Voice over IP

What sort of broadband do I need?

Your broadband connection is quite important. The minimum required for VoIP is ideally 256Kbps download, though today's connections are generally much faster than that. The bigger the pipes at home the better the VoIP service as it reduces the chance of voice traffic having to compete with other (larger) data files such as MP3 or images. Typically, a VoIP call will consume about 20Kbps of bandwidth.

Speed is not the only thing that matters. The actual broadband service is also critically important. Ultimately, a VoIP service is totally dependent on a reliable broadband service provider to help deliver voice traffic. If a user's ADSL/cable/wireless broadband service provider has continual dropouts or outages, it will obviously affect the VoIP service. You cannot surf the Internet and open e-mails when there are outages. Nor can you make VoIP calls.

It is worth noting that if users choose to do away with their telephone provider, they are still required to pay the telephone line rental for the ADSL-enabled phone line. This is because ADSL is an add-on service for telephone subscribers. If users are on cable, they would be subject to the cable provider's subscription rates.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

PC World Staff

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?