VoIP vs SIP – What’s the Difference?

27th April 2020

In the world of corporate communications, things can sometimes get a little complex! However, the way in which we communicate with one another is always moving forwards to become easier and easier to set up. It’s never been easier, for example, to take advantage of clearer, more reliable conversations through VoIP. Instead of having to rely on outdated telephony and comms services, it’s simple for even the smallest of businesses to streamline their conversations.

But what about all these different buzzwords, and all this technical jargon? What exactly is VoIP – and what does SIP mean? Are there clear differences between the two services – if so, which is likely to benefit you the most? Don’t worry – we’re here to help clear things up for you. Here’s our complete guide on what to expect from VOIP and SIP, and how we can help you and your business moving forwards.Voip for business

A Quick Overview

Before we start looking at these two services in detail, it’s important to remember that both VoIP and SIP serve different purposes. VoIP is a term that’s generally used to describe data calls, whereas SIP is an all-around data call management system.

VoIP, therefore, is a blanket term. Any calls made through VoIP are those which depend on the internet, whether through Wi-Fi or high-speed 4G and 5G. SIP, meanwhile, is a trunking service. This means it’s rather like a switchboard service for VoIP calls and applications. That means you will often use VoIP and SIP at the same time – though not always!

Confused? Don’t be. It’s entirely possible to run VoIP with and without SIP trunking. While this might be obvious to anyone working deep within data comms and engineering, it’s not always obvious to those business owners who may stand to benefit from the tech directly. Therefore, it’s time we broke things down even further. What is VoIP without SIP – and why might investing in VoIP with SIP be a viable option for you?

Using VoIP Only

VoIP only services are, by and large, very easy to set up, and are also cost-effective in the long run. A VoIP-only service is likely to appeal to any business looking to get up and running with data comms without any of the bells and whistles. That said, SIP offers more than ‘bells and whistles’ alone. We’ll come to that a little shortly.

Jumping on-board VoIP alone is likely to be a very speedy and smooth process. This means there’s little no need to fuss around with extra protocols and suites. It’s an option which is likely to benefit smaller businesses, for example, as well as those with only one or two staff members. It’s also a fairly predictable service on the whole, and it’s portable by default.

Beyond this, however, basic VoIP is just that – it’s basic. If you know that your business is going to benefit from advanced lines and integration as part of your overall communications strategy, you’re going to need something a little more ‘fully-fledged’. For this reason, you might find VoIP on its own to serve a worthwhile purpose, but not enough to support your ongoing growth.

What’s more, if you have several collaborative tools of cloud storage services, you won’t be able to integrate them with a VoIP-only standard. Therefore, once again, a SIP service could be desirable if you’re keen to integrate a variety of suites and features.

Using VoIP with SIP

Using VoIP with SIP means you really start to harness the power of data communications. VoIP on its own can be fairly basic, however, to the same end, it can also be limited depending on what you’re looking for. Setting up VoIP with SIP means you will have access to potentially unlimited productivity enhancements.

What’s more, you can take advantage of multimedia sharing. Rather than just relying on basic voice comms, you and your contacts can share files, collaborate on ideas, and benefit from off-site cloud storage and backup. Setting up VoIP with SIP means that you are heading towards a more unified communications service. While there are benefits to VoIP alone, setting up with SIP is arguably a great option if you’re looking to grow your business in the long term.

SIP tends to be very user-friendly, as well as flexible to an almost unlimited standard. It might also be easy for you to integrate your current productivity tools and suites in one unified space.

However, there are a handful of reasons why SIP might not be the best option for you immediately. Ultimately, you will need to consider costs as well as complexity. SIP is easy to set up through leading vendors, however, you are going to need to ensure your business relies on a steady data connection. There is likely to be increased demand on your data in comparison with VoIP alone.

You should also make sure that you invest in SIP with a licenced, reliable vendor. SIP may not always appeal to those end users looking to keep things simple and headache-free. Always make sure that the SIP service you invest in is going to be easy for you to use and understand, as well as simple for you to manage through ongoing maintenance.

Which Option is Best For Me?

This is, of course, going to vary from business to business. The fact is, some businesses will immediately benefit from basic VoIP-only comms, while others will be keen to upscale and grow with unified SIP services. That said, leaping into SIP right away might not appeal to those smaller companies who wish to test the waters.

Crucially, VoIP is the future of corporate comms, and it’s right here for you to take advantage of. Choosing between the data comms to benefit you and your business doesn’t have to be complex! Make sure to speak to a leading expert at Planet Numbers to learn more about the choices open to you, and why it makes sense to look carefully at data calling standards before leaping in headfirst!  Call us free, on 0800 088 6543.

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