Hosted SIP vs SIP Trunking: What's Best for Your Business?

When considering whether to employ a VoIP system for your business, there is an assortment of considerations to take into account.

Beyond finding a provider that offers the right features, you'll also need to sort through the various types of business phone systems available. Since most of them are described using acronyms, it can be difficult to parse out what you’re reading.

Two of the most common types of business phone systems are SIP trunking and hosted PB, both of which accomplish the same task but have different approaches in doing so.

Learn what a hosted SIP actually is, how it differs from SIP trunking, and which approach will work best for your business.

Understanding SIP Trunking

Session Interface Protocol, or SIP, trunking refers to a communication protocol that’s used to establish communication and transfer data via an internet connection. It’s often paired with VoIP to create a connection that can be used for phone calls, too.

In essence, SIP trunking allows you to set up real-time audio or video sessions between two different parties, similar to how a traditional phone call works. But SIP trunking takes this process even further by enabling multiple channels of communication. For instance, you can add more channels so your business can make multiple simultaneous calls or even video chats.

Meantime, trunking refers to the ability of the network to handle simultaneous calls. Most companies will charge you based upon the number of SIP trunks your business requires. With all that said, SIP trunking offers you the ability to:

  • Scale your call network up or down depending on calling requirements
  • Leverage your existing network for added functionality
  • Have complete control over your system and can be fit to meet business needs

What is Hosted SIP?

SIP trunking primarily caters to businesses that already have its own IP PBX system. Hosted SIP takes this a step further by allowing any kind of business to utilize the power of SIP over VoIP. All you need is compatible headsets.

These service providers have their own PBX network, which your business can utilize. They’re equipped with all the features you expect, like simultaneous calling, video conferencing, voicemail, call transferring, auto attendant features and more.

What are the Benefits of Hosted SIP?

Essentially, with hosted SIP, you’re outsourcing the technical infrastructure and maintenance of the SIP infrastructure to a third-party provider.

This can be compared to website hosting. For example, most companies pay a third-party hosting provider to host all of their website’s files, instead of running a server at their physical location. With hosted SIP, you’re doing much of the same thing.

Case in point: You get all the advantages of a SIP business phone system, but all the technology is configured and maintained by a third party. Some additional benefits include:

  • Decreased setup costs, minimal hardware requirements and massive business savings
  • Easy-to-scale capabilities, depending on your choice of vendor
  • The comfort of not needing to maintain your own system
  • The ability to add communication features, depending on provider offerings

What are the Drawbacks of Hosted SIP?

Hosted SIP can be an ideal solution for some companies, but like anything in business, it has its share of imperfections. For example, quality of service can suffer depending on your provider's connection.

You’ll also sacrifice some degree of control and customization since you’re not hosting the system. Finally, the services you're able to add on are dependent on which provider you choose. Keep in mind, however, that working with a high-quality business phone system provider will help to minimize most of your risk.

Still, whether your business will benefit from hosted SIP or SIP trunking depends on how your current infrastructure and network is set up. If you're looking to minimize setup costs while minimizing any technical involvement, then hosted SIP is a great choice. Meantime, if you want more control over your network — and have the infrastructure to support it — then hosting your own SIP trunking solution might be the preferred approach.

Take Uncertainty Out of the Equation

Choosing the right technology is crucial to a growing business. Take the uncertainty out of the equation by choosing a SIP technology provider that can scale to meet your business' needs, whatever they may be at any given time. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out our online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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