Technical & FAQ - phonesystemsexpress.com
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Technical & FAQ

How many phones do I need?

Let’s discuss how to determine the amount of phones you need….

We will use a dentist office for our example.

The Dentist will want a phone in his/her office (1 phone), The office manager will need a phone in his/her office (1 phone), you have two receptionists and they will both need a phone (2 phones), you will also want to put a phone in your Consultation room (1 phone). If you add all of these together you will see that you need 5 physical phones.

The next part to think about is that when you are using a VoIP phone system you will need a line for fax and/or credit cards. This means that you will technically have a “phone” for credit cards and a “phone” for fax. Now you will not need a multi line phone like the ones mentioned above. These lines only require an analog phone which are much cheaper. If you are unsure of if you need a fax or credit card phone please contact us and we can help assist you. So let’s say you do want a fax line (1 phone) you will need to add this number to your previous count of needing 5 phones. Now you know that you need 6 phones, the next section will explain how to determine the type of phones you need.

 

How to decide if you need a Multi-line phone system...

Multi-line phone systems improve office communication and productivity by allowing ease of communication with colleagues and customers. Standard telephones (analog phones) are designed to carry audio data packets between two parties, one on either end of the line. Multi-line telephone systems are designed to permit multiple people to be on the phone at the same time.

These multiple lines can be external or internal. External lines let you communicate with your customers, while Internal lines enable you to communicate with your employees and colleagues. These lines become a “system” because they need to connect to talk with each other.

How will a VoIP multi-line phone system save your business money?

First, I will explain the cost on a 20 user phone system. On average each user costs $25.00 per month which totals $500.00 just for your phone service per month. You know that this will be an ongoing monthly fee for VoIP service ONLY, not including hardware, maintenance, warranty, etc. You may have been renting your phones and equipment under a contract. If this is the case you need to get out your contract and go over your terms and conditions so that you avoid any extra fees for terminating your rentals or cutting your contract short. If you check closely you may have been billed for Installation, maintenance fees, rentals, etc. If you chose to buy your own phone system from Phone Systems Express you will get your entire system configured before it is shipped to you and installation is so easy that even a tech novice can install it. We have very easy to follow instructions as well as videos to guide you through the install. You will receive a FULL Year of support at no extra cost! Worried about Warranty? We have you covered there too! A FULL one year warranty is included and can be purchased alone for every year after. We do NOT cover theft, flood or fire because your business insurance covers those, so we don’t need to. However, any other problems that arise will be fixed in a timely manner at no additional cost to you.

If you purchase one of our Phone Systems you will be eliminating many of your current costs as well as have an ease of mind knowing that your business is covered by our Warranty. Now compare a one year bill from your current phone system and look at our one time price of buying one of our systems. You will see a huge savings with a great warranty! You cant beat that! 

What about wiring? Need something specific?

You will need cat5e wiring, most businesses already have this if you have internet or a VoIP phone system. You may have cat6e which is newer than cat5e and both will work. If you are unsure of wether you have this type or wiring you can contact us and an engineer can quickly assist you.

What happens if you lose power or internet?

So if you are wondering what happens to a VoIP phone system if your power fails or internet goes down in your area. You have 2 options. The first option would be that if you lose power or internet you voicemail will allow any callers to leave a voicemail for you to respond as soon as power and internet is restored. The second option is Auto-Attendant, this is an option you can purchase as a part of your phone system. It is set up to route calls to specific locations or in the case of power outage/internet failure you can have it set up to send calls to a cell phone or another number so that no calls are missed. Once your system is back up and running as it should then your phone system can easily go back to being used as normal.

What is VoIP?

The phone converts analog telephony audio into a digital format that can be transmitted over the internet and converts incoming digital phone signals from the internet to standard telephone audio. VoIP phones, also known as IP phones, include features and capabilities not found in traditional analog phones.

VoIP = Voice over Internet Protocol

Multi-line VoIP phone systems improve office communication and productivity by allowing ease of communication with colleagues and customers. Standard telephones (analog phones) are designed to carry audio data packets between two parties, one on either end of the line. VoIP/Multi-line telephone systems are designed to permit multiple people to be on the phone at the same time.

These multiple lines can be external or internal. External lines let you communicate with your customers, while Internal lines enable you to communicate with your employees and colleagues. These lines become a “system” because they need to connect to talk with each other.

 

What are common problems with VoIP?

Call quality is one of the biggest problems with VoIP. This is why we work with you and configure your Phone System to work with your VoIP service provider. By us teaming up with your current service provider we get aligned with your current IT technical design so early in the process that we make sure your Phone System design for your VoIP Phone System is flawless and works very well with your current IT environment. This is why we spend an average of ten business days to put your personalized VoIP Phone System together.

 

What are the brains/computer of a phone system?

When you purchase a phone system think of it as you would a computer. A computer has what most people know as a tower. This is where the brains are that control and run your system. A phone system has a router and/or switch that controls the phone system. Different phones and phone systems require different routers and switches. If you have a 10 user phone system you will not need the same equipment that runs a phone system that has video phones with 50 phones on the entire system.

What is the difference in Standard & Premium phone systems?

Our standard phones are multi-line phones and one standard phone has SD video with 2.1 bluetooth. These phones can get the job done and have a lot of features. If you are not needing HD video and top of the line bluetooth these will work great for you.

 

Our Premium Phones are a newer and updated look compared to the standard phones. They have a sleek design and higher quality features. The 8811 is grayscale while all other premium phones are color. Some of them have USB ports on them for charging cell phones or utilizing devices that are USB connectors. The bluetooth is also supporting the most recent bluetooth with greater distance between devices. The premium also features intelligent proximity. The 8865 is our WiFi phone and is our top level phone, with many advanced features available.

 

Choppy Voice

Problem:

We’ve all been there. Someone is saying something important and it cuts out in the middle of a sentence, we inevitably have to say, “Can you repeat that?” and the person on the other line has to repeat themselves.

The common cause of choppy voice in VoIP is insufficient bandwidth. Bandwidth measures how much data can be sent over a connection in a given amount of time.

If you are hearing the other person cut in and out, then the problem is your download bandwidth. If they are hearing you cut in and out, that means the problem is your upload bandwidth.

When using an internet connection small units of data are sent in packets. When the packets fail to reach their intended destination, packet loss occurs. The side effects are network distribution, slow service, and low call quality. Often it impacts high bandwidth services like audio and video first.

Solution:

First, you should verify your network stability. When in doubt, take a sampling of three tests and average them together. If your bandwidth is lower than what you pay for consistently, you should contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

If your network is running slow, you can:

  • Reduce Network Congestion – Whether that’s turning off additional unused phone systems on a network or closing high-capacity applications like YouTube, Netflix, and other streaming services. You can also segment your network with a Virtual LAN (VLAN), so VoIP phones aren’t “seen” by other computers.
  • Prioritize QoS for VoIP – If this is a continuous problem, you may want to check your router settings and make sure the Quality of Service (QoS) is set to prioritize VoIP service.

Echoes during a VoIP call

Problem:

If you are hearing echoes there are 3 potential problems:

  1. the device
  2. headset lag
  3. network latency

Solution:

You should test each one, starting with the device itself. Does it have the latest updates? Is everything plugged in properly? Is anything damaged?

Have you done the old trick of unplugging and plugging it back in? Test your calls after you take a look at the device itself. Often, this allows the buffers to empty and can re-sync with the VoIP service of choice.

Depending on the kind of headset you have, you could just have an issue with it. Bluetooth is good, but not perfect. If you can isolate the delays to your headset and not the corded handset, you can fix the issue quickly.

Dropped calls after 11 minutes

Problem:

This is a weird VoIP problem that some users may experience. Usually, this problem is reported happening on outbound calls on high-volume networks. The first thing to check is that you have the most up-to-date firmware on your device. A quick call to your phone provider should confirm this. The second thing to check is that it may be a UTD timeout, which is the amount of time a UDP route stays open on a firewall or router. UDP network traffic is faster because it lacks the error-checking capabilities TCP offers. As a result, it’s susceptible to firewalls closing the connection and terminating the call unexpectedly.

Solution:

To fix this common VoIP issue, you should adjust router settings to allow for longer UDP timeouts or switch devices to use TCP. By default, the UDP connection timeout is 30 seconds, and the TCP connection timeout is usually 15 minutes. To increase the connection timeout, you can modify it from the firewall access rules. You will want first to try increasing the UDP timeout to 60 seconds. If you’re not already using TCP, you can try switching your devices to use TCP, which is a connection-oriented protocol that specifies the format of data and acknowledgments used in data transfer.

Low quality audio

Problem:

If you’re experiencing call quality issues, chances are your network’s bandwidth is full, or you have network instability. Audio quality is going to fall back to the most-reliable, lower-bandwidth audio formats to not drop the call. However, this could be the other party’s VoIP network or device’s fault. While you don’t want to go around blaming other people, if you’ve checked out your network bandwidth and stability, you may want to ask them to explore the issue on their side.

Solution:

If the problem is on your end, you’ll want to make sure your network is running in tip-top shape. You’ll also want to ensure you have quality network cables for all of your devices. Also, make sure you place your phones on a VLAN to segment them other network traffic.

Calls go to Voicemail unexpectedly

Problem:

It’s a big VoIP call quality problem when your phone doesn’t ring. Whether your inbound calls are going straight to voicemail or even another phone, you’re letting your customers down. The good news is that it’s a pretty simple fix! A possible setting was likely forgotten, or your phone is no longer registered with the VoIP provider.

Solution:

You’ll also want to check that your phone is not on Do Not Disturb (DND) mode. You’ll know that this is the problem if there is a circle with a horizontal line inside of it.

Review your current configuration for call forwarding and verify that all of your phones are registered and active.

Delays in interoffice calls

Problem:

Trying to call a coworker and experiencing latency? Chances are you’re experiencing network congestion.

Solution:

You can try to reduce internal network congestion, although that may not always be possible. Another option is to use QoS, which might require upgrading to a business-class router that gives higher priority to VoIP data. The final solution is to ensure you’re using properly terminated cables.

One Phone Works But Another Doesn’t

Problem:

If you’ve tested one phone and it isn’t working, but you try another device, and it is, chances are your VoIP Phone MAC address might not be registered. The other option might be that the configuration itself needs updating.

Solution:

Test using a known working location and network port. If one phone works in both places and the other fails, it’s a problem with the phone. If both phones work successfully at one location, it could suggest that an Ethernet drop is not functioning. Otherwise, you’ll have to contact your VoIP service provider support for possible firmware or configuration updates. If no updates are available and you’re still experiencing this common VoIP issue, you may need to replace your device.