Voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) phone systems send calls, video conferences, and texts through the internet, but you’ll need a top-notch connection to communicate reliably. Use our free VoIP speed test to check your internet’s performance before you sign a contract. It’ll measure your ping, internet, and jitter speeds to determine how many lines you can add to your system. We also offer steps to take if your speed isn’t up to par.
What the VoIP Speed Test Numbers Mean
VoIP calls depend on your bandwidth. However, jitter, ping, and latency also affect your call quality and stability, which is why it is a good idea to test your network’s performance and understand what these metrics mean before signing up with any service provider.
Upload speed indicates how much data you can send from your computer through your internet lines (like uploading video files or emailing large documents). It’s measured in megabits of data per second (Mbps). Your upload speed is usually the same number used for bandwidth. VoIP providers, like RingCentral, suggest a bare minimum of 90 Kbps—but higher rates support higher call quality.
Download speed refers to the amount of data you can receive per second. Similar to the upload speed, download speed is measured in Mbps (megabits per second). Download activities include watching videos online, browsing the internet, or listening to music. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a single VoIP call requires a minimum download speed of less than 0.5 Mbps.
All internet activities send packets of data. Ping is measured in milliseconds (ms) and reflects the length of time it takes for your data packet to reach the server. Latency includes the ping time and adds the return trip’s time (also called a pong response). VoIP speed tests may offer ping or latency results.
For quality VoIP calls, your ping results should stay under 60 ms. In contrast, latency should be less than 150 ms. Higher numbers result in delays or lag time during calls—and this can cause poor communication experiences, especially over video chat.
Jitter accounts for variations in your ping speed. It’s measured in milliseconds and refers to interference that reduces the accuracy of your data packet arrivals. Interference may be from congestion caused by too many devices accessing the same network. If your jitter results are higher than 30 ms, you’ll experience choppy, low-quality calls.
How to Do a Manual VoIP Speed Test
If your upload speed isn’t listed on the chart above, you can perform a manual VoIP speed test. This gives you accurate and custom results based on your capacity at the time of the test. To start, find your upload speed. Then use this formula:
- Multiply your upload speed by 1,000: This formula uses Kbps (kilobits per second), so you must convert Mbps speeds to Kbps. If your results show Kbps, skip this step.
- Divide your result from step 1 by 445: This result gives you the recommended total number of phone lines your connection can support.
- Divide your result from step 1 by 100: This figure reflects the total number of phone lines your connection can handle if no other devices use your network.
The results below reflect standard internet services with several connected devices, which is typical of a small office sharing bandwidth between tablets, phones, and desktops:
The upload speed of 11.01 Mbps translates into a maximum of 110 phone lines, but the recommended number of VoIP phone lines is 24.
How Many Phones Can My Internet Connection Support?
Your internet speed determines how many phones your internet connection can support. Faster services provide more bandwidth. You can add more phone lines while maintaining call quality. Typical upload speeds range from 500 Kbps to 30 Mbps, but fiber-optic networks deliver upload speeds up to 100 Mbps.
A standard internet connection with an upload speed of 500 Kbps supports up to five lines, whereas you can connect up to 500 lines with speeds of 30 Mbps. Compare your VoIP speed test results with our chart showing the recommended number of phone lines to determine how much speed you need.
Bandwidth (Upload Speed)
|Maximum # Lines|
Recommended # Lines
Internet services usually offer higher download speeds, as internet providers prioritize data retrieval over sending capabilities. However, phone lines use your internet’s bandwidth, which is typically your upload speed. If your download speed is slower than your upload speed, then the smaller figure equals your bandwidth.
Maximum vs Recommended Number of Lines: Knowing the Difference
Each phone line and device uses bandwidth to perform actions like making video calls or streaming webinars. Before choosing your small business phone setup, you’ll need to consider how many devices will be using the network and what types of activities your employees will be doing.
Although the chart shows a maximum number of lines, this figure will drop sharply once you add up bandwidth use among your users and devices. Going above the recommended number of lines may reduce call quality and reliability, leading to poor call experiences.
Talk to your local internet service provider (ISP) before setting up a small business phone system. Most services will provide different plans for higher speed, which you’ll likely need to upgrade to if you’re looking to scale your communications. Business internet packages often provide higher speed rates, no data caps, and features designed for office environments. Ask your ISP and VoIP provider for suggestions if you’re unsure about your VoIP bandwidth requirements.
VoIP Bandwidth Requirements
Simultaneous calls on multiple lines across your office devices will all demand bandwidth. Find your bandwidth to determine how many concurrent calls your network can handle—this is the lower number of your upload and download speed.
Here’s how to compute your maximum number of simultaneous calls:
Internet Browsing Activity
Bandwidth Available for VoIP
Maximum Number of Concurrent Phone Calls
- 105 Kbps
- 250 Kbps
1 phone call
- 205 Kbps
- 500 Kbps
2 concurrent phone calls
- 1.05 Kbps
- 2.75 Mbps
11 concurrent phone calls
- 2.1 Kbps
- 5.5 Mbps
22 concurrent phone calls
- 6.3 Kbps
- 16.75 Mbps
67 concurrent phone calls
Although a bandwidth speed of 30 Mbps can handle up to 500 calls at once, this number doesn’t consider other office activities (e.g., YouTube streaming, Spotify listening, and internet browsing). For best results, stick with the recommended number of lines, which is 67 for 30 Mbps.
Fluctuations may occur during peak hours, resulting in less available bandwidth. Furthermore, certain activities use more bandwidth—if your office staff mainly uses software as a service (SaaS), email, and web browser tools, you’ll have more capacity for simultaneous calls. However, if your team spends a lot of time in video conferences or meetings, this may dramatically reduce available bandwidth.
What to Do if You Get a Poor Bandwidth Test Result
Several triggers can cause poor bandwidth test results. First, if you performed the VoIP speed test using Wi-Fi, try it again with a hard-wired device. If those numbers differ dramatically, the low bandwidth could be due to an issue with your wireless router.
However, if your hard-wired speed test is also low, take these steps to remediate the problem before contacting your ISP:
- Reboot your computer, modem, and router by unplugging your equipment for 10 seconds.
- Scan your devices and network for malware using anti-viral software.
- Verify the minimum acceptable speeds for your internet plan.
Give your ISP a call if these steps don’t improve your speed results. Your provider can run additional tests to rule out any problems with your cable lines. In most cases, you will need to upgrade your internet package or reduce your network load. Although internet plans and speeds vary by location, most providers offer various packages for all budgets.
What to Do if You Continue to Experience Poor Call Quality
If your internet speed is stable, but you’re experiencing poor quality, check your router. Old or outdated routers may need replacing. You can also configure your business router to prioritize your traffic by service or application. However, if you continue to have problems, consider changing to a new VoIP provider.
Not all VoIP business phone services are created equal. Some solutions work better for offices requiring multiple simultaneous calling, while others deliver better call quality (at an affordable price) for limited lines and extensions. Work with your provider (or find a new one) to set up your VoIP phone service for optimal performance.
RingCentral is a tried-and-true VoIP platform with an excellent reputation for delivering top-notch communications at scale. It empowers your business to call, text, video chat, team message, fax, and file share. Try out RingCentral’s 15-day free trial to see how it works for your small business. Schedule a call with RingCentral using the form below.
Useful VoIP Resources
Have more questions about VoIP functionality? Check out the following articles for more detailed information on VoIP systems:
- VoIP vs Landline: Which Is Better for Small Business?: Unsure if you need VoIP or landline services? Explore how the technologies differ and which is better for your company.
- Small Business VoIP Service: Who Is the Best: Discover the top business phone service providers, including features and pricing.
A VoIP speed test will give you a good idea of how much bandwidth your network can handle. The majority of internet services can handle simultaneous calls from up to 10 lines, but a test on your own system will let you know if you need to upgrade your internet speed before switching to a VoIP phone system. Take your VoIP bandwidth requirements seriously—don’t wait until your employees experience poor call quality to make a fix.
If you want a reliable service for high-quality calling, consider RingCentral. All plans come with unlimited calling and texting, and you can port an existing number or add a toll-free number with your RingCentral package. Plan prices start at $19.99 per user, per month and offer high-end features, including advanced call handling and customer relationship management (CRM) integrations on certain plans.