Single Routing Network

The single network refers to the connection between the router and the switch. The Ethernet switch may be included as part of the router or they might be two separate devices. There is only one connection defined between the router and the switch and the complete LAN side resides on one network. (ex. 192.168.1.0/24). This means that broadcast traffic from all devices will appear throughout the network. this is the typical default configuration that routers right out of the box will have.

Single Routing network

Advantages

The main advantage to a single routing network is that it is a simple out of the box configuration. Hook it up and it will work if you have a few IP phones but as more IP phones are added, more problems occur. More data traffic, poorer voice quality.

Disadvantages

The disadvantages to a single routing network are:

  • Voice and data share the same bandwidth
  • Realtime voice traffic fights for bandwidth with data traffic
  • Voice traffic will have longer delays causing echo
  • Voice traffic will have more lost packets causing poor audio quality
A lot of wireless routers can provide traffic management for VoIP protocols and QoS through their web based GUI. The traffic management typically deals with outbound traffic. Priority can be given to voice protocols like SIP. The router recognizes the voice traffic and when given the choice between sending out data or voice, it will send the voice first. Each router is different and its capabilities would need to be explored to see how it can manage traffic.

Aftermarket Router Firmware

There are several aftermarket router firmware upgrades that are both free open source and paid upgrades that can add more capabilities to your wireless router. The result is that your el-cheapo router gets a hit of steroids and provides features normally seen only on expensive enterprise class routers. One of these is DD-WRT which allows you to set priority based on the physical Ethernet port. You could set the port connected to the voice Ethernet switch as having priority over the data Ethernet switch's traffic. Aftermarket router firmware upgrades require a higher level of expertise and patience to get working correctly.

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TelecomWorld 101

Copyright July 2013 Eugene Blanchard