How to solve packet loss: easy fixes and the best tools

Updated: April 29, 2023
6 min read
How to solve packet loss: easy fixes and the best tools
by Dmytro Sywyi
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

VoIP is an incredible technology that allows high-quality audio to be sent via data packets. With VoIP, audio is compressed into data packets shot across the web and then repackaged. So it weighs less and can be transferred quickly.

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But packets may become corrupted or even get lost. The result is bad audio quality and miscommunication. This can really damage a business’s ability to function. In this article, we will show you how to get rid of packet loss, so your VoIP is always functioning at full capacity and your communication lines are crystal clear!

The true meaning of Packet loss: why there are missing data packets

How to Fix Packet Loss

It takes place when some data packets cannot be sent via the internet. Packet loss plays havoc on VoIP, resulting in delays, cracking sounds, and inaudible conversations. You should strive for under 2% packet loss as this level should not impact your phone conversations.

Everything you transmit via the web is sent via a packet. How VoIP works is that audio is recorded, compressed, and sent as packets to increase speed. Occasionally, these packets won’t arrive, directing to poor call quality and internet packet loss. We’ve gathered the most common packet loss causes in this section.

1. Bandwidth congestion

It happens when your bandwidth (a channel that transfers data) becomes overwhelmed with the amount of information transferred to it. During this congestion, data packets get stuck and separated. Signs of bandwidth congestion:

  • increased packet loss;
  • jitter;
  • slowing internet speeds.

2. Broken networking wires

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Do you keep asking yourself, “Why do I get packet loss?” Faulty or broken ethernet cables may be the answer! When ethernet wires are damaged, they can’t handle all of the data being sent.

How to check for packet loss in this situation? Physically inspect your cables and look for damage. Once you find it, immediately replace your cables.

3. Old hardware

What other causes high packet loss? Ancient equipment! If you using old hardware from the late ’90s and ’00s it can be the main reason for this issue. Try to change your hardware to relatively new (made in 2017 and after), so it can handle the VoIP.

How to detect defective hardware? Monitor it for error messages, and consider upgrading old equipment. It helps you prevent packet loss for a long period.

4. Software problems

Another common reason for this issue is software glitches. They may interfere with network connection, so you start facing packet loss on a wired connection. Once you try to connect wirelessly, it becomes even worst.

When your business software is not operating at full capacity, you cannot transmit data efficiently, resulting in packet loss. So perform driver updates from time to time.

Right-click on the Windows logo and choose Task Manager to see which programs are using too much CPU. Then you need to update the problematic software.

5. Wi-Fi networks

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Do you want to know how to stop packet loss? Switch to a wired connection. It may sound silly and outdated, but wires had more bandwidth than Wi-fi. You can reduce packet loss by using a wired internet cable.

6. Network attacks

You may also suffer network attacks. Cyber attacks like DoS attacks are common reasons of network packet loss. DoS attacks inundate your network resulting in substantial packet loss. Hackers can use packet loss to sneak past your defensive systems and steal your company’s data or install ransomware.

Guide to uncovering packet loss on your operating system: macOS, Windows, and Linux

Do you want to know how to detect packet loss on all systems? Check out the easy steps below!


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Dealing with packet loss on macOS? Do this:

  1. Tap Finder.
  2. Click Applications & Utilities.
  3. Tap Terminal.
  4. Type Ping
  5. After 10 to 20 seconds, click Control C.
  6. Check out the stats.
How to Fix Packet Loss


To reduce packet loss you first need to detect it. Are you dealing with packet loss on your Linux device? Then follow these steps:

  1. Click Control T.
  2. Type Ping
  3. Review stats.
How to Fix Packet Loss


Curious if you are dealing with packet loss on Windows? Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Run app.
  2. Type cmd into the box.
  3. Type Ping -t
  4. Wait 10 seconds and stop the process by clicking Control C.
  5. View the stats.
How to Fix Packet Loss

What are the effects of packet loss

As we said before, one of the main packet loss reasons is the situation when one or more data packets crossing from a computer to a network fail to reach a destination. The most common side-effects of data loss are increased delay, reduced throughput, and corrupted data that leads to various software glitches.

All those glitches create even more packet loss, which leads to more corrupted data, creating an avalanche effect. Network connections become unreliable due to constant dropped calls, frozen video streams, and other critical errors.

How to fix packet loss on your OS

Follow our 6-step process and ensure that your VoIP calls quality is always sky-high!

1. Examine physical connections

First of all, check the physical condition of your ethernet cord. Make sure the cord is plugged in properly and check for any damage. Replace damaged cords as soon as possible. To buy top-tier ethernet cables, you should:

  • choose at least a Cat 5 cable;
  • select a cable with a durable jacket on the wire;
  • buy a cable shield.

2. Update software

Are you wondering how to fix constant packet loss? Perform widespread software updates! Old software can crash your network and take up too much overload, resulting in packet loss. You should switch on automatic updates and never skip a software update. Ensure you restart your software after every update!

3. Purchase new hardware

Are you stuck with old hardware? Buying new hardware is a quick way to fix jitter and packet loss! Signs that you need to buy new details include

  • malfunctions;
  • error messages;
  • sudden shutdowns;
  • stops and starts;

4. Switch to a wired connection

Sluggish Wi-Fi is a primary cause of packet loss. If you can, we recommend using VoIP with wired internet. Those connections are faster and will instantly increase your call quality.

5. Remove bandwidth overload or increase bandwidth

Change your bandwidth overload. Once the network gets flooded by too much data, packets will start being delayed or go missing.

Schedule calls for shoulder times. If this is not an option, you need to ensure your essential data is prioritized in the network. If this still doesn’t fix your issue, it is time to buy some additional bandwidth.

6. Improve network security

Do you want to know how to reduce packet loss? It is incredibly important that you boost your network security.

We advise you to hire professional IT cybersecurity experts. These experts will be able to conduct a comprehensive analysis of your network and come up with solutions that will not only prevent high packet loss but keep your data secure!

How to prevent packet loss

Basically, you just need to follow all troubleshooting steps in advance. These easy measures helps you. Check network hardware and change it once in a few years. Update your system and all apps to the most recent versions, and remove temporary files to eliminate the possibility of corrupted files.

Monitor your network performance, and change your current router to more efficient dual-band models where its possible. Prioritize client-related trafficking, scheduling all updates on non-working hours.

Best tools to address packet loss

Trying to troubleshoot packet loss on your own? Use these tools instead to fix your network issues.

Paessler PRTG: best for real-time monitoring

It is a top-rated tool that can analyze your IT system in real-time. Here are some of the things this awesome tool can scan:

  • bandwidth use;
  • network security;
  • packet loss percentage;
  • firewall status.
How to Fix Packet Loss

You have access to hundreds of different metrics, and this tool works on all operating systems. All users receive a 30-day trial, and then prices start from $1750.

SolarWinds: best for customization

Want to decrease packet loss? Try SolarWinds VoIP and Network Quality Manager. With this incredible software tool, you monitor your network’s performance live and stay ahead of any packet loss. With this tool, you can monitor a wide range of metrics such as

  • jitter;
  • latency;
  • devices;
  • reason for call termination;
  • packet loss;
  • phone call length.
How to Fix Packet Loss

SolarWinds is highly customizable, and you can set up your very own alerts. This tool provides you with in-depth information on your VoIP performance to always achieve crystal clear phone quality. How to deal with packet loss? Start your 30-day SolarWinds free trial now, and then upgrade to a paid plan from $1851.

ManageEngine OpManager: best budget solution

ManageEngine OpManager is a 5-star rated network monitoring system that is an all-around tool perfect for keeping an eye on devices, WAN links, etc. OpManager can check for packet loss, identify and troubleshoot issues and can track over 1000 metrics such as

  • network traffic;
  • performance analysis;
  • network devices;
  • errors;
  • packet loss;
  • WAN performance;
  • latency.
How to Fix Packet Loss

OpManager is highly customizable and features almost 300 widgets. You Can also set up custom alerts when key metrics decline for a 30-day trial right now. After your free trial, you can purchase the software for $245.

Nagios Core: best free monitoring tool

How to Fix Packet Loss

How to fix packet loss PC issues? Try out Nagios. It is an industry leader in the IT industry, and its Nagios Core monitoring tool is a top-selling product.

Core was originally built for Linux but now works on all operating systems. The great thing about this product is that it can be easily customized and is filled with almost 70 different plugins and add-ons. Nagios Core can monitor a range of metrics:

  • packet loss;
  • jitter;
  • protocols.

Packet loss and TCP protocol

You can fix this issue by using a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)! It retransmits data to the point the packet comes to its destination. If a packet gets lost, the TCP will scoop them up and resend them. The only downside is that it can slow down your connection.


What is a good packet loss percentage?

It would be perfect to maintain it lower than 1-1,5%. But it marks as OK if your packet loss tracker shows you 1,5-2,5%.

How can I detect packet loss?

You can find out that you have packet loss if you face high ping, reduced throughout, constant dropped calls, and unreliable network connections.

What should I do if I still have packet loss after trying these solutions?

If you still face network packet loss even after severe software troubleshooting actions, it’s a hardware issue. Contact Howly experts, so we can help you find out what broken detail causes the problem and give you detailed instructions on their replacements.


VoIP is the best way to handle your business’ telephone lines. However, if you don’t combat packet loss, you can end up with poor call quality. So, if you take the proper preventative steps, use our recommended tools, and quickly combat any issues, you can use VoIP and achieve crystal-clear phone lines.

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