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What is SIP vs. VoIP and Which Option Is Best For Your Business?

September 6, 2023
What is SIP vs. VoIP and Which Option Is Best For Your Business?

Businesses may be looking for different communication technologies to facilitate making and receiving calls. Session initiation protocol (SIP), voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP), and unified communication (UC) are acronyms commonly used, though they may be confused with one another.

Understanding the distinctions between SIP and VoIP can assist you with making informed purchasing choices for your business. Both technologies serve important roles and can be combined to provide additional features and productivity benefits.

Comparing SIP and VoIP: An Overview

Using VoIP and SIP, calls can be routed over the internet as an alternative to traditional phone lines which may be cost or capacity-prohibitive.

VoIP is a technology that enables users to place and receive calls over the internet. SIP is the protocol many VoIP calls use that make internet calls quick, reliable and seamless between different devices. Both SIP and VoIP enable voice transmission to and from devices such as computers or phones.

SIP and VoIP are both used for data transmission over the internet, but they do not have identical functions. SIP is one of the technologies enabling VoIP calling, making it an increasing necessity for many customers into day's workforce.

VoIP requires SIP technology to enable multimedia communications, but can still be used effectively for voice calls without SIP.

What Is SIP?

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is an open-source communications protocol used for transferring information between two or more endpoints.

It is widely used for voice communication, as well as file sharing, instant messaging, video conferencing and other multimedia sessions.

SIP trunking is a feature of SIP that enables connections to traditional telephone networks, such as landlines and mobile devices. This gives it the ability to initiate calls outside of an internet-based system and can be used together with VoIP. This give SSP enhanced flexibility and usability for a telephone system.

VoIP with SIP Pros

· Unified Communications provide businesses with the potential for immediate cost savings by consolidating their technologies.

· Employee mobile devices will have failover options in the event of data connectivity loss.

· Purchasing additional lines and features on an as needed basis provides businesses with increased flexibility in pricing.

· Administrative tools are available to add lines and features with ease.

· It is possible to integrate with cloud applications for Unified Communications implementations.

· This product provides integration with common business applications and software to increase productivity.

· The integration of this system with PRI lines would create a hybrid phone system.

VoIP with SIP Cons

· SIP performance depends on available internet bandwidth.

· The level of service provided by SIP providers can differ.

· SIP vendors offer a range of features; these may not always encompass the full Unified Communications options.

· SIP over a public internet service may present quality and security risks instead of using a dedicated fiber-optic internet service offered by the same vendor as your SIP carrier.

What Is VOIP?

VoIP enables users to make and receive voice calls via the internet.

Nowadays, VoIP is only a minor feature in applications offering communication options like text messaging and video conferencing. Although VoIP often links with SIP, this is not compulsory. Popular VoIP services today are supplied by companies such as Ring Central and Nextiva.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology which facilitates the exchange of voice signals over the internet. It can be accessed from a computer, mobile device, or a VoIP desk phone.

VoIP-only Pros

· Low initial investment costs are available.

· Enjoy consistent cost savings with a fixed rate monthly billing system.

· VoIP systems are easily transportable and do not require on-site installation.

· VoIP service plans typically provide basic features such as caller ID, call waiting, and call forwarding.

·  VoIP services typically do not necessitate long-term contracts.

VoIP-only Cons

· Adequate bandwidth is required to ensure service availability and maintain call quality.

· Certain VoIP services may not be compatible with mobile devices or provide dedicated mobile apps.

· Voice-only services do not provide support for multimedia communications.

·  This product is not compatible with applications such as Salesforce, DropBox, or Microsoft Office.

The main distinctions between VoIP and SIP are outlined below.

What does VoIP do?

VoIP is a technology that enables calls to be conducted over the internet, instead of relying on landlines. The process involves the conversion of voice signals into a digital format and their transmission via the internet to any global destination, with a VoIP service provider managing this process.

For VoIP to operate, a protocol, such as SIP, is necessary.

VoIP utilizes SIP to deliver a range of communication services, including instant messaging, video calls and more, which are essential for businesses as remote working increases.

VoIP is powered by SIP.

How does SIP trunking work?

SIP protocols are used for SIP (Session Initiated Protocol) trunks. This is a virtual line which connects existing on-site PBX systems to the internet, allowing for sessions of concurrent calls to take place. Additionally, the capacity of the SIP trunks can increase or decrease as needed.

PSTN circuits had a maximum number of concurrent calls, with any additional call receiving a busy signal.

SIP trunking services utilize the SIP protocol to transport data over the internet or dedicated circuit, allowing for multimedia exchange such as video conferencing and messaging services.

In summary, VoIP utilizes the SIP protocol to allow for calls and other multimedia communication to be conducted over the internet. For similar results, SIP trunking uses the SIP protocol to create a virtual link (SIP trunk) from your business's PBX phone system to the telephone network (PSTN).

What option would be most beneficial for your business (SIP or VoIP)?

It is evident that SIP and VoIP are distinct technologies that operate differently. However, by grasping the roles SIP and VoIP have within telecommunications, one can determine which option, either VoIP alone or VoIP with SIP, is the best choice for their business.

To decide if you need a more robust solution than voice communication, consider VoIP. It’s an affordable and easy to use solution. Enhancing it with SIP capabilities provides flexibility and enables you to have a Unified Communications platform. This can save costs in the long-run by improving customer experience, increasing team productivity and optimizing call flows.

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