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Topic # 13795 29-May-2007 21:21
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People on the other end of VFX calls are complaining of poor sound and clicking when the internet is being browsed at the same time as a call.

We've recently signed up for an Xnet River plan, so have a 128k upstream connection. I understood that VFX needs only 64k to maintain call quality so assume this is a QoS issue??

Hardware is a new WAG54GP2 v2 that I understood came preconfigured with QoS enabled and indeed in the Basic Setup screen of the WAG's browser interface - QoS type is set to "VBR", however I wonder if there are more aggressive settings I can define under the applications & gaming section to 'force' a more reliable call quality in preference to internet.

Any and all help greatly appreciated.

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  Reply # 72768 29-May-2007 22:15
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closetgeek: People on the other end of VFX calls are complaining of poor sound and clicking when the internet is being browsed at the same time as a call.

We've recently signed up for an Xnet River plan, so have a 128k upstream connection.

The above two statements show where your problem lies:

1)  "People on the other end" i.e. the Outgoing Audio is being affected more than Incoming.

2)  Your 128kbps Upstream Bandwidth is borderline for VoIP use.  You really should be on Xnet Flood with full-speed upstream link.  Your WAG54GP2 router will do some prioritisation of VoIP versus other packets, but in my experience, it is not sufficient.

I have two sites running VFX:  One with Xnet Flood i.e. FS/FS and the other with a Wireless Connection that only has 128kbps upstream link.

The site with Xnet Flood does not have any QoS router at all, and yet we never get any audio degradation on VFX calls.

The site with 128kbps Upstream Link needs uses a router with QoS and Bandwidth Management in order to prevent audio degradation.

While it would be possible for you to stay on your existing Xnet River plan and get a better router with Bandwidth Management, the setup required to prevent audio degradation is tricky and sometimes you can still hear occasional packet loss.

Your best solution is to switch to Xnet Flood and then you get much better Upload performance as well!

I hope that helps.

Cheers,
Grant.



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  Reply # 72770 29-May-2007 22:24
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It does help Grant, thanks for the reply.

Are there any sites you can point me to with advice on figuring out the QoS minefield. I'd like to give that a try before adding $16 month to my internet bill as one of the reasons for changing to Xnet from Xtra was the cheaper cost of DSL.

Cheers
Chris


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 72775 29-May-2007 22:42
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I just had a look through my old Private Messages from Maverick because I know that I already asked him about the QoS issue back in January when we installed a SPA2102.  It has the same QoS setup as your WAG54GP2.  I cannot find the reference now, but Maverick said to leave the QoS settings at the default, as it would work best with VFX.

Basically, the Linksys units have very little that you can change in the way of QoS settings.  Xlinknz also PM'd me about this issue a few months back and said that he couldn't find anywhere on the web that gave a decent explanation of the Linksys QoS features.

For all these reasons, I decided to install a ZyXEL router with QoS and Bandwidth Management (P335U).  It lets me assign Priority and Bandwidth Budgets according to the Source & Destination IP addresses as well as the Protocol.  It is complicated and took me many hours to devise a workable scheme to prevent audio degradation of VFX calls.  Two months ago, lightning took out the WAN port of my original ZyXEL P334W router so I ordered the nearest currently available replacement which turned out to be the P335U.  Because they are from the same manufacturer, with a similar set of functions, I expected it to be more-or-less a Plug and Play replacement, once I had entered in the same settings I had been using previously...

WRONG!!!  The two routers behaved quite differently in the way they identified packets so it was back to square one and many more hours experimenting to find out what worked.

You probably think I have veered off-topic on some rant here (and I can't blame you for that), but what I want to point out is that no two routers from the same manufacturer are the same when it comes to working out a solution to this problem.  A solution in your case will depend on how you have your network setup as well as a lot of other factors.  You will be in for a lot of trial and error and because you have the choice of a better plan for only $16 per month extra, I honestly think you should go for it, rather than trying to play around with QoS.  It can be very frustrating and there is no guarantee you will get a bullet-proof solution at the end of it all...



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  Reply # 72777 29-May-2007 23:03
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Yep, I'd come to a similar conclusion before posting as I'd spent couple hours Googling with only confusing results for QoS management so understand that playing with the QoS isn't going to be a 2 minute job.

I'm keen to understand this QoS though, not just to avoid moving up to a flood plan but for a few reasons

1) even with a flood plan, I'm going to set a data cap on my usage which could still result in dropping to a slower speed so it may not be a cure all for the poor phone call quality
2) I like learning new stuff Laughing and would be keen to understand the underlying principles of QoS






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  Reply # 72779 29-May-2007 23:13
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closetgeek: 1) even with a flood plan, I'm going to set a data cap on my usage which could still result in dropping to a slower speed so it may not be a cure all for the poor phone call quality

Dropping to a throttled 64kbps line rate will totally kill VFX.  I would say:  DON'T GO THERE, just try to get your family or flat-mates to be responsible with their usage.  Xnet charge $1 per GB which is pretty reasonable so long as you don't get carried away with Bit Torrents...

closetgeek: 2) I like learning new stuff Laughing and would be keen to understand the underlying principles of QoS

Fair enough, I'm not one to give up easily either...

Basically, QoS involves prioritising one class of packet over another.  In this case, you need to give VoIP packets the Highest Available priority and knock everything else back to Low Priority.

There are very few settings you can change on the Linksys gear, so by all means have a play.  But I don't expect you will find that it makes any difference.  I certainly didn't.

Good Luck with it, and if you come up with any Magic Solutions, please post back here and I'll be most interested to hear about them.

Cheers,
Grant.

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  Reply # 72790 30-May-2007 05:18
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Hi Chris,

I was having some choppy lines after installing vfx a couple of months ago. I found this little snippet on the linksys site regarding enabling QOS for voice:


Login to router -> Applications and Gaming -> QOS -> Specific Ports -> Enter 256 in one specific port and 512 in the other specific Port.

Since I enabled this setting my phone has been great. I am using a WRTP54G which is a different router, however worth a try. Would be interested to see if it makes any difference. I am on Wired Country.

Cheers,

Matt.




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  Reply # 72791 30-May-2007 06:06
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The Wag has inbuilt QOS to handle the VOIP call which is not effected by any QOS settings on the router, the VOIP will always take priority, the issue here will not be the call or the way the router applies QOS, we believe we have identified an issue with your particular connection and will look to see how we can resolve it,







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  Reply # 72825 30-May-2007 13:47
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Hi Guys,

Here is the reference to the linksys page regarding QOS for the WRTP54g:

WRTP54g

It seemed to help my line but could have all been in my head! Laughing

Cheers,

Matt.




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  Reply # 72872 30-May-2007 18:08
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Maverick, can you please confirm this regarding the WRTP54G?  Thanks.




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  Reply # 72873 30-May-2007 18:12
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Niel: Maverick, can you please confirm this regarding the WRTP54G? Thanks.


I can't confirm this as I haven't tested it , but if you are having issues on the wrtp with those symptoms feel free to try it, it is posted on the Linksys web site so may have some benefits




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  Reply # 73238 2-Jun-2007 15:15
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Hi Chris,

Just checking to see if you still have issues, once your connection came back online ?




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  Reply # 73375 4-Jun-2007 11:45
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Hi Phil

Internet connection is fine and I've tried to replicate the same scenario that caused the voice issues last time. i.e. an active internet user at the same time as a lengthy phone call. At the moment everything seems to be fine!

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  Reply # 73377 4-Jun-2007 12:40
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Thought it would be Wink, let us know how it goes over a few days Chris




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  Reply # 73399 4-Jun-2007 20:33
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maverick: ...the issue here will not be the call or the way the router applies QOS, we believe we have identified an issue with your particular connection and will look to see how we can resolve it,

Assuming that Chris continues to experience problem-free VFX while simultaneous internet activity is taking place, it would be great to know what the "issue with the particular connection was"...

This may be relevant for other people on plans such as Xnet River with 128kbps upstream bandwidth.

Any clues would be appreciated.



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  Reply # 74105 9-Jun-2007 13:37
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I think it's safe to say by now that all is good. Can't reproduce issue and all seems fine.

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