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voip_user

@bell.ca

[General] What's the minimum speed required for VOIP

I am planning to use VIOP instead of regular bell phone. I am new to this and need some help. I have no broadband internet yet. I need some help to decide what to do.
In my area (Markham, Ontario, Canada) Rogers is offering a few internet access options.
1.Utra-lite: download speed 128 kbps,upload speed 64 kbps
2.Lite: download speed 1Mbps,upload speed 128 kbps
3.Express: download speed 5 Mbps, upload speed 384 kbps
4. Extreme: download speed 6 Mbps, upload speed 800 kbps
Of course price is higher for higher speed.
I was wondering if I can just go with Lite or Ultra lite. I prefer not to have to stop my download (just in case some one call while I am downloading or surfing the net) before I can use the phone



Greg_Z
Premium
join:2001-08-08
Springfield, IL

If downloading & surfing, you would be better off with Express, due to Lite & Ultra-Lite is choking your bandwith with VoIP.
--
I threw out the map a long time ago. Now I follow my own direction!



voiplover
Premium
join:2004-05-28
Portsmouth, NH
reply to voip_user

I found that when using 711 codec (preferred codec) you actually need 100k both ways. You can use codecs that use less but they all come with a price.
If you aren't surfing heavy while on the phone, then I'd look at the 1meg/128K deal.

Just my advice.


mazilo
From Mazilo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
Lilburn, GA
kudos:4
reply to voip_user

This depends on the CoDec you will be using. If you are going to use a commercial VoIP, you will have to call them to find out what CoDec will the VoSP support. If the VoSP supports G723.1 which uses about 5.6Kbps, then your VoIP connections shall have no problem with Ultra-Lite so long as you have QoS implemented on your connection.
--
Mazi (UK Non-Geo Phone: +44-703-194-2574)



DracoFelis
Premium
join:2003-06-15

2 recommendations

reply to voip_user

said by voip_user :

1.Utra-lite: download speed 128 kbps,upload speed 64 kbps
2.Lite: download speed 1Mbps,upload speed 128 kbps
3.Express: download speed 5 Mbps, upload speed 384 kbps
4. Extreme: download speed 6 Mbps, upload speed 800 kbps
"Ultra-lite" will only work with bandwidth saving CODECS such as G729. So if you have no choice, it is possible to do VoIP with that low of bandwidth. But not all providers support the bandwidth saving CODECS, so you will be shut out of some VoIP options. And even if/when a VoIP provider does support the lower bandwidth CODECS (which you would have to use to make VoIP work with that little bandwidth) you will suffer lower sound quality. While the "low bandwidth" CODECS sound good enough to be understandable, you do sacrifice some sound quality for the bandwidth savings.

"Lite" could work with the normal VoIP CODEC, if you aren't doing anything else on the internet when your call is in progress, AND you really do get almost 128k upload in practice (not just in theory). G711 (the primary CODEC for most VoIP) requires about 100k each direction, and naturally you will have almost no margin to spare with only 128k of upload. Also keep in mind when you don't have enough upload bandwidth the call may sound OK to you (as you have enough download bandwidth to hear the call), but your voice (on the other end) could be very hard for others to hear!

"Express" or better should work fine. However, even there you might want to get a router that handles QoS ("Quality of Service") to prioritize your voice traffic above all your other internet traffic. Doing this will help keep your voice clear, by putting your "phone" at the head of the line for internet access (and letting everything else use any internet not currently being used by your VoIP adapter). IMHO this is a much more "friendly" way to set things up, then simply stopping all other internet activity when on the phone.

NOTE:
I'm sure there will be many opinions about QoS routers (and some will rightfully point out that QoS isn't "needed", it's just nice to have your equipment automatically prioritize VoIP above everything else). However, FWIW my personal favorite for good QoS at a decent (under $100) price tag (and also what I use here for QoS with my VoIP), is to get a router that can be flashed with the "open source" »www.dd-wrt.com firmware (check their website for compatible router hardware).


Fobulous
Premium
join:2002-08-14
Missouri City, TX
reply to voip_user

i have not setup QOS on my router even though it has that feature and my call quality is great with Viatalk. I would suggest you to try the VOIP without setting QOS and see what the quality is like before jumping into your router and setting all that up especially if you are kind of new to the world of routers.

About how much speed VOIP uses: I have no idea what my provider needs but since i don't encounter any problems after the intial setup, i didn't really find out though it might be a good idea to know

About the packages:

i had a choice of downgrading my Internet speed with TimeWarner but i chose not to because the more speed you have the better IMO. Personally, i'd choose the Express Package 5MP with 384 kbps up as this package is enough for your needs. However, if you find yourself uploading lots of stuff (e.g. digital photos to online photo sites) then you'll have to be careful chooing when to use the phone because too much upload will interfere with your phone service.
--
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say "I want to see the manager."
- William S. Burroughs



DracoFelis
Premium
join:2003-06-15

said by Fobulous:

i have not setup QOS on my router even though it has that feature and my call quality is great with Viatalk. I would suggest you to try the VOIP without setting QOS and see what the quality is like before jumping into your router and setting all that up especially if you are kind of new to the world of routers.
As I mentioned, QoS is not "needed". I too used VoIP for a couple of years BEFORE getting a QoS router, so I know it can work.

However, the thing many people forget when they test things this way, is that most of us have much more DOWNLOAD bandwidth than UPLOAD. And in the case of VoIP, the download bandwidth controls what YOU hear on your phone, and the upload bandwidth controls what the person you are talking to hears. So when "testing your phone" this way, be SURE to try calling yourself (from another phone) and see what the sound quality is on that end. Because the odds are very good that if you are marginal for bandwidth, it is the people you are talking to that will suffer the sound problems, not you (since for most of us the "upload bandwidth" is much lower than the download bandwidth).

In my case, I only have 256k upload on my DSL line, even though I have 1.5meg download. And while that is easily enough to use VoIP with the normal CODECS (even enough to do a 3-way call, which uses twice the bandwidth, as it's really 2 calls in one), it still is easy to run into bandwidth problem when others are heavily using the internet. And this resulted in people sometimes telling me (before I got my QoS router) that my voice was breaking up and I needed to repeat what I said. While that still happens sometimes with the QoS router (i.e. QoS helps, but isn't a "cure all"), it happens much less often in my experience. And that is true even though I now never bother to tell the family to get off the internet because a call is in progress (where before QoS that happened sometimes). QoS makes that big of a difference, if/when setup properly!

And the thing many people need to remember, is that it's not just people "sending files" that use upload bandwidth! While normal "web browsing" mostly uses download bandwidth, it does use a little "upload" bandwidth as well to send the "I got the page" acknowledgements back to the web site. And the more download you use, the more upload you need for those "acks". So even just doing "web browsing" (I'm not even talking about "uploading files" or P2P here, just normal "you are viewing the web pages" browsing), you often do use more "upload" than you might realize. With QoS the "phone" (which is more "time critical", if you want good sound quality) gets its share first, than everything else goes. Without QoS, it's pretty much a crap-shoot as to which process will be at the head of the line for any bandwidth that is present. That doesn't mean that VoIP won't work in such an environment (especially if/when you have more than enough bandwidth for everything you want to do on the internet), just that QoS lets you "stack the deck" (in favor of good sound quality for VoIP), instead of depending upon "luck" that your VoIP adapter will get a large enough "piece of the pie" (for good sound quality)...