Online communication in this day and age is sometimes confusing. Between acronyms like SIP, VoIP, IP, PSTN, etc., it often seems more complicated than it really is. Not helping matters, sometimes these terms get used interchangeably when they’re not meant to be.
For instance, SIP and VoIP are both different acronyms used in the telecommunications industry, that refer to different things. VoIP defines a type of internet call, while SIP is the method that is used to allow for VoIP calls.
What does Protocol Mean?
One of the biggest differences between SIP and VoIP is how the term protocol is used. A protocol is a system of digital rules used in a message exchange between different computers or digital devices.
For example, IP telephony (Internet Protocol telephony) is an alternative to the dedicated circuit-switched connections that a public switched telephone network (PSTN) uses. IP telephony uses Internet Protocol’s packet switched connections to exchange voice, fax, and data. This is advantageous because you can avoid the so called ‘tolls’ of PSTN.
What does VoIP mean?
As mentioned above, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) describes a type of internet call. In other words, the Internet is the main conduit in which a voice signal is digitally transmitted to an endpoint, such as a telephone.
What does SIP mean?
SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) is a specific protocol that allows for VoIP. In other words, VoIP is the type of call, while SIP is the protocol used to establish the call. This means that SIP defines the data that is sent through endpoints. It also establishes the vital features of the phone call. In addition to phone calls, SIP has other features like:
- Instant messages
- Video Conferences
- Media Distribution
- Various Applications