What is My SIP Address? [FAQs]
SIP, or Session Internet Protocol, is a language allowing phone communication sessions to begin over the Internet. It is extremely popular as a protocol for initiating text, phone and other communications, including video calls. SIP is increasingly used for a variety of different purposes on different devices.
- Session Internet Protocol (SIP)—Used to initiate phone communications on the Internet.
- SIP address—With your SIP address, users can locate and connect with you online. These addresses are, in some respects, similar to email addresses.
Your SIP address is necessary for you to be found and receive communications. You may have an address identical to your email address, in fact, with a username and domain. Users of traditional telephone systems can call SIP addresses by simply dialing a number that forwards directly to the SIP address.
- What is SIP?
- How Do SIP Addresses Work?
- What is My SIP Address?
- How Can I Use SIP with My Business?
- SIP Tips and Tricks
1. What is SIP?
SIP helps to connect VoIP calls. Voice over IP (VoIP) allows you to make phone calls over the Internet instead of the public telephone network. Traditional phone services use copper wiring to transport telephone signals, but VoIP packages data for the Internet. To use SIP, you will need a SIP client that allows you to connect with other SIP users.
What You Need:
- Internet Connection—You will need the Internet to make SIP calls.
- Phone—A softphone, SIP compatible phone or a analog phone with an analog telephone adapter (ATA). Softphones are software
- SIP Client—You need a client providing access to SIP and allowing you to make and receive calls.
- Microphone and Speaker—You will need listening and speaking devices in one form or another if you are using a softphone.
Finding a VoIP client to help you connect with other SIP users is part of the process. If you are not sure where to start, first make a list of the VoIP features your business needs most and begin looking for a vendor that fits your budget and needs. Purchasing equipment should, ideally, wait until you find the right vendor for you.
While you certainly can make great phone calls using your softphone or smartphone, you should consider investing in high quality sound equipment and cameras if you are looking to get the most from your VoIP services. IP cameras can provide really great video coverage if you have a conference call, for instance. You can obtain great cameras that help include everyone in the conference room in the call. This is great for meetings, classes and other types of conferences. Even for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), conferences can help you get more done and reach new audiences. Investing in great equipment and high quality VoIP services can help with these goals.
2. How Do SIP Addresses Work?
SIP-URI (Universal Resource Identifier) addresses look exactly like email addresses, but they are technically different from emails. You may have identical email and SIP addresses, but it is important not to confuse the two of them.
- SIP-URI Format—The format is sip:x@y:port, with x=Username and y=host (domain or IP).
- Port—Without specifying a port, the default SIP port is used when calls and messages are sent. If you changed the port, then you need to include that in your address. For instance, sip:firstname.lastname@example.org could be a SIP-URI address with a default port setting. If the port is different, then it will be something like sip:email@example.com:6000. The port address, “6000,” is at the end of the address so calls can be made.
Your SIP client is able to connect calls to this address. In order to receive calls from traditional phones, you will have a phone number that plain old telephone service (POTS) users can call. SIP clients connect calls from POTS phones to SIP addresses directly and automatically so that calls can be connected.
3. What is My SIP Address?
Depending on what address is registered with your SIP client, your SIP address will be different. Your SIP address follows you across different devices. So when you are away from your primary phone, your SIP address can follow you. This enables the Find Me/Follow Me feature popular with many VoIP services. You can answer and make phone calls on other phones when you are away from the office. All you have to do is use your SIP address and your VoIP client. You can carry your phone number with you and avoid missing phone calls.
As such, your SIP address is relatively portable and is not tied down to a particular phone, unlike POTS phones. This is because POTS phone numbers follow a particular phone line in a particular location or a particular phone connection and cannot be associated strictly to a particular individual.
4. How Can I Use SIP with My Business?
Since SIP is enormously popular as a protocol, it is compatible with a variety of different devices and services. You can use SIP phones and bring them with you into a new VoIP service if you ever need to switch. As such, SIP compatible phones are usually a good investment if you plan to continue using some form of VoIP service fairly consistently with your business. Since VoIP can help you save money on business communications and can provide you with a wide range of added features you would not normally have with phones, VoIP services can be very helpful for businesses trying to reach their goals.
Your VoIP vendor can recommend great phones for your company if you are not sure what brands to use. There are a variety of different phones available on the market today, making it typically very simple to find SIP phones that can provide the functionality you need.
5. SIP Tips and Tricks
SIP has a wide range of great uses. Follow these tips to get the most out of your SIP client and your VoIP system:
- Since SIP numbers can follow you around, they are great for teams that telecommute, work remotely or use a distributed work model.
- Taking a SIP phone with you as you travel is a way to stay connected to your phone calls if you need to.
- Choosing a VoIP provider with a softphone app can help you use SIP remotely.
- Before purchasing phones, consider choosing a VoIP vendor first. That way, you can ask for their opinion on phones and possibly take advantage of any discounts they offer.
- Keep in mind that many bring your own device (BYOD) VoIP vendors do not provide technical services for every phone, so if you encounter problems with your device, you may need to acquire your own technical support.
- If you want to save money on equipment, cloud hosted private branch exchange (PBX) services can help you avoid spending more upfront.
- Metered and pay-as-you-go plans can help you reduce costs if you need a large number of VoIP phone lines or virtual extensions but do not necessarily need a large number of minutes.
- Unlimited plans are best for companies with large call volumes. Identifying how much phone service you need can help you decide what plans to subscribe to and which vendors to choose.