Your success is our PRIORITY!OUR SERVICES!

WebRTC vs SIP: What is the Difference?

WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) are both technologies that enable real-time communication, but they operate differently and serve different purposes within the landscape of online communications.


Definition: WebRTC is an open-source project that provides web browsers and mobile applications with real-time communication via simple application programming interfaces (APIs). It does not require users to install plugins or download native apps.

Key Characteristics:

  • Browser-Based: Designed for peer-to-peer communication directly in the web browser.
  • Media Handling: Can handle all types of media, including audio, video, and data transfer, without relying on traditional telecommunications networks.
  • Natively Secure: WebRTC is encrypted by default using DTLS (Datagram Transport Layer Security) and SRTP (Secure Real-Time Protocol).
  • Firewall Traversal: Utilizes Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) framework to work seamlessly behind NATs (Network Address Translators) and firewalls.
  • No Need for Specific Protocols: It doesn't require a signaling protocol to establish a connection; signaling mechanisms are left to the choice of developers (can use SIP, WebSocket, XMPP, etc.).


Definition: SIP is a signaling protocol used for initiating, maintaining, modifying, and terminating real-time sessions that involve video, voice, messaging, and other communications applications and services between two or more endpoints on IP networks.

Key Characteristics:

  • Protocol Standard: A standardized protocol (part of the IP-based telephony standards).
  • Signaling Focused: Primarily a signaling protocol and does not define the media transport (which is typically done using RTP - Real-Time Protocol).
  • Extensive Use in VoIP: The backbone for most IP telephony uses, it's compatible with various VoIP devices and applications.
  • Flexibility and Features: Supports a wide range of features like call forwarding, transfers, hold, etc.
  • Requires Server Infrastructure: Typically relies on SIP proxy servers for call routing and management.

Main Differences:

  1. Usage Context:

    • WebRTC is mainly used for direct, peer-to-peer communication within web applications.
    • SIP is more commonly used in the backend of telephony systems for session management.
  2. Complexity:

    • WebRTC aims to simplify real-time communication by embedding this capability directly into browsers.
    • SIP is part of a more extensive suite of protocols that can be complex to implement and manage.
  3. Infrastructure:

    • WebRTC generally requires no additional infrastructure or server setup, as it's incorporated into the browser itself.
    • SIP requires server components for signaling to initiate and manage sessions.
  4. Integration:

    • WebRTC is built for the web and is easily integrated into web services without requiring additional plugins or software installations.
    • SIP often requires compatible hardware (like SIP phones) or software (like SIP clients) to function.
  5. NAT/Firewall Traversal:

    • WebRTC is designed to handle NAT traversal seamlessly using ICE, STUN, and TURN protocols.
    • SIP might face challenges with NAT traversal, often requiring additional configuration or software like a Session Border Controller (SBC).


While both WebRTC and SIP can be integral parts of a modern communication system, they serve different roles. WebRTC is more about embedding communication capabilities directly into web browsers and applications without the need for specialized infrastructure, while SIP is more about the signaling and setup of sessions in a more traditional telephony sense, offering broad compatibility with existing phone systems. In practice, they can and often do work together, with WebRTC handling the media and user experience and SIP providing the signaling in many VoIP and Unified Communications (UC) solutions.

By Yassine El Katibi


Just added to your wishlist:
My Wishlist
You've just added this product to the cart:
Go to cart page