What is the Difference between SIP and VoIP?

Businesses are often marketed with the idea of adopting modern forms of communication solutions that employ technologies such as VoIP, SIP, UCaaS, etc., that operate through hardware such as IP-PBX. However, these acronyms often confuse buyers, especially when many vendors tend to use some of these terms interchangeably despite having a clear difference. The prominent example of this is VoIP and SIP. Although both of these make use of the internet to make and receive calls, there’s a significant difference between the two. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of the capabilities of both these protocols so that you can choose the right one that meets your business communication needs.

But before we delve into the details, it is important to understand the concept of the protocol. A protocol is nothing but a set of digital rules for the management of communication between digital devices. It essentially provides the ability for devices to communicate with one another using the internet.

Let’s take a closer look at VoIP and SIP to understand what makes them different from one another.

What Is VoIP?

VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. The term itself includes “voice,” which means the protocol essentially refers to any phone calls made over the internet instead of traditional telephone lines. VoIP converts the voice calls into data packets and directs the call traffic through a centralized network. However, VoIP is not a discrete technology but a set of technologies that make voice calls over the internet possible. These include technologies for audio signal compression, digital data formatting, and transmission as well as technologies used by devices to connect with each other. SIP is one such technology that comes under VoIP.

To implement VoIP-based communication, you’ll only require a VoIP-enabled phone and VoIP software. VoIP is increasingly becoming the primary choice of communication channel for businesses because of it essentially eliminates the need to manage wired phone lines and is significantly cost-effective compared to cellular plans. VoIP is typically deployed with an on-premise IP (Internet Protocol) enabled PBX (Private Branch Exchange) hardware or can be cloud hosted.

What Is SIP?

SIP or Session Initiation Protocol is meant to initiate VoIP calls and takes VoIP capabilities to a next level. The protocol allows not only voice calls, but even multimedia communication such as voice calls, instant messaging and media distribution. SIP essentially standardizes signals to govern the establishment, termination, rejection, hold or redirection of VoIP calls. Apart from this, a major difference between VoIP and SIP is in the handsets used. A VoIP handset requires connecting to the computer which must be turned on to conduct calls. However, SIP handset does not require a computer for signaling. As such, a SIP phone behaves more like a traditional phone that only requires internet connectivity to facilitate calls.

In addition, SIP is also scalable, which means several devices can communicate simultaneously, making it an ideal choice for businesses looking to connect remote teams through video conferencing or media sharing. Thus, SIP makes the idea of unified communications in an organization possible and promotes collaboration between remote teams.

If you are looking for an all-inclusive solution for your business communication, SIP is an ideal choice. This is usually offered by vendors as a cloud-hosted unified communication solution, often known as UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), requiring no internal hardware setup.

VoIP vs SIP: Which One Is Right for You?

Both VoIP and SIP are increasingly becoming popular with businesses of all sizes due to the flexibility and cost-effectiveness they offer over conventional telephone lines. But knowing the difference between the two can help you choose the communication solution that is most reliable for your business. However, there is no direct comparison between VoIP and SIP. Rather, it is good to compare VoIP Vs UCaaS, and the exact answer to choosing between the two depends more on what your actual businesses requirements are.

If your business needs a powerful voice communication solution, VoIP can solve the purpose. However, if you desire to include multimedia communication and integrate your other business tools to facilitate more productivity between your geographically dispersed teams, UCaaS is the best bet.

When it comes to VoIP, 8x8 provides a reliable and compliant cloud solution at a demanding level rarely seen by other cloud providers. Don't take your chances with a subpar cloud-based telecom system. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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