A softphone is a software-based application that allows you to make Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls through your Private Branch Exchange (PBX) or a preferred SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) provider. It’s a convenient way to turn your computer or mobile device into a virtual phone, enabling you to make and receive calls over the internet. Here’s how you can use a softphone for VoIP calls:
- Choose a Mobile Softphone Application: There are various softphone applications available for different operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Some popular softphones include Zoiper, X-Lite, 3CX, Bria, Linphone, and Grandstream Wave. Select the one that best suits your needs and platform.
- Download and Install: Download and install the chosen softphone application on your computer or mobile device.
- Configuration: You will need to configure the softphone with the necessary settings to connect it to your PBX or SIP provider. Here are the typical configuration steps:a. SIP Provider Settings:
- SIP server/Proxy server: This is the address of your SIP provider or PBX.SIP username and password: Provided by your SIP provider. SIP port: Usually 5060 for unencrypted communication or 5061 for encrypted (TLS) communication.
- Make Calls: Once the softphone is configured, you can make VoIP calls just like you would with a traditional phone. Enter the destination number and initiate the call. The softphone will establish the connection using your internet connection and the configured SIP settings.
- Receive Calls: You can also receive VoIP calls on your softphone. It will ring when someone calls your SIP number.
- Use Additional Features: Many softphones offer features like call forwarding, voicemail, call history, and contact management. Explore these features to enhance your VoIP calling experience.
- Troubleshooting: If you encounter issues with your softphone, double-check your SIP or PBX configuration settings, ensure that your internet connection is stable, and verify that your SIP provider’s services are functioning properly.
Keep in mind that the specific setup process and features can vary depending on the softphone application and your SIP provider. Always consult the documentation provided by your chosen softphone and SIP service for precise configuration instructions. Additionally, make sure that you have an active SIP account with a SIP provider or an operational PBX system to use with your SIP softphone.
- VOIP Softphone (Voice over Internet Protocol Softphone): A VOIP softphone, short for Voice over Internet Protocol softphone, is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls over the internet using the VOIP technology. It emulates the functionality of a traditional telephone but operates over an IP network, such as the internet. VOIP softphones are commonly used in businesses and for personal communication, and they can be installed on computers, smartphones, or tablets.
- SIP Softphone (Session Initiation Protocol Softphone): A SIP softphone is a type of VOIP softphone that specifically uses the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to establish, manage, and terminate real-time communication sessions, including voice and video calls. SIP is a signaling protocol used in VOIP systems to initiate and control communication sessions. A SIP softphone adheres to the SIP standard, allowing it to work with a wide range of VOIP service providers and equipment that support SIP.
In summary, a VOIP softphone is a broader category of software that enables internet-based voice and video calling, while a SIP softphone is a specific type of VOIP softphone that uses the SIP protocol for communication. You can use a SIP softphone to connect with SIP-based VOIP services and devices.