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Before You Install VoIP Phones – Test Your System!

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In today’s information age, where you are only as efficient as your bandwidth, knowing the quality of your Internet connection is essential. There are plenty of reasons you might want to test your Internet connection’s performance. Maybe you’ve upgraded service, or just moved into a new location or noticed computers and applications aren’t running the way they once were.  In the case of the use of quality dependent applications such as a VoIP or Cloud PBX solution, it is essential your Internet speed and quality is adequate. This is a guide to help you determine whether your existing Internet is ready for VoIP.

One of the simplest ways to test your Internet connection is with PanTerra’s Web-based Speed Test, which will run three benchmarks to test your latency (which outlines the delay with signals sent to and from your ISP), your upload bandwidth (for sending information out of your location), and your download bandwidth (used when accessing or retrieving websites or applications in the cloud). These figures can be compared to the theoretical values your ISP promises, and can help you determine if you’re getting the Internet connection you’re paying for.

There are other speed tests available from various ISPs and companies, but since most of these tests perform the same basic evaluations, the results should be similar from each. If you want a comprehensive test that uses HTML5 instead of Flash and supports mobile devices, please reach out to your Account Executive for an All Inclusive MAT Test.

There are three values to pay attention to in most speed tests. First, there’s your ping rate, also known as your connection latency. Ping times under 50ms are excellent, while ping times of 50ms – 100ms should still be fast enough for VoIP virtual PBX Systems. Anything below 250ms should be fine for web surfing or casual use, but if you hit 500ms – 1000ms of ping latency, you’ll definitely notice the Internet lagging.

Next, there’s your download bandwidth. Download bandwidth is the speed at which your computer downloads material from the Internet. If you’re streaming video from Netflix or Hulu, download bandwidth is important. If your bandwidth is low – under 10Mbps – you may have trouble streaming to multiple devices at the same time. Higher-bandwidth connections are important for guaranteeing that multiple high-end devices can access content without any of them feeling pinched. A single user office that doesn’t do much video streaming might get by comfortably on 10Mbps or less. But a full office with many devices using the Internet simultaneously should consider a wider broadband pipe.

Upload bandwidth is different. Most US ISPs sell upload bandwidth much more sparingly than download, which means it’s not uncommon to have a bandwidth plan that gives you 50Mbps of download performance but just 5Mbps of upload. Most services require far more download than upload bandwidth; 5Mbps is plenty for most people. If you need more than that, however, such as for transferring large files across the Net, you may need to look into a premium-tier service plan that can provide it. At PanTerra, we have the ability to add a SmartBand circuit price to your quote. This way we can monitor your bandwidth along with your phone service. For businesses that need to have a reliable circuit and want one throat to choke, we recommend getting a SmartBand circuit quote.

Any way you slice it, Internet Speed is important for all of your business-critical processes. Let PanTerra guide you through the process of getting up to speed so you can concentrate on what you do best.