Minimum Bandwidth for VoIP

By Jim Vassallo
Updated: February 08, 2011

Minimum Bandwidth for VoIP

Running a business in today’s high-paced technological world can be a very daunting task for some, especially if they do not have the proper technology installed in the office to keep things running smoothly and productively. VoIP is a popular piece of technology used by millions of companies, small and large, across the country today because of its use of IP addresses on the internet when operating.

As a company grows, more and more people will be accessing the network that a VoIP system operates on and this concerns many business owners when it comes to the speed of the network and the voice quality it provides. As more and more employees access the network, the speed could slow down, adversely affecting the quality of the phone calls made using VoIP.

Checking Bandwidth

A business owner interested in using VoIP for their office should browse each VoIP company’s website because these companies typically post their utilities. A business owner can do this by downloading a very large file from the VoIP company’s website. The file will then calculate how much space was used to download the file, how much bandwidth is left, and how long it took to download the file.

The second method used by business owners to check their bandwidth and how well a VoIP system operates is to monitor phone calls. If the calls continuously ‘break-up’ or are ‘dropped’ then you might not have enough bandwidth to operate the VoIP system properly.

A high-speed internet connection usually features a minimum of 384kbps (kilobits per second) and a maximum of 7mbps (megabits per second). When you want to make a phone call using VoIP with the highest available voice quality you will need 100kbps of bandwidth for this to occur.

When acquiring VoIP for your business, make sure that you purchase enough bandwidth to operate the VoIP system and the internet at the same time. Simply browsing the internet or sending small emails will not affect bandwidth. Downloading large files and images will affect a company’s bandwidth and how the VoIP system operates. You will need larger amounts of bandwidth for a VoIP system that is hosting multiple phone calls.

Cable internet is friendlier to a VoIP system than DSL internet is because it is faster and has 600k of upload bandwidth compared to 128k of upload bandwidth. Your company will have to pay an increased fee for higher amounts of bandwidth should you ask for an increase from your bandwidth provider.

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