VoIP stands for “Internet Protocol Voice,” and software and hardware phones allow users to make calls using the Internet.
If you want to use VoIP services for business or personal use, but don’t know the terminology associated with this technology, our previous blog post, “The Beginner’s Guide to IP Telephony” would be helpful. This blog will focus on softphones and IP phones, their definitions and differences between the two.
Software-based VoIP, also known as Softphone requires a computer connected to the Internet. However, your computer must have the necessary audio equipment such as a sound card, speakers, and a microphone. Softphones are also called soft clients in enterprises.
Softphones are often suggested for mobile or home users, but as the number of office workers increases, they better use softphones as a convenient alternative to traditional desktop phones.
Unlike softphones, IP phones connect directly to the router’s Ethernet port and connect to VoIP services, other VoIP phones, or VoIP gateways. Therefore, there is no need to transmit via PC or software. WiFi IP phone is another good option. It connects to your Internet connection (access point) wirelessly, so you do not need to connect to your PC.
IP phones have a number of options that give users various features and functions. The basic IP phone is similar to a regular home or desk phone. At this point, many people think it is a “comfortable zone” and are not ready to lean on softphones. This route allows users to send and receive secure calls over a VoIP network. To find more bells and whistles, consider using a high-end IP phone with a large screen that includes web browsing options.
Strength and weakness
Many tech sources indicate that softphones are typically used more often because they do not require additional hardware and are less expensive to invest. The range of the softphones is between $100 and $300.
On the other side, as already mentioned, IP phones can easily switch from standard telephone lines to VoIP services. They are not connected to traditional telephone jacks but instead are connected to Ethernet.
Unless you buy high quality headphones for use with softphones, the sound quality of IP phones is generally better than softphones.
Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and POT landline phones are preferred hardphones that can provide better ROI than softphones. As mentioned earlier, this phone does not rely on a PC, notebook or tablet for operation. A hard phone is a separate device. While mobile phones are two to three years old, sometimes only a year, they last up to 10 years.
The connection structure between softphone and IP phone is very similar. Both are SIP extensions that can register with VOIP / IP telephony servers and can make and receive calls over the Internet (SIP Trunking) and Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
The Softphone can directly or indirectly call a SIP phone, and vice versa.
The main limitation of IP phones is that they are fixed in one location. Today, most small businesses (SMBs) require their employees to use them anywhere, anytime, so softphones continue to be popular and can be uploaded to some or all mobile devices.