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DLCPhoto
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 7:33 am    Post subject: Considering Vonage - Interpret TestYourVOIP Results Reply with quote Back to top

I am researching a possible trial of Vonage. I'm on Adelphia cable in NC, with a pretty consistent connection: usually around 512 kbps up and 4000 kbps down. I came across the TestYourVOIP link, and my scores are averaging 3.3 to 3.7 (Boston test call). The specifics are posted below.

A couple of questions:

1. I am currently using a LinkSys WRT54G router, not a Vonage one. Are the TestYourVOIP results valid in this context, or are they only valid after a Vonage (or other Voip provider) router/service is installed?

2. If they are valid, what are the "real-world" implications of these test results? There are no packet losses, but 2.9% 'packet discards' (upload only). Will this be an issue in achieving acceptable call quality and reliability with Vonage?

3. If the 'packet discards' on uplink are an issue, is there any way to improve this?

Thanks. Here are the detailed results:


Media Quality MOS 3.5 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)



Degradation Sources
Codec 0.58 37.6%
Latency 0.00 0.0%
Packet Discards 0.95 62.4%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%

Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
20ms RTP payload,
80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency 142 ms
Packet Discards 2.9%
Packet Loss 0.0%
Loss Periods Min: 20 ms
Avg: 20 ms
Max: 40 ms
Random Loss

Jitter Min: 0 ms
Avg: 8 ms
Max: 40 ms

Signaling Quality Post-Dial Delay 93 ms
Call Setup Time 218 ms
Media Delay 328 ms
MOS Analysis FROM Boston To You

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



Degradation Sources
Codec 0.58 100.0%
Latency 0.00 0.0%
Packet Discards 0.00 0.0%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%

Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
20ms RTP payload,
80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency 142 ms
Packet Discards 0.0%
Packet Loss 0.0%
Loss Periods Min: 0 ms
Avg: 0 ms
Max: 0 ms
No Loss

Jitter Min: 4 ms
Avg: 6 ms
Max: 20 ms

Signaling Quality Post-Pickup Delay 203 ms
Call Setup Time 215 ms
Media Delay 237 ms

Don Cohen
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Steve48
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Posts: 4777

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:30 am    Post subject: Re: Considering Vonage - Interpret TestYourVOIP Results Reply with quote Back to top

DLCPhoto wrote:
I am researching a possible trial of Vonage. I'm on Adelphia cable in NC, with a pretty consistent connection: usually around 512 kbps up and 4000 kbps down. I came across the TestYourVOIP link, and my scores are averaging 3.3 to 3.7 (Boston test call). The specifics are posted below.

A couple of questions:

1. I am currently using a LinkSys WRT54G router, not a Vonage one. Are the TestYourVOIP results valid in this context, or are they only valid after a Vonage (or other Voip provider) router/service is installed?


They are valid, with qualifications. In general, the results reflect the quality of your internet service, including the links between you and Boston. However, if some of your local equipment is having problems, it can adversely affect the score. Since you are deciding whether Voip will work well for you with your internet servce, I would suggest running a test with your computer plugged directly into the cable modem. That will eliminate your router as a source of problems.

DLCPhoto wrote:
2. If they are valid, what are the "real-world" implications of these test results? There are no packet losses, but 2.9% 'packet discards' (upload only). Will this be an issue in achieving acceptable call quality and reliability with Vonage?

3. If the 'packet discards' on uplink are an issue, is there any way to improve this?


I'm afraid the packet discards will be an issue, and that's why I suggested additional testing. I've seen a number of posts here on the forum indicating that the poster has good phone service with relatively low scores. Nevertheless, a recurring theme in situations in which a user is reporting poor phone service is high packet loss.

The only solution I know of is to report the problem to your ISP and hope that they can do something about it.

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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:31 am    Post subject: Re: Considering Vonage - Interpret TestYourVOIP Results Reply with quote Back to top

DLCPhoto wrote:

1. I am currently using a LinkSys WRT54G router, not a Vonage one. Are the TestYourVOIP results valid in this context, or are they only valid after a Vonage (or other Voip provider) router/service is installed?


The results are fairly valid, though I'd set up QoS on your WRT54G and set the computer you are running the Voip test on to "HIGHEST" in QoS, with the upstream bandwidth in QoS set to your tested upstream speed.

DLCPhoto wrote:

2. If they are valid, what are the "real-world" implications of these test results? There are no packet losses, but 2.9% 'packet discards' (upload only). Will this be an issue in achieving acceptable call quality and reliability with Vonage?


Reliability? No. Quality? Possibly. Your packet discards are "random loss", which means a steady loss of packets as they are streamed, so the call won't have huge long dropouts or disconnects. What you will probably find is people on the other end get slightly tinny audio, or occasional light static. Like a workable but not great cell connection.

DLCPhoto wrote:

3. If the 'packet discards' on uplink are an issue, is there any way to improve this?



Absolutely. Do the following in this order.

1. Hook a single computer directly to your modem. Run the test. If the results improve, you know it's your router. If they don't, you know it's your ISP or your modem. Then you have to look at how old your modem is, and consider replacing it, or contact your ISP.

Assuming the results are good direct from the modem...

2. Hook a single compute to your router, and your router to your modem. Run the test.

- If the results are poor, then your router has a problem. Check for the latest firmware, or if you prefer you can load aftermarket firmware if your router is NOT a WRT54G V5 (serial number starting in CDFB). If you can do aftermarket firmware, HyperWRT Tofu 12 is what I use in my WRT54G, with excellent results http://tofu.polarcloud.com/

- If the results are good, then QoS is not working properly or is not properly configured on your router. Again, check for the latest firmware or load aftermarket, then test your upstream bandwidth using www.dslreports.com/stest and set the "Upstream Bandwidth" to about 95% of the tested upstream, and run the Voip test and adjust the number up until you start seeing packet discards, then bring it down to the highest working number minus a couple of k. If 95% gives you discarded packets, then lower the number until it works.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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DLCPhoto
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Both replies very much appreciated.

I'll do some additional testing in the next few days and see if I can pinpoint the source of the Discarded Packets. My Cable-Modem is probably a few years old at least, so this could be a potential source of poor performance.

I'l have to do some reading on QoS, as I'm not currently familiar with this term.

Thanks again.

Don
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DLCPhoto
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Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Well, got to it more quickly than I thought, with easily obtainable results.

I plugged my computer directly into my cable-modem, and the results did not change at all - still varying around 3.3 to 3.7, with Packet Discards apparently the main culprit around 2-3%.

Guess I'll be getting in touch with my ISP to see what can be done as far as Modem replacement.

Other than the Modem, what specifically can I request that they pursue to remedy this problem?

Thanks.

Don
DLC Photography

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

DLCPhoto wrote:
Well, got to it more quickly than I thought, with easily obtainable results.

I plugged my computer directly into my cable-modem, and the results did not change at all - still varying around 3.3 to 3.7, with Packet Discards apparently the main culprit around 2-3%.

Guess I'll be getting in touch with my ISP to see what can be done as far as Modem replacement.

Other than the Modem, what specifically can I request that they pursue to remedy this problem?

Thanks.

Don
DLC Photography


First, you need to find out where the latency is happening. The best way to do this is to do a traceroute to "sip.vonage.net" (from a DOS command line, type "tracert sip.vonage.net" (without the quotes) and hit ENTER).

You'll see something like this:

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Documents and Settings\HOY>tracert sip.vonage.net

Tracing route to sip.vonage.net [12.144.47.38]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.1.1
2 50 ms 13 ms 9 ms host-1 [11.11.11.11]
3 10 ms 13 ms 62 ms host-2 [22.22.22.22]
4 15 ms 19 ms 74 ms host-3 [33.33.33.33]
and, eventually,
14 * * * Request timed out.

Explanation: This is mapping out the route your packets are taking to get to Vonage's Voip server (not the same as testyourvoip's router, but good enough). LATENCY (delay) is measured in ms (milliseconds). The three numbers you see for each entry are LOW, AVERAGE, and HIGHEST delay respectively.

192.168.x.x indicates a local router. Ping from that router should be VERY low. Of course, with a computer hooked directly to the Modem, you won't see this at all.

Your next hop (or the first one in a non-router situation) is your modem. This should be the very first hop that you see a domain on, and that domain should be your ISP. If you see a high latency number there, you need a new modem or your modem needs adjustment.

All hops from here are on your ISP's network or the Internet. Run this trace a few times, find the nodes that tend to read the highest numbers, and keep that as ammunition for when you call your ISP.

Eventually, the route will enter a private network that cannot be pinged. At that point you will see "Request timed out." or "Destination unreachable." Cancel the test, you won't find out any more. If the latency is beyond that point, your ISP wouldn't be able to help you anyway.


www.dslreports.com also has a series of tools that might help you trace down packet loss and latency.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Side note: Given how often this comes up, I'm going to be typing up some articles on my web site with details on how to diagnose all of this. I'll start a new thread and post the URL to that discussion to get feedback and corrections from the community here, and plead with Dan to make it sticky. Wink

If it gets popular enough, I may even make it a wiki.

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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DLCPhoto
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Posts: 34

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Hi Nate,

Excellent info; always like learning when I trouble-shoot.

Now things get interesting:

When I to the tracert as you suggest, I am set up as usual with my computer connected to the LinkSys WRT54G, and then to my Router (Motorola SB5100).

The first hop is to my router, as expected (192.168.1.1) and shows less than 1 ms across the board.

The second hop is supposed to be to my Modem and after half a dozen tries, all but 1 timed out completely, and didn't show the IP:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.1.1
2 * * * Request timed out.

One was partially successful:

1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 192.168.1.1
2 8 ms * * x.x.x.x (numbers changed to protect the innocent!)

I can post full details if needed, and if it won't create any security issues for my system.

The next hop after this varied considerably in terms of latency, with readings as low as 8ms and as high as 103 ms.

So what does all this mean, especially in terms of that second hope past my router timing out so much? Would it have anything to do with other settings (e.g. ZoneAlarm)? I'm going to reboot both my computer, cable-modem, and router, and try again to see if there are any differences.

Thanks again!

Don
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NateHoy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Try pinging your cable modem about 20 times:

"ping -n 20 (ip_address)"

Where (ip_address) is the address of your cable modem.

Also, try hooking the computer directly to the modem (bypassing the router) and doing the same test.

That will isolate whether your modem has a problem (if the ping test fails or is poor even if you hook the computer up to it), or if you have a saturated network or a router or router-to-modem problem.

Also, try accessing the modem status page (generally http://192.168.0,1 on most modems, though that may vary) and check the "signal" information (just post it here. I have no clue what the numbers mean or what acceptable ranges would be, but I know there are others here who can).

Here are my signal numbers for reference - the important bits are upstream and downstream power. Too strong, and your modem will get echoes and have problems, too weak, and your modem will not be able to hear the remote, and have problems:

Lock Status Locked Modulation QAM256
Channel ID 38 Symbol rate 5360537 sym/sec
Downstream Frequency 117000000 Hz Max Bit Rate 3000000 bps
Downstream Power -3.23 dBmV SNR 35 dB

Upstream Channel
The data shown in the table below provides information about the signal being transmitted to
the network from your cable modem.
Lock Status Locked Modulation QPSK
Channel ID 3 Symbol rate 1280 ksym/sec
Upstream Frequency 37500000 Hz Max Bit Rate 256000 bps
Upstream Power 46.00 dBmV

_________________
Comcast Cable (3m down / 256k up) -> Linksys BEFCMU10 v2 (DOCSIS 1.0) -> WRT54G v4 ("Tomato" firmware) -> the rest of my network including a WRTP54G (Firmware: 5.01.04)
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DLCPhoto
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

First - how do I access the Cable-Modem IP address? I tried ipconfig /all but don't seem to think it's there.

I rebooted everything, but the tracert behaves no differently. It still chokes on Step. 2.


Don

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