VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) call quality can be affected by various factors, including network congestion and latency. One possible solution to improving call quality is to disable all public internet traffic from your network and whitelist trusted destinations. In this article, we'll walk you through 7 simple steps to backup your current firewall configuration, make the necessary changes, and then "test and verify".
Step 1: Identify Trusted Destinations
To begin, make a list of the applications/services - and their corresponding destinations - which are necessary for your employees to complete their day-to-day tasks. This list should include Ytel, CRM software, and any other critical applications your business relies on. You will need their IP addresses/ranges and/or domain names to whitelist them in your network settings.
For example, Ytel's IP ranges are:
Step 2: Access Your Router or Firewall Administrative Settings
To disable public internet traffic and whitelist trusted destinations, you will need access to your router or firewall administrative settings. The specific steps to do this will vary depending on your device's manufacturer and model - consult your user manual or search online for the instructions.
Step 3: Backup Current Configuration
Before making any changes to your router or firewall settings, it's essential to create a backup to ensure you can reverse any changes, if needed. Once logged into the administrative settings, look for the option to save or export the current configuration. Many manufacturers refer to this as "Export Configuration" "Backup Settings" or something similar. Save the backup file to a secure location, such as an external hard drive or other physical storage device.
- We do not recommend cloud based storage devices in the event you inadvertently restrict or otherwise block access to that provider.
Step 4: Disable Public Internet Traffic
Once you have completed Step 3, look for an option to disable or block all public internet traffic. This may be labeled as "Block all WAN access" or something similar. Consult your user manual for the specific instructions for your exact model.
Step 5: Create a Whitelist of Trusted Destinations
Now that public internet access is disabled, you'll need to create a whitelist of trusted destinations. Look for an option or tab related to "Whitelisting" or "Access Control". Here, add the IP addresses or domain names of the trusted destinations you identified in Step 1.
Step 6: Apply and Save Changes
After you complete Step 5, save your changes and apply them. This may require a reboot of your router or firewall in order to take effect. Most devices have an option to manually reboot the equipment from the administrative settings page.
Step 7: Test and Verify
With the new settings in place, TEST EVERYTHING. Connect to your CRM. Check your email. Confirm your interoffice chat is working (ie. Slack or MS Teams). Most importantly, test your telephone calls by placing several test calls to a variety of destinations. For example, call your cell phone, then call the local library, then call the local pizza delivery. Call your parents, siblings, children, or other family members!
If the call quality has improved, then it is likely that the root cause was likely related to network congestion or interference caused by other internet traffic across the network.
Step 8: Restoring the Previous Router or Firewall Settings (if necessary)
If the changes you made did not improve the call quality - or caused other unintended/unexpected performance matters - you can restore the previous configuration by using the backup file from Step 3. Consult your user manual for specific instructions on how to complete this step.
If the problems persist, you may need to explore other potential solutions, such as upgrading your network equipment, upgrading the employee computers/workstations, or contacting your ISP for additional bandwidth.
Disabling public internet traffic and whitelisting trusted destinations can be an effective way to improve VoIP call quality, in some cases. However, if this solution does not resolve your issues, it's essential to continue troubleshooting and explore other potential causes and their corresponding solutions.
At Ytel, we're always happy to provide you with our recommendations, suggestions, or guidance.
... and remember, always backup your router/firewall configuration settings before making any changes!