SIP vs. VoIP: What are the differences & which one is the best?

  • Last Updated: 13 Sep 23
  • 10 min read
SIP vs. VoIP What are the differences

A communication provider’s services should go far beyond just voice calls for most businesses. In the modern workplace, business interactions are primarily conducted via email, SMS text, video conferencing, and cloud-based chat platforms instead of traditional telephone calls.

Business communication has become standard via internet-based communication due to modern technology. In the process of researching business phone systems, you’ve likely come across terms like SIP and VoIP. You may be curious about what these terms mean and which option is best for your situation.

The following guide to VoIP and SIP will teach you what each term means, the pros and cons of each, and how to select the solution that best fits your needs.

Modern Communications and Telephony

In essence, telephony is the electronic transmission of information over long distances, including voice and fax, with the aid of a speaker, transmitter, and receiver.

In the industry of telephony, these definitions evolved somewhat when computers replaced or supplemented it. In many cases, telephony and telecommunications have become interchangeable terms.

As telephones began using radio to transmit signals, the distinction between the two became even blurrier.

The global business landscape is changing. Traditional phone lines are being replaced with cloud-based telephony. Cloud-based voice communication technology is cheaper and less hardware-dependent. The role of voice is, however, only one of many aspects of modern business communication.

The world of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony has taken the lead in this field since the 1990s. The method is among the most popular ways to communicate internationally.

It’s especially useful when it comes to supporting a more mobile workforce. Within the next decade, North America will hold 40% of the global VoIP market. The VoIP system may also eventually overtake traditional public switched telephone networks (PSTNs) globally in the next several years.

It’s important to note, however, that VoIP is not the only solution to cloud-based communications. Another significant contributor to cloud-based business communication is Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). The Internet-based telephony applications VoIP and SIP both provide alternatives to traditional telephony. Both applications share some similar and overlapping use cases, as we will see.

SIP and VoIP, however, differ fundamentally. SIP is an interoperable multimedia communication protocol. VoIP, or voice-over-IP, is an example of a technology geared toward communications via sound. In addition, the two systems have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Also Read: What is SIP Trunking & What are its Benefits?

What is VoIP?

Internet-based phone calls are known as VoIP calls or Voice over Internet Protocol. With VoIP, voice calls are converted into data packets that can be sent across the internet. Only voice communication is possible with VoIP, which is what makes it different from SIP.

Basically, protocols are rules that developers use to govern the communication between digital devices. Both ends must adhere to the same digital rules for communication to succeed.

You can think of it as using snail mail. Stamps are necessary on envelopes to properly send mail. To ensure that it is received on the other end, you must provide the correct address. Failing to do so will result in a communication failure.

How VoIP works?

VoIP uses a computer or a special VoIP phone, or a traditional phone with an adapter to connect with users. VoIP signals are converted to regular phone signals before they reach their destination when they call a landline.

VoIP software, also known as a VoIP softphone app is available on internet-enabled devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers. Wireless hotspots such as those found at airports and cafes, or cell towers, can be used to connect to the Internet.

The way VoIP transmits data packets uses the same signals as other devices. After arriving at their destination, the data packets are reassembled into the audio signal.

VoIP is widely favored because of its affordability. VoIP is cheaper than traditional calls since it uses the internet to transmit information. And if you are using a VoIP softphone, it doesn’t even require dedicated telephony hardware.

Even when calling a landline, the majority of international and domestic calls are either free of charge or dirt-cheap. This is one of the reasons why companies prefer VoIP to traditional PSTNs.

A VoIP system also offers a number of unique digital features. In conjunction with them, companies can add phone lines, conduct conferences, and set up mobile phone calls without incurring additional costs. Call recording, transcribing, and other advanced features are also available from some VoIP providers.

A growing number of businesses are using VoIP. Meanwhile, large companies are also making the transition to VoIP telephony. Also, VoIP is becoming more common among residential users. Part of the reason for this is the growing number of remote workers working from home.

VoIP is especially suitable for home offices, which need enterprise-grade telephony. Among the features available are voicemail, conference calling, and call forwarding. As far as pricing is concerned, VoIP has the edge over traditional home lines.

Calls can be made to anyone with a phone number by the most sophisticated VoIP systems. The phone number may be local, mobile, long-distance, or international.

Benefits of VoIP

1. Portability

Your VoIP number will travel with you since it is virtual. In other words, if you give out your business number, you will not need to be present at the office to receive the call. It will instead be with you wherever you go. As a result, you won’t need to change your work numbers if you need to travel for work or if your office moves.

2. Scalability

The scalability of VoIP makes it an extremely attractive technology. Most businesses don’t stay the same size for very long. They expand and grow. Using VoIP, you can keep up with the needs of your growing business without sacrificing the functionality of your system.

3. Flexible with multiple devices

You can use VoIP on multiple devices without cluttering your desk with multiple phones. The VoIP systems are instead designed to run remotely via the Internet or directly from the personal computer.

The flexibility built into this solution allows for mobile workforces that are always connected and always on the go. In addition, the business will be able to save money and space by reducing its hardware requirements.

What is SIP?

SIP is short for Session Initiation Protocol. Multimedia communication sessions, such as voice and video calls, typically start and end using this protocol. In this way, SIP is one of the protocols that enable VoIP. This protocol is developed and standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Instead of getting bogged down in the technical jargon of the SIP definition, emphasis should instead be placed on the benefits that SIP provides your customers. 

Essentially, SIP includes the messages traveling between endpoints and how each session is established and terminated. It can be used by organizations to communicate between many endpoints or between two. SIP is not only suited to voice calls, but it can also be used for video conferencing, instant messaging, media distribution, and other applications.

How SIP works?

Using the SIP protocol, users can make free voice and video calls. Two or more participants can be connected through a SIP session. Receiver devices hear the caller’s voice via SIP because it decodes VoIP data. Aside from VoIP, SIP can also initiate, modify, maintain, and terminate real-time messaging, video, and other communication methods.

You should know that VoIP is supported by other protocols as well. One option is to use a SIP phone system. However, it is one of the most common protocols used in VoIP today. SIP supports multimedia communications, including voice over IP (VoIP), for most unified communications as service vendors.

Similar to the HTTP protocol, SIP text-based language is used to send data over the net. SIP is also similar to the SMTP protocol, which is used for email transmission.

The SIP coding is used in practice to describe the identity of participants and their ability to be contacted through an IP network. The SIP protocol supports multiple endpoints. This is demonstrated in practice by video conference calls involving multiple parties, which are commonplace today in business.

Computers or special phones can be used to initiate SIP sessions. Internet connections using SIP phones are made by way of a modem. Therefore, companies that employ remote workers or who require a multimedia presence prefer SIP.

The service is free worldwide, and users can get free SIP addresses and SIP applications as well. Additionally, SIP-telephony is not subject to any restrictive laws.

Benefits of SIP

1. Affordability

Rent for lines is significantly lower than traditional PSTN lines, and calls are cheaper than they used to be, whether local, mobile, national, or international.

2. Reliability

Whenever you choose a provider dedicated to giving you the best service, they will openly discuss your data service and help you decide how our SIP service can be run in the most efficient way possible.

3. Multiple Users

SIP is capable of accommodating multiple users. If you need to hold conferences with multiple users, they can join the call using whatever method suits them best. Unlike other protocols, users can join video calls through audio calls rather than via video and then switch to audio.

SIP vs. VoIP: What are the differences?

In general, SIP vs. VoIP cannot be directly compared. SIP is the standard communications protocol that most VoIP deployments use, but VoIP can be referred to as a term that can refer to any internet-based telephone service. While VoIP technology dates back to the 1970s, it has become increasingly popular as a business technology over the past decade.

Even though SIP technology supports and scales VoIP, not all VoIP is supported by SIP. As a business VoIP solution, SIP is just one of the protocols that can be used to scale communications beyond voice-only communications and enable multimedia communications like video conferencing and instant messaging. Most vendors use SIP, but some interpret it differently. As interoperability becomes increasingly vital to the long-term success of a business, this is changing.

How to get started with VoIP?

VoIP methods require slightly different equipment depending on how you use them.

The most important thing you need is a strong and reliable Wi-Fi connection. The most reliable connections tend to be fiber-optic ones. If you subscribe to unlimited broadband, you can communicate as much as you want without incurring additional charges.

To get started with VoIP services, first, you need to decide whether you need a VoIP hard phone or softphone for your business. If you value flexibility, scalability, and affordability, a softphone works best for your business. For that, however, you need a softphone phone app and a stable internet connection.

And if you are looking for a softphone for your business, KrispCall is worth taking a look at. Be it a smartphone, tablet, computer, or any internet-connected device, you can make and receive phone calls seamlessly.

In addition to regular telephony services, there are several additional features that make call handling and workforce management much easier. For efficient call management, you can use features like IVR, auto attendant, skill-based routing, automatic call distribution, among others.

The availability of call recording, call forwarding, call transfer, and call parking features also help to manage a high volume of calls in call centers and contact centers.

Besides the long list of incredible features, what’s impressive about KrispCall is its affordable pricing. All these features are available at a starting price of $15/month. First-time users can even use it for free as there is a free demo to take advantage of.


Head of Content @ KrispCall (or, in plain English, I'm the guy responsible for ensuring that every blog post we publish is EPIC).

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