What are SIP DNS SRV records?

SIP DNS SRV records help to connect calls. They are part of why SIP is so portable, because these records allow you to use your own domain instead of your VoIP provider’s domain name. This has several great benefits for VoIP service providers and VoIP subscribers.

These records work to provide you with more flexibility in your VoIP service. They also help to protect and improve how these services are managed, so that vendors can protect and maintain VoIP systems more easily.

  • Session Internet Protocol (SIP)—SIP allows phones to communicate online. It is a computer language that helps connect calls between VoIP users.
  • Domain Name Server (DNS)—DNS enables administrators to move services from one host to another and use multiple servers. These records point back to a specific SIP identity.
  • Voice over IP (VoIP)—VoIP service uses the Internet to make phone calls.

This system is what allows you to take your VoIP with you. Just like how you can check your email away from the office, your VoIP service is portable thanks to server records that tell the Internet where to direct your communications. Essentially, they enable SIP addresses.

In this article, we will provide a brief overview of SIP, talk about how it works, how SIP DNS SRV records function and why they are vital to your VoIP service. By the end, you should have a better understanding of how SIP DNS SRV records work, what they do and why your VoIP service uses them.

Article Contents:

  1. What is VoIP?
  2. What is SIP?
  3. What is DNS?
  4. How SIP DNS SRV Records Work
  5. What DO SIP DNS SRV Records Look Like?

1. What is VoIP?

Voice over IP (VoIP) is a revolutionary telephony technology that reduces the costs of making personal, business, or other phone calls by transmitting phone signals via the Internet instead of through copper wires. Traditional phones work by using a vast network of copper wire to transfer phone conversations around the world. VoIP eliminates the need for expensive traditional telecommunications infrastructure by packaging VoIP call data to travel over the Internet.

Using traditional phones with analog telephone adapters (ATA) or specialized IP phones, softphones or smartphone apps, VoIP subscribers can connect with their service anywhere and are no longer limited to a specific location or setup. VoIP reduces phone service costs, so users can save tremendous amounts of money on these services.

2. What is SIP?

Session Internet Protocol (SIP) is a language used to transmit phone calls over the Internet. VoIP services often use SIP. In fact, it is one of the most popular languages for VoIP phones. Many VoIP services support any SIP-compatible phone, making it easier to switch to another VoIP service by bringing the phones you already have into a new service plan. These bring your own device plans (BYOD) can save you a significant amount of money on phone expenses and provide you with a greater amount of flexibility. As such a robust and flexible system, SIP has increased in popularity.

In order to use SIP, you are given a SIP address that follows you around as you use your VoIP service. This makes your service substantially more flexible and practical. It is great for businesses that work with distributed teams or have multiple offices with significant geographical distances between them. SIP addresses enable these workers to function as a single office much more easily and efficiently. It also enables companies to make the changes they need, keeping their phone number and SIP addresses the same if needed.

3. What is DNS?

A Domain Name Server (DNS) helps to connect your VoIP calls by directing call traffic that is aimed at your address to the right server and the correct phone. It allows you to use your own domain and have your VoIP provider host your service, yet have your own customized SIP address. It also provides you with the ability to travel and take that SIP address with you wherever you go. Your SIP address is unique, so any request to the DNS server returns only your information and connects the call correctly.

4. How SIP DNS SRV Records Work

As a call is placed, a message is sent to the DNS requesting the record that matches your SIP address. The server responds by directing call traffic to the correct address. From there, you receive the VoIP call and the connection is made. These records have distinct advantages for subscribers and vendors, so they allow VoIP to be a more effective and flexible service.

Advantages of SIP DNS SRV Records:

  • Redundancy and Stability–Helps to maintain your VoIP service.
  • Portable Addresses–Allows you to take VoIP with you.

This makes your VoIP phone service more stable and consistent by allowing VoIP vendors to set up backup systems. If a failure occurs and a server needs maintenance, it is important to be able to have other servers online that can handle the traffic and appropriately reroute the information as it travels. These records make it much easier for vendors to substitute in other servers, create system redundancy and keep everything maintained.

Your addresses are also more portable, empowering you to do so much more with your VoIP system than what you normally would be able to. VoIP is very portable and flexible for subscribers since their addresses can follow them anywhere. This is a large part of VoIP’s appeal, since it empowers companies to expand their workforces and accomplish more with their business communications systems. If you need to switch your system to another vendor, your address goes with you and you can keep your phone number. This is great for businesses that may change their VoIP vendor, switch to a different VoIP plan or set up a different business communications system arrangement.

5. What do SIP DNS SRV Records Look Like?

These records typically follow a standard format, regardless of the VoIP vendor you use, because servers need to use the same language and formatting in order to communicate effectively.

For instance, your record may look something like this:

  • Service: SIP
  • Protocol: UDP
  • Name: mycompany.com
  • Priority:
  • Weight:
  • Port: 5060
  • Target: sip.nextiva.com
  • TTL: 1 hour

Servers can use this information to relay your calls appropriately. With these records, it is possible to keep VoIP services going and forward phone call data. The Internet knows exactly where to send this information and how to connect calls even if your domain is different from where the calls are actually traveling and being routed. In a sense, it is somewhat like forwarding email sent to business address through an email provider’s servers to arrive at your mailbox. Your business name is clearly part of the address, but the emails travel to a mailbox that is hosted offsite by another company.

For example, your domain name, mycompany.com, forwards to Nextiva’s servers so that your Nextiva VoIP service can find and connect the call. This way, you can keep your domain name on your SIP address and subscribe to a VoIP vendor’s services to provide the actual phone service to your business. You do not have to self-host or have your VoIP software and equipment fully onsite.

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