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VoIP for Business

Discussion in 'General Tech & Gadget Forums' started by jimbobaggins, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. jimbobaggins

    jimbobaggins
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    Ok, I have been using VoIP for ages now and am reasonably happy with it. I use Skype as I got to choose my inbound number and it is a good memorable number in the right geographic location for my business (Manchester).

    I also have a couple of guys who work for me from home and they use Skype too, as : -

    1. Its very cheap and they make lots of calls (no minimum conneciton charges and 1.2p a minute)
    2. We look like we work in the same office (all similar numbers)
    3. I can pay the bills for them
    4. I get full call reports the same day with all the calling info on them
    5. I can see when they are online and therefore working and chat with them while they are on the phone

    In other words it has everything, or nearly everything.

    I am looking at taking on some work and I will need to have 3 people in the same office, with the same broadband connection (1Mb from Zen currently), all using VoIP at the same time. I have a Netgear router DG834T I think, but when we tested 2 of us together on the connection it was a bit ropey.

    Does anyone have any suggestions of the best approach, even if it means scrapping this setup and getting a new one.

    My priorities are: -

    1. Cheap calls - lots of every day
    2. One broadband connection - shared (could be made faster though and better contention if needed)
    3. Doesn't need to be a wireless router, but wireless is an option

    Does QoS work for multiple VoIP streams simultaneously? Oh and finally, I was wondering if anyone has tested this approach with more than 3 people and if so what's the maximum people on one broadband connection?

    Cheers in advance if any guru comes up with a magic solution.

    Jim
     
  2. fortean

    fortean
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    If you have a 1Mb ADSL connection then you have 1Mb downstream but only 256Kb upstream. The 256Kb upstream is your weak point. You need an SDSL connection of 512Kb or 1Mb; both will show an improvement.
    Where I work we make the VoIPvoice range of handsets and have multiple users on Skype together; testing, support, etc. When we were on ADSL two was about the best we could manage, sometimes three. We now have a 2Mb leased line so no problems but quite expensive. We are also with Zen. Have a chat to them about what's available, we found them very helpful.
     
  3. jimbobaggins

    jimbobaggins
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    I thought that might be a problem.

    Do you know if there are any benchmarks of how much bandwidth (up and down) a single VoIP connection uses. If so then I could calculate the maximum connections per line.

    If I order another line it would be £100 to BT plus £42 per quarter line rental plus £85 to Zen for connection and £30 per month for the broadband line. Hence why wanting to use a single connection.

    This approach also does away with the need for a switch to distribute incoming calls.

    By the way, is there any advantage in using a Draytek if you aren't plugging in handsets directly to the router. ie can you configure Qos outside of these connections?

    Cheers.

    PS Just checked and SDSL is £450 connection and £265 per month! Quite a bit more than current and might make another line quite appealing.

    If we could get 5 or more on it, it might pay, but I'd also need a new office and lots more. Anyone got a cheaper workaround?
     
  4. fortean

    fortean
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    I'll have to ask one of our engineers what the bandwidth requirements of Skype are so it will be tomorrow before I can answer. Don't forget that you may suffer with contention on your ADSL.
    Skype doesn't use standard VoIP protocols so the Draytek won't really help.
    You won't be able to configure QOS for Skype either since it doesn't identify itself well enough. Just try blocking Skype and you'll see what I mean. The only way to block Skype is to prevent access to the Skype authorisation servers so you can't log on.
    Best approach is to keep ADSL modem, firewall, router, access points, etc. all seperate items.
     
  5. fortean

    fortean
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    Hello Jim,

    Skype will use about 70Kbs for a call. It can use less if the bandwidth isn't available; dial-up for example. Other things that can effect performance are the nodes/super nodes that are relaying your call as well as the normal Internet traffic on your ADSL.
    Although you have a 256K upload in real terms this will be about 220K with overheads in a perfect world. There are many other things that will reduce this upload speed and degrade a third Skype call.
     
  6. cindy

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    hello
    good day, i am cindy from cameroon, i run a cyber cafe and will like to get a VOIP in my place to make international calls. i dont know if u will be of help to my cyber cafe.
    thanks
     
  7. cindy

    cindy
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    hello
    good day, i am cindy from cameroon, i run a cyber cafe and will like to get a VOIP in my place to make international calls. i dont know if u will be of help to my cyber cafe.
    thanks
     

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