Something's wrong, what do I do now?
Start by taking a deep breath....
The first steps towards fixing the problem:
The first very important thing we want you to know: we love you. Really. You are our customer and we love you and want everything to work well for you. You should also take a few deep breaths because networking problems can be very frustrating.
If you are on this page it is likely that things are not working well, or at all. Before we can begin to troubleshoot the problem there are 3 things we need to clarify about the Hello Hub, VOIP, and your network.
The 3 things you need to know so we can "fix" it:
1.We cannot “break” your network.
The ring-u® Hello Hub is what geeks call a “Network Appliance”. This means that it is much like a toaster, or a blender in your kitchen. It has a very specific function, and all it does is that one thing. Your blender cannot "break" your oven any more than the Hello Hub can "break" your network.
Your Hello Hub is a tiny server that provides VOIP telephone service and call handling. It does not hand out network addresses (DHCP), or do any sort of switching, or routing of general network traffic. For this reason it is not possible that “this stupid box broke my network” or any other claim that “everything was fine before I plugged it in”. The reason we even bring this up is that it is necessary to have this mutual understanding in order to get to the REAL problem of what is wrong with your network. This is NOT us telling you “we have no responsibility here, you are on your own”. This is us telling you “Don’t waste time here because the problem is somewhere else". We BOTH want to find the problem as fast as possible and fix it.
2. All VOIP phone systems and service are dependent on the quality and stability of YOUR network.
Specifically; call quality and system reliability are a function of a high quality stable broadband connection AND a properly set up and functioning internal network. No matter how good the VOIP system or service is, it will not be able to overcome a problem with either one of these networking issues. The good news is that more than 90% of the broadband providers offer service that is suitable for VOIP. That means the only other hurdle is your internal network. We cannot diagnose and fix problems with your network; there are simply too many variables. This is something that must be accomplished on your end.
3. Your Network is YOUR responsibility.
There are literally thousands of devices that could be what makes up “your network”. There is no way any product or service provider can accept responsibility for how these different “boxes” interact and function on your network. This is why some businesses choose to employ an “I.T. guy” and why there are so many “rent a geek” services out there. The good news is that most small businesses have very simple networks, and as such they just work. This is how the Hello Hub is designed; to just work. If it doesn’t then you have an internal, or external networking problem that must be resolved.
Here are some of the most common internal networking problems that you can easily fix:
Double DHCP: When you have more than 1 “box” on the network handing our addresses (192.168.1.X) to the other boxes on the network. The most common version of this is when you have a “modem/router” that was provided by your ISP and you add a wireless router in line after that unit. The default setting for both of those units is to hand out (DHCP) addresses to everything on the network, including phones, and your Hello Hub. This is essentially a “fight” between the 2 routers for dominance of the network. So if the cable modem has set the address for the Hello Hub, and the wireless router set the address for the phones, how can the Hello Hub and the phones “talk” to each other? The way to fix this is to either turn off DHCP on the cable modem, or on the wireless router. Once this has been done, restart everything on the network and things will go back to “just working”.
Network Loop: This usually happens when you are moving a bunch of equipment around and are plugging/unplugging a lot of stuff. This will cause all sorts of erratic behavior on your network or even just shut it down entirely. A network loop happens like this: The modem is plugged into the router. Two of the ports on the back of the router are plugged into computers, the 3rd port is plugged into a switch with a lot of other computers plugged into that switch, and one of the cables from that switch accidentally got plugged into the 4th port on the router, or back into another port on the switch. THAT is a loop. Tracing all of your connections and unplugging the one that created the loop can solve this problem.
Network Capacity: Make certain that your network infrastructure (modem, router, switches) are capable of handling the load that your networking operations are generating. Older switches are particular points of “bottlenecking” and may need to be replaced in order to level out network traffic.
These 3 issues represent over 90% of the small business networking problems that can affect your Hello Hub and service.