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.
#3216 by zeke
Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:03 am
My impression is that most people find that the modem>router>ooma setup works better w/ default settings, and this is desirable for other reasons (e.g. being behind the firewall). I've already connected it up that way and I'll try it out as soon as I get a chance. I also signed up for a trial subscription to another voip provider, and I'll be curious how their equipment performs out of the box.

As a note to anyone at ooma who's listening:
This is the kind of issue that simply can't be happening if you want this product to fly. If I'm Joe Voipuser, I'm bringing the ooma home from Best Buy, setting it up per reccommendations, and noticing "hey, my internet connection is really slow when I'm on the phone", then I'm returning it the next day and telling my friends not to buy it because it totally screws up your internet connection. Being able to change the QoS settings on the ooma from setup.ooma.com is great, but for one thing, the fact that there is such a url is not mentioned anywhere in the quick start guide, and on exactly one page in the full manual. I'm sure that many potential users have never heard of QoS, let alone have a clue what it is. I'm not sure the option to put the ooma on the router instead of between the router and modem is even mentioned anywhere in the documentation (altho this isn't exactly hard to figure out if you have some experience and some technical ability). My understanding is that this product has been out for over a year, and I'm kind of shocked if this kind of issue is occurring for a significant number of users at this stage of the game. In my opinion if this product is going to appeal to a mass market it's got to be bulletproof and work flawlessly with optimal performance out of the box for the vast majority of non-technical users, and judging from my brief experience, I don't see that happening.
#3217 by WayneDsr
Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:42 am
But, as a side note:
When I first bought ooma I hooked it up per the instructions and without setting QOS or anything it fired right up and worked great out of the box.
I guess it depends on individual setups.
I moved it behind the router to see if it would work ok, it's easier to remove, like a pc, in case I want to take it with me to the office.
Being someone who's paid big bucks for 25 years to the phone company, when I have an issue I always remind my self what I'm paying now for the same or better service. :-)

Wayne
#3218 by zeke
Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:17 am
Did you do any performance tests in the original configuration? When I set it up it worked w/o a problem, and the one phone call I've made sounded great. I decided to test the network thruput to see if there was any impact of sending everything thru the ooma, which is when I noticed that the upload speed dropped by a factor of 5 (see above) during the call. So, if you've only used it a short time, and didn't do any tests or happen to be doing any network intensive activity during the calls you made in the standard configuration, it probably looked perfect.
#3221 by Bobby B
Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:55 am
Hi Zeke,

Thanks for the feedback. Hopefully we'll have some sort of "auto-QoS" available in the future that'll automatically adjust the QoS settings without user intervention.

Also, we'll try to mention QoS in the Quickstart guide as an option to optimize voice quality AND the Internet connection.

Thanks,
Bobby

zeke wrote:Being able to change the QoS settings on the ooma from setup.ooma.com is great, but for one thing, the fact that there is such a url is not mentioned anywhere in the quick start guide, and on exactly one page in the full manual. I'm sure that many potential users have never heard of QoS, let alone have a clue what it is. I'm not sure the option to put the ooma on the router instead of between the router and modem is even mentioned anywhere in the documentation (altho this isn't exactly hard to figure out if you have some experience and some technical ability). My understanding is that this product has been out for over a year, and I'm kind of shocked if this kind of issue is occurring for a significant number of users at this stage of the game. In my opinion if this product is going to appeal to a mass market it's got to be bulletproof and work flawlessly with optimal performance out of the box for the vast majority of non-technical users, and judging from my brief experience, I don't see that happening.
#3222 by WayneDsr
Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:27 am
In fact I did see a drop in upload speed while on a call, connected either way. That's the nature of the beast. My prority is the phone, internet second. Most of my internet activity is in the download direction anyway, hardly effected by the voip.

Wayne
#3228 by zeke
Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:14 pm
WayneDsr wrote:In fact I did see a drop in upload speed while on a call, connected either way. That's the nature of the beast. My prority is the phone, internet second. Most of my internet activity is in the download direction anyway, hardly effected by the voip.

Wayne

Well, this is the thing. I'm testing out another voip provider and in my initial tests w/ that service, straight out of the box, I'm seeing virtually no effect on network thruput, and very good to excellent call quality, maybe with a little less artifact than ooma. The bandwidth used by voip should be relatively small. I believe the estimate I saw was something like 30-40Kbs w/ compression. I mean, the total analogue bandwidth is only like a few KHz, and you only need 2x sampling rate, etc. What I'm seeing from ooma is that it's essentially using like 800Kbs both ways. So, it makes me wonder how efficiently ooma uses its network bandwidth, which make me wonder how well it will scale if and when it becomes truly popular, and so on, not to mention the impact on my particular situation in the long run. You are evidently the user that is targeted by ooma in that you don't seem to have a pressing need for high-speed internet performance. However, there are people (I would wager a lot) who need to have both decent data performance and decent calling performance - at the same time! The user who brought up this topic said it slowed his connection to dialup-like performance. This would no doubt be unacceptable to most people. I'm really kind of impressed by the ooma experience as it were, and I'd really like to like it, but I'm kind of wondering how much substance there is behind the curtain. Long term, it makes me wonder if the gamble on ooma is worth the risk, not so much in the money upfront, but in the hassle when one is left w/ no carrier if they don't make it.
#3237 by WayneDsr
Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:00 pm
Ok, with that in mind I did a real time test for you.
Keep in mind my Linksys is set to AUTO on the QOS.
I did a speed test (speedtest.net)

No activity except random access by 5 pc's connected to network
5048 kbits download 636 kbits upload.

With phone call in progress.
5043 kbits download, 588 kbits upload.

Hardly an internet stopper. It appears that the upload speed the ooma uses is close to what you were saying, 48 kbits.

Also although I indicated that the phone will always take priority (my priority) over web, my son is a web designer, and he is always doing something up or download. We also have a total of 4 users (6 pc's) as I supply our little apartment building with wifi. (no, not for free :-)).

At one time I did lose internet speed and it turned out to be an issue with DSL on the line that connected the Scout, but that can't be your problem because you have cable. (I think)

Wayne
#3243 by zeke
Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:06 pm
Thanks for the info. I do have cable. Your numbers are more what I'd expect and certainly way better than what I've experienced thus far. I haven't done a test w/ the ooma on the router's lan instead of inline between router and modem, but I'll do it as soon as I have a chance. My D-Link router has capability for QoS scheduling so I'll see how that works w/ the ooma on the lan side. The ata from the other voip provider (ITP) is a linksys SPA 2102 (I think - it's at home and I'm not), and it works like a charm out of the box, inline between the modem and router. At this point I'm kind of curious. I almost can't believe the performance hit I'm seeing is simply a matter of the default QoS setting being off. I'd say maybe there is some compatibility issue between my particular hardware and the ooma, but oomasan's original post mentioned a Belkin router. He didn't mention his modem, but mine is a Motorola SurfBoard (I think).

Here's my update:
As expected, the modem>router>ooma configuration works much better. As I learn more about the subject I'm kind of mystified about the choices made in this area in terms of both design and documentation. I stumbled across a how-to in the support area which was actually informative. I gather there is only a static bandwidth parameter on the ooma that is set by default to 384Kbps, and I gather that QoS scheduling basically delays packets to give them a net speed that is some percentage of this "maximum" speed based on their priority. I don't know how close to accurate that description is, but it is consistent w/ my experience that my normally 1Mbps uplink speed drops to a fraction of 384Kbps when I'm using the phone, with the system set up according to recommendations. I guess the assumptions made by ooma are

1) Nobody who uses this device has a high-speed internet connection
or
2) Nobody wants to do something crazy like actually make a phone call and use the internet at the same time
or
3) Any wacko who wants to do the above is happy to dig around in the web site support area to find out why their network performance sucks when they set up the device as recommended by the manufacturer.

For one thing, I really don't understand why the designers didn't include auto-detection of network speed. It seems pretty common in consumer equipment - my inexpensive dlink router has it, for example - and would go a long way to making this device fail-safe to set up for non-technical users, or those who want (expensive) devices they buy to just work w/o having to monkey around w/ them. Failing this, since QoS is apparently pretty crucial in determining overall network performance, especially when you set the characteristic parameter to some arbitrarily low value by default, you'd think the written manuals would at least mention the subject. The how-to on the web site should most definitely be included in the device manuals.

Anyway, there's my rant on the subject. Hopefully there isn't too much there I'll regret saying tomorrow.
#3450 by dougtaylor
Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:44 pm
Hi - I have always used cable > home router > Vonage device in past. Can you let me know which ports to use in the ooma device to hook it up that way? Seems like the ports are labelled for the recommended cable > ooma > home router setup.

I have Vonage back in place while we wait for the porting to finish but the only problem I've noticed when ooma was in place is that it takes 5 or 10 seconds for my home PC to connect with the internet with the cable > ooma > home router setup. I don't see that delay with the cable > home router > Vonage setup. I know its not much but, believe me,, it's a big deal to my wife with home any hint of imperfection with computers is a big deal...haha. Thanks

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