VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) provides free home phone service to callers with broadband internet. While it’s free in the sense that the caller no longer has to pay monthly phone bills, he or she must still pay an upfront fee to subscribe to the VOIP provider. The four leading internet phone providers are Vonage, Skype, Ooma, and MagicJack.
The free home phone service is converted from analog to digital rather than purely analog used in the old days of wired phone service. Because of this analog-to-digital conversion, connection problems such as dropped calls, echos, and choppy audio quality can be frustrating. Here’s how to troubleshoot MagicJack VOIP voice quality issues to keep the free home phone service free of dropped calls and choppy audio.
Troubleshooting MagicJack Voice Quality
MagicJack is a matchbox-sized VOIP phone service that is plugged into a USB port on a computer, then plugged into a regular phone on the other end. It keeps voip phone systems active and updated. Therefore, the helpful technicians over at MagicJack offer several fixes when using their online chat customer service feature. Typical problems include cordless phone too close to the computer, softphone updates, unplugging/replugging the unit, and computer audio adjustments.
The MagicJack website offers a variety of fixes to audio quality. The caller can plug the VOIP unit into another USB port on his or her computer; use a different phone; or reboot the modem and/or router for 3-5 minutes. Some of these fixes may work, but the caller may still have problems. So what does a person do?
The Secret Fix for MagicJack Audio Quality
VOIP voice quality is affected by broadband bandwidth. MagicJack allows f or no less than 128 kb/s upload speed. To test broadband speed, use a speed tester such as Speakeasy or Speedtest.net. If the person’s internet connection is slower (i.e., the “basic” package), sound may become choppy. For this reason, the phone service cannot be used with a simple dial-up connection. Also, it cannot be used with a satellite connection.
When surfing the internet while talking on the VOIP phone at the same time, the caller may experience choppy sound and echos. However, all these problems can be alleviated by purchasing one simple little tech product – a powered USB hub. USB components generally draw power directly from the computer’s USB port. Yet because of technical issues, it may not be enough power to facilitate the analog-to-digital conversion. A powered USB hub resolves this issue and dramatically improves VOIP audio quality.
Simply unplug the MagicJack from your computer. Plug the unit into the powered USB hub, then plug the hub into to an electrical outlet. Call a friend or family member on the phone to test VOIP audio quality. If it is still a little choppy, try a higher-rated bandwidth package from an ISP. Otherwise enjoy the VOIP free home phone service and never again pay another monthly bill.