VoIP communication is becoming popular among the industry as its use is common for communication purposes. With business expanding having their physical presence all over the globe, it is imperative to have good communication channels to send the message across the board with consistency and reliability. As technology has advanced significantly in the last few years, VoIP and SIP are innovations in internet telephony making it easier for companies to manage their internal and external communication with much accuracy.
What is SIP?
Putting it simply, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) initiates communication sessions. It is a powerful and efficient communications protocol which is used to send multimedia messages to multiple users. It allows people to communicate hassle-free and cost-effectively. It can be a phone call between two people or video- conference meeting between several team members. Most of these calls are offered for free e.g. Skype.
Due to SIP, people all around the world can communicate using their mobile phones or computers over the internet. Providing a rich communication experience, SIP is an important component of Internet Telephony and it allows to harness the true benefits of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). One of the major benefits of SIP is communication cost-cutting. It allows users to connect over calls or video chats completely free. Due to the lack of restrictive laws and legislation, SIP apps and addresses can be obtained without any cost.
SIP systems take more effort and time to manage hence making it more suitable for companies having strong IT support.
How SIP works?
The primary purpose of SIP is to deal with communication sessions i.e. the period of time while parties communicate with each other. These may include internet telephone calls and video conferencing. SIP allows initiating, modifying and terminating the session with one or more participants. It has many functionalities and it allows a participant to make or cancel the connection during the call. Simultaneously, users can be put on hold or transferred if needed.
The voice information must be coded before it can be sent over the internet. SIP normally works like other common protocols e.g. HTTP. SIP is a very powerful protocol and efficient as well. Many organizations around the globe use it for their internal and external communications using a PBX. There are few requirements for setting up for SIP.
- SIP Address
- SIP Client
- Internet Connection
SIP Voice over IP
SIP address can be obtained for free by many service providers. You need to register and make a free SIP account. SIP client is a program containing a softphone functionality which you install on your computer or mobile device. There are various SIP clients available in the market but the most common ones are applications provided by VoIP providers. A good bandwidth is also an important requirement for voice or video communication. Not much is really required for voice chat. However, a reasonable bandwidth is a must for video communication. Not to mention that you are needing a hearing and talking device e.g. a headset, microphone or a webcam for video communication.
VoIP is a growing industry worldwide. Many companies are using VoIP services to improve their communication network as the world is globalizing. SIP is one of the strongest pillars of VoIP, a building block you must say. Most of the VoIP companies support SIP in their services.
SIP phones are used to initiate, manage and terminate calls on your computer device or mobile phone. SIP phones can be categorized into various types:
- Soft phones
- Hard phones
A softphone is basically a software program that enables telephone functionality. These softphones utilizes open standard protocols (SIP or RTP) for setting up a call and voice delivery. These softphones can be installed on anything ranging from a desktop PC, tablet or a smartphone using any interface i.e. iOS or Android.
A hard phone is simply a regular phone. However, its hardware is built with IP-aware components. This phone is connected to an IP-network through the use of Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable. With the advancement of new technology, cordless phones are also available in the market.
Softphones are cost-effective alternatives and easy to use. This software-based system makes better use of computer functionality. It has an option to create powerful visuals for the end user hence it is easier to manage.
Difference between SIP and VoIP
VoIP – voice over internet protocol basically used for making or receiving calls over the internet or other internal networks. On contrary, SIP is an application enabled protocol to establish, modify or terminate the communication sessions such as VoIP calls. The major difference between VoIP and SIP is that the former only send voice calls, but latter can communicate through all media including voice and video calls.
Another difference is that SIP and VoIP devices also vary. SIP handsets are also called VoIP handsets. VoIP phones must be connected to a computer in order to make a call. SIP handsets, on the other hand, are able to execute without any computer. The way SIP and VoIP handle traffic is another differentiating factor. SIP system is handled by individual user system also known as user agents.
This peer-to-peer network system is more resourceful and efficient in handling a large amount of data and bandwidth. On the contrary, VoIP hosting filter, and direct traffic to one central network. While working on this network, a large inflow of traffic can make system overloaded, affecting the overall performance. One of the main competitive edge of SIP over VoIP is that it has the ability to interact intelligently with other protocol. It also offers flexibility and scalability to meet user needs.
With the advent of the latest technology and its increased reliability and accessibility, Internet Telephony is becoming popular among many businesses. It allows the organization to cut down communication costs while managing an effective communication experience. It is quite useful for large companies with diverse teams across the globe. SIP and VoIP, both technologies provide various benefits and opportunities for users.