dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
1907
share rss forum feed

mreev90
Premium
join:2007-03-04
Mandeville, LA

High Reliability VOIP

I have a question that some of you may have faced at some point. My wife works from home and has two basic requirements.

1) Area code and phone number that is not in our geographical location. (We live in Louisiana and need a Florida number).
2) The internet service (for terminal services) and VOIP needs to be reliable. Minimal dropped calls, minimal dropped RDP sessions.

AT&T does not offer POTS with a different area code from our home location. As a result we have been using a couple of VOIP services. We started with Vonage and are now using 8x8. We also have had a couple of ISP's. Including Charter and AT&T DSL service.

The problem has been (and continues to be) frequent dropped calls during the day. We generally get between 8 to 10 drops. My basic troubleshooting has determined that the drops occurs at exactly the same time the Terminal Service Session disconnects, so that pretty much rules out (I think) the VOIP provider as being the culprit.

I have been focusing on about the only thing I can control and that would be equipment upgrades. Dumping the cheap DSL modem and upgrading to a pretty good 2WIRE had a minimal impact.

Since I have tried DSL and Cable, I am now thinking about getting U-Verse, which just came available in my area. However, I am concerned about suffering the likely disruption of service while U-Verse gets installed, particularly if it doesn't solve the problem.

If anyone has ideas or suggestions (short of moving to Florida) it would be appreciated. I have thought of even maintaining dual services (ie Cable and DSL) with some sort of routing between the two, thinking that one would always be up and switching would occur magically without dropped calls. I am not sure whether this or some other solution would be feasible, so ideas are welcome. Also, any reliability numbers of U-Verse would be helpful as well. Since I have DSL, I am painfully aware of the crappy customer service of AT&T. My concern is more of reliability.

Matt


dvd536
as Mr. Pink as they come
Premium
join:2001-04-27
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:4
a VOIP is only as good as your internet service!
dropouts are common with rez cable and rez DSL.


La Luna
RIP Lisa
Premium
join:2001-07-12
Warwick, NY
kudos:3
reply to mreev90
I've used Vonage for 6 years without issues, but I have a solid cable connection. If you have a lousy connection with packet loss, you will have problems, no matter which VoIP service you use. That's what you need to get fixed. Whether that's possible with the choices in your area, I don't know.


Chinabound
Premium
join:2002-12-21
Antioch, IL
kudos:3
reply to mreev90
»www.italkbb.com/bb/enu/enu_featu ··· ures.asp

You may choose any area code you wish - scroll down about half way.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
reply to mreev90
As others have said, if you don't have reliable Internet access, the game is lost.

So apparently there are 3 ways of access in your area: DSL, Cable, and AT&T U-Verse.

If the other two have worked poorly for you, then you have to try the third (U-Verse). What else can be said? You'll have to try it.

(Are you SURE that your own router and your own setup is not to blame? Seems unusual to be dissatisfied with both DSL and Cable. But maybe that's Louisiana).

----------------------------------------------------

But as far as reliable VoIP, that's EASY.

CallCentric.

»Company entry - Callcentric

Office Unlimited Plan will get you a number from wherever you want, $ 8.95 a month for unlimited inbound Business calling, 3 channels included. Excellent customer service.

»www.callcentric.com/dids/office_ ··· nlimited
»www.callcentric.com/did_lookup.p ··· d=Lookup

kaila

join:2000-10-11
Lincolnshire, IL

1 recommendation

reply to mreev90
Don't rule out your local network, it can be a source for many problems. Check out how to tweak your router settings for voip, and recheck everything from the router to the ATA including the cable between them.

I don't know how reliable U-Verse is other than you have to be close enough to their VRAD. If U-Verse just became available, it's likely you have new VRAD in your neighborhood that just went live. Since it probably is 'closer' than the AT&T RT/CO you are currently connected to for vanilla DSL, it would be worth considering.
--
Jeff Howe
Jeff's Blog - »www.ostjournal.net

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:15
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·AcroVoice
·Anveo
reply to mreev90
said by dvd536:

dropouts are common with rez cable and rez DSL.

For the record, I never have dropouts or dropped calls. I currently use residential DSL and used to use residential cable.

I have seen strange issues in which an application like Terminal Services causes brief disconnects. In my case, my D-Link router was detecting the application I was using (can't remember which one) as an attack and blocking access to the internet. You may want to see if your router has a log, and investigate that to see if it gives you any clues about the problem.

I would do a ping test while you're on a call and see what that says. To do this, open a Command Prompt window (Start>>Run>>cmd on most versions of Windows) and type ping tampa.voip.ms -t

If you know the address of one of 8x8's server, use that instead of tampa.voip.ms.

Is your 2Wire modem also your router? If so it is interesting that the problem has outlasted both the modem and the router.

As a last resort, you could forward your VoIP number to a landline. But, that would be expensive. Let's see if we can try getting VoIP working properly for you.

m.
--
Recommended ATA Settings | e164 - make your DID accessible via SIPBroker! | Tips for Reliable Internet Faxing

mreev90
Premium
join:2007-03-04
Mandeville, LA
reply to Chinabound
Thanks for all of the responses. However, I am certain that it is not my equipment. I have had numerous modems and routers and all have had similar results. My assumption as some have said here is that it IS an ISP problem. That being said, I guess the question that I am asking is twofold. 1) Is U-Verse more reliable than traditional DSL or cable solutions. I know that there are many variables that are localized to my installation and equipment, but overall and as a general rule is it more reliable? 2) Is there a hybrid solution whereby I have a combination of say Cable and Uverse and route between the two? The theory being that while one may temporarily drop for some reason, the other would simultaneously be available. Don't know if this is possible, but doesn't hurt to ask.

Matt

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:15
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·AcroVoice
·Anveo
said by mreev90:

Is there a hybrid solution whereby I have a combination of say Cable and Uverse and route between the two? The theory being that while one may temporarily drop for some reason, the other would simultaneously be available.

You can do load balancing and failover, however that won't work during a call in progress. 10 dropped calls per day is not normal by any stretch of the imagination. Something's wrong, and since you've tried both DSL and Cable with the same results, I doubt it's an ISP problem.

m.
--
Recommended ATA Settings | e164 - make your DID accessible via SIPBroker! | Tips for Reliable Internet Faxing

Stewart

join:2005-07-13
kudos:29
reply to mreev90
The vast majority of DSL lines operate reliably. Unless you have already made an extraordinary effort, it is probably not hard to get yours fixed. Please post your plan speed and all key modem stats (sync rates, S/N margins, power levels, attenuation, error counts, sync losses, etc.) Also, find out whether your neighbors have the same trouble. For example, if your margins are poor but they are fine next door, get at&t to replace the faulty pair. It's not that hard to deal with them. When the script monkey in Bangalore answers, tell him that you have made repeated calls and still have trouble, could he please connect you with level two. You'll get someone in the US who not only knows what he's talking about, he can actually help you. In addition to replacing or repairing faulty outside plant, switching to an interleaved profile (if you're not already on one) can dramatically improve stability, at a cost of 20-50 ms in latency. If that doesn't help, a profile at a slightly lower speed probably will. For example, if you have 6 Mbps service but only sync at 5.5 Mbps, your margins will be poor and the line unstable. If they force it down to 4.5 Mbps, you won't lose that much speed (may even gain some if you had lots of packet loss) and it should be rock solid.

Unless you have already done so, take your modem out to the NID and connect it there, unplugging the house wiring, to be sure it's not a problem with your wiring, filters or another device on your line.

When you lose sync, does your public IP address change? It shouldn't, and if it doesn't, we'll need to find out why your RDP connection drops. If the address changes (even when sync is regained in <15 seconds), you need to fix your modem/router setup.

mreev90
Premium
join:2007-03-04
Mandeville, LA
Thanks, Stewart. You gave me a lot of ideas and things to check. That really helps. I will post the results. In the meantime, here is a little more about my configuration:

2Wire 2701HG-B Modem/Router
Packet8 6753i IP Phone

Not ruling out the equipment by any means, but at least a pretty simple config. Probably not the phone or VOIP Provider since RDP drops at same time.

Thanks Again,
Matt

gbh2o

join:2000-12-18
Longs, SC
Reviews:
·Future Nine Corp..
·VOIPO
·callwithus
reply to mreev90
Another option you may want to try, would be to rent some broadband time from someone like DataJack or Virgin Mobile (no contracts, both fairly cheap). During a recent ISP outage here (only 5 days with business class, thank you CenturyLink) I tried both. Strangely, although both use the Sprint CDMA network, their signal strength and available speed were not the same. But by positioning the little MiFi adapters I was able to achieve decent signals from both that allowed fairly decent VoIP. The signals did fluctuate, so that I was only sure of always having one good (alaw/ulaw) outbound channel. Normally it tested that it would support 3 or 4, but I chickened out. Latency was running between 90 and 100ms which surprised me.

FWIW, My impression is that AT&T's wireless/broadband network (or equivalent 3g or 4G) should be a better VoIP carrier, but I could not quickly find any offerings for adequate data, at a reasonable price, without a contract.

Of course YMMV and all other caveats and warnings.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
reply to mreev90
Can you explain in greater detail what your "terminal services" and "terminal service sessions" are?
--
I just might be the most "licensed" S.O.B. you know.

Dan_voip

join:2007-01-03
Saint-Hubert, QC
kudos:4
said by nunya:

Can you explain in greater detail what your "terminal services" and "terminal service sessions" are?

Remote access to a servers using the dos command mstsc.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:15
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·AcroVoice
·Anveo
reply to mreev90
said by mreev90:

My basic troubleshooting has determined that the drops occurs at exactly the same time the Terminal Service Session disconnects

I think I misread this the first time around.

Is it that the VoIP call and the Terminal Services session both drop without warning, at the same time? If so then I apologize for my misunderstanding.

m.
--
Recommended ATA Settings | e164 - make your DID accessible via SIPBroker! | Tips for Reliable Internet Faxing

thadsaab

join:2007-09-10
Fairfax, VA
reply to mreev90
Consider getting business DSL for more knowlegeable and enthusiastic support. You're really just paying more for support, but if your job is dependent on your connection, this can be worthwhile.

Consider QoS. I'm fishing here, but something could be saturating your connection for a moment. QoS can prevent this.

I was in a similar situation a year ago using Qwest DSL. I was using Voice Pulse. QoS helped call quality, I never had a problem with calls being dropped regularly. Later with a connection through a separate SSL VPN for the VoIP phone, QoS was almost a necessity.


mgraves1
Premium
join:2004-04-05
Houston, TX
kudos:1
reply to mreev90
The very fact that voip calls are impacted by your terminal services sessions implies an issue with quality of service (QoS) in your router. It sounds like the TS sessions is saturating your connection for long enough to cause the voip session to fall.

QoS is closely related to traffic shaping. QoS tries to establish a priority scheme, giving certain type of traffic priority over others. Traffic shaping is a more brutal approach that reserves a dedicated portion of your available bandwidth for only the voip application.

For more info see here: »www.mgraves.org/?p=1095
--
Michael Graves
Houston TX
»www.mgraves.org


joako
Premium
join:2000-09-07
/dev/null
kudos:6
reply to mreev90
My opinion is that if you are seeing RDP sessions drop at the same time as your VoIP calls drop, its an internet connection issue. If the dropped calls are your only problem then resolve your internet issues and your so called "voip problems" wil be resolved.

U-verse might be a good option not only because how it works, you are pretty much guaranteed a clean connection, you can also get 1mbps and 1.5mbps upload speeds which are unheard of with ADSL services. I have U-verse at home and without any QoS I have no issues using VOIP. I don't have landlines anymore it's really nifty being able to answer the "call waiting" on a 2nd phone while someone else is already on another phone, intercom, call transfer (someone calls, person is out of the house, send it to thelr cell phone), etc, etc. But the key is having a reliable internet connection there are plenty of reliable VoIP services.
--
PRescott7-2097


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
reply to mreev90
Do you use a VPN for your RDP sessions? Are you running multiple concurrent RDP sessions?
--
I just might be the most "licensed" S.O.B. you know.

stevech0

join:2006-09-17
San Diego, CA
reply to joako
This is outright funny!
"U-verse might be a good option not only because how it works, you are pretty much guaranteed a clean connection"

Right. Trying to send Two HD streams and Internet on a 20 year old copper pair intended for 3KHz voice.

U-verse's claims are simply lies by the evil empire


mgraves1
Premium
join:2004-04-05
Houston, TX
kudos:1
reply to joako
said by joako:

U-verse might be a good option not only because how it works, you are pretty much guaranteed a clean connection, you can also get 1mbps and 1.5mbps upload speeds which are unheard of with ADSL services.

Huh? 1-1.5 mbps upload with ADSL is dead common. It may not be associated with the cheapest DSL services, or available at the longest distances from the CO.

I have 3.0 x 1.5 mbps DSL from Covad over SBC copper. I'm 11k feet from the CO. My actual download speed is around 2.6 mbps. This DSL circuit is a backup to Comcast Business Class Cable (16 x 2 mbps)
--
Michael Graves
Houston TX
»www.mgraves.org


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
reply to stevech0
That's odd. Most of my customers that have U-Verse rave about it. Granted, your average consumer isn't as technically inclined as a DSLR member, but most people know when something works and when it doesn't.
You can't know the condition of the OSP Everywhere, USA. The age of the cable has very little to do with performance. I've seen U-Verse work great over 80 year old ring-run lead sheath pulp cables and in houses with pair-and-half cloth covered station wire.
--
I just might be the most "licensed" S.O.B. you know.
Expand your moderator at work