A VoIP phone client is nothing but a piece of software that makes a connection to an SIP provider and acts as a sender and receiver on behalf of the device on which it is installed. It is almost similar in design to an e-mail client that handles messages while connecting to an external e-mail server. Those of you who have used Outlook for example, know that the e-mail client will talk to your corporate server and download incoming emails. Sending a message on the other hand means that Outlook will upload the message to the servers who will then do the actual work of routing the message to the recipient.
A VoIP client does very much the same thing. When your SIP provider receives an incoming call, it pings all the VoIP clients that are registered with it at the time. It then relays the VoIP calls to those devices. The same mechanism is seen while placing a VoIP call, but in reverse. So what form does an SIP VoIP client take? It depends on the type of device being used. On a PC for example, a VoIP clients will be software downloaded in the form of an installable file. If your device is a smart phone or tablet, it will be an app that is downloaded from the respective marketplace – the Apple App Store or Android’s Google Play for example. More recently however smartphones are beginning to have SIP clients built into them. This is a reflection of the growing importance of SIP in replacing the traditional PSTN phone system.
A final example of an SIP client is that which is found on a dedicated VoIP phone. These phones are similar in form factor to the land lines that we are familiar with. They look just like a regular telephone, but in reality they are miniature computers that are highly specialized in function. For starters, they connect to the Internet via an ethernet cable or Wi-Fi connection. The software is built into them – you don’t have to install anything. It can also automatically provision itself by periodically contacting your SIP provider and downloading the latest software updates, maintenance and security patches. This makes it particularly easy for managing a large number of dedicated VoIP phones at the same time in an organization.
With so many different ways of connecting to an SIP provider, businesses can choose that mode of communication which is suitable for them. Contact your Internet telephony service provider to find out how you can get started in less than 15 min.