We think you’ll agree that it’s better to alleviate a problem before it happens than wait for a problem to become a business-impacting crisis. Clarity’s statistics show that 97% of all customer voice quality problems are caused by an inadequate or improperly configured internet service. Simply put, doing some best practices preparation up front goes a long way toward long-term VoIP happiness.

A high speed internet connection is required for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service. This can be through a cable modem, fiber optic, or a high speed DSL service. A specialized VoIP phone is required. These specialized phones look just like normal phones with a handset, cradle and buttons. But instead of having the standard RJ-11 phone connectors, IP phones have an RJ-45 Ethernet connector. IP phones connect directly to your router and have all the hardware and software necessary to handle the IP call.

Tips for high speed internet installation:

Keeping pace with the speed of business doesn’t need to be a hassle. Our Internet Concierge team will take the hassle out of shopping internet providers and deliver complimentary pricing quotes from all available internet providers servicing your business area. Whether you’re in the market for new business internet service or just want us to check if there’s a better deal, please give us a call at (800) 786-6160.

Install Business Class Internet to have Business Class Results

Most internet providers, including cable and DSL offer a “business class” service. On the surface, the “business class” service may appear the same as residential service, but the slight premium in price often buys behind-the-scenes benefits that will surface when you begin using VoIP and other business uses. Some of the restrictions of residential internet are:

  • Limited service level guarantees – less experienced technicians
  • Business use limitations and port blocking
  • Slower upload speeds
  • Shared bandwidth

When purchasing internet service, you’re often quoted two different speeds – something like “5 meg down and 384 K up”.

To keep things simple, refer to the table below. Find the number of phone calls you expect to be happening at one time in your office and look up the corresponding up- and download speed.

No. of Calls Download Speed Upload Speed
1 0.2 0.2
2 0.3 0.3
3 0.4 0.4
4 0.5 0.5
5 0.6 0.6
6 0.7 0.7
8 0.9 0.9
9 1.0 1.0

The calculated speed will be your minimum required speed for your VoIP phones.

NOTE: The calculated speed should be less than the quoted speed from your ISP.

If you already have internet service, you can test the speed at https://speedof.me/

Install a “single-port, stand-alone” modem (a.k.a. “residential modem”) for your cable or DSL internet service

A modem works better for high-volume business applications like VoIP than a router / business gateway (click on the links for information and examples), but unless requested otherwise, most cable and DSL internet providers will install a router / business gateway.  Often, when you ask for a modem, the technicians think you don’t understand the difference and will install a router / business gateway anyway.  Sometimes by saying “single-port, stand-alone” or “residential” modem, the technicians will better understand that you know what you’re asking for and will install the correct device.

So you want to know why we recommend a modem instead of a router / business gateway?  In short, it’s capacity.  Modems are designed to do only 1 thing while routers / business gateways do many things.  With VoIP, the routers / business gateways supplied by the cable and DSL companies aren’t powerful enough to meet the demand and they start losing information. What you experience on the phone are long periods of silence which then turn into a dropped call.

Recommended Modem: Arris Surfboard SB6190 (http://www.arris.com/surfboard/products/cable-modems/sb6190/)

How to set up your Arris Surfboard Modem

Bridge Mode – Putting a router / business gateway into bridge mode is a possible alternative to getting a modem however, unless you thought of this idea on your own, you probably don’t want to try it.  In addition, internet service providers typically push down quarterly updates to their gateways, knocking the device out of bridge mode without the customer knowing it, suddenly causing call quality problems.

Install a Clarity Quality of Service (QoS) router

While your VoIP service will work without using a router provided by Clarity, your voice quality may be choppy and there may be periods of quiet in a conversation.  Clarity routers have a special type of QoS (“Quality of Service”) designed specifically for use on our services.  The QoS helps maintain a higher quality, consistent voice connection by acting as an “internet traffic cop” by giving telephone conversations priority over email and other internet usage.

When you install a Clarity router, make a change to your Internet service, or add additional equipment like VoIP phones or computers to your office network you will need to calibrate the router.  Contact Clarity Support at 800-676-3995, option 2 or submit a support request at http://www.clarityvoice.com/support for calibration assistance.  Calibration of your router is required to ensure your voice quality is maintained at the highest quality possible.