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SIP vs. VoIP: What’s the Difference?

two businessmen researching about what is the difference between SIP vs. VoIP

To streamline your business’s communication processes, it’s vital that you have the right phone system in place. Typically, and considering how business communication has developed in recent years, this will involve having a VoIP with SIP system that can provide more advanced features and effortless communication through a variety of channels.

But what is SIP, and how does it differ from a typical VoIP system? In this post, we’ll look at VoIP vs SIP in more detail to help you find the right solution for your business. 

SIP vs. VoIP: Understanding Both Terms

Before you can understand the differences between SIP vs VoIP, you must understand what these terms mean.

VoIP or Voice-over-Internet Protocol is a technology that allows you to make and receive phone calls using the Internet. When you make or receive calls using this technology, the system decodes audio to digital data as data packets. It then sends these data packets to another phone. 

The other phone then re-encodes the digital data into audio. In this way, both you and the recipient can hear your respective voices during the call. In simple terms, VoIP uses data to enable phone calls instead of relying on the public switched telephone networks (PSTN).

On the other hand, SIP is a protocol that’s used to initiate, maintain, modify, and terminate communications between VoIP applications. It works by sending messages from one SIP to another, which serves as an exchange of information over the Internet and it eliminates the PRI lines found in traditional phone systems. 

Once installed, SIP makes it possible for you to access call management features like voicemail, call forwarding, auto-attendant, and more. In simple terms, SIP extends the functionality of a VoIP system.

Businesses in the United States added more than 35 million new VoIP lines between 2010 and 2018.

VoIP-Only vs. VoIP with SIP

It’s important to remember, however, that while SIP extends these functionalities, not all VoIP systems implement it. This means that, depending on your specific needs and requirements, a VoIP system (VoIP-only) might be sufficient. 

This will typically be the case where you only need voice communications. In contrast, you might need to invest in a VoIP system that incorporates SIP (VoIP with SIP) if you want to take advantage of the multimedia features that SIP offers. 

This will typically be the case where you only need voice communications. In contrast. you might need to invest in a VoIP system that incorporates SIP (VoIP with SIP) if you want to take advantage of the multimedia features that SIP offers. 

Either way, to determine which system is right for your specific requirements, you’ll need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each. With that in mind, let’s look at the pros and cons of these systems in more detail.

VoIP-Only Pros and Cons

VoIP-only systems are the perfect solution if you only need voice communications capabilities and, here, they offer several benefits.

Here are some of these benefits:

  • Cost efficiency. One of the major advantages of VoIP-only systems is that they require a low initial investment because you only need a reliable internet connection. They also offer ongoing cost savings because most VoIP providers offer flat rate monthly billing.
  • Flexibility. Because you don’t need to install any hardware on-site, VoIP systems give you the flexibility to implement these systems, no matter where you are. This also makes them easier to move.
  • Features. Although they provide voice only communications, many VoIP systems offer additional basic features like call waiting, call forwarding, and caller ID.

VoIP-only systems do, however, have some cons too:

  • Dependent on bandwidth. As mentioned, VoIP needs a reliable Internet connection with sufficient bandwidth and availability to ensure quality of service.
  • Limited features. Although many VoIP service plans offer basic features, they offer little in the way of advanced features. For example, some basic VoIP packages may not offer any mobile integrations.
  • No multimedia communications. Because VoIP offers voice communications, it lacks the support for any multimedia communications.
  • Lack of integrations. With a VoIP system, you won’t be able to integrate it with your other systems. 

VoIP with SIP Pros and Cons

If you want more advanced features, you should consider a VoIP with SIP system, which is more suited to a modern business environment. 

Here are some benefits of VoIP with SIP systems:

  • Cost savings. VoIP with SIP offers significant cost savings because you’ll be able to consolidate all your communications technologies and platforms into one system.
  • Redundancy. These systems offer redundancies to ensure that you’re always available to take and make calls. For example, the system can switch to your employees’ mobile devices if your internet connection is lost.
  • Flexibility and scalability. VoIP with SIP systems give you the tools to manage the system and add new lines and features as needed. This makes the system more flexible and scalable and allows it to grow as your business grows.
  • Integrations. Many VoIP with SIP systems allow you to integrate them with the tools and business applications you’re already using. These integrations, in turn, increase efficiency and productivity. With some of these systems, you’ll also be able to integrate them with existing PRI lines to create hybrid phone systems.  

Like VoIP-only systems, VoIP with SIP systems also have some disadvantages:

  • Bandwidth. Like VoIP-only systems, VoIP with SIP systems require a reliable internet connection to ensure quality of service. 
  • Quality and features. The quality of service and features offered by vendors can vary significantly from one vendor to the next. As a result, it’s necessary to do sufficient research before committing to a specific vendor. 
  • Security. When using SIP over a public internet service, it can pose serious security risks. 

Did you know that the VoIP market will grow to $194.5 billion in 2024?

Which is a Better Option?

When considering the right internet-based phone system for your business, it’s vital that you choose one that meets your business’s specific needs and requirements. 

If you do, your business communication will be more effective and efficient. Hopefully, this post helped illustrate the difference between VoIP and SIP in more detail, so that you can see the additional features and advantages that a VoIP with SIPsystem offers. 

If you’re looking for the right phone system for your business, ULTATEL has the solution. Our cloud-based phone system is cost-efficient, scalable, flexible, and secure. Simply put, it’s the best way you can unify the way your team and customers communicate.

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