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LAN & WAN Reviews

Test Results and The Verdict

I ran four "Golden Phone" tests to see how the HBB1 handled VoIP and FTP upstream traffic:

  • with no FTP and no HBB1
  • with a long FTP upload running and no HBB1
  • with no FTP and HBB1 inserted
  • with a long FTP upload running and HBB1 inserted

Tables 1 and 2 show that the HBB1 did a stellar job of preventing the FTP upload from degrading VoIP traffic. Taking a tip from the Reviewer's Guide that Hawking provided, I even ran two simultaneous FTP uploads to further stress the HBB1.

Without the HBB1, the dual FTP test drove packet discards up to 2.1% and the MOS down to 3.0. But with the HBB1 inserted, packet discards once again dropped to 0% and the MOS was back at 4.4. Pretty impressive!

  No HBB1 / No FTP up No HBB1 / FTP up
MOS
4.4 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)
 
Degradation Sources
Codec 0.60 100.0%
Latency 0.00 0.0%
Packet Discards 0.00 0.0%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%
3.6 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)
 
Degradation Sources
Codec 0.60 42.9%
Latency 0.53 38.1%
Packet Discards 0.27 19.0%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%
Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
 20ms RTP payload,
 80kbps IP BW)
G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
 20ms RTP payload,
 80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency
11 ms 11 ms
Packet Discards 0.0% 1.5%
Packet Loss 0.0% 0.0%
Loss Periods
Min: 0 ms
Avg: 0 ms
Max: 0 ms
No Loss
Min: 0 ms
Avg: 0 ms
Max: 0 ms
No Loss
Jitter
Min: 0 ms
Avg: 1 ms
Max: 2 ms
Min: 10 ms
Avg: 28 ms
Max: 160 ms
Table 1: QoS Test Results - without HBB1
  HBB1 / No FTP up HBB1 / FTP up
MOS
4.4 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)
 
Degradation Sources
Codec 0.60 100.0%
Latency 0.00 0.0%
Packet Discards 0.00 0.0%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%
4.4 / 5.0
(Best with G.711 is 4.4)
 
Degradation Sources
Codec 0.60 100.0%
Latency 0.00 0.0%
Packet Discards 0.00 0.0%
Packet Loss 0.00 0.0%
Codec G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
 20ms RTP payload,
 80kbps IP BW)
G.711 (PCM at 64kbps,
 20ms RTP payload,
 80kbps IP BW)
Round-Trip
Latency
11 ms 11 ms
Packet Discards 0.0% 0.0%
Packet Loss 0.1% 0.0%
Loss Periods
Min: 20 ms
Avg: 20 ms
Max: 20 ms
Random Loss
Min: 0 ms
Avg: 0 ms
Max: 0 ms
No Loss
Jitter
Min: 0 ms
Avg: 1 ms
Max: 13 ms
Min: 0 ms
Avg: 13 ms
Max: 31 ms
Table 2: QoS Test Results - with HBB1

At least in my limited testing, the HBB1 seems to work as advertised to keep outgoing VoIP traffic (your voice) free of effects from simple data uploading. Note, however, that my 400 kbps upload bandwidth is relatively generous and your mileage may vary with lower bandwidth and running multiple time-sensitive applications.

Also keep in mind that most traditional VoIP services use a G.711 codec which uses between 70 to 100 kbps per call (in each direction) when you factor in IP and other network transport method overhead. So while the HBB1 might be able to keep a single VoIP call trouble free, it might not work as well for multiple simultaneous callers in a small office application.

Although the pricetag - which is more than some consumer routers cost these days - may be a bit high, the HBB1 looks like it can help keep peace among the bits flowing up the relatively skinny data pipe that many of us have.

NOTE!NOTE: Online pricing as of today (7/14/2005) ranges between $95 to $195 (!). But Hawking says this is old pricing and should drop to about $70 when quantity shipments start in a week or so.

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