What's the difference between VoIP and SIP?

The IT and telco world is littered with acronyms, and it doesn’t make things easier that many of them seem to stand for the same thing. Two of these acronyms are VoIP and SIP, and they're often mistaken for each other. Let’s have a look at the differences between the two terms.

What is VoIP?

VoIP (Voice over IP) is a broad term. It’s also called IP telephony, broadband telephony or Internet telephony. Regardless, they all refer to the technology that allows for a call to be made over the Internet. You see, VoIP isn’t part of the public switched telephone network. When you call over VoIP, the information is sent as data.

What is SIP?

SIP, on the other hand, stands for Session Initiation Protocol. What does it mean? It means that SIP is a communications protocol used for most types of VoIP deployments. That last part is key: SIP is just one protocol out of many that can be used to implement VoIP, much like HTTP is the basis for web pages.

A protocol is a system of digital rules that allows devices to communicate. Out of these, SIP is the most prevalent protocol and the industry standard.

To summarise: SIP enhances VoIP into a multimedia communications experience, whether it’s through video calls, text or by sending files. Without SIP, it’s a voice-only internet phone service.

VoIP versus SIP – not a direct comparison

As you can see, VoIP and SIP refer to different things. It’s more accurate to talk about VoIP with and without SIP. Or rather, VoIP versus UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service). Read more about UCaaS here.

What does this mean for your business? If you stand to choose between VoIP with or without SIP, ask yourself what your communication needs look like.

Are you content with only using voice communication? Go with VoIP without SIP. However, if you plan on scaling up your business and want to incorporate all the features that come with unified communications – choose VoIP with SIP.

The advantages of SIP enhanced VoIP

If you’re a company that solely relies on voice communication, going to SIP enhanced VoIP will make a world of difference.

Not only does it unify your company communication, but it also means cost savings and productivity gains. VoIP with SIP is a flexible solution and has failover options if something unexpected happens.

VoIP with SIP opens the door to many useful functionalities and enables your company to scale up.

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about these two terms. If you need a VoIP solution that is easy to use, cost-effective and reliable – look no further than from Telavox.


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