How Much Bandwidth Does VoIP use?

Switching to a VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phone system allows a company or organization to enjoy its numerous advantages. VoIP can help a business save money, offers a wealth of modern features, enables teams to work from almost anywhere, is extremely simple to use, scales seamlessly as a company grows and much more.

However, some of the conditions that are needed to guarantee the highest level of service, such as the network speed or VoIP bandwidth requirements, are unknown to most business owners. For the decision-makers that don’t have an in-depth knowledge of their network or what kind of Internet speeds they pay for, it is critical to understand how much data VoIP consumes.

How Bandwidth and Data Usage Affect Your Business

First and foremost, bandwidth refers to an Internet connection’s capacity to transmit data (such as a VoIP phone call, sending an email, watching a video on your computer and other examples) from one point to another in a specific timeframe. Having a higher bandwidth speed means that more data can be sent through an Internet connection.

There are two forms of bandwidth: upload and download. The volume of data that can be sent through the Internet is known as upload bandwidth, while the volume of data that can be received is known as download bandwidth. Getting a higher Internet bandwidth from an ISP (Internet Service Provider) is highly recommended. 

You can check your bandwidth through an Internet speed test. DataComm runs our own speedtest right from our datacenter.

To run your own speed test and to see your IP address, take the following steps:

  • Please – go to the website
  • Make sure you are hard-wired connected and that your computer is not on the WiFi, this will guarantee a more accurate test
  • Click “start test”
  • Run the test during a regular time of day when people are using the computers for daily tasks

You can click the “copy link” button and then paste to share the results with others or to get our opinion, you can send it to

To prevent call-quality issues caused by bandwidth, it’s critical to figure out how much bandwidth is needed to sustain a new VoIP phone system, as well as your current Internet usage needs. It also means you need to confirm and see if your current network has QoS (Quality of Service) to make sure the VoIP is prioritized. If you are worried your network is not up to snuff, DataComm Plus can also implement business-class routers/firewalls, wireless access points and PoE switches. 

How a VoIP System Works

VoIP makes it possible to make voice calls over the Internet. VoIP uses the Internet connection to transmit calls to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) instead of analog signals. Session Initiation Protocol (SIP Trunks) is the core technology. 

The audio is converted into data packets by an IP phone, softphone or mobile application for cell phones. These data packets are then sent over the Internet Protocol (IP). You connect phones into your current network instead of using a landline. Data signals pass from your network via your modem to your selected VoIP provider on the Internet. Lastly, the VoIP service establishes the call over the PSTN or to other secure VoIP networks in real-time.

How Much Bandwidth a VoIP System Requires

Bandwidth is one of several crucial components of a successful VoIP phone system setup. Bandwidth numbers may vary widely, but for VoIP, we generally recommend 150Kbps of bandwidth for each phone. This means that if there are ten phones at one location, the organization will need at least 1500Kbps or 1.5Mbps of upload and download bandwidth. If there are 20 phones in one place, it would be doubled from the scenario above.. This only accounts for the bandwidth required for phone calls and excludes the amount of bandwidth required for general Internet use in the company or home office. The use for bandwidth is not going away and is, in fact, only going up and up in terms of business uses. VoIP is just one of the many things in your office that will be utilizing your Internet, as many other software is now also becoming cloud based. The more hosted services you have, the more important your network and bandwidth speeds are. This often means a business will increase its coax bandwidth to a higher tier and or consider getting dedicated fiber Internet.

Contact our team at DataComm Plus today if you want to learn more about VoIP phone systems, recommended Internet bandwidth speeds, or your building’s network. Email us at or call 262-784-2311.