Over the last few weeks I have added several new devices to my home network (iPad, guest computers, two new TiVOs, new router, etc) and have noticed my VOIP phone quality go way down. After doing some initial troubleshooting, taking devices offline one at a time, etc – I decided it was time to call my VOIP phone company to see what they had to say. After the initial dummy tasks (unplug, reboot, restart) – we finally got down to it – my connection speed.
I have Comcast, and have been happy with their service for years. Ten years ago – I bought a cable modem to use with my service and have been using it ever since without any issue. After talking to someone from the phone company – they noticed that my cable modem was old and was using DOCSIS 1.0 (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification) which I had never heard about before. The customer support person recommended getting a new cable modem which they promised would help my bandwidth issue and thus take care of my poor voice quality issue as well.
I purchased a new cable modem earlier this week (DOCSIS 3.0) and what a difference. The speeds I am seeing down/up are 2-3x the speed I was getting last week – and no more phone quality issues at all.
Overall message/lesson: even though somethings are “working” – if they are older, they are most likely outdated and should be updated sooner than once every ten years. So – if you are like me and are seeing slower than expected speeds, and/or your VOIP quality sucks – make sure to check to see what kind of network equipment you have and if there are newer/better models available.