Key Differences between VoIP and SIP

Key Differences between VoIP and SIP

For businesses looking for new phone communication equipment, there’s a lot to choose from. They might hear about SIP, PSTN, VoIP, ISDN and many other acronyms that can be hard to keep track of. However, when it comes to using the internet for phone service, VoIP and SIP should be explored. Here’s helpful information on their definitions and key differences.

VoIP: Voice Over Internet Protocol

VoIP is an acronym that stands for voice over internet protocol . VoIP is a technology used in telecommunications networks. It's a way to generate phone service by using a broadband connection and it’s much faster than with standard, antiquated landlines. Landlines rely on older public switched telephone networks (PSTN) and they’re limited in their capabilities. Phones might have call forwarding, call waiting and features like *69.

With VoIP, users can use smartphones and VoIP software to start making their calls. As a call is made, the person’s voice goes out over the internet broken up in packets. It’s then reassembled on the receiver’s end or endpoint and the words come out as legible sentences. Aside from phone calls, users can set up video conferences and phone conferences. They can also use VoIP to record calls and access features like remote calling. As most domestic and international calls are free, VoIP service providers are growing in popularity with businesses that need to lower overall costs.

When callers use VoIP enabled phones, they might work with applications like Google Talk or Skype and use an internet provider (IP) enabled PBX hardware phone for their VoIP calls.

SIP: Session Initiation Protocol

Session initiation protocol or SIP is a signaling or control protocol that's used in VoIP for messaging and managing video and voice calls. There are all kinds of protocols that users can access to enable VoIP and SIP is just one of them. SIP establishes how calls are sent, shared between endpoints and how they’re terminated. When setting up calls, there can be two different endpoints or several. SIP isn’t limited to phone calls as it can be used for video conferences, media distributions and instant messaging (IM).

Differences Between VoIP and SIP

In business enterprise and telephony, VoIP and SIP are probably the most common acronyms. However, while SIP and VoIP might sound synonymous, they are not.

Here are a few pointers when exploring their differences:

1. All session initiation protocols are VoIP but not all VoIP is session initiation protocols.

2. VoIP is a way to get phone access using an internet provider. SIP is a protocol.

3. There are several protocols that are VoIP with Skype or Google Talk as examples. However, Skype and Google Talk are not SIP.

Leveraging Communications with VoIP

For businesses that want to switch from outdated landlines to VoIP, they’ll find that VoIP has a lot of strong selling points. With VoIP most domestic and international calls are free and users can start video and phone conferences. They can also access features not commonly found with traditional landlines like remote calling and call recording. SIP is just one of several protocols that users can access for VoIP service. However, it’s one of the most frequently used.