Sometimes the internet speed promised by your provider differs greatly from the speed you experience on a day-to-day basis. While sometimes, slow and unstable connections are an external problem, often the network or computer is to blame.
As we’ve discussed before, the router commonly impacts VoIP’s efficiency. For this reason, clean the dust from your router and perform a few simple configurations before moving forward. Similarly, upgrade your router’s firmware online. Although most new routers do this automatically, some computer settings conflict with maintenance schedules and prevent upgrades from downloading.
Getting to Know Your Computer’s Components
Slow internet on a computer can be caused by many things. Firstly, older operating systems may not work properly on today’s modern broadband connections. For newer models, however, VoIP quality is mostly influenced by network interface cards, network cables, audio cards, and RAM.
Instead of repurchasing or upgrading these components, start by cleaning your hard disk. To do so, regularly defragment your computer, run system clean-ups, and uninstall/disenable programs that consume too much bandwidth or CPU power. Ideally, keep 15% of the hard disk free at all times to avoid sluggish performance. Additionally, optimize your computer for VoIP by keeping it safe and secure. This means running virus, malware, and spyware scans weekly, removing unnecessary or suspect toolbars and bloatware, and switching browsers (if necessary). Clear-out your browser’s cache every few weeks too because this can affect performance negatively.
When using USB headsets and softphones, swapping out your standard audio card for a VoIP optimized alternative can make a big difference in call quality. The same goes for network cards when operating wirelessly. These components continue to drop in price, so do some market research to find hardware compatible with your system. There are always additions to boost VoIP’s performance, but first work with what you have to reduce start-up and maintenance costs. The majority of users will experience perfect quality without tweaking or upgrading.