A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Jitter

May 23, 2018
Category: VoIP

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another: you’re on a conference call with a client when suddenly the call’s voice quality starts breaking up. Try as you might to regain control, but you and your client soon can’t understand what the other is saying, leaving you both frustrated with your phone service and/or Internet connection.

More often than not in the VoIP world, this is caused by the annoying phenomenon known as “jitter”. Let’s take a closer look at this issue and how it can affect phone calls as well as Internet reliability.

A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Jitter

What Jitter Really Is

In its most basic definition, jitter is information that is received incorrectly.

Envision it like this: information is supposed to be received in a specific order—one, two, three, four, five. When jitter occurs, information is being received out of order—three, two, four, one, five. So, over the phone, jitter sounds like static or other noises that interrupt your call; over the Internet, it might present as slow load times while trying to stream a video or game.

Jitter can cause major problems, especially for hosted VoIP systems in Maryland. Computers have the ability to put the information back in order, but phones can’t do it in real time. But if the information isn’t sent in a continuous stream, it will get spaced out (and allow jitter to occur).

Another way jitter can be fixed is through a router, which compiles information and puts it in the correct stream. However, if this doesn’t happen quickly, it can lead to streaming issues.

Troubleshooting Jitter

In many cases, jitter isn’t even noticed and the router onsite can alleviate it. However, in instances where jitter occurs frequently without resolving itself, you may need to look into ways to solve the issue.

To begin, you’ll want to replicate the problem; take note of what exactly is happening when jitter occurs. From there, you can determine how to fix it. In the past, we have fixed instances of clients experiencing jitter by replacing their older modem or troubleshooting the Internet feed that came into their office; the solutions to eliminating jitter are many.

Final Thoughts

In the end, jitter is something all phone and Internet users want to avoid experiencing; it’s not only frustrating, but it can also impede business activities. But sometimes, depending on the quality of your ISP (Internet Service Provider), jitter may be unavoidable. If you’re unsure how to resolve a jitter-based issue, we recommend reaching out to a Maryland VoIP service for assistance.

Founded in 2007, DataStream Communications is a hosted VoIP provider offering businesses within the Mid-Atlantic region complete cloud phone systems as well as phone numbers. We cover the entire process from initial consultation to installation and after purchase services.

DataStream is heavily focused on customer service and quality, and strives to provide the best possible customer experience. Contact us today to see how we can improve your phone quality.

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