VoIP Requirements - What do I need ?

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Broadband Internet: Telephony requires (1) a sufficiently fast and reliable data connection, and (2) always on connection (because you don't know when people want to call you). Modern Broadband Internet connections (ADSL or Cable) provide your home with the perfect environment for a telephone service. VoIP can work over dialup or ISDN lines, but is not recommended because of the lower bandwidth.

Click Here to test your internet speed at www.testmynetspeed.com . For optimal voice quality we recommend connection speed of 1.5Mb or higher.

NAT router / firewall: At your end of the broadband connection you will need a modem, router and/or firewall. These are often combined in an all-in-one box providing Internet connection sharing (using NAT) and firewall functions. Alternatively you could use a broadband modem connected to a PC running router and firewall software; though this not so convenient. Either way you will need to configure your NAT/router/firewall device to direct any incoming calls to your VoIP device.

VoIP Device: There are several types of VoIP device on the market today, including:

  • ATA (Analogue Telephone Adaptor) devices allow you to connect a standard telephone to your LAN. Examples include the DrayTek VigorTalk, Sipura.
  • All-in-one modem/router with integrated VoIP, such as the DrayTek 2100V, 2500V, 2600V or 2900V models.
  • IP phones combine the ATA circuitry into the telephone handset
  • Soft-phones allow you to use speakers and microphone connected to your PC as a telephone. Often these can be downloaded for free, but they are not as intuitive to use as a telephone handset. Examples include MSN Messenger, X-Lite.

As long as it uses the industry-standard SIP protocol, it can be used with VoIP.

We recommend that any Voice over IP service should be used with an Ethernet hardware phone connected via a broadband 1.5Mb Internet connection such as the Business Grade IP Phone for optimal voice quality.

What ISP and modem/router requirements ?

ISP & Internet connection

We recommend ADSL or Cable ISP connections with 128Kbps or greater upstream bandwidth. If your modem/router provides QoS, you can use a minimum 64Kbps upstream bandwidth (e.g. a basic 256/64 ADSL) - though you may still noice poor voice quality on calls when the G.711 codec is used.

Note that VoIP conversations are data on your ISP account, and count towards data limits. Depending on the codec used, a VoIP call can take up to 64Kbps or almost 1MB per 2 minutes !  Because ISP bandwidth throttling (after monthly allowance reached) will affect your VoIP service, we recommend that you monitor your bandwidth usage, and change to a plan with more included bandwidth if necesssary. See Codecs for info on how much data is used for a VoIP call.

ISP blocking ports may affect the VoIP service.

NAT / router / firewall device requirements / Compatibility issues

Your NAT router / firewall needs to allow voice calls to pass through, and redirect them to your VoIP device. This is achieved by several methods:

  1. STUN is supported by some router/firewalls, and is recommended because you don't need to Open/forward ports, and supports more than one VoIP device on your LAN.
  2. Outbound Proxy method
  3. Opening or Forwarding Ports (sometimes referred to as Virtual server).
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