The voice quality of an Internet telephone call depends on many factors, such as:
- Your Internet connection speed
- Your ISP's congestion
- General Internet congestion
- The quality of your input device ( microphone, headset, or handset )
- Whether you are accessing other Internet sites during your call.
- Which Internet long distance service you are using - different services may have different minimum connection speeds.
- Your Internet long distance service's congestion
- Whether your soundcard is set up for half duplex or full duplex communication.
- Computer Speed - slower computers may have delays, especially if there is a large number of windows open.
- Ad Banners - the loading of ad banners uses some of your connection bandwidth and can degrade the quality
of a marginal connection.
- Whether you are calling a fixed telephone or a cell phone. Calls to cell phones usually are lower in sound quality.
The worst case occurs when there are Internet outages and no communication is possible.
This situation is rare however and indicates an abnormal condition or extreme ISP congestion.
In the best case, the call is almost indistinguishable from a high quality telephone call.
On average, the quality may be similar to that of a cell phone call.
Older, slower computers may experience lower call quality.
On such machines, the quality sometimes can be improved by:
- Closing all unnecessary programs and windows.
- Rebooting the computer before making the call.