Zendesk Talk uses the internet for making and receiving phone calls. As a result, a fast and reliable internet connection is important. For example, a wired network with Wi-Fi turned off gives better results. Regardless of your network configuration, you may have to make adjustments to it for the network to work properly with Talk.
Use the information in this article to help minimize network problems and get the best from Talk. If you can't make these changes yourself, contact your IT department for assistance.
Topics covered in this article:
For general information about starting out with Talk, see Preparing to use Talk.
How a network's configuration can affect Talk
A network's configuration can have a significant impact on the following:
- Latency: The time it takes data packets to arrive at the destination. High latency means there are significant delays in transmitting the data over the network, which result in interruptions such as voice delivery delays that can cause overlaps in conversation. Lower latency creates a smoother call experience.
- Jitter: The change in latency over time. Jitter sounds similar to interference or as though someone is having problems with their microphone connection. It can also lead to one side of the conversation not being heard clearly.
- Packet loss: When voice signals are digitized and transmitted, they are divided into data packets. If some of the packets fail to reach their destination, the result is missing pieces of the audio signal causing audible voice distortion to the call.
To minimize network issues, ensure everything is wired. Use wired 3.5mm jack headsets for agents and a wired internet connection instead of a Wi-Fi one.
Some applications use a lot of bandwidth, especially streaming apps. Zendesk Talk requires 500KBps per agent using Talk, which includes Talk and Zendesk Support running side by side. If you have 50 agents, for example, they would each need a dedicated 500KBps line, meaning a total line minimum of 25MBps.
Best practice when troubleshooting network issues is to first close all network-intensive applications such as Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube.
Preparing your network for Talk
This section covers the following topics:
Required IP addresses, ports, and domains for Talk
There are two types of traffic that need to make outbound connections, and in response, allow return traffic:
- Media traffic — a Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP) connection used to send and receive audio
- Signaling traffic — an encrypted Transport Layer Security (TLS) connection used for sending and receiving control information to set up calls.
|Secure media (ICE/STUN/SRTP) edge locations
|Destination IP ranges
|Destination port ranges
|10,000 - 60,000
|Secure TLS connection to Twilio signaling gateway
|Secure TLS connection to Twilio regional signaling gateways
|Secure TLS insights logging gateway
Required URLs for Talk
For some Talk features to work, you must be able to connect to URLs such as pubsub-shardC-P-N.zendesk.com. This is because the connections for Talk are not made via the same URL as the connection requests to the rest of Zendesk (for example, mydomain.zendesk.com). Instead, the Talk connections use the following format: pubsub-shardC-P-N.zendesk.com. Example: https://pubsub-shard2-17-1.zendesk.com.
- C is the cluster of the account (a value between 1 and 3)
- P is the pod of the account
- N is a random number from 1 to 4
To identify your pubsub-shardC-P-N.zendesk.com connections
- Open Chrome and click the Options () menu.
- Click More tools > Developer tools.
- In the Filter field, enter pubsub.
Recommendations and incompatibilities
- Ensure both the Zendesk and Twilio IP addresses and domains are excluded from Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI), or you may experience high User Datagram Protocol (UDP) or TCP connection times.
- If your router includes the SIP Application Level Gateway (ALG) function or SPI, deactivate both of these functions on the networks that are using Zendesk Talk.
- Do not plug in hardware that is not meant to be plugged into a smart switch. We are aware that if a switch or other network hardware is plugged into an incorrectly configured Cisco Smart Switch, it could override the allowed domains and IP addresses. Therefore check with your network team that the smart switch is configured to reflect the settings mentioned in this article.
- Zendesk Talk is not compatible with virtual desktop environments (VDIs) such as Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (formerly Windows Virtual Desktop) and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops.
Using Talk with a proxy, MPLS, or VPN
When you need to use a proxy, MPLS, or VPN, it's essential you configure a split tunnel. Implementing a split tunnel is necessary for directing outgoing traffic to Zendesk, Twilio, and your Zendesk subdomain locally. This means excluding Zendesk and Twilio traffic from the proxy, MPLS, or VPN, allowing it to go directly to the internet at the agent's physical location.
The requirement for this configuration is due to the presence of Global Low-Latency (GLL), a background service which is responsible for determining the most efficient network path for handling calls. When proxy, MPLS, or VPN configurations are in use, the actual locations of your agents may not be accurately represented. Consequently, this could result in suboptimal call routing, potential latency-related issues, and other concerns impacting call quality.
In scenarios where using a proxy, MPLS, or VPN is unavoidable, it's crucial to exclude traffic intended for Zendesk and Twilio domains, including your FQDN subdomain.zendesk.com, and the specified IP addresses outlined in the accompanying documentation. This exclusion is critical to ensure the proper functionality of Talk within these network configurations.
For information about the guidelines to implement DSCP, see Configuring Quality of Service (QoS) settings for Talk on Windows domains.
DSCP tags in packets are useful for informing network appliances on prioritizing traffic. By default, Talk calls have a DSCP tag of 46. If congestion is an issue on your network, consider implementing DSCP using the instructions in this article. The Twilio Client 1.3 and later enables DSCP by default in compatible browsers such as Google Chrome.
Compatible browsers tag WebRTC media packets, which permits differentiated handling on a LAN, so real-time media can be prioritized above other network traffic. The Differentiated Services (DS) field is located in the IPv4 header TOS octet or the IPv6 Traffic Class octet. A DS-compliant network node (for example, a router) includes a classifier that selects packets based on the value of the DS field, buffer management, and packet scheduling mechanisms that are capable of delivering the specific packet forwarding treatment indicated by the DS field value.
With the Twilio Client 1.3, sent RTP packets will have a DiffServ codepoint on their local Wireshark packet captures. When you allow DSCP, the WebRTC engine marks the RTP packets with EF (expedited forwarding) and the values related to this type of forwarding:
- binary: 101 110
- hex: 0x2e
- decimal: 46
You must use a browser that supports WebRTC (such as Chrome or Firefox). If you implement DSCP (recommended), use Chrome (the latest, non-beta version), as this is the only browser that supports it.
To check if you're on the latest version of Chrome
- In Chrome, navigate to chrome://help/ in your address bar.
- Click Relaunch to update Chrome.
This section covers the following topics:
- Using DSCP functions correctly
- Checking DSCP tags for machines on a domain
- Checking DSCP tags for machines that are not on a domain
- Requirements for Windows computers
Using DSCP functions correctly
In some Windows-based environments, DSCP tags are filtered out despite the network being set up for DSCP. Your network team can verify if DSCP tags are being filtered out by Windows by running a capture in Wireshark. Either implement a group policy that enforces DSCP or, if your computers are not on a domain, implement it on a computer-by-computer basis.
Checking DSCP tags for machines on a domain
For machines on a domain, you control the QoS settings that are used for certain applications by designing different Group Policy rules.
You must force client machines to pick up new Group Policy rules to make the Dialer work at its best (usually a reboot is enough). To make the Dialer work optimally, use the following steps to ensure that WebRTC packets are prioritized.
To check DSCP tags for machines on a domain
- In your command line, enter gpedit.msc to open the Group Policy rules.
- In Group Policy rules, under Computer Configuration, select Policy Based QoS Settings.
- Right-click, then select Create new Policy.
A wizard interface opens to configure the QoS rules.
- In Policy name, enter Salesloft DSCP. For the DSCP value, enter 46.
- Click Next.
- In the next dialog, select Only applications with executable name, then enter Chrome.exe
- Click Next.
- In the dialog, click Next (you do not need to enter any settings).
- In the next dialog, select the protocol that the QoS applies to. For the Salesloft Dialer, this is limited to UDP.
Checking DSCP tags for machines that are not on a domain
This section modifies the registry setting so you can specify the QoS setting that'll be based on your Group Policy configuration.
To check DSCP tags for a machine not on a domain
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > CurrentControlSet > Services > tcpip > QoS.
- If the QoS key does not exist, right-click TCP/IP and select New Key.
- For the name, enter QoS.
- Select the QoS key.
- If the string does not already exist, create a new string "Do not use NLA".
- Set the value to 1.
- Reboot your computer and the new settings will take effect.
Requirements for Windows computers
To ensure QWAVE is activated and startup is automatic
- Open the Windows Start menu.
- In the Search bar, enter cmd.
- Right-click Command Prompt , then click Run as administrator.
- Paste the following text into the command line:
net start QWAVE
- Press Enter to see the following results.
- To ensure the service startup type is permanently set to automatic, paste the following code into the command prompt.
REG add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\QWAVE" /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 2 /f
- Press Enter.
The QWAVE service has set the startup type to automatic. If you encountered an error when following the above steps, ask a member of your IT team or a computer administrator to perform them.
Create a group policy object on your network to set the service for all client computers to automatic. This will save you from having to set up each computer manually.
Talk call quality and connectivity problems
If you're experiencing connectivity or audio problems, it could be related to your network configuration or installed software that is designed to monitor and block IP connections. This includes, for example, firewalls, anti malware, antivirus programs, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), intrusion detection systems (IDS), web application firewalls (WAFs), web filters, and ad blockers.
The following tests will help you troubleshoot most audio and connectivity problems.
- Disable any interfering software: Temporarily disable any software that can monitor and block IP connections. Such software includes firewalls and antivirus software, web filters, and ad-blockers. This helps determine if they are what's causing connectivity issues. Make new test calls and reassess the situation. To keep your system secure, always remember to reactivate your security software after you've completed testing.
- Unrestrict internet access: Ensure your computer has unrestricted internet access for connectivity tests, then make new test calls and reassess the situation. A stable and high-quality internet connection is essential for seamless VoIP calls.
- Run a Twilio WebRTC Diagnostics test: Run a diagnostics test before, and immediately after, making any network changes. Comparing the before and after test results can give you a clearer indication of where the issue is originating from. If you're unsure of how to interpret the results, see How do I use the Twilio network test to troubleshoot Talk agent calls?. It explains the test results line by line.
By carrying out the above tests, you can identify whether the call issues are coming from specific areas, such as network configurations, or from software that is blocking the connection.
For more troubleshooting help, see How can I troubleshoot Talk issues?
Error message: Some Talk features aren't available
You may receive the following error message: "Some Talk features aren’t available right now. You can still make and receive calls." This message means either your browser or your computer cannot connect to the required Zendesk Talk URLs. If you don’t allow communication, then you will only be able to accept and decline calls or hang up, and multiple features in Talk such as the following will not work:
- Wrap up
Note: If Wrap up is activated, the user will be immediately dropped from the call.
To resolve this error
- Contact your network administrator to activate your network to communicate with your computer or browser.
- Follow the steps in Troubleshooting agent collision in Play mode.