RingCentral’s engineering team is always striving to improve both call quality and service uptime (i.e., how often RingCentral’s systems are working normally). They’re doing a great job – our uptime over the last four quarters is 99.995 percent, and we’ve made significant improvements to VoIP audio quality.
But call quality depends on more than just RingCentral’s servers. In fact, most call-quality problems can be linked to the very end of the network chain – your own modems, routers and switches, in other words. That means there are steps you can take to ensure that you have the best-sounding calls possible.
What are the top three things you can do to boost call quality?
1. Invest in your broadband connection
Technically, RingCentral IP phones only need a 90kbps (kilobit-per-second) downstream and upstream connection to make calls. But that’s the bare minimum – and if you have multiple phones connected to your network (not to mention laptops, smartphones and other devices), you’ll need much higher speeds than 90kpbs to enjoy high-quality calls.
There’s no “ideal” broadband speed. For a small home office, a 3Mbps connection should suffice. At a large office like ours, with about 200 desks, much faster internet will be required. You may determine how many phones your connection will support using this test.
Chances are, there are multiple broadband providers in your area, so do shop around for the best combination of speed and value. Local ISPs can be a great choice; not only are they often less expensive than big carriers, they may well have better support, too.
2. Use a RingCentral-recommended router
Perhaps your desk phone is connected directly to your cable modem. If that’s the case, you can skip this section. Should your desk phones plug in to a wireless router, however, you will want to spend some time picking an appropriate model.
Most higher-end routers now include a feature called QoS (quality of service). QoS-enabled routers can be set to prioritize VoIP (voice-over-internet-protocol) traffic over all other data. Thus, even in high-use scenarios, your voice traffic will take precedence and call quality will be less likely to degrade.
But not all QoS-enabled routers are created equal, and some simply work better than others. Our customer support team has been hard at work certifying routers for use with RingCentral – you can see the models we suggest at our website’s routers page. It is highly recommended that you use one of the models on this list and activate its QoS feature.
3. Get familiar with your router settings
RingCentral is designed to be easy to use – yet a little bit of network configuration may be required if you’re having call quality issues. Specifically, there are a few router settings you may want to familiarize yourself with.
These settings are port forwarding and port triggering. You won’t always need to worry about them, particularly if you have a simple network setup. But should you experience poor call quality – and are already using a recommended router on a high-speed internet connection – port forwarding and triggering may be worth investigating.
This knowledge base article explains more about forwarding and triggering. It also provides a walkthrough for activating both settings on certain router models.
If you’ve taken steps to optimize connection quality on your end and are still having audio issues, our QoS tech support team can help. Simply create a help ticket at https://success.ringcentral.com and explain your problem in detail. The case will be handed off to our QoS team, if necessary, and they will help you troubleshoot.
Featured photo courtesy of Tueksta via photopin cc.
Originally published Sep 04, 2013, updated May 27, 2021