Now that this little series of mine appears to have wound itself to an end I've collected all five posts in a PDF for your download convenience.
For the past ten years I have worked from a home office full time. This has been the major motivation for my education in networking, and onward into VOIP technologies. Since the middle of 2005 we have not used traditional…
One of the great things about the traditional PSTN is that it keeps working when the power goes out. I’ve repeatedly read others recommending that people sustain traditional POTS service at least in part because of this fact. Their theory being that VOIP service isn’t sustained during a power outage. But this need not be the case given just a little forethought.
Prior to migrating to Asterisk we had been using a Panasonic KX-TG4000 KSU (seen left). This phone system has four FXO interfaces for analog lines.
It also featured a built-in battery backup so our phones stayed up through power outages. In migrating to VOIP within our home and office I felt it necessary to strive for this kind of reliability. It has certainly made my wife happier.
A couple of days ago Garrett Smith posted on his blog entry stating, “One More Reason Pure VoIP is Not The Way to Go.” He goes on to describe a weather event that took out his power, internet access, and therefore his VOIP service.
I was born in the Niagara Region on the Canadian side of the border. I lived for 15 years in Toronto as well as 10 years in deep Northern Ontario. I’ve known winter in all its majesty.
In my former life as a kite enthusiast I made the drive from Buffalo, NY to Erie, PA through many a winter storm. And they certainly do get blasted from time-to-time in that part of the country.
My experience has been that the QoS mechanisms covered previously don’t provide a complete solution to the need for assured bandwidth when using VOIP over DSL. When the connection to the ISP becomes saturated for any reason VOIP traffic can be delayed which is always a problem. When managed QoS was combined with “traffic shaping” our VOIP phone service became much more reliable. This has proven to be true even on a very busy connection to my ISP.
Like the QoS mechanisms covered previously, traffic shaping is an edge process that occurs in your router. Traffic shaping is actually a process of reserving bandwidth specifically for selected applications. That bandwidth will not be used for other forms of internet access. As before, this tends to be most critical with outbound traffic where available bandwidth is most limited. It’s also true with inbound traffic, but this tends to be less of an issue.
SOHO users like myself are unlikely to have high-end networking gear supporting their home office setups. My initial experience with VOIP over broadband involved using Vonage and a Linksys BEFSR-41 broadband router. At the time Vonage was the leading phone-over-broadband service and the BEFSR-41 was the leading SOHO router.