoIP
It has been seen that in majority of the cases, a single VoIP call would need at least 90 kbps (kilobits per second) of bandwidth. If you are availing a broadband service that does not offer higher bandwidth then you certainly have the option of lowering the voice quality by setting a lower bandwidth usage of 60 kbps – this helps you to save at least 30 kbps. However, there are several users who are not able to differentiate between the settings. In case bandwidth is not an issue for your connection, it is better to use the 90 kbps setting – this will provide excellent voice quality. Your device and VoIP connection is set to high bandwidth as a default setting but if you are using a low bandwidth then you can reset it to a lower bandwidth setting. However, higher bandwidth does not always ensure good VoIP voice quality because of the poor service provided by your ISP. By turning down the bandwidth to lower bandwidth you will be able to overcome the problems.
Another big question that VoIP users often face is the type of connection they need i.e. a choice has to be made between a DSL connection and a Cable internet connection. The upload bandwidth for a DSL connection starts at 128k and that of a cable internet connection starts at 600k. The choice has to be made depending upon your budget and the usage because cable internet is expensive than a DSL connection. The biggest advantage of using a cable internet connection is that you will be able to experience greater speed – it is around 5 times quicker than the DSL and is more compatible with VoIP systems. However, one thing needs to be kept in mind; both the cable internet connection as well as the DSL offers enough bandwidth to support all types of VoIP services.
When you are down to choosing the VoIP service provider, the only thing that you need to consider is the bandwidth required by the provider to complete a quality VoIP call. It is very important that you learn everything related to the quality of calls because good quality calls will ensure smoother communication.
About the Author
Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.