Nextiva VOIP: Jitter Settings

Our fax machine worked well with Nextiva VOIP but suddenly became unreliable. Sometimes it would work, sometimes it wouldn't. That's not good for business. Up to this point, Nextiva has been great in keeping in touch with me. I got an e-mail from one of their employees asking about my experiences so far. I told them that I had some problems. They were more than happy to help me resolve them. Here's their advice.

I had figured out the port forwarding and quality of service settings that made my router play nice with the VOIP adapter. But I needed Nextiva's help to get the fax machine working. They told me that I had to change the VOIP adapter's "jitter" setting. It turns out that the adapter basically buffers the signals it sends and receives so they are sent and received in the proper order. The bigger the buffer, the better the call quality. However, a bigger buffer also builds a longer delay into the call. The problem is that a really big buffer causes a sufficiently long delay that faxes don't work. 

To fix the issue, you want to lower the jitter setting to the lowest value you can while preserving good call quality.  To do so, log into your VOIP adapter by typing in its IP address. That's covered in the link above. Go to advanced mode. Then click "Line 1." Find the jitter setting. Set it to the lowest. Make a few test phone calls and see if the voice quality is good. If it is too jittery, increase the jitter setting a bit more. The medium setting was perfect for me. Don't forget to make the same changes onto "Line 2". Even if you don't have a fax machine on that line, the lower jitter setting will lower the delay when you talk on the phone.

The default jitter setting on my adapter had been the maximum. I turned it to medium. The fax now works reliably with Nextiva. To my ears, the delay also seemed to have gone down during voice calls, but that may be just me.

I appreciated Nextiva's help in setting this up. I only wish that they would create quick-start guides for the most common adapters and routers out there. This would be an arduous undertaking, but it would definitely help if they could start customers off with the best possible phone quality right off the bat. I can imagine a customer getting bad phone quality due to a router configuration issue, then quitting the service. Perhaps Nextiva can "officially" support the most popular brands of routers and VOIP adapters/phones out there.

After a few weeks on the service, I have to say that Nextiva's been pretty reliable. Now the phone quality is also very, very good.

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