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Omri
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Joined: Jan 07, 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:38 pm    Post subject: Most of my calls are dropped Reply with quote Back to top

Hello all,

I've had Vonage service since April 2005. I have been living with dropped calls for pretty much the whole time, but it seems like it's been getting worse over time, and these days, any call that I make that lasts more than 10min is pretty much sure to be dropped.

I called Vonage support a couple of months ago after my wife pleaded with me to quit Vonage and go back to Verizon - the technician while polite was not able to give me much help - the best he could suggest was to use a wireline phone plugged directly into the Vonage router, because there may be issues with the house wiring. Given that I never experienced any problems with my wiring before, and the fact that there is no point for me to maintain Vonage service if I can't use every phone in my house (including the cordless sets) as advertised, this advice wasn't very useful to me.

I spent a couple of hours on the forum today doing research and trying to get educated, but I may have missed something obvious, so bear with me.

Here is my setup: Internet (cable service by Comcast) -> Surfboard SB4100 -> Linksys WRT54G -> Linksys RT31P2. I connected the WAN port on the P2 to port 1 of the 54G. Phone port 1 on the R2 is connected to a phone jack. Except for the dropped call problem, this setup has been working well for 9 months.

I have a couple of wireline phones connected to various phone jacks around the house, and I also have a dual headset Uniden system (5.8GHz - shouldn't conflict with the 2.4GHz wireless G).

I have tried in the past to flip the 54G and P2, but ran into some issues with computers on my LAN getting to the internet, and gave up. Reading the forum today, it appears that most of the experts seem to favor my existing setup anyway, so I am not wasting time on that option.

I got my Voip quality results from TestYourVoIP.com. They are attached at the bottom of this post.

I also read about QoS and about firmware updates. I realized that my 54G was still running the v2 firmware and didn't have QoS settings, so I updated my 54G firmware to 4.20.7, which has some basic QoS settings. I added the R2's LAN MAC address to the "Device Priority" settings as "highest", and also set the priority of the port to which the R2 is plugged into (port 1) to "High" and the rest are set at "low". Unfortunately, I got a call dropped today 12 minutes in, so that wasn't it.

I don't run BitTorrent or other bandwidth-intensive apps, but I do run a website that has a blog, and I get aggregators hitting it all the time. That said, I believe the traffic should be miniscule compared to the bandwidth available (internetfrog.com says 1.78Mbps down, 277kbps up).

I tried getting into the R2 to see the firmware version (could be old - haven't ever touched it), but unfortunately I set it up so long ago I can't remember the passwd Sad. It's set up on 192.168.15.1 (i.e. its own subnet) and I haven't set up any static routes - I don't plug in anything else to the R2 (everything goes to the 54G). So if I ever need to get into the R2, I just plug a laptop into one of its ports and get an IP address dynamically assigned.

Finally, I read somewhere on the forum that the R2 has some known interference issues but I couldn't find any other data. The post said to plug in an "off-the-hook" phone to the other port on the R2 (which I did), but still no sign of improvement.

I'm now officially out of ideas. ANY help would be GREATLY appreciated! I'm going to give the Vonage service a few more days, but I fear that I may be close to the end of the line, unless I can get this problem fixed..

Thanks!

Omri.

MOS report:

Media Quality MOS 3.6 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)

Degradation Sources
Codec 0.57 40.2%
Latency 0.07 5.0%
Packet Discards 0.78 54.8%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%

Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
20ms RTP payload,
80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency 223 ms
Packet Discards 3.2%
Packet Loss 0.0%
Loss Periods Min: 20 ms
Avg: 40 ms
Max: 120 ms
Burst Loss

Jitter Min: 0 ms
Avg: 14 ms
Max: 114 ms

Signaling Quality Post-Dial Delay 125 ms
Call Setup Time 140 ms
Media Delay 328 ms
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mundy5
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Joined: Feb 28, 2005
Posts: 1179

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: Most of my calls are dropped Reply with quote Back to top

Omri,

I'm sorry to hear that you have been having issues with your phone connection from the very beginning. As I have been reading your post, there were a few thoughts that came to my mind. Btw, I have a very similar setup except I have my rt31p2 before my 2nd router since my 2nd router DI-524 does not have QoS. You can see my setup in my signature.

Omri wrote:
I don't run BitTorrent or other bandwidth-intensive apps, but I do run a website that has a blog, and I get aggregators hitting it all the time. That said, I believe the traffic should be miniscule compared to the bandwidth available (internetfrog.com says 1.78Mbps down, 277kbps up).


I hope that you realize that your upload speed is quite slow at 277 kbps to run a website. The reason being is that when people access your website, they are using your upload bandwidth which is only 277 kbps. I presume that this is going to be eaten up pretty quickly. Another factor is that in the rt31p2's default setting, it uses 90 kbps to run a phone call which only leaves you with 187 kbps. Not a whole lot to run a website.

I would suggest that you consider either putting your website on a different system or getting an upgrade in upload speed.

Omri wrote:
I tried getting into the R2 to see the firmware version (could be old - haven't ever touched it), but unfortunately I set it up so long ago I can't remember the passwd Sad. It's set up on 192.168.15.1 (i.e. its own subnet)


You need to do a hard reset and regain access to your web configuration. It's no use trying to fix something blind. There is a reset button you need to push for 30 seconds and reboot everything in proper sequence.

Omri wrote:
Finally, I read somewhere on the forum that the R2 has some known interference issues but I couldn't find any other data. The post said to plug in an "off-the-hook" phone to the other port on the R2 (which I did), but still no sign of improvement.


The above situation is only with echoing and white noise. Not in your case.

I am concerned about your MOS report because of 2 things.

1. I don't know which direction this is. Is it from you to Boston or from Boston to you? It doesn't say.

2. You have a high number of packet discards 54% which is not a good number and reflects something wrong with your ISP network.

I hope these comments will give you some things to think about.

Omri wrote:
MOS report:

Media Quality MOS 3.6 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)

Degradation Sources
Codec 0.57 40.2%
Latency 0.07 5.0%
Packet Discards 0.78 54.8%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%

Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
20ms RTP payload,
80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency 223 ms
Packet Discards 3.2%
Packet Loss 0.0%
Loss Periods Min: 20 ms
Avg: 40 ms
Max: 120 ms
Burst Loss

Jitter Min: 0 ms
Avg: 14 ms
Max: 114 ms

Signaling Quality Post-Dial Delay 125 ms
Call Setup Time 140 ms
Media Delay 328 ms

_________________
St. Louis, MO
Vonage Customer from February 2005 to May 2010
ISP: Charter
Router: Linksys RT31P2 (blew up during electrical storm)
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Steve48
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Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 4777

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Omri,

You only posted one set of test call data and it doesn't specify the direction, but the percentage of packet discards is huge. That could explain dropped calls. Try temporarily disconnecting everthing and plugging your computer directly into the cable modem. Repeat the test call. If you get similar poor Voip performance with that configuration, then you have issues to discuss with your ISP.

_________________
Steve Gray
Orlando, FL
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Omri
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Joined: Jan 07, 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Most of my calls are dropped Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks Mundy and Steve for your replies!

My Voip test results were to Boston - the results from Boston to me were perfect (score was 4.4).

I tried a couple of things like you suggested:
1. reset the RT31P2 for 30sec
2. disconnected everything except for a computer that is plugged in directly to the P2
3. ran the Voip test again.

This time the results are a bit more mixed - both directions suffer some packet discards (although TO boston is a bit better than yesterday) - results at the bottom of the mail.

It's important to note that I couldn't eliminate the 54G from the setup - when I plugged the cablemodem directly into the R2's uplink and removed the 54G, I couldn't access the net anymore. Even after I reset the R2, I couldn't get into it (I still don't know the passwd). Anyone know what it would be? (maybe you can send me a personal message..)

BTW, before I went through the steps above I tried to run the test again (just for kicks) from the first computer (that was plugged into the 54G) just like I did last night. This time my results were all over the map and pretty much all worse than yesterday. I'm not sure what that means - noisy network? Again, I don't think I run that much stuff, but Mundy, your point about uplink bandwidth is well-taken - 200kpbs isn't that much. If I could only get the 54G to clamp down on the website traffic when a call comes in and guarantee the 90kbps for the phone call, I'd be fine - I don't care so much about the effect that a random phone call has on the blog aggregators that are hitting my network...

Here are the results of my MOS test. Does the packet discard rate still look huge? What is the best way to approach this with Comcast?

Thanks!

Omri.
--

MOS Analysis From You TO Boston

Media Quality
MOS 3.9 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)

Degradation Sources
Codec 0.57 51.6%
Latency 0.09 8.5%
Packet Discards 0.44 39.8%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%

Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
20ms RTP payload,
80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency 313 ms
Packet Discards 2.3%
Packet Loss 0.0%
Loss Periods Min: 20 ms
Avg: 40 ms
Max: 140 ms
Burst Loss

Jitter Min: 0 ms
Avg: 19 ms
Max: 254 ms

Signaling Quality Post-Dial Delay 187 ms
Call Setup Time 187 ms
Media Delay 422 ms


MOS Analysis FROM Boston To You

Media Quality
MOS 3.8 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)

Degradation Sources
Codec 0.58 46.1%
Latency 0.10 8.0%
Packet Discards 0.38 30.5%
Packet Loss 0.19 15.2%

Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
20ms RTP payload,
80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency 313 ms
Packet Discards 1.3%
Packet Loss 0.7%
Loss Periods Min: 20 ms
Avg: 20 ms
Max: 40 ms
Random Loss

Jitter Min: 4 ms
Avg: 7 ms
Max: 42 ms

Signaling Quality Post-Pickup Delay 221 ms
Call Setup Time 167 ms
Media Delay 255 ms
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Omri
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Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

One more update: I downloaded the manual for the RT31P2 and found the factory default passwd so I'm now able to look at the setup. The firmware version is 1.30.01, it's not set up to be auto-upgraded, and in the QoS tab, the voice QoS is enabled and the QoS upstream rate is set to 512kb/s.

Steve, I looked at your post again, and realized that you meant to plug the computer directly into the cablemodem. I tried that but it wasn't able to obtain an IP address. Even when I entered it manually (along with the default gateway, subnet mask, DNS, etc) using the information from the 54G (which is the device I previously had plugged into the cablemodem), I still wasn't able to talk to anything. My guess is that somehow the Comcast service is filtering its DHCP by MAC address or something. Note I didn't reboot the cablemodem - maybe I'll try that next...
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Omri
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Joined: Jan 07, 2006
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

OK, I'm a dork. After rebooting the cablemodem it was able to provide my PC an IP address over DHCP. Doh!

I ran the Voip test again. Better results, but still some discarded packets on the uplink side... are these results good enough to run Voip over, or do I need to call Comcast and complain?

Many thanks!

Omri.

--
MOS Analysis From You TO Boston

Media Quality MOS 3.9 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)



Degradation Sources
Codec 0.57 51.6%
Latency 0.09 8.5%
Packet Discards 0.44 39.8%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%

Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
20ms RTP payload,
80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency 307 ms
Packet Discards 2.1%
Packet Loss 0.0%
Loss Periods Min: 20 ms
Avg: 80 ms
Max: 160 ms
Burst Loss

Jitter Min: 0 ms
Avg: 20 ms
Max: 276 ms

Signaling Quality Post-Dial Delay 203 ms
Call Setup Time 203 ms
Media Delay 407 ms
MOS Analysis FROM Boston To You

Media Quality MOS 4.1 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)



Degradation Sources
Codec 0.58 65.4%
Latency 0.08 9.3%
Packet Discards 0.00 0.0%
Packet Loss 0.22 25.1%

Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
20ms RTP payload,
80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency 307 ms
Packet Discards 0.0%
Packet Loss 0.9%
Loss Periods Min: 20 ms
Avg: 20 ms
Max: 40 ms
Random Loss

Jitter Min: 3 ms
Avg: 7 ms
Max: 27 ms

Signaling Quality Post-Pickup Delay 174 ms
Call Setup Time 186 ms
Media Delay 208 ms
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taylor2767
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Joined: May 05, 2005
Posts: 400

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Omri,

Here are a couple of additional steps you can try to stablize you adapter.

assuming you are using the following setup

Modem---->54G---->phone adapter

Plug the phone adapter via ethernet into your computer
access// 192.168.15.1 and disable QOS a couple a times by going in and out of it a couple of times and saving your settings each time.

Now, plug your modem via ethernet to your computer.

Go to start and run in windows and type in cmd.

Now type on the c:\documents and settings line

ipconfing/all


This should bring up a listing of your primary and secondary DNS server address for your IP-write them down

Lastly, access your router setup page and under your DNS tab enter the DNS server addresses and save setting.

Now reboot your system in the order you have them setup, waiting of course for each piece to reboot.

Hope this will help.
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Omri
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Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Taylor,

Quote:
Lastly, access your router setup page and under your DNS tab enter the DNS server addresses and save setting.


I assume by "router" you mean what you previously called the "phone adapter", not the 54G, right? (the 54G already picks up the DNS addresses when it initializes over DHCP). I assume that by doing this you are just eliminating one hop for DNS resolution - instead of going to the 54G, you go to the DNS servers directly. I can certainly try that.. but my concern is about the rate of packet discards - what is the normal threshold? If someone can supply what the typical rates for this should be for Comcast (so I'm armed with some data when I call them), I would be much obliged..

Thanks!

Omri.
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Steve48
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Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 4777

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Omri wrote:
I ran the Voip test again. Better results, but still some discarded packets on the uplink side... are these results good enough to run Voip over, or do I need to call Comcast and complain?


I would still talk to your ISP. 39.8% discards is much too high.

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Orlando, FL
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Omri
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Posts: 9

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Steve Wrote:
Quote:

I would still talk to your ISP. 39.8% discards is much too high.


Steve, thanks for your advice - I am indeed going to call Comcast.

One question about the statistics though - the way I read the MOS report, I'm getting 2.1% of my packets discarded, which accounts for 39.8% of the degradation in my call quality... so when I talk to the Comcast folks, I tell them I get 2.1% of my packets discarded, not 39.8%... Is that right? (data quoted below)

Thanks!

Omri.

Quote:

Degradation Sources
Codec 0.57 51.6%
Latency 0.09 8.5%
Packet Discards 0.44 39.8%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%

Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
20ms RTP payload,
80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency 307 ms
Packet Discards 2.1%
Packet Loss 0.0%
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