TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Question About VOIP

Question About VOIP

Trevor Smithson (
31 Dec 2005 04:40:49 -0800

I have VOIP service for my home and have a question about it.

The company I signed up with sent me a gadget that plugs into my cable
modem. Then my router is plugged into the phone company gadget, then
two computers are plugged into the router.

So, does having these two extra pieces of equipment, namely the router
and phone company adapter, delay data packets very much? Compared with
just having a computer hooked directly to the cable modem.

Thank you.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Absolutely it does. Imagine a water
pipe: only a certain amount can flow through the pipe at one time,
no matter how much water is waiting on one side or the other. This
is the same thing with cable internet and DSL. The router and the
VOIP 'phone company adapter' don't delay the computer data all that
much; actually it is the other way around. Having both computers
going at once with large up/downloads and trying to use the phone
adapter at the same time frequently causes the phone line to sound
pretty awful. Have you ever noticed the phone audio appears to
sometimes 'drop out' for a few seconds in a conversation, and you
or the other party have to repeat what you said? That's the packets
(of your voice transmission) getting lost or delayed or scrambled
in the process. Some VOIP carriers send you an adapter box which
_attempts_ to 'throttle' the data packets under the assumption your
voice phone call should take priority over your data transmission.
Sometimes it works but not always as well as desired. This involves
the way you plug the the telco adapter box and the router together,
having the telco adapter box plugged in 'ahead' of the router and
computers, which it sounds to me is what you have done. My general
rule of thumb is either transmit/recieve on the comptuer(s) or on
the telephone, but not both (or all three!) at the same time. I
have the same arrangement as what you have; if I am talking on my
Vonage line I usually stop typing on my keyboard, even so my weather
station computer once per minute sends a short little 'blip' (an
FTP transfer to where it displays) and if I am on the phone I hear
the phone cut off for just a second or two, and I lose a word or
two of what the oher person is saying. PAT]

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