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A look at 2017’s best and worst VoIP routers

VoIP is the future. It is not only far cheaper but also offers new features such as video calls and conferencing. Old-style telephones are becoming an expensive anachronism. Landlines, like terrestrial television, will become a thing of the past.

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In the US, only seven per cent of calls are still made over traditional wired telephone networks, while VoIP is predicted to expand by 10 per cent every year until 2021 and beyond. Choosing equipment optimised for VoIP now makes sense.

The argument is compelling: international calls, video calls, group conferences, secure communications and other essential services are easier and cheaper with VoIP.

Buying VOIP minutes wholesale from companies such as https://www.idtexpress.com/ makes immediate financial sense and opens up new possibilities, such as remote interviews and training programmes.

Technically, all routers support VoIP; however, many suffer from glitches such as latency, jitter, dropped connections and lost packets, so choose wisely.

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Routers to avoid

Wi-Fi theoretically makes ports and wiring unnecessary; however, it can still be flaky. VoIP is particularly sensitive to wireless network instability, so avoid modems, routers and switches with few ports.

Recorded videos and downloads can be buffered, but voice communication has to be delivered in real time. To protect this flow, quality of service (QoS) prioritises VoIP packets. Routers with poor or no QoS must also be avoided.

Fast 802.11ac routers are advisable for some VoIP services; however, ultra-fast 802.11ad may have incompatibilities, so these routers are not necessarily a good buy.

Make sure the router you are supplied has diagnostic metrics, including delay, jitter, MOS scores and packet losses. Regardless of the standard of your provider’s customer service, this information can help you to resolve issues much quicker.

Popular routers

Netgear’s Nighthawk X6 R800 features tri-band Wi-Fi and can be relied on to connect to every device automatically. QoS bandwidth is dynamically prioritised both by device and by application

The Cisco RV130W Wireless-N is a feature-rich VPN router delivering highly-secure connections for in house and mobile employees. It comes with a browser-based device manager.

The TP-Link C3200 router is a powerful tri-band gigabit router that uses six high-performance antennas to beam-form its Wi-Fi in the direction of connected devices.

The D-Link DSR-250n provides exceptionally strong high-speed IEEE 802-11n Wi-Fi. Security features include VPN tunnels, IP security, PPTP, and 10 routing encapsulation tunnels.

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