What Is a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Phone?

When you install a VoIP system for your business, you get many benefits. However, in order to make use of all of those benefits, you need to have the right VoIP phones. Why are session initiation protocol (SIP) phones such a trend in the business place right now? Read on to learn more about the features of SIP phones.

2 Main Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Phone Types

Session initiation protocol (SIP) phones are broken down into two categories: software-based and hardware-based.

Software-based SIP phones are also called virtual phones. This is because you don’t have a physical phone with a handset. The software is loaded on either a laptop or desktop computer and is operated on the screen using the internet. This a great way to integrate all of your ordinary phone capabilities, along with email, video conferencing, and more.

There are also physical SIP phones that are the hardware-based models. While it may look like an ordinary phone, the SIP is using the internet to make calls instead of a standard phone line. This allows for many features, such as clearer calls and built-in messaging. These phones work on the same internet service as your computers, and do not require a second internet service provider (ISP).

Of course, you can also use a traditional phone with your VoIP service. However, you lose some of the benefits of the service since a regular phone doesn’t have all of the features a VoIP phone is capable of.

Why Use SIP Phones?

There are many good reasons to switch to session initiation protocol (SIP) phones. For example:

  • Cost efficiency – You don’t even have to think about whether a call is local or long distance. VoIP services don’t charge extra for a long distance call because everything happens online. So go ahead and call your manufacturer in China or your satellite offices in Europe, and talk for as long as you like.
  • Integrated services – Some SIP phones can integrate with Outlook to get your contacts, a customer relationship management (CRM) system, and even many web and mobile apps for various platforms.

Remember that SIP phones require an internet connection. That means if the power is out or the internet is down, and you don’t have a backup, you’ll have no phone service until these other connecting utilities are back online.

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