Troubleshooting Common Problems

Troubleshooting Common Problems

This article provides tips and information on common problems that affect hosted phone performance and how to troubleshoot those issues.

Prerequisites

Poor Audio

Choppy calls include brief silences in the middle of the person speaking on the other side of the call, creating a stuttering sound. Most often, choppy audio is an indication that you lack adequate bandwidth due to internet congestion. There could also be an application running on your network that is using up a lot of bandwidth. Try the below troubleshooting steps for poor audio:

  • Other Network Computers
    If possible, try turning off other computers connected to your network.
  • File Streaming & High Bandwidth Applications
    Some applications use a lot of bandwidth, especially file streaming apps. Try closing applications like Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, etc.
  • Router Configuration
    If this issue is ongoing, check your router settings and make sure you have applied all of the changes advised in the network readiness guide.
  • Bandwidth Limitations
    Check your connection speed. If your wired internet speeds are consistently lower than your paid subscription, you may need to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  • Malware or Spyware
    Run a test for malware and/or spyware.

Echos and Audio Delays

Audio delay is a noticeable delay from when you someone talks to when they are heard. When there is an echo you’ll either hear your own voice or the callers voice come back through the call audio. Both of these issues are often an easy fix. Try these troubleshooting solutions:

  • Acoustic Interference From Phone Earpiece
    Echo could be the result of acoustic properties caused by your earpiece being too loud. To see if this is the issue, cover the mouthpiece/microphone and see if the echo stops. If the echoing is resolved, turn down the volume of your earpiece/speakers.
  • Electromagnetic Interference Affecting Hardware
    Echos can also be the result of electromagnetic interference created when your phone hardware is too close to other electrical devices. Make sure your phone, computer, power strip, and router, are far apart from one another to eliminate this as a possibility.
  • Your Internet Service Provider
    Your ISP could be experiencing network issues which affect the signal quality. Delays and echoes are often caused when the ping measurement is greater than 50 milliseconds (ms) consistently. Try doing a speed test to check your ping time.
  • Bad Equipment
    Old or defective equipment can create impedance fluctuations that create echoes. If you are using a headset, try using the phone’s handset. If you are on a cordless phone, try a corded one. If you are on a corded phone, try a different cord or headset. Check cabling to be sure it is not wet or damaged. Try using a new phone and replace any old phones if necessary.

Crackling Audio or Jitter

Crackly static or jittery calls can have many of the same causes as echoes and delays. Potential reasons are that you may not have enough bandwidth available, there may be electromagnetic interference, or your equipment could be damaged. Try the below troubleshooting solutions for crackly or jittering calls:

  • Router Configuration
    Especially if this issue is ongoing, check your router settings and make sure you have applied all of the changes advised in the network readiness guide.
  • Electromagnetic Interference
    Electromagnetic interference happens because your phone hardware is too close to other electrical devices. Make sure your phone, computer, power strip, and router, are far apart from one another to eliminate this as a possibility.
  • Bad Phone Power Supply
    If there is another phone of the same make and model nearby, try substituting that phone’s power supply for yours. A faulty power supply could lead to crackling or jitter during calls.
  • Bandwidth Limitations
    Check your connection speed. If your wired internet speeds are consistently lower than your paid subscription, you may need to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  • Damaged Cabling
    Check your phone’s cabling to make sure it is not wet or damaged.

Fluctuating Call Quality

Inconsistency in call quality can be the result of high demand on your office’s network. You can experience great voice quality on one call and have another call suffer any number of issues. Try the below troubleshooting solutions for inconsistent call quality:

  • High Bandwidth Applications
    Check your other open applications and close any that are unnecessary, especially those that utilize significant bandwidth like Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, etc.
  • Insufficient Bandwidth
    If call quality is inconsistent during peak business hours, there may not be sufficient bandwidth for the phone system. You may need to contact your ISP about troubleshooting and possibly upgrading your package.
  • Router Settings
    If you have sufficient bandwidth, and this issue is ongoing, check your router settings and make sure you have applied all of the changes advised in the network readiness guide.

Frequently Dropped Calls

If you find that your calls are often being dropped, your office network may be overloaded or you may have faulty equipment. Try the below troubleshooting solutions for dropped calls:

  • Bandwidth Limitations
    If you notice that your calls are often dropped during your office’s busy times, there may not be sufficient bandwidth for the phone system. You may need to contact your ISP about troubleshooting and possibly upgrading your package.
  • Router Settings
    Check your router settings and make sure you have applied all of the changes advised in the network readiness guide.
  • Defective Phone
    If there is another phone available, try using that instead to see if your calls improve.

Problematic Routers

Sometimes issues with your phone system can all be traced back to an old, defective, or improperly configured router. If you’re having issues with your phone system, consider trying one of the below troubleshooting solutions for your router:

  • Router Configuration
    Check your router settings and make sure you have applied all of the changes advised in the network readiness guide.
  • Defective or Inadequate Router
    Older routers can cause transmission problems. An older router may need to be replaced to properly support your phone system. Some routers are only capable of supporting smaller-sized offices with fewer employees. Check with the manufacturer of your router to determine if the router can support the number of users and network traffic you require. We have put together a router compatibility list of known models and possible solutions to known issues.

Bandwidth Issues

Bandwidth can be the root of many of the most common phone problems. If you’re experiencing issues with your phone system, it’s helpful to monitor your bandwidth on a regular basis, there are many free and paid tools online that will allow you to track your bandwidth over time. Testing your internet speed can help you to determine if you need to upgrade your service or identify high network traffic in your office. When experiencing bandwidth issues trying the following troubleshooting steps:

  • Office Network Problems
    If possible, try connecting directly to your router rather than through the wireless network to see if that makes a difference. There could be several devices in your network, like network switches, that could be causing a problem.
  • Bandwidth Hogging Applications
    File streaming services like Netflix or YouTube can hog your internet bandwidth, especially if they are streaming high definition videos. Try to identify applications that could be sending/receiving a lot of data over your network. Close any potential bandwidth-hogging applications and check if your problem is resolved.
  • Upgrade Internet Service
    To totally correct issues that are related to bandwidth limit, it is necessary to speak with your internet service provider to upgrade your speed. This could improve your office’s productivity with several technologies, not just your phone system.

Internet Service Provider

If you are experiencing frequent issues that do not seem to be reduced by any of the above troubleshooting tips, the problem may lie with your internet service provider. Your ISP may have periods of high latency in their connection. Some ISPs send your data over a shared-bandwidth model instead of a direct-bandwidth model network. ISPs may not be using the correct protocols or don’t have them configured properly, many ISP modem/router combos don't allow access to configure the administrative settings required to ensure a smooth experience.


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