Quality of Service Settings

This forum includes tips for maintaining the best audio quality possible with the Ooma System. If your Ooma system is having issues with dropped calls, static audio or echo, look here for assistance.

Quality of Service Settings

Postby FloridaJohn » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:15 am

New user here. I just set up the Hub yesterday, and everything went smoothly. I have made a couple of calls so far, and for the most part, everything is working well. I will be testing the system for the next month or so before I make the decision to port my POTS line over to Ooma.

I have made a few phone calls so far, and the quality of the call on my side (what I hear) is fine, pretty close to the quality from the POTS line (which is good). But people on the other side of the call are telling me that although they can understand me fine, it doesn't quite sound like a "normal" phone. Since my side sounds fine, I assume it has something to do with the QoS on the upstream side.

My setup is Comcast cable modem -> Ooma -> Router. I have done the speed tests recommended here and everything checks out fine. I have roughly 4 MB downstream (plus the short-term powerboost) and 2 MB upstream. I have read the KB articles http://www.ooma.com/support/knowledgebase/configuring-quality-service and http://www.ooma.com/support/knowledgebase/learning-more-about-ooma-quality-service-qos, and although they are good basic, background documents, they really don't tell you exactly what the settings do, or how the settings affect each other. I have also read many threads on here about this subject, but it is very difficult to discern exactly what the settings do from those discussions.

Let's review each of the three settings, and I can pose my questions about each one.

Upstream Internet Speed
This is the one that I believe I have to change. I have already changed it to 2250 kbps (2 MB x 1024) from it's default of 384 (I think). You can also change it to 0 to disable it. What setting would give me the highest quality phone call in the upstream direction? The maximum upstream bitrate available for my connection, or 0? How would this affect my computer's internet connection while on the phone? What happens if I have two simultaneous phone calls (hub and scout)? How accurate does this setting have to be? If I actually get 2.2 MB of upstream bandwidth, is it better to set it to that number? What if I only get 1.9 MB? What if it is variable?

Downstream Internet Speed
This one defaults to 0. I have not adjusted this one, because so far my downstream phone quality is good. Should it be set to the maximum download speed? Should I use the PowerBoost speed or the steady-state (lower speed)? How will this affect internet connections on my computer? Is 0 the best setting for it?

Reserved Bandwidth for Calls
This is really the one that I don't understand. It defaults to 130 kbps, but has settings available up to 215. Does selecting a larger number result in better quality phone calls, or is that just wasting bandwidth available to the computer? How do you determine how much to reserve? How does selecting 0 for Upstream and Downstream affect this (or does it)? Should this be larger if you think you might have two concurrent phone calls (hub and scout in use at the same time)?

To sum up what I am asking, is how do you determine what combination of those three settings will give you the highest quality phone calls? It seems to me that all of the default settings are assuming a slower connection than I have available. I would like to maximize my voice quality in both directions, without negatively impacting my internet connection for my computer. How do you determine where that line is?

Thanks for the help!
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Re: Quality of Service Settings

Postby Groundhound » Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:28 am

I responded to a similar post from another user here: http://www.ooma.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=30457#p30457. Set your Ooma downstream QoS to be about 75% of whatever download Comcast speed tier you are on without Powerboost. Leave the Ooma upstream QoS at 768 for Comcast upload speed tier of 1 Mbps or more. This is only for when you have Ooma connected directly to your modem.

Ooma's QoS is only in effect during a phone call, and will slow your connection down to give priority to the call. I don't think the reserved bandwidth setting has much of an effect on higher speeds typical with cable.
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Re: Quality of Service Settings

Postby FloridaJohn » Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:45 am

Groundhound wrote:I responded to a similar post from another user here: http://www.ooma.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=30457#p30457. Set your Ooma downstream QoS to be about 75% of whatever download Comcast speed tier you are on without Powerboost. Leave the Ooma upstream QoS at 768 for Comcast upload speed tier of 1 Mbps or more. This is only for when you have Ooma connected directly to your modem.

Thanks for the reply.

Wouldn't setting the QoS to 75% of what is available set up a situation similar to this:

Image

where now I have bandwidth lost to both the computer and to Ooma?

Also, why do say "I don't think the reserved bandwidth setting has much of an effect on higher speeds typical with cable."? What makes you think this is the case?

My goal with this thread is to not just come up with numbers to put in the boxes, but to understand why those numbers should be there.

Thanks!
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Re: Quality of Service Settings

Postby Groundhound » Sun Nov 01, 2009 7:58 am

FloridaJohn wrote:
Groundhound wrote:I responded to a similar post from another user here: http://www.ooma.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=30457#p30457. Set your Ooma downstream QoS to be about 75% of whatever download Comcast speed tier you are on without Powerboost. Leave the Ooma upstream QoS at 768 for Comcast upload speed tier of 1 Mbps or more. This is only for when you have Ooma connected directly to your modem.

Thanks for the reply.

Wouldn't setting the QoS to 75% of what is available set up a situation similar to this:
Yes, it is a conservative number, if you're confident you always get you rated bandwidth, set it higher.
Image

where now I have bandwidth lost to both the computer and to Ooma?

Also, why do say "I don't think the reserved bandwidth setting has much of an effect on higher speeds typical with cable."? What makes you think this is the case? Because I've played with it with my Comcast connection and I can't see any difference.

My goal with this thread is to not just come up with numbers to put in the boxes, but to understand why those numbers should be there.

Thanks!
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Re: Quality of Service Settings

Postby FloridaJohn » Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:55 am

FloridaJohn wrote:Wouldn't setting the QoS to 75% of what is available set up a situation similar to this:
Groundhound wrote:Yes, it is a conservative number, if you're confident you always get you rated bandwidth, set it higher.

I see. I went back and re-read the "Learning more about Ooma Quality of Service" document, and found this sentence in there that says the same thing as you,

Ooma wrote:For the most optimum results, it is best to configure your "Upstream Internet Speed" to be 15-20% less than your measured upstream bandwidth.

What they appear to be saying is that if your allocated bandwidth is slightly lower than what is available, you still get the best available voice quality. If you allocated bandwidth is slightly higher than what is available, then you could lose packets of voice just as easily as packets of data (from the computer). In that case, you voice quality will degrade.

So it is better to allocate a little less than what is available than a on the edge or a little more. Makes sense now. :)

I still don't know if it is better to leave the downstream setting at 0 (disabled) or to actually set it to a value. Not much information available about that. For the time being, I am leaving it at 0.

FloridaJohn wrote:why do say "I don't think the reserved bandwidth setting has much of an effect on higher speeds typical with cable."? What makes you think this is the case?
Groundhound wrote: Because I've played with it with my Comcast connection and I can't see any difference.

This one is still puzzling me. The Ooma document "Configuring Quality of Service" doesn't even mention it, and their sample graphic doesn't show it at all. I assume this is because it was a parameter added after they wrote that article. The only thing I could glean from older posts is that it sets aside a certain amount of bandwidth for Oooma, and that if it is too low, you could have problems, especially when running two lines at once. But I couldn't find any information on why you would want to set it higher (or lower) and what effect it will have on voice quality or available bandwidth to your computer. Maybe when you are talking about MB of data, the number is so small in comparison, it just doesn't matter anymore.

I would like to hear a definitive answer on what it does, though.
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Re: Quality of Service Settings

Postby dyehya » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:31 am

I have spent a lot of time getting QoS exactly where I want it and all of the settings set just the way I like and am very familiar with how all of this works so hopefully I can shed some light on this even if the thread is a few weeks old! First I am going to give you some information on codecs and then answer each part of what you asked.

You can go under your main My Ooma number and under Preferences > System Enable the High-Bandwidth codec. Below is what the help section under that category of My Ooma says:

The audio codec is what Ooma uses to transmit your call over the Ooma network. By default, Ooma uses a low-bandwidth audio codec (iLBC) during your calls. The low-bandwidth audio codec takes up approximately 30 Kbps of bandwidth per call.

You can enable the high-bandwidth codec (G711), which enables your calls to be sent uncompressed over the network. We only recommend that you use enable option only if you have a consistently high-quality Internet connection, as the quality of your voice conversation may diminish if your connection drops voice traffic.


Someone else quoted 70Kbps for the G711 codec but I have not verified that.

Now to answer each of the questions:

If you disable the QoS completely from Upstream then if you are uploading at max and trying to have a phone conversation then there is an extremely high probability that you will have dropped calls and quality issues. If you have a reliable upstream speed, then you can set the QoS to that speed. You do NOT have to set it 10-20% lower than that speed if you truly get at LEAST that much bandwidth. If it is variable you want to set it to the lowest of the variance which if it is 1.9Mbps then you want to set it to 1945Kbps. Also you came up with 2250Kbps which is 2.19Mbps. Now having the number too large means that IF you are using up all your upstream AND are on a call there will be quality loss and problems. If the number is too small for example 1024Kbps then you would be losing roughly a Mbps of upstream bandwidth ONLY while calls are active.

Now part of the problem with these questions is your assuming the quality is ONLY affected by QoS. All QoS does is help reserve bandwidth WHEN CALLS ARE ACTIVE. The quality can be affected by the internet connection itself even if all bandwidth is available for the Ooma. Latency of the internet connection (response time to the server to the other caller and back), as well as the codec used as I described earlier. Now using the high-quality codec on a stable high bandwidth internet connection WILL give you better sound quality IF and ONLY IF there is available bandwidth and the connection is reliable otherwise the additional packets will be lost and may result in even poorer quality than the regular low bandwidth codec.

Setting the downstream QoS is really only needed if you are constantly downloading files that use 100% of your bandwidth or if your like me and want to have it where even if you are doing stuff that eats up all of your download and upload bandwidth you still want to make sure call quality isn't affected. Now setting this number to the lowest variance of your ACTUAL bandwidth so if it varies use the lowest number. Worst case scenario you lose a small amount of bandwidth when calls are active.

Reserved bandwidth is how much the Ooma system factors in and reserves when QoS is active during calls. Meaning that if you have your upstream set to 2048Kbps and you have the reserved set to 130Kbps, it will reserve 130Kbps and let you use the reset of the remaining 1918Kbps. Now remember with the low quality codec each call uses up roughly 30Kbps...so if you have a scout or telo handsets, etc. each active call is going to multiply that number. So if you have 2 calls on the hub and one on the scout that would be roughly 90Kbps which is why 130Kbps by default is usually enough for most people because that factors in over 4 active calls with bandwidth left over. Now if you decide to use the high-quality codec and get good results with that you may want to increase that number higher and if the 70Kbps I read elsewhere on the forums is correct then 3 calls could easily use 210Kbps.

One last thing to chew on and I have yet to have concrete solution to this but for whatever reason, if I enable QoS on my Hub I only get 56-57% of said bandwidth. I have a 20Mbps internet connection that is super-reliable at that speed and I can speed-test it with solid results but if I have my downstream set to my actual bandwidth I only get 56-57% of that during a call. I ended up continually adjusting the settings so it would reserve about 500Kbps and I would still get the most of my connection when it was active. I had to change the setting...make a phone call and run the speedtest while I was on the call to test it out. Then if I wanted to adjust it I had to hang up the ooma otherwise it would still use whatever was set in there when the call started. Now i don't know if many people messed with this or realized this on the downstream. The upstream seems to reserve more than it should by default but not nearly to the same level as the downstream and every setting I calculated actual bandwidth to setting and it came out to 56-57% EVERY TIME. I had Ooma support on the cell phone while I was doing this and they didn't have any answers for me.

If you have any further questions please let me know as I would be glad to give any advice I can.
-Danny
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Re: Quality of Service Settings

Postby fastlane01 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:46 am

Danny,

That was an excellent response - thank you for the detail provided. The below is all about the Upload setting.

I do have a concern, though. When testing my new Telo(upgraded from Hub yesterday with a Handset as well), I discovered that the default setting is 384K. Interestingly, I have the Telo between the Residential Gateway for AT&T Uverse and the rest of the network - I am using DMZ in the UVerse RG to basically put the Telo as the main router/firewall on the network. Calls were having odd problems mentioned in another thread, and so I first did some line testing to make sure things were working right.

Fortunately, because the AT&T Uverse RG has built-in wireless, it is possible to troubleshoot problems by enabling wireless to that access point and running speedtests - I consistently get 1.5MBPs with that wireless. Behind the Telo, with the 384k QoS upload setting, even when NOT on a call, the bandwidth was capped at 310K(oddly, close to the 70k you mention the high bandwidth codec using, which is what I have turned on in the My Ooma settings). So, it seems that regardless of whether there is a call active or not, the Telo is essentially using the QoS setting as the ceiling for your bandwidth. So, setting it to 384k minus 70k for high bandwidth, means I am losing 1.1MBps of speed.

So, I disabled QoS, ran 5 Speedtests, averaging 1.45MBPs, and set the QoS setting to 1.4MBps. My Uverse is Fiber to the house, so other than shared internet gateway issues, the 1.4MBps should be pretty stable. Plenty of room for calls and uploads - AND guaranteed good quality calls.

I don't think this is explained well nor do I think it works exactly like QoS typically would, but I do like the fact that you can manipulate this to ensure good calls - my tip is to determine your bandwidth - if it is stable, then set the QoS to your average(if call quality is not good at times, lower the QoS number somewhat until the problem consistently goes away).

Just my $.02 - I am digging the Telo and the handsets - now if they can just make my calls to area codes work, I'm set! (My Telo Handset call quality is AWESOME, btw)
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Re: Quality of Service Settings

Postby EFlores » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:18 pm

Groundhound wrote:I responded to a similar post from another user here: http://www.ooma.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=30457#p30457. Set your Ooma downstream QoS to be about 75% of whatever download Comcast speed tier you are on without Powerboost. Leave the Ooma upstream QoS at 768 for Comcast upload speed tier of 1 Mbps or more. This is only for when you have Ooma connected directly to your modem.

Ooma's QoS is only in effect during a phone call, and will slow your connection down to give priority to the call. I don't think the reserved bandwidth setting has much of an effect on higher speeds typical with cable.


Thank you so much for this information, I have been struggling with my ooma service ever since I got it a year ago, until I followed your instructions, what a difference it have made with my signal quality, it makes me LOVE OOMA now. Thank you VERY VERY Much!
E Flores
Customer since March 2009
Telo with 4 HD2 Handsets, BlueTooth Adapter, Wireless Adapter
Lifetime Premier Service Member

Got OOMA?
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Re: Quality of Service Settings

Postby Groundhound » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:24 pm

EFlores wrote:
Groundhound wrote:I responded to a similar post from another user here: http://www.ooma.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=30457#p30457. Set your Ooma downstream QoS to be about 75% of whatever download Comcast speed tier you are on without Powerboost. Leave the Ooma upstream QoS at 768 for Comcast upload speed tier of 1 Mbps or more. This is only for when you have Ooma connected directly to your modem.

Ooma's QoS is only in effect during a phone call, and will slow your connection down to give priority to the call. I don't think the reserved bandwidth setting has much of an effect on higher speeds typical with cable.


Thank you so much for this information, I have been struggling with my ooma service ever since I got it a year ago, until I followed your instructions, what a difference it have made with my signal quality, it makes me LOVE OOMA now. Thank you VERY VERY Much!

You're welcome, glad to have helped!
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Re: Quality of Service Settings

Postby fletcherfam » Sat Dec 05, 2009 9:26 pm

Help a non-techie brother out here. So I ran a speed test on my computer, I didn't disable anything in QoS, and it came up with 2967 download and 242 upload, what should my Qos settings be?

JT
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