VoIP, SIP and Other Common Acronyms Explained

By Cathrine Hosking 2 years agoNo Comments
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Here are the most common acronyms we use on this site – in simple terms:

The IT world is littered with acronyms and tech talk and while on this site we endeavor to eliminate the geeky IT talk as much as possible, sometimes it’s unavoidable.

VoIP – Voice Over Internet Protocol

VoIP describes the process of using the internet to make and receive calls instead of traditional copper telephone lines.  The main benefit of using the internet instead of copper is that its a lot cheaper and adds more functionality to your phone system.

  • VoIP Phone System  – is the term used to describe the ‘brains’ of the phone system (usually a physical box with inputs and outputs)
  • VoIP Phone – describes the physical desk phone that you make calls on.

If you would like to better understand VoIP please see our VoIP page or download our Guide To Picking The Right VoIP Phone System For Your Business.

SIP – Session Initiation Protocol 

SIP is a signaling protocol, widely used for setting up, connecting and disconnecting communication sessions, typically voice or video calls over the Internet.

  • SIP Trunk –  A SIP Trunk provides the same service you get from a traditional analog phone line. The difference is, instead of being a physical wire, a SIP Trunk is a “virtual” phone line which is provided by a SIP trunk provider (They use your data circuit (T1, Cable Modem, DSL, Ethernet over Copper, etc) to connect your phone system back to their network.


Describes a software phone (smart app) which allows you to use VoIP on your mobile phone to make and receive calls. Read more in our “What is a Softphone?” blog post here.

This list is ever expanding, are there any acronyms you would recommend we add to this list?

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