Explore common Skype for Business Online problems, including quality of service, audio quality, networking, firewall issues, and port access.
- [Instructor] Skype is telecommunications software that allows voice and video calls to be made using computers, tablets, and mobile devices over the internet. Millions of users across the world use Skype to make calls, send files, pictures, videos, instant messaging, and hold meetings to large audiences. There are three versions of Skype. These are Skype, which is a free version for personal home use, Skype for Business, which is the enterprise version of Skype which businesses deploy and manage, and then Skype for Business Online, which is the online version of Skype for Business included with Office 365 and sometimes referred to a Skype Online.
Overall, all versions of Skype are very reliable, and any issues are usually due to poor audio quality. Within an enterprise environment, there is more complex infrastructure that may need troubleshooting to resolve issues. These include audio quality, networking, and firewall issues, and access to ports. With any Skype call, audio quality is key. There are many factors that can affect both audio and video quality. These include a poor internet connection, and you could try to use an Ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi wherever possible.
You could close programs that may be consuming bandwidth, and check the microphone and video camera quality in settings. If your equipment is old, you may need to update your hardware. And finally, check with the other participant. Is the problem with their connection? A poor internet connection can cause low quality audio and video. It can also create delays and dropped calls. Although typically focused on our own configuration, remember that both parties need to have enough bandwidth.
You should check the network bandwidth requirements for Skype for Business Online. And any delays in the network hubs may result in high latency, which may result in frustrated calls. If you have a complex environment with many users, you could use the Skype for Business bandwidth calculator. This Excel spreadsheet calculates the WAN, or wide area network, bandwidth requirements for a Skype for Business deployment based on your inputs. The link for the bandwidth calculator is displayed on-screen.
If your network is particularly congested, or where bandwidth is limited, you can consider implementing quality of service, or QoS, which will allow packets carrying audio or video data a higher priority on the network. There are some other network connectivity considerations to review. For devices, low-quality headsets from webcams can impact on quality connections, and incorrect device drivers can also cause problems. For the environment, high levels of background noise can affect audio quality, and low-light levels can affect video image quality.
Also, the location of the devices for participants can also cause problems such as interference. And finally, consider the network. The quality of a call can be greatly impacted by network latency. This is the time it takes for a packet to get from point a to point b. Packet loss, which is the percentage of packets lost over specific time. And jitter, which is the average change in delay between successive packets if buffering is not used. The firewall should allow connections to and from the Skype for Business Online service.
If you still have problems, you can explicitly configure the allow rules for the Office 365 service URLs that Skype for Business use. For example, you need to make sure you have allow rules for microsoftonline.com, on microsoft.com, sharepoint.com, and linked.com. For Skype to create sessions between the participants, Skype needs to access outgoing TCP ports above 1024. Conversely, Skype will choose a random TCP port above 1024 for incoming connections.
Alternatively, Skype can be configured to use ports 80 and 443. If you're interested in optimizing your network for Skype for Business Online, you should check out the support resources in this article. The link for the article is displayed on-screen.
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