What's new

1 Second VOIP drops

Kwakadilly

Occasional Visitor
I have an Asus RT-AC86U now running Merlin 384.18 (this was also happening on the latest Asus firmware) and I am having a problem where applications that use VOIP will lose connection for 1 second and then reconnect. It happens frequently enough that it is a problem. Applications such as Discord, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, etc seem to be the problem. It predominately occurs on my personal PC and my work PC, but from time to time also happens on my wifes PC (though it is far and few between).

To give a bit of background, a couple of months ago I had my ISP (it's TDS, a cable connection) come out to my house because we were having some very bad packet loss and a very slow connection. There was in fact several issues, mainly that there was an unneeded coax splitter outside from another provider causing all sorts of problems. The tech took care of that and also swapped our modem out for a new one so we could upgrade to the new 1 gig service over the phone if we wanted. He fixed our issue and everything was running smoothly, expect now we have this VOIP issue.

I bought new ethernet cables for the entire house, I tried different versions of the Asus firmware, I did factory resets, I tried everything I could think of to remedy the problem and nothing worked. I did some tests on DSLReports and we had poor quality, so I called the ISP who sent somebody out to work on the issue. This tech insisted that my 100mbps connection was not enough bandwidth to support all of my devices and I needed to upgrade. I challenged him on that because we had not added any new devices and things ran fine before, but he stated the old modem we had would slow down devices so that you don't lose connection if you're using too much bandwidth. The devices I have are 1 FireTv, 2 720p Roku TV's, 1 720p Roku device, 3 tablets, 2 cell phones, 2 Blink cameras, 1 Amazon Echo, and 3 wired desktop PC's. I wasn't really satisfied with his dismissive "this is a waste of my time" attitude, but I had been meaning to upgrade anyway so I figured why not give it a shot. I upgraded to 300mbps, and that seems to have fixed the DSLReports quality issue, however we have a lot of bufferbloat and the VOIP drops are still happening.

So I went to work on the bufferbloat thinking maybe that was causing this. I installed Merlin on my router, I'm using FreshJR scripts and Adaptive QOS limiting my bandwidth of 85% of my network speed, fq_codel, 18 set for packet overhead (DOCSIS preset). This seems to have solved the bufferbloat for downloads, now we have a bit of bufferbloat for uploads which I will need to work at, but more importantly we still have the VOIP drops. I figured 300mbps was enough, but perhaps I do need even more bandwidth. I have watched bandwidth monitor, traffic analyzer, router CPU, and RAM usage when these drops occur and there is nothing that seems unusual, in fact I don't beleve I am really using that much of my bandwidth to begin with. I could be wrong though, I'm still learning a lot about networking right now. The reason I suspect we are not maxing out our badnwidth is because as I watch the live traffic, or even look at 24 hours of use, we use very little compared to when I run a speedtest, DSLreports etc, which easily triples our use for the duration of the test. I could be wrong though.

Anybody have any other suggestions as far as what I can try to do on my end or is this an ISP issue I need to call them for again? Appreciate the help!
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
VOIP packets are very small they will not push you to a higher speed tier at home. I assume this is at home. What is your VOIP setup ? Are you talking Wi-Fi calling with 2 cell phones? When does this delay, the 1 second latency occur?
 

Kwakadilly

Occasional Visitor
VOIP packets are very small they will not push you to a higher speed tier at home. I assume this is at home. What is your VOIP setup ? Are you talking Wi-Fi calling with 2 cell phones? When does this delay, the 1 second latency occur?
Yes this is at home. This happens when I join a voice channel in Discord, and it doesn't matter if everything on the network is going or if I am the only one up and just casually chatting. In the case of Discord the connection is fine for text chat, it's only a voice issue. With Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams they just lose connection for a second regardless of what I am doing. I could just have it open not even interacting with it and it will lose connection for a second. I use an online network for a hobby of mine which uses voice when you connect, that will have the 1 second drops frequently, the error it provides is "Disconnected from voice server. Reason: Lost server connection", which is important because I maintain the connection to their other servers, I am only losing the voice portion. This is also only happening on the wired PC's, my wifi devices do not have any connectivity issues at all.
 

degrub

Very Senior Member
it almost sounds like there is a time out occurring with the server. What happens if you plug your PC/Laptop directly into the ISP router ? Are you double NATted or is the ISP device a modem only ?
Any way to prioritize the VOIP packets in the router ?
 

Kwakadilly

Occasional Visitor
it almost sounds like there is a time out occurring with the server. What happens if you plug your PC/Laptop directly into the ISP router ? Are you double NATted or is the ISP device a modem only ?
Any way to prioritize the VOIP packets in the router ?
I haven't tried going directly from the modem. I haven't done anything with NAT other than the OpenNAT feature the router comes with for games, but that is turned off right now. I think the ISP device is a modem only, I believe they have a different modem device they have you rent if you don't have a router.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Could try disabling WAN\NAT Passthrough\SIP Passthrough in the router webUI.

You should have plenty of bandwidth. VoIP requires very little. Your issue is something is dropping the connection.

OE
 

Kwakadilly

Occasional Visitor
Could try disabling WAN\NAT Passthrough\SIP Passthrough in the router webUI.

You should have plenty of bandwidth. VoIP requires very little. Your issue is something is dropping the connection.

OE
Thanks! Should I disable all of these or only certain options? I do use a VPN for work...
 

Attachments

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Thanks! Should I disable all of these or only certain options? I do use a VPN for work...
Just disable SIP Passthrough.

As a rule, make one change at a time so that you can determine cause and affect.

We're not troubleshooting a VPN issue, yes? Is the VPN active when your VoIP drops?

OE
 

Kwakadilly

Occasional Visitor
Just disable SIP Passthrough.

As a rule, make one change at a time so that you can determine cause and affect.

We're not troubleshooting a VPN issue, yes? Is the VPN active when your VoIP drops?

OE
Thanks! The VPN is active on the work PC which is where I encounter this issue with Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams. I disabled SIP Passthrough and 30 minutes in not a single drop so far, which is at least progress. We'll see if it drops at all over the next few hours.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
The VPN is active on the work PC which is where I encounter this issue with Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams.
So maybe a work VPN delay/latency is messing with the VoIP. Is the work VPN box busy these days with everyone working from home? Do you notice VoIP working ok during non-peak VPN hours?

I wonder if the work VPN is using one of those other router NAT Passthrough protocols.

OE
 

Kwakadilly

Occasional Visitor
So maybe a work VPN delay/latency is messing with the VoIP. Is the work VPN box busy these days with everyone working from home? Do you notice VoIP working ok during non-peak VPN hours?

I wonder if the work VPN is using one of those other router NAT Passthrough protocols.

OE
Would the VPN affect traffic on other PC's? There was a period where the work PC was complete shut down and not connected to the home network and this was still happening.

I also just realized I didn't mention in my OP, one of the oiriginal things I did trying to figure out the issue was I bought a new TP-Link router. I had the same issues with that router and we ended up returning it since it didn't offer as much as the ASUS router we have.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Would the VPN affect traffic on other PC's? There was a period where the work PC was complete shut down and not connected to the home network and this was still happening.

I also just realized I didn't mention in my OP, one of the original things I did trying to figure out the issue was I bought a new TP-Link router. I had the same issues with that router and we ended up returning it since it didn't offer as much as the ASUS router we have.
You can disable the VPN to confirm if it affects other PCs. I doubt it does.

When the issue affects your Wife's PC, is she using the same apps to the same remote location? No VPN?

OE
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
There is a good chance VPN is running as UDP traffic which means it will be high priority traffic. You will need to eliminate the problem down to the router. Then it could be a QoS issue.
 

Kwakadilly

Occasional Visitor
You can disable the VPN to confirm if it affects other PCs. I doubt it does.

When the issue affects your Wife's PC, is she using the same apps to the same remote location? No VPN?

OE
I turned off the work PC so there is no more VPN, still have some of the same issues. My wife has the same issue with the same applications. After work I was able to play some games and chat in Discord without any loss of voice connection. I'm wondering if disabling SIP fixed that and the other application is something on their end (which wouldn't surprise me). I think I will mess around this weekend and see if I have any issues with Discord or other VOIP apps to determine if that's the case.

Thanks for help so far everybody!
 

MichaelCG

Very Senior Member
So far, you have replaced the router/WiFi once and the issue persisted correct? This would leave two other items to focus on.
1.) WiFi issues
- have you changed channels?
- have you forced 5GHz vs 2.4GHz?
2.) ISP Issues
- either modem or upstream

With the fact that the issue persisted with router swaps and impacts more than one system, this would most likely be the modem or further upstream in the ISP. You need to test with an Ethernet line to eliminate WiFi from the picture which should confirm if the issue is upstream. Maybe even just running a constant ping to an external address and to your router IP to see if it can capture packet loss at the same time you have VoIP issues. This is what I do when my work VPN VoIP stuff freaks out. I can usually see either packet loss or latency spike when the voice quality tanks. By comparing the local ping and the remote ping, I can somewhat tell if it is my equipment, the VPN, or the service acting up.
 

Kwakadilly

Occasional Visitor
Now that I am back from vacation I will get that a shot. The trick is finding a way to prevent my kids from murdering me when their Disney+ stops working :D
 

Kwakadilly

Occasional Visitor
It would seem my modem was bad, which is what I suspected a long time ago and the tech my ISP sent just looked at me like I was dumb and insisted I buy a bigger package because the modem was "operating perfectly normal". The modem had a lot of uncorrectable codes and the issue started after the first tech came and swapped it out when we had bad packet loss problems. I should've stuck with my gut and insisted they replaced it or just bought my own anyway. I purchased a Motorola MB8600 DOCSIS 3.1 modem, so far so good.

Thanks for all the responses and help, I appreciate it!
 

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top