Choosing the right SIP client for business VoIP can be a daunting task. To begin with, what do all these abbreviations even mean? And which is the right Android, iPhone or desktop SIP client for you?
Even if you know what VoIP and SIP stand for—Voice Over Internet Protocol and Session Initiation Protocol, respectively—that doesn’t clarify what these technologies can do for you.
Luckily, SIP and VoIP clients are much simpler than they may seem. We’re here to help you understand the differences and pick the best app for your Android device or iPhone.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
SIP clients are software applications built to run on mobile devices with internet connections.
These apps facilitate over-the-top (OTT) communications: communication channels that cut service providers out of the picture. Mobile VoIP apps allow you to send voice calls and SMS messages over a Wi-Fi connection.
SIP clients are examples of what is known as unified communications (UC) clients. Unlike simple VoIP softphones, which strictly allow you to make and receive calls over the internet, UC clients include expanded capabilities such as voicemail, SMS and instant messaging, video conferencing, call settings and more.
SIP clients often include the following core capabilities:
|Voice calling||Make and receive calls through your internet connection.|
|Video calling and conferencing||Place and receive video calls on devices with cameras. Some apps allow for video conferencing with multiple users.|
|Call history||Track incoming and outgoing calls.|
|Voicemail||Let callers leave voice messages when you’re not available. Listen to voice messages and return calls. Check voicemail left on one device from another.|
|Call settings||Remote control over call settings. Route calls to office phones to mobile phones. Login to accounts remotely.|
|SMS text messages||Send and receive short message service (SMS) texts over internet connections.|
To help you determine which SIP clients is right for you, let’s take a look at a few popular products.
Ringio. Call center software solution Ringio offers a VoIP mobile app for both Android devices and iPhones. This app lets users sync contacts, set up and check voicemail and make calls on their mobile devices from their business numbers.
Call history in Ringio (Source: itunes.apple.com)
CSipSimple. CSipSimple is a SIP-based application designed specifically for Android phones. Users of this application can make free calls over Wi-Fi connections.
One of CSipSimple’s most attractive features is that it is free, open-source software.
CSipSimple’s user interface
Zoiper. SIP client Zoiper offers voice and video calling, video conferencing, call recording, call transfer and an auto-answering feature. It has native mobile apps for both Android and iOS. Zoiper also provides an on-premise deployment for Windows, Mac and Linux systems.
Make calls in Zoiper (Source: itunes.apple.com)
Here are some benefits to consider when looking for the right SIP client:
Reduced cost and hardware requirements. Some users forego traditional office phone systems in favor of conducting all their business communications through SIP clients. This means you can save money right off the bat by not investing in extra hardware.
Easy integration with existing software. Many SIP clients can integrate with your existing software. For example, Zoiper can aggregate your contacts from Outlook, Windows, Android and iOS.
Many of these apps also offer integration with customer relationship management (CRM) software, like Thunderbird and Zoho CRM.
Over-The-Top Communications. We briefly discussed OTT communications earlier in this guide. Using OTT communication technologies such as SIP clients means you’re cutting traditional service providers out completely. You can make free calls and send SMS texts over public Wi-Fi with these apps.
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