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What is a VoIP Test?

What Is a VoIP Test?

There are many tools and specialized websites allowing you to conduct an absolutely free VoIP test giving you an accurate picture of how your IP telephony service works.

Why Do We Need VoIP Testing Tools?

A VoIP device (a standard phone with ATA adapter, a 'softphone' etc.) uses the Internet to transport voice from one point to another. Unlike analog systems, VoIP telephony converts the vocal data into digital packets in order to be able to transmit them via the web.

The VoIP system comprises elements which make this kind of telephony cost-efficient and extremely convenient. However, some of the components can cause calling issues. Communication problems can root in your computer (power, bandwidth etc.) or your provider's service. In order to isolate and troubleshoot the problem, you can take advantage of one of the VoIP service testing tools.

The Main Specifications Related to VoIP Test

Prior to starting your search for VoIP test equipment, it is advisable to review the main VoIP specifications.

These are as follows:

Jitter or PDV (Packet Delay Variation). Sure, all voice communication systems feature a certain amount of delay. However, if it is stable (a delay at 100ms, for instance), no issues occurs. But when portions of various delays occur, the receiving voice device may have troubles in synchronizing the incoming traffic. Too much delay on a voice call can make the communication unbearable; therefore it is advisable to check customers' reviews regarding this quality of service specification.

Bandwidth and Latency. Bandwidth is the maximum throughput of a network (it is measured in bits per second).
For VoIP enough bandwidth must be provided in order to get voice data transmission in real time. Usually 24 to 90 kbps is enough. Latency is the time it takes to move a converted VoIP packet from one point to another. This characteristic is measured in milliseconds.

Packet Loss. This issue occurs when data pieces traveling across a network do not reach their final destination.
Packet loss is measured in percents. Small amounts of loss (<1%) do not deteriorate the quality of the communication. Communication issues begin at approximately >5% data loss.
When reading VoiP service reviews you will definitely face the MOS acronym. Short for Mean Opinion Score, MOS is a test that has been used in telephony networks to get the 'live' customers' opinion about the service quality. MOS is measured from 1 to 5 (the worst and the best, respectively). It goes without saying that MOS is a quite subjective VoIP test which implies human input in evaluating network's quality. However, it is still very popular and often gives a pretty accurate picture of how the network functions.

How to Conduct a Free Test for Your VoIP

There are different methods to test your network's quality of service. Some of them can be held without any software, while others (more accurate ones) require use of specially developed testing programs.