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8 Common Issues of VoIP Phones and its Solutions

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Common Issues of VoIP Phones
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology has existed for almost as long as the Internet itself and having seen numerous iterations and improvements over the decades, it can still face a few issues.

If you use VoIP, chances are you've also faced some of these issues. Dropped calls, choppy audio, latency – and the list goes on. To ease things for you, we’ll look into the common issues that VoIP phones face and, more importantly, the solutions to fix these problems.

8 Most Common VoIP Issues and How to Fix Them

Here are the 7 most common VoIP issues that can make your phone conversations frustratingly unreliable, along with their solutions. 

1. Dropped Calls

Dropped calls occur when your device disconnects from the network. Dropped calls can be a huge problem if you are running a business and have to make several outbound calls daily. It can be even more of an issue if you are in the middle of closing several time-sensitive deals. 

You may notice that the call drops unexpectedly without a warning in the middle of an important discussion, which is never a good sign. This can be due to a high volume of calls not getting enough bandwidth or because of a UDP Timeout. 

A UDP Timeout is a User Datagram Protocol Timeout that occurs when a device stays connected to a router or firewall via the UDP protocol for longer than expected. UDP allows app connections to transfer data quickly but a downside is that firewalls can close the connection because of a fear of a cyberattack.

How to Fix Dropped Calls Issue

You can go to the router settings or your VoIP’s control panel and change the UDP Timeout interval to hold a connection for a longer timeframe. You can also change the connection protocol to TCP (Transmission Control Protocol ) which takes longer to set up but doesn’t drop calls unexpectedly.

TCP only drops calls when it doesn’t receive an acknowledgment packet from the receiver. Also keep all your devices, including your Internet telephone, router, and firewall updated to the latest firmware.

Also, try disconnecting all devices that are connected to the VoIP network, and then reconnecting them one after the other to determine which one is causing the problem. This way you are troubleshooting VoIP call quality issues without having to ask for outside help.

2. Echo/Noise or Feedback

Echo, noise, and feedback are pretty much similar problems since they disrupt the natural audio of a call and mask it with too much signal interference resulting in these issues. But the problem can be caused by either the caller or the receiver which makes it a bit tricky to deal with.

But if both parties are hearing the echo, noise, or feedback then there is an issue with the VoIP connection. So first try troubleshooting VoIP call quality issues by resetting the call and ensuring no other applications are taking up precious bandwidth. If that doesn’t work we can get into fixes.

How to Fix Echo/Noise or Feedback Issues

The simplest solution is to ensure both parties have speakerphone off because having multiple mics and speakers can cause a feedback chain resulting in echo and other noise sources. 

If you are using a headset or headphones, test their mic and earcups separately to ensure they are working fine. If there is a persisting echo when using it, then it's time to replace them and get some solid ones.

Echo, noise, and feedback can also happen when there is electromagnetic interference with your communication device. If you sit near a microwave or other heavy electronic equipment, electromagnetic waves can interfere with your audio equipment. 

3. Latency or Delay

Latency and delay are also quite common issues when you have slow internet or some other app leeching off all the bandwidth. If the latency or delay is so massive, it can even result in dropped calls in a few extreme cases.

Latency exists in practically all connected networks and removing it completely is impossible but you can limit it to a certain degree. Anything below 20ms is quite optimal and anything above 100ms can be quite annoying.

Latency will depend on your equipment, your Internet, and your VoIP service’s servers. To find out what’s causing latency, check that your equipment has the latest firmware installed and they're plugged in correctly. 

How to Fix Latency or Delay Issex

Close all apps that are using bandwidth, unplug and replug all the devices, and ensure they have finished downloading all updates. If the lag still persists, there may be a server issue with your VoIP so contact their customer support.

4. No Advanced Features

Not having advanced features can be a bummer but it is not a total dealbreaker as long as the voice call quality is solid and the service is reliable. But if you feel you are missing out on much-needed services, you should talk to your VoIP provider and ask for an upgrade.

How to Fix Lack of Advanced Feature Issue

If the upgrade isn’t available, then you should opt out of the service and check for another VoIP service that has all the advanced features you are looking for.

5. No Emergency Calling 

Emergency calling with VoIP is one of the features that you should never skip out on as it can literally be the difference between life and death. Since VoIP is Internet dependent and so it breaks the national conventions of communication, having emergency calling is an intricate process.

Luckily most VoIP service providers have this feature built-in. These VoIP services let you call 999 or 112 from anywhere, breaking the location restrictions and physical barriers. Even when you are out of the country, you can report your emergency situation in your location via the VoIP’s emergency call service.

When you get the VoIP service, you should register your contact information such as your home address with the provider so they can contact the local emergency services on your behalf. 

How to Fix Lack of Emergency Calling Issue

Register your address with your VoIP’s emergency dispatch department. Look for an upgrade to ensure your VoIP includes emergency calling as part of your package. Otherwise, make the switch to another carrier that offers emergency calls. 

6. Poor Security

VoIP calls are transmitted over the internet, which means that malicious actors can intercept and eavesdrop on conversations. Therefore encryption is essential to protect against eavesdropping and other issues that result from poor security. However, not all VoIP systems implement it effectively.

Attackers can manipulate caller ID information to impersonate someone else, such as a trusted business or individual. This can be used for phishing attacks or other fraudulent activities.

VoIP services that have poor security can be vulnerable to DoS (Denial of Service) attacks, where an attacker floods the system with spam traffic, causing it to become overwhelmed and unavailable to actual clients and customers.

VoIP systems can be susceptible to malware and viruses, especially if they run on vulnerable operating systems or if users click on malicious links or download infected files.

Moreover, if you use weak or default passwords, your VoIP devices can be exploited by attackers to get unauthorized access to your network. Similarly, attackers can intercept and manipulate VoIP calls by exploiting vulnerabilities in the signaling and media protocols used in VoIP communication.

And just like email spam messages, VoIP spam involves unsolicited voice messages or calls that can disrupt communication and annoy genuine users who want to make important calls to their loved ones or business clients. 

In order to prevent all these security risks, VoIP servers and equipment must be physically secured to prevent unauthorized access or tampering.

How to Fix Poor Security Issues

To mitigate these VoIP security issues, you can take various measures, including: 

  • Keep VoIP software and hardware up to date with security patches.
  • Monitor network traffic for signs of suspicious activity.
  • Educate yourself about the risks of phishing and social engineering attacks.
  • Employ VoIP security solutions and services that can detect and prevent various threats.

7. Server Downtime 

Server downtime is another major factor that affects VoIP networks and devices and is something that is out of your control. Why? Because it is something controlled by the service provider and is not related to your hardware or your system software.

If you opt for a VoIP that has high server downtime, it can heavily impact your business and relationships because you won’t be able to make the calls that you so desire. It would be like a denial of service attack, but this time the server would be down from the original source.

How to Fix Server Downtime Issue

Look for a VoIP phone solution that offers minimal downtime. No service will be completely downtime-free because server maintenance, upgrading, and regular checking can take them offline for some time. But still, go for the one that has a proven track record of robust customer satisfaction with the least amount of downtime possible.

8. Poor Hardware Compatibility

If you have a strong VoIP network but your devices are not compatible with that service, then it is pretty much useless. It might be harsh but it’s a straight-up fact. Your devices are responsible for your communication.

As we discussed earlier, if there is any issue with them, it can cause all sorts of problems such as echo, dropped calls, lag, jitters, etc. That’s why most VoIP networks offer free hardware compatible with their service. 

How to Fix Poor Hardware Compatibility Issues

Contact customer service and ask them beforehand for a list of hardware devices that are compatible with the VoIP they offer.

9. Bonus Tip: The VoIP To Go After

The solution for the first 3 problems can be sorted if you use a LAN cable, high-speed internet, high-speed router, or simply reset the router, etc. Whereas the last 5 issues can be resolved if you choose a reliable VoIP.  

So read online reviews about VoIP and call customer service to check if they meet your hardware and functional requirements. The VoIP we suggest is Axvoice because you won’t have to face any of these issues without sacrificing advanced features. 

The service has great hardware support on older devices as well so issues of incompatibility or device malfunction won’t arise. Axvoice’s VoIP phone solution also comes equipped with emergency calling, a user management portal, and advanced settings so you can optimize your network so that it runs smoothly even if you don’t have the fastest internet.

It also has great security and we haven’t come across any reviews complaining about excessive and unexpected server downtimes. The call quality is reliable and the connection setup times are fast during my extensive testing.

Every Axvoice residential or business VoIP subscription comes with free unlimited in-network calling, and the Axvoice USA/Canada Unlimited Plan comes with free unlimited international and off-network calling. The home business plan is extremely cheap compared to the rest of the competition.

So if you are looking for a new VoIP but don’t know where to look, Axvoice might be the only one you’ll ever need.

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