SIP vs VoIP: a guide for businesses

Is SIP Trunking VoIP? Is VoIP the same as SIP? What’s the difference between the two?

If you’re setting up a new VoIP business phone system, these questions will sound familiar. You’ve likely run into the acronyms SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol and VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, together. In fact, navigating the world of  business phone systems can often feel like an alphabet soup of acronyms. 

Still, given “businesses that switch to VoIP reduce the cost of their local calls by up to 40%, and save up to 90% on international calls” it’s crucial to understand what each acronym means so you can choose the best VoIP services.

In this guide, we’ll define the difference between SIP and VoIP, outlining how each service works together and benefits your business phone system. 

Businesses that switch to VoIP reduce the cost of their local calls by up to 40%, and save up to 90% on international callsSIP.US

What is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is essentially a digital phone service. Instead of sending audio through traditional phone lines, VoIP phone systems digitize your voice and send packets of audio over the internet. 

In some ways, VoIP is a lot like making a video call—except that you’re only sending audio, not video, back and forth.

According to Nextiva, “More software buyers go with VoIP than any other type of voice service”. Why? As a cost-effective alternative to the traditional analog phone system, businesses are enjoying significant savings with cloud based telephony systems like VoIP. With free quotes from the best VoIP phone providers, your business can too. 

Thanks to a rise in remote working and customer preference to contact businesses by phone, popularity for VoIP software is set to keep growing.

With VoIP phone systems, you can add as many phone lines as your business needs without having to bring in an electrician. You can also integrate with software to automatically route your calls between departments or to keep a digital recording of every call that comes into your business.

What is SIP?

SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol. It’s an open-source communications protocol that is deployed by VoIP phone systems to function. For VoIP business phone users, SIP is critical to initiating, maintaining, and terminating a phone call between two or more devices.

It’s particularly important to understand the word protocol in order to understand SIP. In this context, a protocol is a set of rules used by digital devices to communicate with each other. A protocol like SIP regulates how the exchange of data packets is synchronized between devices and how those data packets are interpreted.

The usefulness of Session Initiation Protocol isn’t limited to enabling VoIP phone calls. SIP software can also be used to conduct video conferences, exchange instant messages, or distribute multimedia files and other data.

VoIP is a communications system, and SIP is a signalling protocol used to support that communications system.Michael Graw

SIP vs VoIP: What’s the difference?

Trying to compare SIP and VoIP directly doesn’t really make sense. Why? Comparing the two is like assessing a magician and their assistant side by side. 

One, VoIP, is the principal performer while the other is a support act. VoIP is a communications system, and SIP is a signalling protocol used to support that communications system. 

SIP is one way to deploy your VoIP phone system. It’s favoured by telephony managers as it directly connects PBX (private branch exchange) users with public network phone users. VoIP business phone systems which use SIP rely on the protocol, to relay information between VoIP-enabled devices. 

You may notice SIP and VoIP have become somewhat synonymous since SIP is easily the most widely used protocol for supporting VoIP communications.

Source: TechRadar

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